Coffee’s On!

imageGood Morning!

News from last night’s budget meeting is coming in… $110,000 was added, and attendees report a decision about a principal for Katahdin had previously been made in Jon Porter.  Parents long concerned about their children attending a school governed by those who want it closed have little confidence that their children will enjoy optimal investment of resources from their surrounding communities.  How might Mr. Porter build trust?

We welcome your reports and perspective, so we’ll see you in the “comments” section! Of course “contact us” at the top is available for private correspondence.  Join us on the author roll, anonymously, or not…

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13 responses to “Coffee’s On!

  1. Soooo, was anything said about how the principal thing is going to work?

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    • Of course people are going to question this. There is no trust, due to all that has happened in the last 2 years. Kind of makes you wonder is this the beginning of the end for Katahdin.

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      • Is anyone really still “wondering” if Katahdin is targeted for liquidation?

        Children who attend a school whose days are numbered; that is governed by people who want to liquidate it and redirect resources to another school, are hurt in the meantime. You cannot invest in kids while divesting from the faculty and facilities around them; and thise who want Katahdin closed do not want to! Austerity is often deliberate and designed to create the sort of desperation that would spurn parents/communities to voluntarily shutter their schools in a vain attempt to recover lost opportunity.

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  2. Here are a few notes from last night’s meeting:
    -Article 1: reduced by $20,000 due to a teacher asking for part time
    -Article 2: no change, had already been reduced $22,500 due to retirements and Ed Tech salary changes
    -Articles 3 & 4: no change
    -Article 5: $103,254 added back in,there was a reduction in technology updates, equip. of $15,000, reduction in literacy program update of $20,000 (THE ACTUAL UPDATE TO THE LITERACY PROGRAM WITH CURRICULUM AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR A PROGRAM ALIGNED WITH “COMMON CORE” IS PRICED AT $87,000!!) The $20,000 is not needed this year as they cannot afford the rest of the program. It will likely be in next year’s budget. One full time Librarian in the district is eliminated and will be replaced by an Ed Tech II. It looks like the Librarian will be on the Katahdin side and the Ed Tech II on SACHS.
    Article 6: $35,662 added back in
    Article 7: $23,355 added back in – This is where there was discussion on the principal situation. There was no need for discussion as the “Administrative Team” had already made their decision: Jon Porter is it. He will be the principal for both schools for one year. What does this mean? Who knows – when people as questions, they don’t get answers. Also, what is the $23,355 added back in??? Didn’t we just downsize one administrative position?
    Article 8: There was a $9,500 reduction due to a leave of absence.
    Articles 9, 10, 11: no change

    Larry Malone, “Citizens voted to reduce the budget by $289,225 and “we” would reduce it by $178,000 by adding back in $110,000. There is eventually going to be a loss. We can’t afford to keep it the way it is. There has to be some kind of losses.”

    There was talk from Malone of “adding back in Administration at the end of the year”??? He said, “There’s always an advantage to sharing principals.”
    It was difficult to follow where he was going with this discussion.

    Greg Ryan, “If we move the high school at some point, odds are we will move it………………………………….”

    Several board members simply stated they trusted what Mr. Malone and the Administrative Team recommended and supported it based on that.

    Malone eventually asked Jon Porter to speak to the principal issue. He spoke of two fears he has, one being that Katahdin people will feel as if he is supporting consolidation and favors SACHS, the other being that SACHS will feel shortchanged as he is not there every day. He assured us that he will get to know the kids and will be there doing his job for the kids……..
    He spoke to the parent group and people in the community, stating: “They look too much at what they want for their kids and do not appreciate what good teachers and administration they have. They don’t say, (for instance) “Thank you, Rowena Harvey, thank you Eryn Schmidt for your hard work………..” He also made a reference to how “they” use social media to discuss issues. Just need to let him know that this parent who has been very active in the parent group and involved in my children’s education because I care about what they are taught and how they are taught, isn’t that my responsibility as a parent? I also have personally thanked many teachers for my child’s education as I am sure many involved parents have. Please don’t judge us, Jon Porter, on what you don’t know as factual.

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    • Mr. Porter is demanding of parents is that to which he is NOT entitled. He is not entitled to control social media any more than he is to control conversations occurring around town.

      Your notes needed their own post, and got it in “Out of the Depths”.

      Thank you so much.

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  3. Maybe our kids would appreciate the teachers they have if they had the same teacher for two years in a row. Not a good way to start things off Mr. Porter.

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  4. You got that right Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People would not turn to social media for discussion if they felt safe talking at meetings. When people ask questions or make comments at meetings, they are not validated and are made to feel it is a “we” against “them”. Mr. Porter made reference to the fact that parents are making the situation just that – a “we” against “them” and not working together! What!!!??? Many, many parents tried working with administration and teachers on issues and concerns last year and were not listened to nor validated. Let’s please start fresh this year? We as parents do want to work together, not just have to throw up our hands.

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  6. We as parents just want some say. It is wrong and unfair to view the Katahdin end of the district as negative. Why just because we have a different view?! I got a great idea. Tuition SACS kids to Houlton and send Island Falls kids to Katahdin and dissolve the RSU. That would save money in bussing and administration.

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    • What is a more “negative” view of a school than the belief it should not exist? …that itself and its children are unworthy of investment?

      Parents’ vision for what Katahdin could and should be is wonderful. It is aligned with the reasearch and emulates the way the highest performing districts – many smaller than Katahdin – educate kids

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