Superintendent’s Report October


  • Regular Meeting
  • 6:00PM, Monday, October 3, 2016

Superintendent’s Report

District Recognitions/Events

  • Ms. Teresa Holyoke, BCS Librarian/Media Specialist, Allison Kahkonen, Instructional Supervisor, staff and students of BCS Brewer Community School has won the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge for the state of Maine.
  • BHS seniors, Drew Baker, Isaac Small and sophomore, Trey Baker took quick action on the evening of August 22, 2016, while traveling on Eastern Ave.  They saw smoke coming from the roof of a home.  They alerted the occupants and called 911.  Their quick action resulted in the safe evacuation of nine people and fire departments were able to save a majority of the structure.  We would like to thank them and commend them for their actions.
  • Cherrie MacInnes had her day with the state review panel for Teacher of the Year! We are now waiting for the announcement.
  • The Maine Moment for Sept. 19-15 goes to Trey Wood and the rest of Brewer football. The Witches took the field against Skowhegan on Friday in a matchup of two undefeated teams in Class B. After the two teams combined for 95 points, Brewer came out victorious, 54-41, behind a five-touchdown performance from Trey Wood.
  • A group of GT students at BHS coached by Fred Ravan will be a part of the High School Quiz Show on Maine Public Broadcast Network. This televised academic quiz show tournament could win the school up to a $1000. The eight teams that score the highest on the written test will be selected to compete for the televised contest which will begin recording in March.
  • GT students are looking for community sites to create a community mural. They are currently creating a list of possible locations and have reached out to city hall as well as the school department for these locations. The idea is to bring students, art and Brewer together in various locations.
  1.  The Principal:  Three Keys to Maximizing Impact “Book Study”

            The administrative team is taking part in professional development this year by completing a book study.  They are reading The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact  by Michael Fullan.  This book emphasizes how principals are often called the second crucial in-school influencers (after teachers) of student learning.  It will provide specific ways to build capacity, focus on pedagogy, abandon fragmented strategies and strive for systemic change with a collaborative effort.  Fullan shares how principals can foster the professional capital of teachers and get far more accomplished for all students.  We will learn about being the learning leader, the district and system player and the change agent through the use of specific action items.

  1.  Learning Standards Theme

The first theme of the year is understanding what a learning standard or target is.  Learning standards are concise, clearly articulated descriptions of what students should know and be able to do at a specific stage of their educational journey. An example of a 5th grade standard might be: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.  An example of a high school standard might be:  Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience.  Each of these standards don’t dictate the curriculum.  Standards are not a prepackaged curriculum or a course of study, although this is a common misperception.  Standards are a fundamental set of academic, intellectual and skill expectations for students but it’s school boards, administrators and teachers who decide how they get taught.  Standards like the ones above do not tell the teacher what text to assign, how to teach students or even how to determine if they have achieved the expected standard.  Learning goals are consistent and common, but the teaching remains a local decision.

Standards draw a line in the sand.  Standards stipulate that students must learn a particular selection of critical skills and concepts before they can be considered prepared for the next step in education.  Teachers can teach more, but not less.  The standards establish a common baseline for what it means to be educated in the state of Maine or even across our country.

Having these standards, allow for greater collaboration and innovation.  Teachers are able to share lessons they develop, the instructional strategies they use, and the learning materials they create.  There are now several national online exchanges that have teachers sharing materials aligned to standards.  Common standards also make it easier and less expensive to develop textbooks, learning software and other educational resources.

Brewer School Department is working with the Maine Cohort for Customized Learning which has established learning standards and progressions for all eight content areas, including complex reasoning skills and habits of mind.  We plan to share more of what this looks like as the year continues.

  1.  Busing Plans

We are working with Cyr Bus to establish a start time for all of our buses to begin our regular bus routines as the construction winds up on Eastern Avenue.  Those bus runs will begin on October 3rd.  I want to thank Jason Richards for the countless hours he has spent working with Cyr Bus to ensure the safety of our students and to rework bus routes to accommodate the needs of our district.  We are also working to reestablish the Transfinder software system which has not been updated in five years.  This will be helpful in creating bus routes next year.

