From the Superintendent
Over the past week, I have heard from many of you regarding your thoughts, concerns, and questions about school safety both in the wake of our own local incident at the high school and the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas. The issue of school safety is perhaps the most pressing and most urgent issue in America today and thus demands our attention, our concern, and our vigilance. Our district has spent years on end improving our approaches to the physical safety of students and staff in our care, along with the mental and emotional support needed to truly ensure safety and well-being. In fact, our district's current Strategic Plan outlines physical safety and mental health as two major priorities for ongoing investment.
The US Secret Service reports that 75% of school shootings involved perpetrators who left evidence of their mental anguish before they engaged in these tragic events: written, online, and verbal remarks involving weapons, violence, hate speech, self-harm, homicidal comments, and threats. In other words, clues were evident in most of these cases but went unheeded or overlooked. Earlier in the school year, I referenced that we have processed more risk assessment referrals this year than in the previous few years combined. This may appear alarming at first that we have such a high number of students who have expressed self-harm or harm to others at some level, but it should be reassuring nonetheless that we take these referrals seriously and follow up to ensure that our school community is safe. Thankfully, the vast majority of these referrals end up being at the low end of risk to self or others, but we cannot take chances when referrals are made and must practice due diligence. Referrals have been made by students, staff members, and parents over the year, and our thanks are in order that someone noticed something and contacted the school.
Balancing the physical safety of our school community with mental and emotional safety is always a delicate process. MSAD #51 has invested significant resources in both areas over the years, as I referenced in my May 25, 2022, School Community Letter,
but there is much more work to be done. In fact, school safety and mental health are so intrinsically linked that the work is never actually done. If you are still looking for guidance on how to talk with your children about this past week's news, this is a good resource to try: Helping Children Cope with Frightening News
(Child Mind Institute).
We have the collective ability to make our school community safer- and better. It may seem overwhelming at times, but we have the power together to help make our schools the best version of themselves. It is a never-ending process that requires high levels of support, investment, patience, and level-headed thinking, but the efforts pay off in ways we will never be able to fully grasp.
MIW Kindness assembly last week where students and staff danced to a kindness song
Notices from the Office of the Superintendent
Sharp's Field Update
Last year both the MSAD #51 Board of Directors and the North Yarmouth Select Board decided to explore a more formalized relationship regarding the use of Sharp's Field by the District. In the interim, the District reviewed its current and future field needs and utilization. During the same time the Select Board developed a proposed usage agreement. This was forwarded to the District and was reviewed by its attorneys, Drummond Woodsum. The Facilities Committee, after reviewing recommendations on field use by the athletic department, and comments on the agreement by the district attorneys, made the determination that the District for a variety of reasons was not interested in pursuing any further agreement on the field. This was conveyed to North Yarmouth officials in a joint meeting held on May 16, 2022.
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Below is a snapshot of the current positive COVID-19 cases. For more information, including updated information regarding COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Information Center at: https://sites.google.com/msad51.org/covid-19-information-center
Current COVID-19 Cases
MSAD #51 Board of Directors Information
Meetings start at 6:30 pm in the Greely Center for the Arts at GHS unless otherwise noted.
June 2 - Public Hearing on Issuance of Bonds & Executive Session
Remember you can watch our meetings on YouTube LIVE (http://bit.ly/msad51livevideo).
Meeting Dates, Agendas & Minutes
Board of Directors Meeting Videos
Our Community Partners are strong supporters of various areas of the school. Without them, our students would not have many of the wonderful opportunities and experiences that they receive.
Memorial Day 5K, Monday, May 30
Calling all runners & volunteers!! The Town of Cumberland and the Greely PTO are excited to host the annual Memorial Day 5K on Monday, May 30th! We are in need of race day volunteers and 25 pies homemade or store bought pies! Pies can be dropped off prior to the race. Sign up here
7:00am: Registration opens
8:00am: Fun Run (12 and under) starts
8:30am: 5K Run/Walk starts
MSAD #51 Website
2018-2021 Strategic Plan
GHS Athletics Schedule
Greely Center for the Arts Events
If you would like something included in our weekly newsletter, please send a brief write up with title along with a JPEG or PNG image of your flyer (if applicable) to Fran Prentice for approval. The deadline each week is Sunday. Any requests received after Sunday will be reviewed for possible submission in the following week's newsletter. All approved submissions will be posted on the district's website.
Not all items in this email are MSAD #51 sponsored programs. If you need more information, please contact the group or organization that is sponsoring the event.
Maine School Administrative District #51
357 Tuttle Road, PO Box 6A, Cumberland, ME 04021Contact Us