Community Meeting – Futures Task Force FULL AND FINAL REPORT

RSU 50 FTF Report (1) FINAL

The RSU 50 Futures Task Force Committee will be conducting a community meeting on:

 Monday, October 6, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

at the Katahdin Middle/High School. 

This meeting is a full report of the work of the Task Force.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Though the recommendations will come as no surprise to many of our readers, the decisions they will surely influence are far reaching and permeate every member of the community, whether or not they have children in school.  The decision to close a school permeates property values, economic activity, tax bases and other vital infrastructure as well as the costs to children and families.

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15 responses to “Community Meeting – Futures Task Force FULL AND FINAL REPORT

  1. Every parent, taxpayer, citizen of the rsu need to go out to this meeting tonight. Having attended the previous “Task Force” public meetings, which is made of us mostly board members, administration, teachers, it is evident that their concerns and wishes are not those of the community. When asked questions by the public they answer vaguely. There does not seem to be a lot of common sense in their proposals and conclusions. This committee is going to make a recommendation to the board and the board will accept their recommendation (as they do everything Malone and his “committees” recommend). This “Task Force” has been working on this plan for a year and a half and there doesn’t seem to be any new information in this latest report than there was a year ago. Please go out to the meeting if possible – our kids need the support and input of parents, taxpayers, and citizens! Our tax dollars are being spent on this and it is not helping our kids receive a better education – we need to speak out!

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    • What could leadership, skilled in the administration of a small school done with that $20-grand for kids?

      “…the ‘work’ of the task force”? They did absolutely nothing. They failed to offer even a shred of proof for even a single word of that “report”. They “studied” numbers in relative isolation, and ran enrollment date through their own assumptions — not research.

      Meanwhile, whether this Board likes it or not, our schools are, by necessity small. The negativity toward small schools in general and ours amounts to an admission that students are being shortchanged on their education by a Board and Administration that lacks the expertise and will to run a small school effectively. .

      .

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  2. Actually, not just speak out, but demand better – we have the right to do this!

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  3. the task force was designed to distract all you guys, and it worked . they won, you people bit.

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  4. this meeting is nothing, scott walker is laughing out loud.

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  5. This meeting WAS nothing as there was no new information. Scott Walker can laugh out loud all he wants. He is wasting the taxpayer’s money as is the majority of the board. Island Falls can be “proud” of him as a representation of their education interests. He is especially comical as his mother in law stands up and supports his foolishness. Scary that people like him are making the decisions about how our children will be educated in the near future in the rsu!!??

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    • So, who is Scott Walker? Oh! That condescending “…it’s all how you react….”

      Right. No manner of asinine decisions by this Board will hurt our children or taxpayers as long as we do not “react” in away that causes Scott Walker inconvenience – like asking for proof of the Board’s claims.

      Over the past year and a half, I have been called names, told to “shut up” and shunned – Board members have been instructed not to communicate with me or read Timbered Classrooms; every hard question devolves into a scolding for even asking. I never made issue of it because I want the debate to be about kids and not about my manner.

      Thank you Paige Colville for setting the comportment bar so low I don’t need to worry about it.

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  6. it is over, nothing can be done, answer, charter, or east mill.
    it is time to think real education.

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    • What on Earth do you think we’ve BEEN thinking about? ….the price of tea in China? Sorry – in a bit of a mood today.

      Rural children cannot achieve scale, and we need to rethink the terms on which we educate them. The time our kids waste in a school run by people who are more focused on the needs of a stupid below capacity building in Dyer Brook than children. Weighs heavily, and, yes, I am pursuing all the options I can. Honestly? I hope Mrs. Lane will take kids out before it gets any worse.

      Now. You are absolutely right; the train HAS “left the station”, and it is entirely up to the communities if they want to grab the switch so to speak. It can be done, but NEITHER easily nor pleasantly.

      East Mill? You will have to withdraw from the RSU to do that. All your busses belong to this Board; the same Board that wants all the money North. It will be at least as hard as fighting consolidation, and they will fight you because they want your money. For this Board school has become a place where kids are used to make money; not money used to educate kids.

      I will continue to host this site to show our 108 readers what is possible; show them the research, the truth. I will give people like yourself a platform, and a window on reality for this Board if they ever decide to challenge their own debunked assumptions. Our readership is robust, and I am happy our communities find Timbered Classrooms useful.

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    • I spoke with Paula Gravelle of the Maine Department of Education yesterday. But first thank you for your suggestion – it was very timely as I had intended to call her back about other matters.

