March Superintendent Report


Regular Meeting

6:00PM, Monday, March 7, 2016

Brewer High School Lecture Hall

Superintendent’s Report

A. February Recognitions

  1.  Letter to Mrs. MacInnes’ class from First Lady Barbara Bush 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank First Lady Barbara Bush for recognizing Mrs. MacInnes’s third grade class for their National Writing Award.  These students also were selected to ask a question during her Reading Discovery Distance Learning Program.

  1.  Letter to Mrs. MacInnes’ class from Senator Susan Collins 

Senator Susan Collins recognized the hard work of Mrs. MacInnes and her third grade class. The students were quite excited to receive this correspondence.

  1.  Letter to Mrs. MacInnes from City of Brewer 

On Monday, March 1, 2016, the City Council invited Mrs. MacInnes to their meeting to accept recognition.  City Councilor Joe Ferris asked that a resolve congratulating and recognizing Mrs. MacInnes and her class for winning the writing contest be on this City Council Agenda.  I want to personally thank the City Council for recognizing the wonderful actions taken by this teacher and the hard work her students continue to put forth.  Recently their story, Classroom Pets, was illustrated and read by Mrs. P.  Mrs. P. is actress Kathleen Kinney most remembered for her role as Mimi on The Drew Carey Show. Here is the link to the story: 

  1.  Letter from Senator Susan Collins to Superintendent Towle regarding Mrs. MacInnes’ third grade class

I also received correspondence from Senator Collins recognizing Mrs. MacInnes’s third grade class and encouraging all of the third grade to work with the state legislature to see the lobster become the Maine State Crustacean.  The news on this is that a bill has been written and the students will be lobbying down in Augusta this spring.  

  1.  Recognition of our Student Based Health Centers and Collaboration with Penobscot Community Health Center 10 Year Anniversary from the City of Brewer 

On Monday, March 1, 2016, the City Council invited Mr. Dusty Hillman, Ms. Kathy Sherman, and Ms. Carol Warmuth, as well as, all other staff that work in our our two student based health centers to attend the City Council meeting.  City Councilor Jerry Goss asked that a resolve recognizing each of them for the ten years that Penobscot Community Health Care has supported and partnered with the Brewer School Department to provide quality health care for the students of Brewer Schools be on the agenda.  I would like to commend PCHC and our dedicated staff for providing health care to our students.  Having been a teacher and an administrator in school systems that have a student health center and in some that do not, I was delighted to learn about our health centers.  Upon touring both of our health centers, I was impressed by the quality of health care we provide our students and the dedication to student health in Brewer.  I have always held the opinion that when students are healthy and all of their basic needs are met, students are in a wonderful place to learn.  I would also like to thank Jerry Goss for bringing this resolve forward and thank the City Council for recognizing PCHC and the Brewer Faculty for their dedication to our students and families for the last ten years.

  1.  International Students to Brewer High School 2016-2017 Update (Packet enclosed)

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.

This company has a strong reputation across upper New England for helping schools build successful international programs. They guide private and public schools through the entire process: from an introduction to SEVIS and its regulations, to an overview of the education system in China, and programs that will help faculty, students, and host families prepare for incoming international students. This organization provides faculty training, student orientation, host family background checks and placement services, monthly check-ins between the students and their home families, check-ins with the school, etc.

We are trying to set up a detailed meeting in March and I will have more to report out at our April meeting.  I’m specifically looking at numbers of students at public –vs- private school, start up costs and sustainability.

  1.  Strategic Planning Committee Update 

Committee met on February 25th.  During this meeting we reviewed the work that was previously done by Starboard Leadership and Jeff Wahlstrom.  It was nice to finally have clarity on what was completed in terms of a strategic plan.  The strategic planning framework was outlined with a mission, vision and six proposed strategic priorities.  This is as far as the committee did get in completing a strategic plan in 2012.  The current committee then broke into subgroups and compared strategic plans from other districts across the country discussing strengths in each creating a list of possible topics to include in our strategic plan.  We then reviewed our mission and vision and discussed the difference between these terms.  We also planned our community forum for March 10th at BCS at 6:30 PM and teacher feedback loop on March 3rd during the teacher workshop day. Our next meeting will be held on March 24th where we will review the input from the Community Forum and Teacher Feedback Loop to propose edits to our mission and vision, and draft our core beliefs.        

