BREWER SCHOOL COMMITTEE
6:00PM, Monday, December 7, 2015
Brewer High School Lecture Hall
- School Event Recognition: Veteran’s Day Assembly; Art Appreciation Night; Warts and All Play; JMG Opening Ceremony; Football Playoff Game
I just wanted to comment on the following events during the month of November. I continued to be impressed by the level of talent and dedication by our students and faculty. The Veteran’s Day Assembly was a first for me and I was moved by the veterans I met that day and the spirit of the assembly itself. If you have not seen my blog entry with pictures from this event, please take a look on our district web page.
The Art Appreciation Night I was able to attend towards the end after another meeting and was able to capture view the students of Se Beowulf drop a beat on the open mic as they were revved up on hot chocolate. It was teenagers at their finest and it was a joy to watch. The art work was amazing and I hope to get some student work hanging in my office soon.
The Warts and All Play while appropriate for older audiences, was very creative. We have very talented actors, director and advisor in this area and I wish this group a lot of encouragement and “luck” (not really appropriate for actors, should be “break a leg”) as they move forward with their winter production and One Act competitions in the spring.
Our JMG program in both schools is highly impressive. For those of you that are not familiar with our Jobs for Maine Graduates Program, the JMG program at the 7th and 8th grade, works with students to build academic and personal skills like leadership and problem-solving to help with the transition to high school. I want to commend the Alex Ricker for a very successful Opening JMG Ceremony held on November 18th. The high school JMG program had a very successful College Access Week in November. The high school program works on helping our students career development, job attainment, job survival, leadership, self development and personal skills.
Finally, I’d like to congratulate the football team, coaches and volunteers on their very successful season. I know they were disappointed in their loss at Brunswick, but they should be proud of their efforts and team work this season. I look forward to next season.
- UTC Tour
I spent an evening with Greg Miller, Director of UTC, and learned a great deal about the programming offered to our students. It is by far the best technical center I have visited in the state. His pride in the building, the use of local resources to build upon learning experiences for kids, and the community support for each of these programs in inspiring.
The opportunity to earn college credit, high school credit and certification in specific skills for no or very little cost is a remarkable opportunity. If you have not visited UTC and gone on a tour, I highly suggest you do.
- Autism Safety Education and Training Grant
Angela Moore has been working with Matt and Nancy Brown from the Autism Safety Education and Training out of Portland, Maine regarding a grant to help bring Autism Education and Training to our community. Participants will be provided with a detailed understanding of autism, as well as with the tools to recognize and respond to emergency situations involving persons in this population. Discussion will emphasize specific strategies to employ when working with persons affected by developmental disabilities such as autism, during disasters or other critical incidents, and will provide a roadmap to creating a community-wide plan for such scenarios. If this grant is received, we hope to work with local authorities to provide education and training.
The goals of the training are the following:
*Describe autism and other developmental disabilities.
*Describe specific characteristics of this population that directly impact safety.
*Formulate a plan to effectively assist persons in this population in an emergency situation, including incidents of wandering and elopement.
*Implement strategies to collaborate with other agencies and community partners to plan for emergency situations involving persons affected by developmental disabilities
- Administrative Team Evaluation Process and Training
On November 23rd, the administrative team completed Module 1 of the leadership evaluation process they will pilot this year. Just as the teachers are piloting their new evaluation system aligned with the new state requirements, the administrators will be doing the same. The components of this evaluation system include:
*self-evaluation and goal setting in the following five areas: professional practice, professional growth, school climate conditions, school growth and learner growth
* ongoing collection of evidence
* feedback and monitoring of growth
*reflection and ratings aligned to a rubric to the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC)
The administrative team is meeting with me this month to review self-reflections and goals. We are also meeting bimonthly for feedback and supervision meetings.
Research shows that there are essentials to improving schools:
*unified district vision with strategic plan with clear outcomes that are measurable
*effective leadership where principals become educational leaders within there schools focusing on all students learning
*quality teaching and learning with high expectations and accountability for all adults *coordinated and aligned curriculum, instruction and assessment
*coordinated and embedded professional development
*support for system wide improvement that focuses on effective use of data, strategic allocation of resources, and policy and program coherence
*clear and collaborative relationships
As an administrative team, we are or will be working to develop each of these items within our school department.
- School Board Training on November 30th
I wanted to let the community know that the school committee and myself attended a training on November 30th called “Effective Leadership for Our Schools”. This training covered the duties of the board and superintendent and how we can expand our influence to be the leader we want to be. It was a nice way to begin our work together as a new school committee.
- Meeting with Commissioner Beardsley
I had the opportunity to meet and discuss education with Commissioner Beardsley in November. This meeting was informative as he was able to listen to needs from the Penquis Superintendents as well as share his thoughts regarding the Department of Education. As he is new to the position, this meeting was more of a meet and greet and general information gathering but he plans on visiting with Penquis again.
- Budget Process and Timeline
This timeline was created in collaboration with Gretchen Gardner. It reflects the need to build a budget and justify a budget to our constituents that is based on true needs of our students and teachers. We will be building our budget from the ground up, having meetings at all levels, and bringing forward a budget to the community that meets the needs of our district wide goals, our students, and is fiscally responsible.
Budget Process 16:17 Click here for the timeline and dates of budget meetings.