Monthly Archives: December 2014

On Point…

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A Reader Reaches Out…

“So what are they saving money for? Why not warm children?” ~our own son, Leif, not content with my answer to “Why don’t they turn up the heat more at school?” ….
Spending priorities continue to raise concerns, along with the “budgetcicle” . A budget freeze on a voter-approved budget is quite unusual, and warrants more explanation. We hope to see more communication from the Board to community members, whether or not they can attend meetings.

Timbered Classrooms...

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…to you!  Spending priorities are too important to relegate to budget time, and concerns warrant discussion, certainly.  Timbered Classrooms would like to thank the author of the following letter, submitted under “Contact us” and offer our hope for further discussion with and among Board members as well as here with an eye toward greater understanding.  We also would like to assure this and other potential authors that your anonymity will be respected and preserved – even from us if you so choose, as here.  ….whether you contact us privately or by public comment.

Thank you again.

What’s on your mind and how might we help you?:

 Hi,

I am writing this but wish to remain anonymous. As I am sure you are aware, since you keep up with the board decisions and such, that Mr. Porter has been given a $22,000 dollar stipend to be principal at KMHS. 22 THOUSAND…

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Meeting Minutes and Superintendent’s Report

 

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“…We will begin  the process of reviewing plausible scenarios presented by the Task Forc his month.  I beloeve the process should begin with a discussion about each scenario, narrowing the process to a few possibilities.  We will need additional data from transportation and enrollment as well.

I would ask that each individual put aside individual biases and any preconceived resolution.  The process must be honored with respect, dignity and an openness to dialogue conducive to a collaborative decision.  The RSU is nearing an impasse where funding and local identity are becoming opposing realities…”

~Larry Malone, RSU 50 Superintendent

 

Minutes Nov. 10th and Superintendent’s Report

Board Meeting Tonight!

The RSU #50 Board meets this evening at Katahdin Elementary School at 6:30 pm.  Press coverage of meetings is no luxury, and we are lacking in that regard.  Thank you for attending, and we would love to hear from you!

Common Core shines light on Santa – Rethinking Education

 

 

 

 

Rethinking Education written by Kathreen Harrison for the Bangor Daily News, is a must-read for policymakers of all sorts – including parents and community members as well as  Boards and administrators!  Her advice is pure gold….

 

“…Why promote Santa Claus and at the same time insist that young children recognize the impossibility of magical pebbles and talking animals? Children develop in stages, and it is a waste of time to work against the natural developmental grain. Curriculum should hug a child’s developmental stage rather than act like a bulldozer, trying to rush maturity. Like elephants, humans were formed to mature slowly. The Common Core rushes early childhood…”

 

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“…School districts should look to the Common Core for guidance but should not adopt its standards hook, line, and sinker. In fact, school systems should be wary of adopting any one system, or set of ideas, however well intentioned, without selective, critically-based custom tailoring – be it Common Core, or the currently popular works of Marzano. Wholesale, unquestioning adoption of the latest new idea leads to the ridiculous merry go round of educational style in this country that prevents deliberate, revolutionary change from ever taking place in our schools.

With age and use the Common Core will probably improve and could well prove very valuable to creating better schools. At present, however, it should be treated as a draft guide awaiting revision after extensive testing in the field. Rule-bound districts that treat it as gospel will inevitably lose the educational race, while other more sophisticated districts continue to function as they always have, relying on the wisdom of talented, experienced educators, and using new, promising programs as handy tools to be tested cautiously until they prove tried and true….”

Read Kathreen Harrison’s wonderfully astute piece from the Bangor Daily News, here

A Reader Reaches Out…

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…to you!  Spending priorities are too important to relegate to budget time, and concerns warrant discussion, certainly.  Timbered Classrooms would like to thank the author of the following letter, submitted under “Contact us” and offer our hope for further discussion with and among Board members as well as here with an eye toward greater understanding.  We also would like to assure this and other potential authors that your anonymity will be respected and preserved – even from us if you so choose, as here.  ….whether you contact us privately or by public comment.

Thank you again.

What’s on your mind and how might we help you?:

 Hi,

I am writing this but wish to remain anonymous. As I am sure you are aware, since you keep up with the board decisions and such, that Mr. Porter has been given a $22,000 dollar stipend to be principal at KMHS. 22 THOUSAND dollars. I’m just curious what you and others think of this decision. I am also hearing that he is paid mileage to travel between the two schools. Personally, I feel that it is ridiculous to cut a principal position, only to turn around and throw away this amount of money which could be used in other areas that would more impact the students in their education. Since he is only half time at each school, would that not warrant him to remain at the same pay rate? I’m not sure if you are aware, but staff at SACS received an email today informing them that the budget is frozen. I’m sure this is probably the case at Katahdin schools as well. When is the extravagant spending going to stop so that hard earned money isn’t being wasted in unnecessary areas? This seems like a classic case of three steps forward, two steps back. As someone who is “in the know,” I just think it is outrageous how funds are being spent for the quality of the education that the children are receiving.