  1.  Budget Update 

Please see the one-page budget update regarding our progress on the budget process thus far.


February Superintendent Report

Regular Meeting
6:00PM, Monday, February 1, 2016
Brewer High School Lecture Hall

Superintendent’s Report

1a. Strengths of Brewer Activity/Blog and Responses
If you have not seen my blog yet, please read it on our district web site. This was an activity done with the teachers as part of our first week back to school after the holidays. It was a great way for me to learn about Brewer and a great way for teachers to reflect on their practice.

b. 8th Grade Step Up Day and Parent Night went very well. I want to commend Mr. Wall, Mr. Ruhlin, the faculty and student ambassadors that organized a great day that show cased the many reasons why Brewer High School should be their school of choice. Students went on tours, were welcomed into the gym and experienced a pep rally highlighting robotics and athletics, met the freshmen team teachers, had an interactive lunch, and completed a rotation where they learned about our art, JROTC, Outdoor Ed and Drama programs. The parent night was also very well attended.

2.  Strategic Planning Update
a. The strategic planning committee met on Thursday, January 28, 2016. After welcomes and an overview of school data and a brief discussion regarding current Maine law regarding Proficiency Based Diplomas, we discussed the work that was completed during the last gathering of the strategic planning committee in prior years. This was extremely informative as it helped with the understanding of the “missing strategic plan.” Jeff Wahlstrom from Starboard Leadership Consulting, worked with the strategic planning committee to develop survey questions. He then asked people from the community these questions and shared the data with the strategic team and a draft of a strategic plan which is included in your packets was developed by Jeff Wahlstrom. This draft consists of the following three goals with sample strategic action items:

1. Foster universally high expectations and aspirations for all students, while addressing inequities in learning opportunities across the curriculum and programs.
2. 21st Century Learning Expectations: Foster skills and knowledge for successful modern adult life, including critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving and innovation.
3. Develop and maintain a positive, student-centered school culture that reflects rigorous academics, strong habits of mind, a committed pursuit of excellence, and an environment of mutual, respect, responsibilities, and ethics.

It is important to note that the committee found this “draft plan” after our meeting. The Superintendent will bring this plan back to the committee. However, the plan was not finished and many of the committee members expressed wanting to see the surveys/plan to move forward to develop a finished product for our district. Finished products from innovative schools across the country were then distributed for the committee to review and critique.

b. Next steps for Feb. 25th Meeting

The committee will review the surveys/action plan that was started and compare this work to the completed strategic plans that were distributed. We will share thoughts of plan review from other districts and discuss preferred components of BSD strategic plan. We will also develop an action team for each component and plan our community forum.

3.  Budget Process Update

a. Met with Steve Bost and Karen Fussell on Friday, January 29, 2016 to discuss the budget process and highlight where the school department is currently in our early phases of the budget process.

b. Presentations to BCS and BHS
Delivered a total of three presentations to BCS and BHS. These presentations were well received and teachers, ed techs and directors have been completing budget requests. Please see the Budget Preparation Document in your packets for the questions that are guiding the work of the faculty. We have received 139 responses and the requests have been very reasonable.

c. Meeting with Trustees (BHS Building Improvements)
Trustees looked into a QZAB loan which would require a 10% matching donor for any new improvements to the high school. I shared concerns regarding reducing our debt service ratio prior to starting any new projects at the high school. While I support continued building improvements, I’d like to see us be able to put money back toward instructional supplies and professional development lines. With the tasks we need to complete regarding personalized learning in our mission statement, our teachers need the professional development and the supplies to make this mission a reality for our students. The trustees were very understanding of this and also understood I wanted our building to be in tip top shape and supported monthly building walk-throughs to make sure we are keeping up with maintenance.

d. Administrator Contracts (Feb 15th Deadline)
I am meeting with all administrators to discuss their contracts by the end of this month. All administrators will receive a letter by February 15th based on that conversation regarding extending their contract out an additional year or maintaining their current contract. Salaries will be discussed during the budget process.

e. Building EPS Studies
Please see the building EPS studies in your packets. Currently we have no teachers leaving due to retirement. There needs to be a conversation regarding where we are going to find some savings. We will have weekly meetings with admin in February and I will share updates with the school committee.

f. UTC Budget and Implications
UTC is looking at a 10-15% increase in their overall budget this year due to a number of years staying flat or having a minimal increase. They also are looking at capital improvements including a new roof, windows and parking lot costing approximately 2.5 million dollars. All of this has an effect on our budget.

g.  Revenue idea for 17-18 school year in New Business
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a part of the National Security Investigations Division and acts as a bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on nonimmigrants whose primary reason for coming to the United States is to be students. See expenditure sheet for new business.

