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!
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.
NO School today Thursday February 27,2020 RSU #34
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
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
All RSU #34 after school activities are cancelled for this afternoon - Thursday February 6, 2020.
Our winter issue of Community Connections is off to the printing presses and will be in mailboxes in a week or so. Many thanks to the staff and community members who provided pictures and articles, and to Gossamer Press for the artistic magic! Here's a link to the digital version: https://5il.co/cqle
Wednesday is World Read Aloud Day...line up a favorite story and an audience! https://www.litworld.org/worldreadaloudday
Dear 3rd Grade Parents and Caregivers, In the third grade, we administer the Cognitive Abilities Test to our students. This test (the “CogAT“) is used to help identify thinking patterns in students, and to show areas in which a student’s achievement may not match their abilities. The CogAT is also used as one of our screening tools for Chapter 104, the Maine regulation governing Gifted & Talented Services. This year, the CogAT will be administered in February. The CogAT includes three sections, each of which takes about an hour to administer (verbal, quantitative, and figurative). Once we receive score data, we will send home your child’s scores, and help you interpret what they mean. For more information, please talk with your child’s teacher, Mrs. Harvey, Mrs. St. Peter, or the school principal or Dr. Doty (firstname.lastname@example.org). Students for whom recent cognitive testing is on file may be excused from this testing to maintain instructional time with specialists – please see your child’s teacher.
Here's the Winter & Spring Adult Ed flyer from the Riverside Adult Ed partnership. Lots of great academic and enrichment classes! Link to flyer: https://5il.co/cjjk
We're seeking OTHS alumni updates for our next issues of Community Connections! Our alumni are doing awesome things all around the world and we want to share, celebrate, and inspire our current students! This is also a great way to share things like class reunion dates. To share an update please email Amy.McFalls@rsu34.org ('05 OTHS).
In addition to the extensions, enrichment, and acceleration their teachers provide in the classroom, students who need frequent additional services may be referred for services by the Chapter 104 program. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the child's teacher for more info, and here's a link to referral forms! For student self-referral: https://5il.co/car0 And for other non-staff referrals: https://5il.co/caqt
OTHS Robotics hosted a very successful competition on Saturday! 16 teams with more than 70 students brought their robots, troubleshooting, and game strategies to OTHS to compete in Tower Takeover, the 2019-2020 VEX Robotics contest. Our teams fared very well! Thanks to all of the volunteers who made the event a success.
NO SCHOOL IN RSU#34 SCHOOLS TUESDAY DECEMBER 3, 2019
RSU#34 SCHOOLS CLOSED TUESDAY DECEMBER 3, 2019.
ALL RSU#34 AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES CANCELED TODAY MONDAY NOVEMBER 18, 2019
Our future-thinking group looking at elementary schooling continues its work on Monday - we'll be reviewing community survey results and discussing next steps in our exploration. Please email Jon.Doty@rsu34.org if you're interested in joining us! From early October: Regional School Unit #34 (Alton, Bradley, and Old Town) seeks community stakeholders to join an ad hoc advisory committee that will engage in future-thinking conversation about elementary programming across Alton Elementary School, Viola Rand School, and Old Town Elementary School. Those interested in participating can email or call Dr. Jon Doty, RSU #34 Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, at email@example.com or 827-3932. This fall teachers welcomed the biggest kindergarten class RSU #34 has ever seen, and the RSU was also able to pilot full-day Pre-K at one location. “We’re proud to have kids thriving in three elementary schools,” says Doty. “Our children are engaged, supported, and learning; we’re thankful for wonderful educators and a very supportive community!” The advisory committee will take a “big picture” look at elementary schooling, and if the group sees opportunities worth pursuing, will make recommendations to the School Board. The group will discuss strengths of current approaches, wish-list opportunities for students such as learning world languages and all-day Pre-K, long-term facilities and transportation needs, partnership opportunities, a possible alternative structure to Title I interventions, and whether one or more schools should explore “niche” opportunities such as a nature immersion school or a public Montessori school. Each meeting will be open to the public and will include a public comment period; the RSU seeks to have a core group of advisory committee members that attends every meeting. “We have fantastic things going on for children,” says Doty, “and know that they and our communities are best served in the long-run by occasionally re-examining our practices rather than resting on our laurels.”
