March 14, 2018 – Student Plans

March 5, 2018

Dear Brewer School Department Parents:

The purpose of this message is to communicate to you the plans that your children have developed and thought about for March 14, 2018.  There has been a great deal of discussion and debate across our country on the purpose of this day and what this walkout means to students. For Brewer, our students have chosen to focus on honoring the victims of school shootings across our country and having the opportunity to ask questions about school safety and security. Your children have asked for an indoor space after hearing the Brewer Police Department and Brewer Administration had concerns about students congregating outside at a specific date and time.  Given the number of threats being made to schools recently, our students have been incredibly understanding and responsible as they plan this event on March 14.

High School Plans

This event is organized by the students.  They have asked that it be voluntary and that any student wishing to participate and honor the victims go to the gym at 10 AM on this day.  During this time, the students will have a moment of silence, put their thoughts on a banner, make new friends, and create cards building on the Brewer Community of Caring they already value and appreciate.  Students also have questions about school safety.  During this time, the Brewer Police Department and administration will be present to answer questions they may have on school safety and security.  The goal of this event is to give students the voice they are asking for in honoring the victims and helping our students feel safer in our schools by providing them with the answers to the questions they are asking.

Community School Plans

The teachers have been listening to the students this week for any questions or needs regarding school safety.  During a faculty meeting this Thursday, a discussion will occur to see if a similar plan to the high school is needed for the middle school students.  At this time, any questions that are being asked by students are being handled by the administration, school resource officer or the teacher.  A possible inside gathering for students with questions may occur if the need rises.  Mr. Leithiser or I will communicate any further Community School plans with you.

I have listened to many of you over the last week and stated I would get back to you with the plans for this twenty-minute time frame.  I am proud of the work that students have chosen to do and the proactive approach to the “walkout” they have taken.  Our administrative team, school resource officers, faculty and emergency response teams continue to review and practice our safety and security protocols.  We also continue to look for ways to enhance and build upon the practices we already have in place.

I thank you for your patience over the last two weeks.  I hope you can appreciate the work of your children. It is an honor to work with them daily. They truly are incredible children with caring hearts and a capacity to give to their community by learning how they can improve the safety of their schools.  If you have further questions, please call the Superintendent’s office at 989-3160.

Sincerely,
Cheri Towle, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools

Emergency Training at High School During Vacation Week

Good Afternoon,

I wanted to send out an email to let the community know that there will be the annual emergency training at the high school on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday this week by the Brewer Police Department and emergency responders. If you see cruisers and other vehicles present, they are there for training. The building will be closed to the public during this time. This training is for police and emergency responders only. In light of recent events in Florida, I did not want you to question what was happening at the high school as we are all saddened by the tragic shooting in Florida and feel for the families and communities that have been so impacted. Such events heighten concerns and anxieties of parents and students in our own community, and everyone rightly looks to school leaders to ensure the safety of children in our care. I want to give comfort to our city that our schools are safe places for learning.

Safety is of the utmost concern to any school superintendent or building administrator, and there are things that we can and must do in our area of responsibilities. Every incident further raises the bar on what our response should be as well as the very notion of what an educational environment should look like. Should, for example, we have bulletproof glass and monitored metal detectors in every school? And, when that may prove insufficient, should there be armed guards at every door? And, once our schools become prisons in the name of safety, what is the impact on education? Every school shooting incident is a time for reflection. On occasion, we have made changes to our protocols, and we will continue to monitor what is learned from Florida. We have an active Safety Team that meets monthly and our Board of Trustees and School Committee discuss safety regularly.

In our schools this past week, we allowed for open communication for those students that had questions and had counselors available to students that might have needed it. We offered support to our children and our faculty as we assured them we have protocols in place to protect them. As a reminder, doors in every school are locked and all visitors are required to sign in and be on a student’s emergency list to pick a child up. We do background checks on all volunteers and employees. We have resource officers in our schools and practice evacuations and lockdowns in various scenarios. I have answered many questions this past week on a one by one basis and welcome more if you have others. I wish I could give even more assurances, but know that we are made strong by our whole community being vigilant to any possible threats. I also know that the staff of Brewer School Department and the Brewer Police Department is dedicated to our students, and they continue to put safety at the top of the list.

Sincerely,

Cheri Towle
Superintendent of Schools

Pick up and Drop off at Brewer Community School

Dear BCS Parent(s)/Guardian(s) and Community Members:

We need your help ensuring the safety of all students before and after school hours.  Please be advised that Brewer Community School has two pick up and drop off times due to having two start and end times of our school day for K-4 and 5-8.  In an effort to improve the flow of traffic and school safety, we encourage you to follow the following pick up and drop off times.

Grades K-4   Drop Off Time   8:10-8:30                    Pick Up Time  2:50

Please do not arrive to drop off your grade K-4 child prior to 8:10 AM or pick up your child prior to 2:45 PM.

Grades 5-8   Drop Off Time   7:30-7:50                    Pick Up Time  2:00

Please do not arrive to drop off your grade 5-8 child prior to 7:30 AM or pick up your child prior to 1:55 PM.