4. Superintendent Convocation
Attended the Superintendent Convocation in January where I met many of my colleagues throughout the state. During this meeting, a number of issues were discussed around current legislation and a guest presenter, Dr. George Manning, shared on the topic “Organizational Climate” looking at how to build community in the workplace through shared vision, diversity, shared culture, communication, trust, shared leadership, developing your young members, positive reinforcements and alliances with outside groups. I was proud of Brewer as we have so many of these already in place or are working toward these with our strategic plan.

5. Thomas College Curriculum Coordinators/Superintendent’s Meeting
(Maine Curriculum Leader’s Association, Thomas College, January 29, 2016)

This meeting was a gathering of curriculum leaders, superintendents, and state representatives from the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee including Tori Kornfield who is the Chair of this committee. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how to “right size” the current law LD 1422 regarding Proficiency Based Diplomas. We discussed the following:

1. Explore and identify cross-district common ground regarding standards, proficiency, and equitable opportunity to learn for all Maine students;
2. Identify the underlying issues and complexities contributing to common implementation challenges;
3. Draft key decision making criteria to inform state policy on standards, proficiency, and diplomas.

I do expect changes to this law but these changes will benefit students and fix the key issues and concerns within the law. Proficiency based diplomas will still be the main part of this law. The law will just be amended to meet the needs of ALL kids.

6. Cyr Bus Changes and Training of Bus Drivers
I met with Cyr bus with Reg Ruhlin, Jason Richards, and Dan Costain. We discussed how we can meet the needs of our parents, students and faculty and ensure the safety of our students while on the bus. We have arranged for a new bus discipline system where the school system will receive the bus slips and the students will meet with our administrators. There will be direct communication between the school and our parents. This system is used with many other districts and works well to have parents know that regardless of where their child might have a concern, they call the school. Our goal is for better communication between parent, student, school and bus driver with this system. We are here to help. We also have access to the video tapes without having to wait for them from Cyr Bus. We also will be doing a training with all the bus drivers after February vacation that will align with our school policies and expectations.

7. Penobscot Job Corps Luncheon/Visit and Tour
I was recently invited to the Penobscot Job Corps. I have always believed in Job Corps and the role this program can play for those few students that end up on our high school drop out list each year. The Penobscot Job Corps program gives these students another pathway to reach that diploma when all of our other pathways have not worked. I have seen this program provide job skills and provide a high school diploma that still meets the sending schools diploma requirements. I was impressed by the number of programs, how the academics are aligned with the high school and how easy the entry process is for the students. The number of students that graduate and have jobs lined up for them after graduation is also impressive. This program could save one or two students a year and would still count as a student graduate for Brewer instead of a student dropout. I will bring more on this program in March. I understand that the school committee discussed this last year but I would like for you to discuss it again with a clear understanding that this program is another pathway for maybe only 1 or 2 students a year if needed. There is no cost to Brewer for being a part of this program as the student still counts as a student on our roster.

Strengths of Brewer

Recently to start the year, I asked the faculty of Brewer to participate in a back to school activity where we reflect on our practice and our memories of Brewer, and share what makes Brewer School Department an exciting place to work and the best place to send our children to for their education.  In my first three months as Superintendent, one thing I have learned is that there is a strong commitment to education in Brewer and the community support is something I have not seen before in my 23 years in education.  I have heard the phrase, “teachers care about kids” and “teachers love what they do”, many times in my career.  I have met many remarkable teachers along my path as well. However, there is something special about Brewer.  I have been trying to describe it to the people that I meet, and the phrase “community of caring” is a good start but it is so much more than that.