ALL AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AT RSU#34 SCHOOLS CANCELED TODAY TUESDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2019.
Re-post...thanks for the survey replies so far! We'll start taking a look at these this weekend so please take a moment to give us feedback and ideas this week. *** Dear Alton, Bradley, and Old Town community member, We write to solicit feedback to inform some forward-thinking planning for our elementary schools (Alton Elementary, Old Town Elementary, and Viola Rand School). Kids are thriving in each, and we recently welcomed our largest kindergarten class in RSU #34 history! We know we serve children best if we continually re-examine our practices rather than rest on our laurels, and a committee of staff, parents, and community members is taking the lead on that work. We’d appreciate your feedback on our strengths, challenges, and some opportunities, through doing this brief online survey by Saturday 11/16: https://forms.gle/QuJVDbL43Ge1us2g9 If you’re interested in joining or visiting our committee, please email or call Dr. Jon Doty: 827-3932 or firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
Immediate Opening for Ed Tech III opening at Old Town High School. Check out the Employment tab at www.RSU34.org for application and more information
"Neurons that fire together wire together." Here's a summary of a research study published this week, focused on brain development before five years old: tinyurl.com/yybmfqcu "...what could be occurring is that screen time is too passive for brain development. 'Perhaps screen time got in the way of other experiences that could have helped the children reinforce these brain networks more strongly,' he said. The first years of life need to be focused on human interactions that encourage speaking, interacting socially and playing with loving caregivers to develop thinking, problem-solving and other executive skills." Here's a link to the American Association of Pediatricians' guidelines for screen use: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162591
Dear Alton, Bradley, and Old Town community member, We write to solicit feedback to inform some forward-thinking planning for our elementary schools (Alton Elementary, Old Town Elementary, and Viola Rand School). Kids are thriving in each, and we recently welcomed our largest kindergarten class in RSU #34 history! We know we serve children best if we continually re-examine our practices rather than rest on our laurels, and a committee of staff, parents, and community members is taking the lead on that work. We’d appreciate your feedback on our strengths, challenges, and some opportunities, through doing this brief online survey by Saturday 11/16: https://forms.gle/QuJVDbL43Ge1us2g9 If you’re interested in joining or visiting our committee, please email or call Dr. Jon Doty: 827-3932 or email@example.com Thanks!
No School in RSU #34 Friday November 1st
School’s delayed opening by 2 hours.
Education begins long before school! Did you know counting out loud makes a big difference for babies? Check out this video and article from Johns Hopkins University! https://youtu.be/h4Amu5OsRUM and http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2019/10/infants_understand_counting.html
OTHS maintains an alumni database; it's a great way to help connect our current students with alums in career fields they're exploring, and to also help provide info when our alumni classes are planning reunions! If you're interested in being added to the database, please click here: tinyurl.com/yy28872p
OTHS alum in the news! https://umaine.edu/edhd/2019/07/30/reading-recovery-young-learners-benefit-from-umaine-center/ RSU #34 hosts the Eastern Maine Reading Recovery Site, with teacher leader Dr. Sharon Greaney. By hosting the site and serving as fiscal agent, our team of educators greatly benefits day-to-day from Dr. Greaney's expertise and support!
Be on the lookout for an Economic Status Form that we are sending home with all students in the RSU 34 school District. There will be contests held at each school for students that return their forms!! Please return all forms no later than October 10th. This form will provide information needed by the Maine Department of Education to RSU 34 ‘s eligibility status for State Economically Disadvantaged funds available under the Essential Programs & Services Funding Act (State Funding for Schools). Data in this form IS NOT for school lunch purposes, only to determine economic disadvantaged status.
