Following February Vacation

February 23, 2018

Dear RSU 21 School Community:

As nearly 2,700 students and 500 employees return to RSU 21 after vacation, there is always a range of emotion. Following the recent school shooting in Florida, the transition back from this February break is naturally heightened. I am writing to update you on a few additional steps we are taking to provide support.

Next week, you will notice an increased police presence at each of our schools. There is no need for alarm. This additional security is being provided in partnership with our local police departments in effort to help smooth the transition.

Recent media reports about providing teachers with firearms or placing armed trained volunteers, veterans, or off-duty officers in our schools, have many parents and teachers worried. None of these ideas are permissible under current Maine law. In Maine, the only people who are allowed to posses a firearm on school property are police officers while on duty.

As you may have heard, there is a call for a national student walk-out on March 14th. This is a grass-roots, student-led, effort. RSU 21 is not encouraging, supporting, or facilitating this walk-out. While our teachers may be tempted to join the walk-out either in protest or support, doing so would disrupt and interfere with the operation of our schools. With that said, our local law enforcement agencies stand ready to provide an increased presence on that date. Students will not be disciplined for peaceful protest as long as it does not disrupt the school environment. They will be held responsible for making up any missed work.

In the coming weeks, we are expanding our collaborative efforts with Kennebunk and Kennebunkport Police Departments and the York County Sheriff’s Office by providing two increased training opportunities. We are sending key emergency management personnel to Protecting Our Schools: A Physical Training Assessment Course. This course will provide our team with additional skills to evaluate and identify security weakness in our schools. We are also exploring a few different professional development resources that would help local law enforcement officers and RSU 21 employees better identify potential warning signs and further align our prevention, identification, and intervention procedures. Once we have a designated resource, we will notify parents and community members in effort to create a common understanding and dialogue.

In closing, the 8-week stretch between February and April vacation is a critical learning time. Teachers and students are into a fluid routine, they know one another well, and our mid-year assessment data allows us to tailor instruction to each learner. Please join us in helping your child feel safe, calm, and focused in our schools. Thank you for your partnership and support.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kathryn Hawes

Superintendent of Schools

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In Response to the Tragedy in Parkland, Florida

The RSU 21 School Community is incredibly saddened by the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. School shootings are occuring in increasing numbers. While the reasons for these senseless acts of violence remain debated, it is critical that we continue to work together to safeguard our students and staff. Over the past decade, we have worked hard to not only practice these safeguards but also to put many proactive and preventative measures into place. Our local first responders have been invaluable partners in this effort.

According to Chief Craig Sanford of the Kennebunkport Police Department, “We remain ever mindful of our responsibilities to safeguard our local schools during terrible events such as those that have been experienced in Florida this week. Law enforcement continues to be involved in a partnership with our school system so as to create a safe environment for all to learn and grow.”

Lieutenant Eric O’Brien of the Kennebunk Police Department further shared, “School safety is a priority with the Kennebunk Police Department.  We work very closely with our school community and we feel a positive working relationship helps foster a safe atmosphere for the students and faculty.  Our officers are familiar with school layouts, events in the school community, and work with staff to conduct safety drills and plan for extraordinary events.  In addition to school resource officers, our officers routinely visit schools to maintain a presence in a positive manner.”

This week we have provided counselors for students and resources for parents and guardians. Looking ahead, we will continue to examine and update our emergency preparedness plans and protocols in partnership with our local law enforcement agencies. While we can not prevent every unsafe act that may occur in our schools, we can work tirelessly to deter, prepare for, and minimize potential threats. School safety is our top priority.

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Official Registration Now Open for RSU 21 Public Pre K

We are excited that so many people have shown interest in our new, public Pre K program. Now is the time to officially register your child using this link http://www.rsu21.net/student-registration Accurate numbers are now critical as we will use the information to hire teachers, furnish classrooms, establish bus routes, and communicate with parents. As a reminder, this is a full day, full week, program with the option to pick your child up after lunch if needed. It will be free of charge, play-based, aligned with the RSU 21 curriculum, and developmentally appropriate for children turning 4 by October 15th. The Pre K is open to children from all 3 towns and will be housed at Kennebunk Elementary School. 

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MSK Students Win Regional MathCounts Meet

Our students represented MSK beautifully last Saturday at the MathCounts regional competition.  Our MSK team won the meet, with Sofie Dumas placing 3rd overall individually and Noah Manning placing 2nd individually.  They placed 2nd and 1st, respectively, after the written competition!  James DiGiovanni placed 8th overall (7th after written comp), and Eamon McGlashan and new 6th grader Macy Arroyo, placed in the top 20, out of 60 students.  

The Team:  Sofie Dumas (8), Noah Manning (7), James DiGiovanni (7), and Eamon McGlashan (7)

Individuals:  Tori Ladd (7), Macy Arroyo (6), David Rush (6), and Trevor Williams (6).  

They go to the state meet at the beginning of March.

MSK Math Team.png
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