Abby Thompson

The RSU78 Board of Education met on November 9, 2021. Board Chair Mary Richards welcomed new board member Kayla Alexander (Rangeley) and provided an update on the board goals for the 2021/2022 school year. Superintendent Georgia Campbell provided an update on COVID-19 cases within the school, the community, and the county. Given the data as of November 9, 2021, the RSU78 administration recommends that mask-wearing, distancing measures, and optional pooled testing continues. The Return to School Handbook has been updated to include language regarding after school activities for students in quarantine. Principal (6-12) Seth Laliberte shared in his comments that the first quarter closed on November 5, 2021. Grade span teams are offering parent/teacher conferences in the coming weeks. High School wrapped up the first phase of The Project. Students have had 11 different learning experiences in the first quarter. Middle school and administration have also been meeting with Foster Career and Technical Center in Farmington, ME, to discuss implementing a pilot program to have FCTC come to RLRS for a six week trades immersion program with middle school. Student Representative Mya Laliberte (Class of ‘22) shared that the soccer season officially ended for RLRS with the women’s varsity team making it to the southern Maine championships.

School Librarian Abby Thompson shared her experience at the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The four day conference included a number of classes, workshops, keynote speakers and author presentations, and a number of networking opportunities. Ms. Thompson was awarded a scholarship from the Maine Association of School Libraries to help defray the cost of the conference and travel.

Policy Committee, chaired by Kathy Catrini, reported out that they are beginning to review policies from 2018. Finance Committee, chaired by Chris Farmer, shared that RSU78 is doing well considering all the unknowns, rising costs, and labor shortages. Budget process will begin in January. Budget meeting dates and times are posted on the school website. Facilities Committee, chaired by Deb Ladd, reported that they are working on 1, 5 and 10 year plans, and have reviewed and updated the Turner report.

Other agenda items presented for consideration included the resignations of Lori and Dennis Muzzy, the transfer of Kimberly Snow to Kitchen Supervisor, the appointment of Sharon Oliver as an Ed Tech III in Special Education, and the appointments of Robert Balch as middle school boys basketball coach, and Kelly O’Neil as middle school girls basketball coach. A Functional Movement Pilot Program was presented by school nurse Lindsey Savage and was given board approval by a unanimous vote. Two policies were rescinded, IHA-Basic Instruction Program, and IHBEA-Program for Limited English Proficient Students/LAU Plan.

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Pictured are RLRS students Perrin Lavallee (grade 8), Shirley Truland (grade 8), Alex Hathaway (grade 8), Jacob Nickerson (grade 8), and Lucas Nickerson (grade 6). Kathaleen Willis.

The RSU78 Board of Education met via Zoom on December 15, 2021. Board member Chris Farmer motioned for “chair cast one”. Under parliamentary rules, this allows the Board Chair to cast a single vote, provided there is no opposition. The motion carried.

The meeting opened with three presentations. The first was from Levi Robinson of RHR Smith & Company. He provided an update on the financial status of RSU78 and shared that the district is in solid financial condition.

The second presentation was from K-8 Interventionist and Gifted & Talented Teacher Katie Willis. She shared updates on a paper roller coaster project from the middle school Critical Thinkers group. Students Tristram Woodman (grade 6), Natalie Alves (grade 6), Shirley Truland (grade 8), and Perrin Lavallee (grade 8) all presented their roller coasters to the board via Zoom. The presentations were delightful.

The final presentation was from Technology & Communications Coordinator Shawn Russell. Mr. Russell shared the work of the communications committee, the review of various communications platforms, survey results from parents and community members, and next steps forward. Mr. Russell’s excellent presentation on external communications is available on the school’s website.

In her opening remarks, Board Chair Mary Richards reminded board members that there is a staff luncheon on Wednesday, December 22 after student dismissal. Board attendance is encouraged. Superintendent Georgia Campbell shared that conversations with the Eustis/Stratton school district are ongoing. Mrs. Campbell and Mr. Laliberte, along with other staff, will be hosting a parent night for folks in the Eustis/Stratton area who are interested in sending their students to RSU 78. With 6 positive cases in 14 days, this puts RLRS at outbreak status. School is currently remote Monday, December 13 through Wednesday, December 15 as a result. Administration will meet on Wednesday to review data. A decision will be communicated out to families on Wednesday. Once students can safely be back in the building, additional safety precautions have been put in place for snack time and lunch time, including assigned seating. The Maine DOE is updating the outbreak status definitions. That information will be communicated out to schools shortly and RSU 78 administration will review and implement new safety measures as necessary.

Principal (6-12) Seth Laliberte shared his new Instagram @principallaliberte to share what’s going on in the building. He acknowledged that there was a plan for winter athletics, and then school went remote. Administration will revisit the plan once students are back in the building. Over the past few days, staff have been hard at work with remote learning.

Policy Committee, chaired by Kathy Catrini, continues with policy review. Mrs Catrini was unable to attend the meeting, so Mrs Richards will present the policy updates. Finance Committee, chaired by Chris Farmer, shared that they continue to review finances and voted to approve a stipend for communications through the end of this school year. Facilities Committee, chaired by Deb Ladd, reported that the operation system of the HVAC is outdated and will need updating. The committee will be seeking bids for paving in the near future, and the outdoor classroom is

Progressing nicely. Please see the video from Mrs Christensen sharing the updates on classroom construction.

Other agenda items presented for consideration included the resignations of Jacqueline Haley. Mr Laliberte presented a plan for extended early release days that coincide with Saddleback Mountain’s Ski Tuesday Program (this is a mountain program, not a school program). Chair cast one vote and the motion carried. One policy was revised, IJJ-E-Citizen’s Challenge of Educational and Library Media, two policies were rescinded, IKAB – Report Cards/Progress Reports and IKG – Transcripts, and one policy was adopted with revisions to include language of parent/guardian, IKAB – Grading and Reporting of Student

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