One of our local treasures, and frequent host for our field trips, is having a Fall Fest this weekend! Families can check out what Hirundo Wildlife Refuge has to offer at: https://www.hirundomaine.org/naturemade
RSU #34 accepts funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. As part of ESEA, RSU #34 is required to provide reasonable opportunity for public comment on the consolidated application and consider such comment prior to the submission of the application. RSU #34 solicited feedback while the program budgets were developed in parallel with the overall RSU budget this winter and spring, and is accepting final public comment on the ESEA application through July 19th, 2019. To read the application, ask questions, and provide comment about the application's goals and priorities please contact Dr. Doty (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Superintendent's Office will be closed the week of July 1st. We will reopen Monday July 8th at 7:30 am. We hope everyone has a Wonderful and Safe Fourth of July!!
Live Feed link for 2019 OTHS Commencement! https://livestream.com/accounts/7600464/events/8700007 view image
Congratulations to the OTHS students who shared their collaborative research at the GLOBE Science Symposium! Jacob, Zak, Amanda, and Brad joined students from the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, answering questions from peers and professionals about their research. The students are mentored in this research by Mr. Lindsey, Mr. Murphy, and Ms. Crabtree. On her first-ever trip to Boston, Amanda brought home an award for her poster and presentation…what will she do on her second trip?
Here's a link to the digital version of our May Community Connections newspaper: https://5il.co/7uoo Many thanks to those who contributed! A reminder that our annual public budget meeting is Wednesday 5/29, 7 PM at Old Town High School. Your vote matters!
NO SCHOOL TODAY MONDAY APRIL 8TH IN RSU 34
While the track of the impending storm is not completely clear, it is clear we will deal with snow or a snow/rain mix tomorrow morning. We will be using the new notification system linked with Apptegy our website provider for the first time. The RSU #34 app can be downloaded in the Google Play Store or the iTunes store. We had hoped to have the opportunity to use the new system with some low impact notifications for testing but it appears we will not have that opportunity. Please monitor our website (www.rsu34.org) and WABI TV as a sure way to know the status of schools opening on Monday. Please share this information within your social media network.
Congratulations to the Old Town High School Jazz Ensemble for winning the Class B 2019 UNH Clark Terry Jazz Festival this past weekend! Jazz Ensembles from all over New England competed at the University of New Hampshire. All five soloists in the OTHS Jazz Ensemble received “Outstanding Musicianship Awards” *Mercedes Creighton on piano *Annabelle Muscatell on alto sax *Levi Trefts on trombone *Adam Regan on bari sax *Demetrius Porter on upright bass The OTHS Jazz Ensemble has won the UNH Festival four times. 2001, 2004, 2017 and 2019. Great job kids. Now on to States this Friday and Saturday at South Portland High School!
The Leonard Middle Chorus in Old Town, Maine, is using music as a way to support cancer patients, survivors, and caretakers. These are just a few of the many talented young musicians who have been hard at work preparing to spend a day at a recording studio in early March. While there, the LMS Chorus will record four songs, all of which fit their chosen theme of “Songs for the Journey”. These beautiful songs, each with a message of unity/support/strength, will be available for purchase on a flash drive for $12. All proceeds from sales will be donated to EMMC’s Champion the Cure to support local cancer research. Those interested may purchase a drive for themselves, or have the option to purchase one as a gift to a cancer patient at the LaFayette Cancer Center in Brewer, Maine. If you would like to purchase a drive for yourself, or one to be sent to LaFayette, please contact the group’s teacher, Shianne Priest, at Shianne.Priest@rsu34.org. Thank you!
LMS is looking for an Anticipated Long Term Substitute Special Education Teacher for the 2019-20 School year. For more information check out the employment applications and vacancies tab
RSU 34 is looking for a Speech Language Pathologist starting April 15th. For more information check out the employment applications and vacancies tab
Here’s the digital version of our newest edition of Community Connections! https://5il.co/6jw2 Much thanks to all who contributed photos and articles.