Dear RSU #34 Schools Families, Governor Mills has announced that beginning at 12:01 a.m. this Thursday, Maine residents will be prohibited from traveling outside their homes for all but “essential personal activities” and ordered all schools closed for classroom-based instruction until May 1, 2020. This essentially continues our current operating procedures with homebound learning. Teachers are now providing students with learning opportunities, times to connect, ask questions, and receive help. That will continue. While it is impossible to predict when or if we will be able to reopen our schools and return to a normal schedule in the near future, we will be exploring additional opportunities for our students to engage in virtual activities. It is our plan that students in good standing will move to the next grade level for the 2020-2021 school year as would normally be the case. We are also considering plans, should it be necessary, to have an alternative way to honor our 2020 graduates in case a traditional ceremony isn’t possible. Seniors expecting to graduate in June of 2020 MUST be in contact with OTHS staff to successfully complete graduation requirements. We anticipate changes in our delivery model but, we will continue to offer our meals program and we encourage anyone who would like to participate to contact the RSU#34 Food Service office at 827-3908. If you are concerned with how your child is doing emotionally you can contact the NAMI MAINE HELPLINE. Their number is 800-464-5767, press 1 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is a link to the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) and additional hotline numbers. Their direct number is (207)287-3703. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any of the RSU#34 schools or the central office as well, at (207) 827-7171. Please look for information on our website, www.RSU34.org and download our app if you have not already done so. You can also use the number 2-1-1 to get general information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak in Maine. The Alton, Bradley and Old Town communities are strong, together. Eventually, life will return to normal and our students will return to school. We will have learned much that will help us to be even better as a school system. In the meantime, we will continue to rely on one another as one Coyote Strong community. Sincerely, David Walker
Here's how to connect with our School Counselor Facebook Page! https://www.facebook.com/RSU34-GuidanceStudent-Services-412120629362989/
3/20/2020 Re: Student Learning Update Dear RSU #34 Community, Wow, what a dynamic week it’s been at homes, businesses, and schools! This is a quick update on RSU #34’s efforts to support student learning. Please understand that all future plans are based on what we know right now, and may change as guidance changes. The most important message this week and throughout the coming weeks is SLOW THE SPREAD. Here is a direct link to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html Please help educate your kids, your family, and your community about the importance of social distancing and hygiene to SLOW THE SPREAD. Here’s our plan going forward based on what we know right now (look for updates week-by-week): *March 17th - 20th: We plan to make up the four impacted days this week as if they were snow days. Many of our staff have reached out to students one way or another to let them know we’re thinking of them! Please continue to make use of the resource packets we sent home with students on Monday to support their learning at home. *Over the weeks of March 23rd and March 30th, we plan to make up half of the impacted days as if they were snow days. That will put the last student day on Friday, June 26th, with a teacher in-service on Monday 6/29. Over those two weeks - in addition to the things sent in resource packets - our educators will be ramping up online learning experiences with students, sharing team-developed resources, and helping to address internet and device access issues family-by-family. We won’t be taking student attendance these days or collecting/assessing work, but hope to reach every child and encourage daily engagement by students. We will likely distribute more materials for home learning in coordination with our meal delivery. Our specialists such as Special Education and Chapter 104 staff will also be trying to contact each family/student to put needed supports in place for a remote learning environment. Please keep in mind that staff may be reaching out from unusual phone numbers, so callers may show up as “Private” or “Restricted” *Beginning April 6th, until we’re able to resume in person, students will be expected to participate in our full remote learning experience. We’ll share many more details in the weeks to come but will deploy this in as flexible a way as possible as we know our students may be assisting with family or neighborhood needs, caring for siblings, etc. during normal school hours. Thank you all for your efforts to support our community and our kids! We had so many volunteers to stuff packets for students on Sunday that we started turning volunteers away two minutes into the event! We have an awesome community, and together we’ll get through this. Please keep an eye out starting Monday March 23rd for school buses running each of our normal routes, delivering meals Monday through Friday. These runs will begin at 10:30 AM each day; please be patient with arrival times, especially the first few days. Anyone aged 0-18 can pick up meals. Pick up in person at Old Town High School is still an option from 10 AM to noon Monday through Friday. On Fridays at either OTHS or the bus routes we will distribute meals for the weekend. Sincerely, Dr. Jon Doty Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Jon.Doty@rsu34.org
Old Town High School has eight science fair finalists! They're quickly adjusting to a new mode of competition; this year it will be an electronic poster and interviews via Zoom. Congratulations to the students, and thanks to Mr. Mayfield and the OTHS faculty for preparing them!