      Anyway, I broached the subject of tuitioning kids to Schenck with her, and, no, East Millinocket would not send a bus. Further, it would have to be arranged through the RSU as a Superintendents’ agreement. Sherman, as a member of of the RSU would still be responsible for funding the RSU (which has nothing to do with the number of students enrolled – taxpayers would still be facing rising costs/taxes). The RSU in turn would pay their tuition, IF the agreement is successful. I say that only because it is widely known that the State is very supportive of school choice and will likely override a Superintendent who refuses to let kids and money go… Who knows what the political winds wll bring, though?

      Now, the process for changing the cost-sharing formula is in the RSU plan, I’m told, available at the following link if you are interested:
      https://atimberedchoir.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/the-best-laid-schemes-o-mice-an-school-boards/

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  7. east will send a bus up here, our money follows the child. theres no with drawal

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    • How can you be sure about that?

      If you are talking about Superintendents’ agreements, for example, transportation is the responsibility of the family.

      How would the town of Sherman make the decision to send their kids to East? …and how would transportation work? I looked into Schenck for our oldest, and the E.U.T. will pay tuition but transportation would be our responsibility. Perhaps it would be different for a whole town but I tend to doubt it.

      I grew up in East, and back then at least, Medway pupils came to Schenck on Medway busses. I know these things do change…

      I hear Medway Middle is a good school as well.

      I would like our children to attend a school where no one is looking in their classroom windows and salivating on how they can get that money for themselves in their towns. Schenck may be more of the same from Millinocket — they need that money badly.

      Our children are inexpensive to educate; don’t make undue demands on funds or a teachers’ time. I don’t even want to know how little of their tuition money is actually spent on them. I’m sick to death of people in power constantly turning to their education for money to solve their problems.

      Thank you very much for your input and suggestion. I know our readers would like to know more about how this idea would work so I would be happy to post what you find out under its own title so everyone would see it.

      I will ask Paula Gravelle tomorrow, of the Maine Department of Education. I am scheduled to return her call in any case. I will post what she says too.

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  8. We should not have to look for other options! Katahdin Middle High School is a great building in excellent condition and could house all of our K-12 kids on this side of the district!! Money would be saved in time by closing KES, so taxpayers would be happier and our kids could carry on with their education in their communities and their school! Yes, we would initially have to spend money to renovate, etc. But wouldn’t it be worth it? By closing down the KES building, we would show a savings that would surely take care of the renovations in a short amount of time? Unfortunately, the people making the decisions on this do not agree with this scenario!!!!!!! If you do, please contact your board members!

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    • You’re right – you shouldn’t have to abandon Katahdin to an agenda that, what was that Phil said, “Throws our kids under the bus”. He may be open to under-bus throwing scenarios, but the decision remains yours.

      You do not have to, if it isn’t what you want. As disgusted as I am that, after spending $20k That rightly belongs in the classroom on Great Schools Partnership they did and learned absolutely nothing…. Well, the good news is, they have done nothing; made no progress toward closing Katahdin.

      I do wish you well, as you pursue the full potential of your children’s, your communities’ , and Katahdin’s future. Timbered Classrooms is here for you and happy to help provide the evidence; research you need. Make no mistake, people will still call you “emotional” even illogical. Stupid? Yes. Aggravating? Sure, but there is enough research on how and why this sort of thing happens I can finish their sentences – and debunk them.

      I think this piece will interest you : “….Don’t Confuse Small Schools with “Schools Within a School” Many people realize that large schools are far from ideal places in which to teach and learn. Creating schools-within-a-school (SWaS) is one strategy for reducing school size. It is appropriate only to make use of an existing large high school building; it is not advisable to build a new facility so that it can be turned into SWaS. In more sparsely populated rural areas, a SWaS still draws students from a wide geographic area, so that many of them travel long distances to and from school. Busing is expensive and affects students and their families in many negative ways. An alternate, beneficial strategy for using an existing large building is to reconfigure the grade span in the facility to include students from kindergarten through 12th grade. In rural areas, drawing students from a wider age range will increase the pool, narrow the geographic area in which they live, and cut their transportation time to and from school. In any area, there are many social and pedagogical benefits to bringing students of all ages together, as well as benefits from making the school more accessible to the community. The best SWaS will serve elementary, middle, and high school students within the same facility….”

      https://atimberedchoir.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/dollars-sense-the-cost-effectiveness-of-small-schools/

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