Monthly Archives: October 2013

RSU 50: A Parent’s Perspective

Reprinted from the Houlton Pioneer Times Oct. 30th 2013 edition:purple_and_maroon_ying_yang_by_cynderules101-d5lba4e

To the editor:

The negativity concerning our local school unit continues to bother me.  In my opinion, the most alarming comments are simply not factual and in some cases down right mean and disrespectful.  Continue reading

Advertisements
Quote

Food for thought…

“For more than fifty years, America has been consolidating school districts and the main effect has been to replace educators with bureaucrats and wardens” ~Sam Smith

????????????????????????????????????

RSU 50: A Student’s Perspective

“When people talk, listen completely.  Most people never listen.”

~Earnest Hemingway

A critique composed by a Katahdin Middle and High School student, reprinted here in its entirety from the Houlton Pioneer Times.  To those entrusted with the decisions that shape her experience, I urge you to listen deeply, without judgement or defensiveness that may obscure the lessons within.  Thank you, Miss Fitzpatrick, for so generously sharing your thoughts with your community. 

RSU 50:  A Student’s Perspective

by Delaney Fitzpatrick

Image

I remember when I was a freshman.  Katahdin Middle and High School was a very happy environment.  Happy teachers, happy administration, and happy students.  I went through my freshman year quite enjoying myself with absolutely no bumps in the road.  Sophomore year was just about the same, a few minor changes, but nothing too huge.  Junior year came along and suddenly, everything changed. 

Continue reading

“Humble” on the RSU Law…

“Lose your school. Lose your community. School administrative districts were no more than a scam and a few people have finally figured out that it would be nice to keep the control and the tax dollars in town.  Oh, it would also be nice to keep the kids in town.   But getting the control and the money back is the main thing. You will not get your schools back in town without a fight.  There’s too much money at stake.  And it’s fun to spend other people’s money.”

~Robert Karl Skoglund, “The Humble Farmer”

image

 

Maine School Consolidation: a Reorganization Report Card, and Food for Thought in RSU #50

Image

“A wave of research from around the country shows that consolidation does not improve schools or lead to better academic results.  Spending on education does not go down; indeed, budgets often balloon with increased transportation costs and more administrators to run enlarged districts.  Consolidation leads to schools closing and to bigger schools, with less parental involvement and community participation.  And, in many parts of the United States, it has led to children on unconscionable bus rides lasting several hours a day.”

Elaine McArdle  “Together We Won’t”

The Boston Sunday Globe  March 8, 2009 p. C3

A concise, thoughtful statewide assessment of how Maine’s RSU Law has performed relative to its goals of Efficiency, Equity and Quality, along with his recommendations to improve the lot of Maine schoolchildren.

Maine School Consolidation Report Card

What would YOUR “report card” for RSU #50 look like?

~ Are schools in RSU 50 really more efficient than before?

~  Are children in RSU 50 educated more equitably with wealthier areas of the state than before 2011?

~  Has the quality of education for children of RSU 50 improved since the 2011 reorganization?

Would you please share your thoughts and/or experiences? We look forward to hearing from you!

Opportunity knocks!

image

Hired to facilitate our newly-joined communities in developing a vision for the RSU, Craig Kesselheim of Great Schools Partnership announced in his recent presentation of his desire to form a working group to begin its craft.  According to Mr. Kesselheim, this committee could comprise any number of people…  Wait, let me check my notes… Continue reading

The Power in Numbers

“Welcome to a student author, who paints a vivid picture, indeed!”

8:00 A.M…A time of day that previously had brought smiles and laughter to the faces of the students at Katahdin High School.  In past years, the halls at KHS have been teeming with smiles, laughter, and happiness shared between nearly all of the students, and the staff that had became almost like a second family to many students.  Katahdin High School has always carried a great reputation for the positive atmosphere brought forth by the work of the faculty, administration, and the students in collaboration.  That is until now. Currently, those smiles are far and few between.  The bell indicating that it is time for Block 1 classes to begin brings forth sighs from many of the students. To many, school is not a happy place anymore. Seeing my fellow peers expressing hate towards school pains me.  No student should be led to “hate” their school. However, morale is  extremely low, and I personally don’t see it going anywhere but down in the next few months. What exactly has caused this immense change in our school’s atmosphere? Let’s take a look. Continue reading

“Yes, Virginia…. There IS a PTSO.” …..and other thoughts on the RSU 50 Board’s October meeting.

OldDesignShop_SilhouetteFamily1912“There isn’t one!”  barked one Board member to another’s suggestion to look to the Parent Organization for volunteers to serve on the working group to shape a vision for RSU #50.  It was an awkward moment, for which I feel compelled to offer clarification — AND an apology for not doing so on the spot:

Continue reading

Link

New Survey!

New Survey!

Your response to our recent survey was as thoughtful as it was robust.  This one was crafted by, and sent to us from students themselves.

You really can make a difference, and their initiative is certainly laudable.

Thank you for your participation!

 

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J86Dl6J

 

pen-in-hand

“Cost-shifting threatens local education”

Timbered Classrooms...

An insightful piece by Rep. Brian Hubbell about why local communities are so strained.

 

“No wonder local communities are frustrated and angry,  They are paying more than ever and their schools are still being forced to cut school programs.”

 

http://www.mainehousedistrict35.com/cost-shifting-threatens-local-education/

 

Add to this, the “cost-shifting” within the district; from the more powerful school to the one targeted for closure.  Taxpayers and children alike bear the brunt…..

View original post

Divorce? Not necessarily…. RSU & AOS compared.

Could the AOS option please everyone?

Timbered Classrooms...

According to our recent survey, 44 out of 49 respondants (with three abstentions) support the RSU Withdrawal initiative spearheaded by the communities of former MSAD #25.  A whopping 89.8%!

But to those who want our communities to remain connected?  Take heart! 

View original post 296 more words

“Cost-shifting threatens local education”

An insightful piece by Rep. Brian Hubbell about why local communities are so strained.

 

“No wonder local communities are frustrated and angry,  They are paying more than ever and their schools are still being forced to cut school programs.”

 

http://www.mainehousedistrict35.com/cost-shifting-threatens-local-education/

 

Add to this, the “cost-shifting” within the district; from the more powerful school to the one targeted for closure.  Taxpayers and children alike bear the brunt…..

Welcome!

A free, open and independent site for the people of the communities of RSU 50.

Post your our feedback, and follow us!

Divorce? Not necessarily…. RSU & AOS compared.

According to our recent survey, 44 out of 49 respondants (with three abstentions) support the RSU Withdrawal initiative spearheaded by the communities of former MSAD #25.  A whopping 89.8%!

But to those who want our communities to remain connected?  Take heart!  Continue reading

I hear you!

I hear you, and certainly understand your concerns about using Facebook; about privacy….. This blog is for you.  Continue reading

Your views…. A Compilation of Our Ongoing Survey

 

RSU 50 Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO)