Regional School Unit 9’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the district’s new mission and vision statements at the Tuesday, March 22, meeting. The statements, pictured, are a piece in the process to establish and implement RSU 9’s 10-year strategic plan. Screenshot

FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday, March 22, to approve and adopt the district’s new mission and vision statements.

The statements will shape the rest of the process to create action items, plans and strategies. All will culminate in a 10-year strategic plan for RSU 9’s future.

The draft, handed out during the meeting, states RSU 9’s mission as “working together to provide high-quality educational opportunities for all.”

A vision statement follows that incorporates three themes: “community,” “culture” and “curriculum.”

Each theme has subcategories which Director and Strategic Planning Committee Chair Lisa Laflin described during the meeting as “capturing what’s most important and critical to our district’s success.”

Laflin said the vision and mission statements were based on data collected from a strategic planning survey conducted at the end of 2021. The survey was offered to all community members in the 10 towns RSU 9 serves.


Superintendent Chris Elkington added that the statement, data are based on conversations with around 7o groups in the 10 towns, including organizations, committees, town officials, students, RSU 9 staff and churches.

Under community, the district envisions:

• “Students are confident, resilient, critical thinkers … appreciated for their differences and … supported on their educational path.”

• Students learn “life skills necessary for success.”

• Staff are “dedicated and passionate,” “supported by the community and each other” and “highly skilled and well equipped” to educate.

• RSU 9, as a district, “prioritizes communication, building relationships [and] engaging community,” encourages “learning in and out of the classroom,” and “promotes strong partnerships with families.”


For culture, the district promotes:

• A “learning environment” where “all students, staff, and families feel safe, welcome, and included…”

• Listening to “students, staff and families,” offering them “resources to help them thrive,” and supporting “multiple pathways for learning.”

• “Investing in modern, comfortable, flexible” facilities that “maximize student learning (and) innovation.”

• Creating scheduling for staff and students that “fosters learning, greater access to community learning spaces and equitable access to technology.”

For curriculum, the district:


• Offers “instruction” that engages students “in meaningful, hands-on, challenging learning experiences.”

• Has trained staff to “encourage each student to actively engage in their education and … be successful members of their communities.”

• Educates with “content” that “delivers a varied and comprehensive curriculum … to develop skills to communicate effectively, collaborate successfully, think creatively, and apply knowledge gained to new situations.”

Laflin told the board the committee worked to capture the “importance of life skills … hands on learning … students being challenged … inclusiveness … and communication” with “state of the art, modern facilities.”

She emphasized that the committee felt it was most important to focus on “partnerships with families.”

“We don’t meet our vision and our mission alone,” Laflin said.


Now that the board has approved the statements, the committee will move on to the next steps in the strategic planning process. Laflin said the committee will now focus on developing a plan, action items and strategies to foster those statements.

Elkington said that developing this will require more input from the community, staff members and administrators. The district will soon send out another survey around strategic goals for curriculum and content, he said.

In other business, a motion was unanimously approved to send a letter asking Maine Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin to formally begin the process of reapportioning the RSU 9 board.

Apportionment is assigning each municipality in a school district a number of seats or votes on a board of directors to ensure a “one-person, one-vote principle,” Director J. Wayne Kinney explained at the board’s Feb. 15 meeting.

To reapportion, Makin will have to instruct the district to formulate a commission comprised of one municipal official, community member and RSU 9 director from each of the 10 towns.

That commission that will eventually give Makin a recommendation on how to apportion the board. Barring any appeals on Makin’s decision, the reapportionment process is now out of the Board of Directors’ hands.

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