From the Superintendent
As I noted in a previous message, there are two important upcoming meetings regarding the future of MSAD 51's facilities. On Monday, February 6, Finance and Operations Director Scott Poulin and I will be presenting a short-term Facilities Plan to the Board for managing enrollment growth and space constraints in our schools over the next 5-7 years. Given that modular classrooms will now be needed for an extended period of time, with more necessary to address continued overcrowding, it is important to have a more robust transitional solution for the foreseeable future. Mabel I. Wilson School, currently educating 763 students in grades PK-3, will continue growing for the rest of this decade to 822 students on top of the school's 225-student increase since 2016. Greely Middle School grades 4-8, currently educating 795 students, is projected to increase markedly over the next several years to 1,008 students before the end of this decade.
We currently have 21 modular classrooms on school grounds, mostly to handle continued growth at MIW, with additional modular units necessary in meeting future projected enrollment. It is important that we prepare for this continued growth now that a new school option has been tabled for the time being. Investment of financial resources to reconfigure the modular learning environments at both MIW and GMS, while also reconstructing play areas at MIW, has become necessary. Though we cannot provide the optimal learning and play conditions we would prefer for students with the current campus limitations, we can and must commit to upgrading our existing site plan for the next 5-7 years to help maintain the quality of educational programming we offer our students.
On Monday, February 13, the Board will be meeting for a special workshop to discuss steps aimed at restarting the process of building a fourth school building. This is time for the Board to begin defining the steps needed in setting a future referendum date for a new school. A fourth building is not just 'nice to have', but an absolute necessity in adequately meeting the learning needs of all students in facilities conducive to a high-performing school district. The district is committed to simultaneously working on a shorter-term plan for enhancing the campus, while running a parallel process in gaining the community's support for a fourth school building.
If you visit any of the schools over the next few weeks, you will notice security upgrades at the main entrances. Visitors will now be entering through two layers of locked doors instead of one, which not only adds a second layer of protection but allows our staff to more thoroughly screen visitors before they enter the buildings. I recognize that this may be perceived as an inconvenience or even unwelcoming to some visitors, but it is one of many security upgrades we have been making in our schools based on recommendations from the School Protective Division of the Department of Homeland Security. Our first interest is the safety of all students and staff and we thank you for your support and understanding of these essential changes.
Finally, as you probably have seen, the next few days are expected to be extremely cold. Despite the cold temperatures tomorrow, we expect to have a regular day of school. Just an added reminder that extra layers of clothing will be important as students make their way to and from school. For students waiting for buses tomorrow morning, we encourage them to wait in a car or inside their home. We have asked bus drivers to wait a bit longer for students to allow them to catch the bus.
Impressive and unprecedented win for the boys basketball team in 8 overtimes (yes, 8) over Fryeburg.
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MSAD #51 Board of Directors Information
Effective August 22, unless otherwise noted, all meetings will take place at 6:00 pm in the Gyger Room at Greely High School. For those of you unfamiliar with that room, the Gyger Room is where the Board met pre-COVID and can be accessed from the GHS parking lot (the side without the electronic sign).
February 6 - Regular Meeting
February 13 - Workshop, Building Project
Remember you can watch our meetings on YouTube LIVE (http://bit.ly/msad51livevideo
Meeting Dates, Agendas & Minutes
Board of Directors Meeting Videos
Parent University screening of The Upstanders:
The Greely PTO, in partnership with MSAD 51, invites you to join us for an important Parent University screening of the iNDIEFLIX documentary, The Upstanders, on Wednesday, February 15th at 6pm in the Gyger Room at GHS. This film examines cyber-bullying and provides practical tips and resources to change the narrative - to stand up, speak out and support - and become an Upstander, not a Bystander. It is unsettling and uplifting, causing us all to examine our behavior, inspiring us to do better, be better, and stand up against victimization and cyber-bullying. Following the 56-minute film, there will be an interactive panel. For more information and to register, click here. Online access is available from Friday, 2/10 through Thursday, 2/16 via a limited number of viewers.
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 Melissa Porter 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.
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