Monthly Archives: September 2014

What A Difference A Year Makes….


“Timbered Classrooms” is 1  year old today!  We would like to offer our thanks to our followers – all 109 of you. ….and our many more readers, who continue to revisit the research, polling and ideas we have gathered over the past 365 days.   Of course we do not always agree — it would be a bit creepy if we did, wouldn’t it?  We will continue to strive to inform, and offer a safe space for discussion.  

Your children, your tax dollars, your schools…. ….and your website as well….

Futures Task Force Findings – FINAL

lavendar cougar


The work of the Futures Task Force completed, Timbered Classrooms would like to share with our readers a copy of its conclusions.  Many thanks to our readers who brought this to my attention.  How did I miss it?  Good question, but thank goodness for you!  Trying diligently to bite my tongue, (or my fingers!), for the  moment, anyway, I hope YOU won’t!  We always love to hear from you, whatever your views.  I have a great deal of confidence that our readers will perform a careful, critical reading and ask the deeper questions this report undoubtedly raises.

RSU 50 FTF Report (1) FINAL



REFERENDUM!!! October 2nd


RSU 50 District Referendum – 3rd Round

Whatever your position on the budget; your vision for the future of education in the Region —

Please vote…

Absentee ballots are available.

KES Open House and Cake Auction, New Date….

childlickingspoonThe Katahdin Elementary School Open House and Cake Auction has been rescheduled for Monday, September 22nd @6pm

Rural School Success Story

imageI came across this heartwarming story from the Portland Press Herald quite by accident!  Dated 2010, but inspiration has no sell-by date…

Rural School Has Formula For Success

Informational meetings on new rural funding scheduled

Maine DOE Newsroom

A new grant is now available to 25 rural schools in Maine to implement a program which has proven to increase academic growth and achievement for first-year high school students by providing a proven, flexible, data-driven system centered on the relationships between students and teachers.

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Maine high schools invited to register for Poetry Out Loud competition

Maine DOE Newsroom

Maine high schools are invited to register for Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide program that encourages youth to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation while helping students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

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Budget Meeting Results…

imageThe RSU #50 Proposed Budget passed without changes, and will be up for referendum on October 2nd.

All told, this budget represents a $395,954.00 reduction (from a proposal of $9,770,947.00 in June to $9,374,993.00 currently proposed if anyone would care to check my math – probably not a bad idea!).

As always, we welcome your thoughts, your plans for the Oct. 2nd referendum and your hopes for education in the region.

The budget is available on the RSU #50 website, or here:  FY15 – BUDGET #3 – September 16 2014 (1)

*Tonight* – District Budget Meeting



….a reminder to our readers of all communities North and South: the RSU District Budget Meeting will be held at the Island Falls Municipal Building tonight, (Tuesday, September 16) @7pm.

The more the merrier!  Actually, the more citizens participate, the more clearly the budget sent to voters in October will reflect their aspirations and priorities.  …more likely to win approval.

Timbered Classrooms would like to thank community members who continue to work and strive through the often difficult work to improve resource allocation in the district.  They are your children, your tax dollars and your schools.

Panel convened by Education Commissioner to improve Maine learning results, public input sought

The panel will be comprised of parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members, college professors and business leaders. Its work is public and members of the public are also invited to submit input to improve specific standards through an online comment form on the Maine DOE’s website…”


Maine DOE Newsroom

Recommendations will inform improvements the Maine Department of Education intends for the state’s math and English language arts standards

AUGUSTA – Maine’s Education Commissioner is asking the public and a panel of parents, educators and business leaders to inform improvements his Department plans to make to the state’s learning standards for mathematics and English language arts.

Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced today that a 24-member panel will begin work this week to assess the rigor and clarity of the standards.

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Maine Republican Party – Maine School Consolidation

The Consolidation question looms over RSU #50, as the dark, autumn clouds… What better time to tuck in, and learn as much as possible about the effects, many as surprising as our changeable Maine weather?  Here, for you, is an in-depth discussion of the issue with Stephan Bowen, followed by a link to a post featuring the perspective of the Maine Heritage Policy Center

Every Cloud…

imageThird time the charm?  The district budget meeting is scheduled for September 16th,  7:00pm at the Island Falls Municipal Building. Copies of the Proposed Budget are a available at various locations around the communities, on the RSU website or here – just keep scrolling!

People are understandably weary of what has been, admittedly, an arduous process.  (A reporter was heard muttering “This is so stupid! This is going to take forever!” ). Democratic decisions are messy, (and the more democratic, the more untidy) but usually better in outcome. It’s a struggle that clearly  needs to happen; to continue, and our readers have shown, time and again, the degree to which our children are worth it.

It bears remembering the good that comes from this struggle; the silver lining, as a multitude of deeply caring voices rise to help determine the direction of education here.  Perhaps many “silver linings”; ..better understanding between the Board and the communities to whom they answer?  …better decisions for kids.

Thank you to all of our readers, and community members determined to get this right, in spite of the cost of referenda – the cost of silence; and of getting it wrong, is, indeed, too high.

We wish all community members well….

FY15 – BUDGET #3 – September 16 2014 (1)


“The Object of Education..”


Essential Elements…



An elementary school that treats the arts as the province of a few gifted children, or views them only as recreation and entertainment, is a school that needs an infusion of soul.  

The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic.

~William Bennet,  Former U.S. Secretary of Education