In an effort to improve school safety and security for students, we encourage you to follow the following pick up and drop off rules. 

  1. Parents who drive their children to BCS should use the circle driveway, in front of the school, to drop off students.  Proceed around the circle to find a clear drop-off space; don’t stop at the front doors.  Please do not use the visitor lot as a drive thru drop off lane. This will help with the traffic flow.
  2. Please pull up to the curb on the right-hand side, in the area painted yellow, and let your children out on the right-hand side of the car. If they get out the left doors, they are exiting the car into traffic.  DO NOT let kids out of the car in the middle lane; that is the travel lane, for thru traffic only.
  3. Parents should remain in the car while the students are dropped off.  If you need to get out of the car and enter the building, please park in the visitor parking area (directly in front of the school), or the parking lot adjacent to Parkway South (the lot where the digital sign is located).  You may have to drive around the circle a few times, or wait for a space to open up. Please be patient.
  4. Finally, please keep in mind that student safety is our primary concern, and that these safety steps may inconvenience drivers who have to wait in their cars longer than usual.  We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to warmer weather.

We realize the snow and cold weather have added to an already difficult parking situation at BCS, but as we work on long-term solutions, we are asking for your continued efforts in following these guidelines to ensure student safety.  We will continue to look for alternative options to improve the flow of traffic and increase our parking capacity for BCS.

In the meantime, please assist us in maximizing student safety by adhering to our drop off/pick up guidelines.  If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact Dr. Cheri Towle, Superintendent of Schools, at 207-989-3160 or ctowle@breweredu.org.  Thank you for your continued support.

 
Sincerely,
Cheri Towle, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools

District Newsletter January 2018

Happy New Year! I hope that 2018 finds you well and that you are staying warm. Please find in the link below, the first district-wide newsletter for the 2017-18 school year. We are hoping to make this a part of an electronic platform as we celebrate and share all the great things that happen in the Brewer School Department. If you find yourself thinking you have something you would like to put in our spring edition, please send your items to the Superintendent through email, ctowle@breweredu.org.

Have a wonderful day and as always, thank you for all you do for the children of Brewer.

Here is the link: https://www.smore.com/e9zu7

Enjoy!

Transportation Message – Safety during sub-zero temperatures

MEMA Encourages Caution with Dangerously Low Temperatures

December 29, 2017

Contact:
MEMA
207-624-4400

AUGUSTA, MAINE —As sub-zero temperatures continue across the State, MEMA urges Mainers to use extreme caution to avoid hypothermia or even death.

The National Weather Service reports that very cold air will continue across the region this weekend and through at least the middle of next week with most locations unlikely to get above the freezing mark for the foreseeable future.

MEMA offers the following tips to help Mainers stay safe during the dangerously cold weather:

To Prevent Hypothermia, dress in layers, wear a warm hat – 30% of heat loss is through the head, wear a scarf and gloves. Infants should be in a room in which the temperature is 61-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Drink plenty of fluids and warm/hot drinks. Eat regular balanced meals to give you energy – good nutrition is important. Keep active when it’s cold, but not to the point where you’re sweating. Keep dry and change out of wet clothes as soon as possible. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, since all three cause heat loss. Try to keep one room in the house warm. Ask your doctor if you are on any medications that affect your ability to maintain a steady body temperature (such as neuroleptic medications and sedative hypnotics).

Symptoms of hypothermia include decreased consciousness, sleepiness, confusion, and/or disorientation; shivering, pale or blue skin, numbness, poor coordination, slurred speech; In severe hypothermia, shivering decreases or goes away, and the person becomes unconscious and has very shallow breaths.

Winter Driving Tips and Holiday Travel:

If you plan to travel over the holiday weekend, be sure to watch the weather reports and plan accordingly.

Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area such as a garage to avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Make sure tires are properly inflated and in good condition. Check windshield wiper fluid, ensure the vehicle is clear of all ice and snow and never mix radial tires with other types of tires. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid the gas line freezing up or running out of gas and becoming stranded. Bring a fully-charged cell phone and program roadside assistance numbers.

If you become stranded in your vehicle, stay with the vehicle and tie a brightly-colored cloth to the antenna or use other distress signal. Run the engine and heater just long enough to remove chill to conserve gas.

Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with the items below and be sure to let someone know when and where you will be traveling and when you expect to arrive at your destination.

• A shovel 
• Windshield scraper and small broom 
• Flashlight 
• Battery powered radio 
• Extra batteries 
• Water 
• Snack food 
• Matches 
• Extra hats, socks and mittens 
• First aid kit with pocket knife • Necessary medications 
• Blanket(s) 
• Tow chain or rope 
• Road salt and sand 
• Booster cables 
• Emergency flares 
• Fluorescent distress flag

The staff at MEMA wishes everyone a safe and Happy New Year. For additional preparedness, shelter and safety information, please visit MainePrepares.com, or visit MEMA on Facebook or Twitter. Shelter information is also available by calling 2-1-1 or contacting your local town office, fire or police department.