  1.  Upcoming November Policies

The admin team is meeting with our SRO’s on October 5, 2016, to address these two policies.

  • Revised Bullying/Cyberbullying Statutes (Posted September 1, 2016 by DOE)

The model bullying and cyberbullying prevention policy, first adopted in 2013 as a result of An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools (PL 659), has been revised to include comprehensive, detailed, and user-friendly procedural forms as well as an administrative procedure. All school administrative units’ school boards are to ensure that their policies and procedures are consistent with the revised model policy and procedures.

In addition, each SAU must file its policies to address bullying and cyberbullying to the Department (20-A MRSA §6554, sub-§8). Districts are further notified that beginning in the 2016-17 school year, substantiated incidents of bullying are no longer reported in Infinite Campus State Edition. Instead, these incidents are to be reported in NEO’s Bullying Reporting System on a quarterly basis. Superintendents will need to request staff access to this form by using the NEO access request form. Additional resources for monitoring and compliance with the law will become available this fall. More information regarding bullying prevention can be found at or contact the Department’s Student Assistance Coordinator, Sarah H. Ricker at 624-6685 or with any questions.

  • Truancy Regulation for the District

Truancy Reporting is done through the Infinite Campus Truancy module. It is important that not only truancy incidents are created once a student meets the definition of truancy but also that the truancy incident is “Resolved” or “Closed” once the student returns to school or transfers to a different district.  The definition of truancy can be found in §5051-A (
A truancy incident must be recorded once a student meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • 10 Full Days and completed grade 6
  • 7 Consecutive Days and completed grade 6
  • 7 Full Days and at least 7 yrs of age and has NOT completed grade 6
  • 5 Consecutive Days and at least 7 yrs of age and has NOT completed grade 6

Once an incident has been identified, it must be recorded in the truancy module. Steps must also be followed in order as outlined in §5051-A until the incident is either “closed” or “resolved”.

A truancy protocol has been established and we will be discussing the steps of this process before bringing this regulation to the board.  Our goal is to improve attendance for Brewer School Department.  Last year BCS was at 95.5% and BHS was at 93.3%.

  1.  Question 2 Upcoming Vote – MSMA White Paper

Included in the school committee packet is a paper on the pros and cons of question 2.  There are some significant points in this article.  While wanting to see education funded at 55%, there are some issues with the EPS formula, the impact this may or may not have on property taxes, driving businesses and newly graduated students out of our state are all mentioned as concerns. The article gives a nice overview of what has happened to funding of education over the last ten years and why both sides have merit to their argument.

  1. Strategic Planning Committee Update

The committee met on September 22, 2016, with an agenda that did not quite get completed.  However, there was a great discussion about our schools and our needs in two areas:  curriculum and instruction and professional culture.  The committee will meet again on October 20 to finish the agenda from September 22 and plan the next community forum.  The meeting schedule for 2016-17 is included in your packets.  Some dates may need to be adjusted based on the progress of the committee.

  1. Upcoming Events

-MSSA Fall Conference @ Augusta Civic Center October 26 and 27, 2016

-MSBA Delegate Assembly @ Augusta Civic Center October 27, 2016 1:15-4PM

-Full Plates Full Potential Annual Summit to End Childhood Hunger @ Colby College October 4, 2016

-State Funding Committee Meeting @ MSMA October 6, 2016

-Teacher Workshop Day October 7, 2016

-Hall of Fame Banquet October 13, 2016 5:30-8 @ BHS

-Autism Safety Training October 13, 2016 6-8:30 @ PAC

-Trustees Meeting October 18, 2016 6PM @ BHS Main Office

-Mrs. Lepage Visit to BCS to Read to 3rd Graders October 19, 2016 @ 9:30 AM

-Strategic Planning Committee October 20, 2016 6PM @ BCS Conference Room D

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