From my very first interview, I remember telling my husband, we are moving!  The connection to the people around the table asking me questions and the connection to how this town supports not only their children but each other in times of need, I see everyday.  For example, when you get welcomed into Brewer, you get little care packages at your door, you get people that check in on you to see how you are doing, you get asked to dinner, you get that perfect little note in your mailbox when you are least expecting it.  In Brewer, everyone seems to know what is happening to everyone, but we also lend a helping hand without even thinking about it.  I have seen teachers during this holiday season, donate numerous gifts and food items to make sure children had a Christmas.  I have seen businesses call our schools to ask how they can help out and I have seen the numerous donations that support our schools each month at our School Committee meetings.

One of the things I have learned is that family has a strong presence in Brewer.  The generations of family that have gone through our schools and the number of employees that use to be students within our school system is amazing to me.  People always come back to Brewer to give to this community.  In the next few months, the district will be undergoing the strategic planning process where we will look at our vision and mission of our school department.  This process started in 2011 and fizzled out a little over the last few years.  Another strong showing of community is that when these members of this committee were called, they were all too eager to come back and represent their prospective areas and serve on our planning committee again. Another example of Brewer’s strong community and dedication to our schools!  During this process we will have a community forum and I will be asking for your voice in what we do well and what you would like to see us improve upon.  This is important in mapping out our plan for the next five years.  I look forward to having you participate through either online surveys, in person at our community forums, or in smaller neighborhood meetings.

Recently I presented to the faculty regarding pieces of our vision and mission focusing on student-centered and personalization of instruction.  Offering our students multiple pathways to demonstrate their learning and multiple pathways to earn a diploma with strong programming is a goal for Brewer.  We believe that all kids can learn and our faculty works hard to help each child find a way to demonstrate that learning.  We offer some of the most unique programs in the state from our Forestry and Outdoor Education program to our Air Force JROTC program where you can actually get your pilot’s license!  If art and music are your niche, our award winning band, new Art wing, and drama program are simply out of this world.  Brewer offers multiple AP courses, dual enrollment college courses, and support for all students to be successful.  I could go on and I have in my prior article that was in The Scholar  that was mailed to all of our Brewer residents written and published by our students.

As I close this entry, I wanted to share with you some of the statements sent to me by the teachers.  I have put a slideshow together for you that you can view.  Please enjoy.  And if you ever have a moment, please stop by the office and say hello.  I love to meet and talk with the people that make Brewer such a dynamic community to live in and raise our children in.

Please click here to enjoy the show!

January Superintendent’s Report


Regular Meeting

6:00PM, Monday, January 4, 2016
Brewer High School Lecture Hall

Superintendent’s Report

1. School Event Recognition:  Band and Choral Concerts

Just wanted to take a moment and recognize our choral director Heather Macleod, Brady Harris, and Lanissa Nadeau for their remarkable talent and efforts with our children in the Brewer School Department. I attended all music events prior to the Holiday Break and each left me wanting more and anticipating what I would hear the next week. The students and parents are to also be commended for the time they put in practicing and bringing their students to the early morning rehearsals and practices. Their performances certainly put me in the holiday spirit!

2. Strategic Planning Update

We spent approximately twelve hours of time contacting prior committee members searching for a strategic plan that may have existed in 2011. After speaking with a few committee members and reviewing all school committee minutes from 2011 through 2015, we have determined the following:

March 10, 2011 Curriculum Audit Report, moved to receive by SC

December 5, 2011 Table approval of Strategic Planning Committee to January 2012

January 9, 2012 Nomination/approval of SP committee

August 16, 2012 Workshop meeting on Mission & Vision led by Mr. Jeff Walstrom

November 1, 2012 Approved first reading of Policy AD- Mission & Vision

November 5, 2012 Approved second reading/adoption of Policy AD – Mission & Vision

February 4, 2013 Moved to receive Brewer High School Strategic Plan (5-year)

September 9, 2013- October 7, 2013  Mr. McIntire reported on the progress of his draft Strategic Plan (District Improvement Plan)

February 3, 2014  Mr. McIntire proposed a work session to continue toward completion of

October 6, 2014  Mr. Leithiser presented the Brewer Community 4-year plan, which will be in line to end with the high school 5-year plan

March 12, 2015 Workshop on District Improvement Plan

What is next? Now that the School Committee has given the charge to form a strategic planning team on December 7, 2015, this team will be formed. A survey monkey has been developed and a one-call will go out to our parents and teachers this week together information and form our team. Prior committee members will be called first to see if they would like to continue the work they started. Our first meeting will be on January 28. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.  This agenda also contains the dates of all future meetings.

