BREWER SCHOOL COMMITTEE
6:00PM, Monday, April 11, 2016
Brewer High School Lecture Hall
- March Recognitions Besides the many student recognitions at the beginning of our meeting, I wanted to recognize the following groups and their accomplishments in March:
- 3rd Graders Lobbying for the Crustacean Bill to become a Law
- Orange Chaos had an amazing district competition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute March 12th. The team competed against 40 other teams from around the New England area, finishing 2 days of qualifying matches in 1st place! During the finals round, Orange Chaos was team captain of the 1st place alliance and was eliminated in the semi-finals. The team was awardedExcellence in Engineering by the judging panel. This award celebrates elegant and advantageous machine features. Our robot scored the most high goals of the entire competition, had available a variety of autonomous programs for the robot to cross opponents’ defenses in the first 20 sec of play and was the first of only two robots to scale the castle wall. The judges recognized that our robot could tackle all aspects of the 2016 FRC Stronghold Challenge and looked amazing. There next competition is Pine Tree on April 8th and 9th in Lewiston.
- Storybird Project: Michelle Macdonald and her creative writing students were awarded a $4000 grant by the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to help them carry out their 1st grade personal story writing project for the next four years. (Letter enclosed).
- On Saturday, March 19, the Brewer Community School Jazz Band dazzled the adjudicators and audience at the MMEA State Middle School Jazz Festival at Nokomis HS, receiving a gold award and first place in the State for Division 2! In addition, for her outstanding work on trumpet and flugelhorn, seventh grader Hanna S. was awarded one of 5 individual outstanding musicianship trophies. Soloists Matt M. on trombone, Zoe V. on tenor sax and bass, Hanna S. on trumpet and flugelhorn and Adrienne F. on trumpet received outstanding musicianship certificates for their solos. Judges comments included “most high school bands don’t play this well” and “fantastic job by all”. The large audience in the Nokomis gym gave the band a standing ovation after their performance and word spread quickly throughout the festival about how well Brewer had performed.
- All that Jazz: For those that were in attendance at the All That Jazz Event at Peakes Auditorium on March 29th, you were truly treated to a great show by several area schools, but our jazz ensemble was the headliner. From the time we took the stage to begin setting up through the last note, the audience was engaged, entertained, and educated by our students and our performance. Peter Hilyard and Christopher Harris were the crowd favorites from an intense opening drum solo to some great trumpet playing. Several other soloists including Siera Desjardins, Nate Williams, Ben Byorak, Jon Donnelly, Paul Fortier, and Cam Billings also added to the level of excitement. When all was said and done, Brewer received the only standing ovation and the judges’ choice award. Outstanding work by our student-musicians!
- Key Club: I just wanted to share that the Brewer Key Club is pleased to be one of the clubs featured in quarters YanKey, the New England Key Club District Magazine. This goes out to every Key Club in New England and Bermuda. This include over 175 clubs and 6,500 fellow Key Irene Neal, our editor, submitted the article to the district. She did a wonderful job.Here is the link to the publication: http://nedkeyclub.homestead.com/YanKey/YanKey-January-2016.pdf Please take a look. Her article is on Page 7.
- JMG students competed in the JMG Career Development Conference which was featured on the local news. We had a number of award winners at the competition. They are:
3rd place – Group Challenge (had to create a mechanism to get across a finish line using a small motor, one battery, toothbrushes, tape, and a tongue depressor): Macey Sherburne, Marcus Nash, Nate Malo
2nd place – Job Application packets (resumes, job application, cover letter, and short answer questions): Jolene Hughes, Taylor Gamblin
1st place – Rat Race (get all members of a team through a puzzle without talking): Macey Sherburne, Nate Malo, Jolene Hughes, Marcus Nash, Mike McRae
1st place – Public Speaking (what JMG means to me): Sadie Ellis (received standing ovation)
1st place – College Admissions Interview (interview with college admissions representative): Macey Sherburne (not only did she win for our division, she won for the ENTIRE competition, beating out the next closest competitor by a landslide, yes, a landslide).
1st place – Marketplace (create a display representing the goals of JMG and present to a panel of judges, answering questions): Sadie Ellis, Taylor Gamblin
- League of Innovative Schools Conference On March 17th and 18th, I traveled with Mr. Wall and a team of high school teachers to Massachusetts to attend a conference called “High School Redesign in Action.” This conference represented the best schools in New England that have been innovative in meeting students’ needs in a personalized proficiency based system. It was exciting as a leader to be reaffirmed in my beliefs, to have discussions with Mr. Wall and the high school team about proficiency based education, and to learn from others’ experiences. To see the steps that the administrative team is discussing including professional development, curriculum and instruction development, and our strategic planning focus areas align to what these other school districts are doing was very powerful. The administrative team will be participating in a summer retreat to set goals for the district aligned to our strategic plan, best practices, and making sure that everyone in the district is moving in the same direction with a clear understanding of our vision and mission as a school department.
- International Students to Brewer High School 2016-2017 Update I have continued to research bringing International students to Brewer High School through the help of Suzanne Fox, an International Consultant who has been helping schools set up International Programs for over 30 years. She is currently working with the following public high schools: Falmouth, Grant-Deuel, Kennebunk, Leland, Gray, Orono and Stearns. She also works with the following private schools: MCI, John Bapst, Erskine, Catherine McAuley, Lee Academy and many more in New England. She works with schools to travel abroad where she already has connections to arrange for students to study in your school. Due to travel abroad times to recruit from various countries at school fairs, we have had difficulties meeting. At this time, I recommend taking the 16-17 school year to thoroughly research this process including community interest, training needs, processes, etc.
- Strategic Planning Committee Update
Committee met on March 24th. During this meeting we reviewed the legislative updates regarding proficiency based diplomas. The class of 2021 will be required by statute to be proficient in 4 content areas, class of 2023 must demonstrate 6 content areas and the class of 2025 must demonstrate all 8 content areas. The state has given more time to implement all 8 content areas.
The committee also reviewed the data from the faculty feedback loops and the community forum. We categorized the data by themes and organized these themes into the following categories to be addressed in our strategic plan: Curriculum/Instruction; Professional Culture; Commitment to Community; Resource Management; Physical/Technological Infrastructure and Student Services and Counseling. At our next meeting we will review mission statement and develop core vision statements for each key area on the plan. Each of these areas will eventually have goals with action steps.
- Governor LePage Visit
Brewer School Department would like to thank Governor LePage for recognizing our students and faculty by taking time out of his schedule to visit our school and sign the “Lobster Bill” in the presence of our students. It meant a great deal to the students and they were excited to see the official document. This authentic learning opportunity will be one the students will remember for a long time.
- Correspondence: Letter to Ms. MacInnes from Maine Lobster Festival
We received correspondence from the Maine Lobster Festival Board of Directors. This letter recognized the energy that the students of Brewer Community School have dedicated towards recognizing the Maine Lobster, the importance the lobster plays within the State of Maine as a natural resource, and the benefits that are enjoyed by promoting this unique resource.
- Ms. MacInnes Semi-Finalist for County Teacher of the Year
Finally, I would like to congratulate Ms. MacInnes as being selected as a semi-finalist for County Teacher of the Year. We wish her luck as she moves on in the selection process.