Small Schools that Work – Surry Elementary

Worse than the constant bemoaning of “declining enrollment”, and citing it for all of the serious issues RSU #50 currently faces, is the admission by this Administration that it cannot provide our students with a good education, and taxpayers value on their dollars at our current size and building array.   Our readers (who just passed the 100 mark!  Thank you all so much!) see even smaller schools than our own, not simply surviving but thriving around our State, and want to emulate them.  Schools like Surry Elementary, enrollment of 102, et. al. show us the advantages we already posses.  If this Administration does not know how to use them, then, perhaps the Board should find someone who does….  Of course that will, ultimately, be up to the communities…


“”It’s all about doing whatever we need to do and keeping an eye on whatever is working.” said Principal Cathy Lewis.  Class size plays a role, too.  Surry, with an enrollment of 102 students is a small school. Class size ranges from 8 to 15 students.  “I would say it has a huge influence on the opportunity for connections.”  Lewis said.  “That’s personal connections where students feel they have a relationship.  The more opportunity there is for connections, the better it all works….””

Read the article by Jennifer Osborn of The Ellsworth American, here:  Surry Elementary 1



17 responses to “Small Schools that Work – Surry Elementary

  1. Please stop trying to turn our small class sizes into cash! The failure falls on children and taxpayers alike. There is so much money wasted trying to attain large class sizes, then more to ameliorate the damage; the alienation and diminished achievement … …much more than it costs to keep our natural, size advantage.


  2. Stop trying to take our kids schools in a direction that the kids and people do not want. We have a district that is embedded in too much spending. How is it okay to pay a superintendent who is disengenuous and poor at his job that much money. He does not care one bit about our kids education. He is just a bureaucrat. The reason public education is not working is because they latch into too many fads that do not work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen! The “silent majority”, to whom they claim to be responding is entirely imaginary. You are correct; the kids and people do not want this, and consolidations are never about kids; they are about money (not saving it, of course, but shifting who gets it and who pays). …and don’t get me started on the creepy guru Marzano. Teachers have brains, university degrees and VERY low pay. Why is there so much money for the likes of Marzano, who is doing his level best to turn “The Art of Teaching” into anything but?


  3. Who is this Marzano person? How about we stop listening to “education gurus” and start getting back to what works!!


    • …because “what works” isn’t profitable to peddlers of edu-products. “What works” is relationships, between the teacher and student; small class sizes — the sort of things parents seek when deciding where to raise their families. The leadership is hell bent on turning those natural advantages into cash, ostensibly to, somehow, return to kids later….


  4. Lisa, this is what is so confusion to allot of people. They think that it takes allot of money to school our kids,,,,, it does,, basic common sense would take everybody a long long way. See what we have,, fix what we got,,do what we have to do for the kids. Cant these people see that we are NOT, NEW YORK CITY. Give the people a BREAK, teach our children, do not try to use them as a experiment for future goals. WAIT,, let every body else try it. After pick the best and use it. Jesus Christ look around people are not rich. We all don’t make $109,000.00 a year. WORK with the people,,,, do not look down on us. We are just trying to make it. Holy CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Yes, the Board is trying to lead people to believe that it takes more money to keep Katahdin open than it really does, because they want it to LOOK like there is no alternative. Schools like Surry show us the way, and is a shining example of what people here want to emulate at Katahdin.

      I don’t think many of our readers are buying their tripe, though, do you?

      I wonder sometimes if they think their authority will make us believe them without proof? …or do they think it will allow them to push this through? It doesn’t matter, because their authority is as imaginary as their credibility.


  5. ya, that will work JT. said just right. that is the kind of thinking we need on the board.


  6. WELL,, is it or not,,, you got it Mr Tapley. You and lisa should team up. I no that im going to speak more about this site. The older people have to read this stuff. You guys have got it going.


    • Thank you very much.

      I do hope more people will read the research, and community views on this site.

      Evidently, the Administration has issued instructions to “not even look at” Timbered Classrooms, and, though our stats say people are not really listening to that.. Also they have deemed our site an example of cyberbullying. I would hope people would read us and figure out for themselves that nothing could be further from the truth. (Imagine! To compare the work of the finest researchers and Maine experts — who also happen to be lovely people, by the way to the torment experienced by bullied children? words…… )

      I look forward to hearing more from you!


  7. Yes we should spread the word about this site. Its the way to get the truth with out them meetings. These 2 people are rate on. Lisa and Mr Tapley will tel you how it is. Then form your own opinion.


    • Oh, thank you! Yes, the research and community views should be as widely read as possible!

      I don’t like the way this Board and Administration try to control what people know. It’s wildly inappropriate.

      We will continue to provide research, facts and especially host YOUR views. An informed opinion is a good one.


  8. Amen to the common sense!! Larry thinks he has all of the answers, when they are just answers given to pacify and lead people to believe that we have no choice in these issues. We have to continue to support keeping our schools open, keeping the budget reasonable, and working towards withdrawal from the RSU. We do have a say as taxpayers, voters, parents, and citizens! Common sense would go a long way in getting approval from voters on the budget!


    • Here here! Larry was hired to do a job — close Katahdin, period. The strategies he is employing are well-documented and nothing new. Our readers see right through them.

      Yes, let’s demand they take Katahdin’s closure off the table, and continue to offer optimal alternatives for children and taxpayers alike.


  9. Absolutely. Let’s take Katahdin’s closure off the table. Less administration and more parents getting listened to. The chairman of the board needs to be voted off too.


  10. Totally agree, Lisa and Anonymous! We as taxpayers, voters, and parents have the ability to take Katahdin’s closure off the table! We will ultimately have the opportunity to vote on the closing of schools – just vote NO to closing Katahdin. It would be great if we could get the powers that be to listen to what we have for input now rather than have to wait for it to go out to vote and waste a lot of time and money. In the meantime, we have kids attending schools that are in need of positive changes in some areas. By the time, they graduate we may have a solution to the RSU issues.


    • I wish it were that simple; “just vote ‘no'”… ..but it isn’t!

      Please do not wait for the vote to “take Katahdin’s closure off the table”. The ballot will cite a number; a “cost” a vote to keep Katahdin open will levy on its taxpayers. Not only will this pressure voters to close their own school, but taxpayers will be on the hook for that extra “cost”, or payment to the RSU over and above what they pay now, even if no extra costs come to fruition and even though we all know that figure will be bogus.

      Please don’t let it come to that. Take if out of consideration now, while the RSU withdrawal effort goes forward.


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