In an effort to proactively slow the spread of COVID-19, RSU #34 schools will be closed beginning Tuesday March 17th. We will continue to monitor conditions that would lead us to believe it is prudent to re-open schools and notify you immediately when we do re-open. No classes, clubs, or activities will be held, and our school buildings will be closed to the public. Again, this closure is subject to change as the situation develops and new information becomes available. More information available at rsu34.org
We're putting out a call for volunteers Sunday 3/15 at noon to help assemble take-home packets with some basic resources for students to engage with thinking if there's a school shutdown ordered. (these will be optional and ungraded - resources to help families keep kids engaged). If you're interested in helping please join us! Please sit this one out if you've been out of state or out of the country in the past several weeks, or have had lots of exposure to people who've traveled. Please also be sure you're symptom free before volunteering (fever, cough, sore throat, chest tightness, etc.). Thanks! Our community of support is incredible!
We have a very strong community, and appreciate those pitching in as we all navigate new waters! RSU #34 and the YMCA are putting out a call for those interested in volunteering or part-time employment such as substituting or after-school program. If you're interested, please do this brief form so we have your contact info (https://forms.gle/D4MdztdmExqfKGFq7 ). Please spread the message throughout the Old Town, Alton, and Bradley area! Much thanks - it takes a village!
When you're exploring the great state of Maine, it helps to bring your binoculars!
The Maine Education Assessment (state testing) begins soon; please see this attached informational letter. Don't hesitate to contact your child's teacher, school administration, or Dr. Doty (email@example.com) with any questions or if you'd like to learn more about the state or RSU #34's assessments and assessment policies.
RSU #34 seeks parents interested in serving on an advisory committee regarding our Title I programming at Alton Elementary School, Viola Rand School, and Old Town Elementary School. Please email Dr. Doty (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you're interested, or call 827-3932. RSU #34 uses Title I funds at each of its elementary schools to help academically at-risk students meet challenging academic standards.
RSU #34 Family STEM Night!!! Wednesday March 4th, 6 - 7:30, hosted at Old Town Elementary School. Thanks to the folks working hard to create this opportunity!
NO School today Thursday February 27,2020 RSU #34
OTHS Robotics has not one, not two, but THREE competitive robotics teams! Guess how many qualified for the Maine State Championship? Go Coyotes! Saturday, March 14th in South Portland. Old Town High School's top-ranked team is seeded 4th in the state entering the championship competition.
Unsolicited testimonials are the best! "I'm always in awe of the staff and students in our district and always proud to say I work here. It makes me wish I could have my kids go through school all over again. I would have enjoyed being a parent of school-age children here!"
OTHS Collaborative Research students thrive as citizen scientists! https://www.globe.gov/web/united-states-of-america/home/news/newsdetail/14718/for-students-from-old-town-maine-student-research-symposium-delivers-a-life-and-learning-experience
Simon Says, "Find an island off the coast of Greece." Alton Elementary students used the virtual reality goggles and a National Geographic giant map to explore Europe today. The VR tour of Iceland was a big hit!
RSU #34 uses a variety of locally-chosen and state assessments to provide information about student learning. Here's an overview of the assessments at each grade level: tinyurl.com/yyb7v7ae For more information about any of these assessments, or RSU #34 policy/procedure regarding student participation in assessment, please contact either your school office or Dr. Jon Doty (email@example.com)
If you are a parent of a student receiving special education services in RSU #34. Please consider taking a moment to complete this survey. The survey window will be open until mid-June, 2020. The link for the Parent Survey is provided below. Thank you for your help in making this year’s parent survey a success! https://mainedoe.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eyAdSPuodcm7M8Z The Parent survey consists of 17 questions and should take 5-10 minutes to complete.
Parents of Pre-K, K, and 1st grade students - Dr. Susan Bennett-Armistead at UMaine aims to create a series of open access, themed e-books for little ones. Please consider doing this 4-question survey with your child to tell her what they like to learn about and read! The survey is open until Saturday 2/15. Thanks! Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TT25576
NO SCHOOL FRIDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2020 IN RSU34