3. Budget Process Update

Gretchen Gardner and I have met to review the budget process and where we are with salaries and benefits compared to this year. With all contracts signed, this year we actually have some firm numbers when it comes to salaries. With steps and 2% percent increases and a ten percent increase budgeted for insurance we are estimating an increase $668,446. This is not unusual at this stage in the budget. This week I will be presenting to BCS and we will also be starting the request process through teachers. Administrators will have their building studies to me by January 11th. The BHS presentation was held on January 11th. The budget timeline can be found here.

4. Policy Review List and Timeline

The Maine School Management Association lists the policies that are required by all school districts. After a thorough review of the policies, a required list with our current needs has been supplied. The missing policies will be our first priority. We will then review outdated policies that need updating. Please see the policy review list in your packets.

5. ESSA Overview (Every Student Succeed Acts)

New Education Law Reduces Federal Reach President Obama signed into law on Dec. 10 a replacement for the unpopular and ultimately unworkable law that was known as No Child Left Behind, putting more control in the hands of states and school districts and preserving the local governance authority of local school boards. The vote was 85 to 12 in the Senate and 359 to 64 in the House.

Now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the law updates what was officially called the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which essentially defines the federal government’s role in K-12 The ESSA goes in a distinctly different direction than NCLB, which set achievement goals for all schools and labeled them as “failing” when they didn’t make the required progress toward 100 percent proficiency for all students in reading and math. The new ESSA limits the federal government’s role and pushes decision-making around accountability to the state and individual school districts. Standardized state tests are still part of the picture, but other factors will be considered, like school-climate and teacher and student engagement. States would still have to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school, but get wide discretion in setting goals and determining how to hold schools and districts accountable. States would still have to identify their lowest 5 percent performing schools, and identify schools where subgroups, including children in poverty, are underachieving. The difference is the federal government no longer would prescribe interventions in those schools. That would be a state and local decision. The U.S. DOE also would no longer have a say in how teacher evaluations are to be conducted.

A primer published by Education Week just days before the House vote outlined key initiatives in the proposal and the difference between current law and the old ESEA and NCLB waivers.

 States would still have to submit accountability plans for approval to the U.S. DOE. These new ESSA plans would start in the 2017-18 school year.

 States would set the rules around teacher evaluations. Maine’s system is in state statute and currently is in its pilot year.

 Gone is the now outdated requirement to get all students to proficiency by a date certain – a system that created so called “failing schools” under NCLB.

 States can pick their own goals around proficiency and graduation rates, but must set an expectation that groups furthest behind close gaps.

 States have to identify and intervene in the bottom 5 percent of performers, and these schools have to be identified at least once every three years.

 States have to identify and intervene in high schools where the graduation rate is 67 percent or lower.

 States must identify schools where subgroup students are struggling. Subgroups include English learners, students in special education, racial minorities and those in poverty.

 For elementary and middle schools there must be at least four indicators.

 That includes three academic indicators: proficiency on state tests, English-language proficiency, plus some other academic factor like growth on state tests.

 New is the requirement that at least one non-traditional indicator must be included like student engagement, educator engagement, access to and completion of advanced coursework, post-secondary readiness, school climate/safety, or others proposed by the state.

 For high schools the indicators are proficiency on tests, English-language proficiency, graduation rates, plus at least one other indicator that focuses a little more on whether students have the opportunity to learn, or are ready for post-secondary work.

 For the bottom 5 percent of schools and for high schools with high dropout rates, districts will work with school staff to come up with an evidenced-based turnaround plan and the state will monitor the effort. If schools continue to founder for no more than four years, the state can step in with its own plan.

 For schools where subgroup students are struggling, the schools have to come up with an evidenced-based plan. If problems persist, the district steps in. For chronic underperformance within subgroups – defined as scores as bad as the bottom 5-percent schools- the district and state have to step in.

Thank you to the MSMA for providing a thorough summary of ESSA.

Superintendent’s Report -December


Regular Meeting

6:00PM, Monday, December 7, 2015

Brewer High School Lecture Hall

Superintendent’s Report

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1.  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.