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Welcome to Regional School Unit 13
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE EARLY YEARS: PRE-K-GRADE 3
Ask any of our Kindergarten teachers and you’ll find out how vastly different their classrooms are from September through June. In September, she receives 15-20 new 5 year-olds, some who know how to count to ten and read the alphabet, and some who don’t know what a number or a letter is. Some have been read to every day, others haven’t experienced that joy of a story read by Mom and Dad before bed. Some kids come to Kindergarten knowing how to wait in line; others have never been in a group setting and just don’t know what to do!
By June, the Kindergarten classroom has become a bit more manageable and the students have learned so much in those ten months. Our kids and teachers are amazing! Some of the children have caught up, if they were behind, but others do have a long way to go. We know that if a child feels success early, they end up being great students who actually like to go to school every day. Those students who feel failure and who realize they’re way behind everyone else begin to drift away. They begin to act out in class; they rebel against the very process of learning. If we don’t turn that around real early, we may lose a child for the entirety of their school experience. They start exhibiting “behavior” issues in school and many drop out at their first opportunity to do so.
By Grade 4, most of the basic foundational skills in literacy and numeracy should have been acquired. Students go from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” By Grade 4, most students should have most fundamental math facts down pat. If things are going right and students are given opportunities to learn at school and time at home to practice their skills, they should be proficient or better in reading and math. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Then why are so many students not proficient by Grade 4?
Obviously, we all learn at different paces and by different methods. That’s what Proficiency-Based Learning is all about. You master a skill at your own pace and you move from skill to skill, not from grade to grade. It’s also why we have serious intervention programs in place right now to help students master skills they’ve missed along the way. These are some of the ways RSU #13 is aiming for success for each one of our students. I hope that within a few short years, all of these efforts will translate into positive outcomes at every grade and for every student.
But we need to invest in and implement high-quality Pre-K programs next year. We need to make sure that all of our children have the chance to be exposed to the basics in reading, math and social skills before they come to Kindergarten. Our children and our communities deserve to see all of their children starting out right and with a solid Pre-K through Grade 3 experience. That’s what I’m shooting for- I hope you join us!
Lew Collins, Superintendent
“SCHOOLS OPEN DOORS” MONTHLY LOCAL TV SHOW NOW PLAYING!!
RSU 13 will again be hosting a monthly TV show covering various issues and events affecting our students, staff and community. Our first show features an interview with two recent graduates and discussions with Board Chair, Tess Kilgour, and Superintendent, Lew Collins, about next year’s goals, reconfiguration of the schools and some budget information as well. Our next show will be filmed on July 25th and will feature an interview with our Girls’ Softball team members and coach, as well as discussions about the new school start times! Please watch Channel 11.
RSU 13 Mathematics Program Audit
Report Release Spring 2013
In the 2012 school year, and as RSU 13 entered its third year of consolidation, evidence of inconsistent mathematics achievement continued to be seen across the district’s schools and grade spans. Data trends suggested that evidence of successful mathematics learning was more evident for elementary grades, with successive proficiency drops occurring in the mid-level grades and continuing into high school. This audit sought to study and validate these trends, and to identify salient factors contributing to acknowledged strengths and weaknesses.
This program audit, involving multiple methods of study and investigation, began in the winter of 2012 and continued until spring of 2013. Joint study design and co-authorship involving both RSU 13 personnel and the Great Schools Partnership offered the opportunity to include an independent agency in this collaborative review. An independent view is valued as critical in forming a realistic characterization of the strengths and challenges that will inform continuing efforts for improved mathematics teaching and learning in RSU 13.
The results of this program audit will now be utilized for further professional study and as a basis for program development recommendations to be considered by mathematics curriculum team leaders, the RSU 13 Administrative team, each building principal, RSU 13’s math teachers, and the RSU 13 Curriculum Committee.
Click here to view this report: Mathematics Program Audit
RSU 13 Strategic Plan 2013 – 2018
Beginning in September of 2011, a Strategic Planning Team -- comprised of representatives drawn from our six communities, the staff, the school board, and the administration - convened to lead a process focused on developing a five-year strategic plan for our newly consolidated school district.
Areas of focus highlighted in the planning process included: teaching and learning; recruitment, retention, and evaluation of staff; financial matters; facilities; community engagement; and long-range development. The Strategic Planning Team also solicited a wide range of input from community and faculty members through surveys; parent, faculty and student meetings; and open community forums.
The resulting plan was adopted by the RSU 13 School Board by a unanimous vote at its regular meeting on March 7, 2013, and now stands as a blueprint for action in identifying priorities and establishing credible work plans for guiding the district toward excellence over the next five years. Importantly, the plan also is designed to be updated periodically with indicators of progress included in the strategic plan section – Measuring Our Progress and Effectiveness (pages 21-28).
RSU 13 wishes to acknowledge, with grateful appreciation, the dedication and conscientious attention that the following individuals contributed in bringing the RSU 13 Strategic Plan forward:
Duke Albanese, Great Schools Partnership, Inc. (Technical Assistance)
Loren Andrews, Vice Chair, School Board
Lew Collins, Superintendent of Schools
Emily Davis, School Counselor
Laurel Dean, Educational Technician
George Emery, School Board Member
Tom Forti, Principal, Oceanside High School East
Neal Guyer, Director of School Improvement
Greg Hamlin, Community Member, Past RSU 13 Board Chair
Ruth Anne Hohfeld, Community Member, Past RSU 13 Board Chair
Jessie Luttrell, Educational Technician
Anna Mason, Community Member
Patricia Mellor, Teacher
Tom Molloy, Community Member
Susan Stilwell, Principal, Owls Head Central/Thomaston Grammar
Click here to view RSU 13's Strategic Plan
Board Meeting videos now available online. Use the "Board" menu above and click on Meeting Videos