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Central Office Summer Hours

posted Jun 27, 2017, 11:37 AM by Betty Lu Davis

Summer hours for the Central Office will be Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

Free Summer Breakfast and Lunch for Kids and Teens

posted Jun 12, 2017, 9:50 AM by Betty Lu Davis

Elementary and Secondary Education Application Information

posted Jun 8, 2017, 11:49 AM by Betty Lu Davis

Date: June 8, 2017


To:  RSU #71 Parents and Community Members

Referencing:  Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Application


Federal funding is allotted to school districts throughout Maine through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Application.  Our district completes the application process, requesting funding for supplemental teaching services (Title l) and professional development opportunities for teachers (Title ll).  Funding for these projects is based on evidence of student needs using district and school data.  


You are invited to attend the July 10th RSU #71 School Board Meeting at the Troy Howard Middle School at 6:30.  You will be provided with the opportunity to share feedback on the use of federal funds in our district.  


If you are unable to attend and would like to share feedback, please feel free to contact me through e-mail. (lmiller@rsu71.org)


Laura Miller

ESEA Coordinator, RSU #71

Letter to the Captain Albert Stevens School Community

posted May 30, 2017, 8:21 AM by Betty Lu Davis   [ updated May 30, 2017, 8:21 AM ]

May 30, 2017


Dear Captain Albert Stevens School Community:  


I wanted to reach out to everyone and let you know that I am very excited to be the principal at your school next year, as well as to let you know a little about me.  


I have been in education for twenty four years now and have worked with kids in some capacity my whole life.  I have taught at both elementary and middle school levels in RSU #3, Gorham, and Buenos Aires, with my last classroom teaching experience being in Belfast at Troy Howard Middle School, where I taught math for six years on the Ecology Team.  I left Troy Howard Middle School to accept my first job as principal at Walker School in Liberty in 2005, a job which morphed into dual principal of Walker and Troy Schools the following year.  I have been the principal at these two schools since.


Educating our children, helping them understand the world and their place in it, is the key to a better future.  I believe it is the job of educators to help children understand the power they have to shape the future and then give them the knowledge they need to do that work.  To be effective educators, we have to show students how their school work is connected to all that happens in their community, whether it be the town in which the school is located, the nation in which they live, or in the greater scope of our whole planet.  


Having taught math in the past, I enjoy the challenge of making math fun and easy to understand.  I believe we all have an innate understanding of math, but with time lose some of that innate ability.  Our job as educators is to build upon that natural ability to understand numbers and extend it outward to more abstract concepts in a way that makes sense to each individual student.  I look forward to exploring ways to improve math instruction with the CASS teachers.


In a time when standardized testing has significant stakes, many schools choose to focus on math and reading at the expense of other subjects. Undoubtedly reading and math are important, but we can’t ignore social studies, science and other important topics..  The more we can connect our reading and math instruction to our exploration of social studies and science, the better the students will understand it all.  Synthesizing subject matter affords us the time to allow students to investigate the world around them, including the world’s history, biology, and cultures.  


I am excited to return to RSU #71 (although back when I was there it was MSAD #34 and then RSU #20. . . ).  I look forward to working with you and your children and being back in the community!




Glen D. Widmer

To parents of students in RSU #71 schools

posted May 1, 2017, 10:19 AM by Betty Lu Davis

School personnel have become aware of a very disturbing program on Netflix called "13 Reasons Why." The show concerns a teenage suicide. Please see the attached RSU 71 parent letter for a response to the program and recommendations for families and their children. Thank you

A Letter to RSU 71 Communities from Superintendent Knowles

posted Apr 27, 2017, 10:09 AM by RSU71 Webmaster   [ updated Apr 27, 2017, 10:13 AM ]

Dear Citizens,

 The RSU #71 proposed budget for 2017-18 is $27,209,790.48, a 2.517% aggregate increase over the 2016-17 budget. Because of sound fiscal management, RSU #71 will recognize an approximate $2 Million Dollar balance which will be carried forward to the next budget year. The school board has voted to use $1.5 Million Dollars of the carry forward funds to help reduce the impact of the initially proposed 2017-18 budget. Five Hundred Thousand Dollars will be placed in a designated fund to help pay for future capital construction and maintenance projects. Voters will be asked to approved an article at the Budget Validation Meeting to allow for this action.

At this time, RSU #71 has received preliminary calculations from the Department of Education outlining the amount of state funding RSU #71 will receive for the next fiscal year. When the state officially notifies RSU #71 of the exact amount of state funds the school district will receive, and if there are additional funds awarded beyond what the preliminary calculations have identified, the school board has voted to use those additional funds to reduce the town/city local assessments. This also will be an article voters will be asked to approve at the Budget Validation meeting.

The RSU #71 Budget Validation Meeting will be held on Monday, May 22, 2017, at 6:30 pm, at the Troy Howard Middle School Gymnasium. The RSU #71 Budget Referendum Vote will be held on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at your local polling places.

The proposed budget allows continued forward movement of the school board’s priorities. The Belfast Area High School Renovation and Energy Conservation Improvement Projects are taking shape with final planning. The BAHS Pool and Kitchen Renovations, and the Energy Conservation Improvement Projects will take place this summer. The remainder of the BAHS renovations will take place over the next two years. The school board voted recently to move forward with the planning process to construct a new Tri-Town school in the Tri-Town area in the next five to ten years. This plan will address the aging infrastructure issues at the Ames and Gladys Weymouth Schools.

System-wide academic programming review continues with the finalization of the math, music, and library curricula, and a review of the English/Language Arts Curriculum in its final stages. Laura Miller’s leadership as the Curriculum Coordinator, and the hard, dedicated work of teachers, has led to a more streamlined, student-focused curriculum, that will be future focused on how best to prepare students for life, careers, and/or post-secondary educational experiences.  

An Academic Audit for Belfast Area High School has been completed. The results can be viewed on our website (rsu71.org). Three major recommendations evolved from this work: (1) Explore the redevelopment of the Belfast Area High School Schedule; (2) Explore ways to strengthen relationship between teachers, administrators, students, families and communities; and (3) Continue to explore teaching practices. During the next year, the BAHS staff will develop a work plan that will address these recommendations.

The state mandated teacher and principal evaluation and professional growth system (TEPG/PEPG) is being piloted successfully. Some adjustments will be made to the system this summer, with a goal of full implementation during the next school year.

RSU #71 continues to evolve into a stronger and more vibrant educational system. Much has been completed since the new school system was formed. I continue to ask for your support, as we strive to make RSU #71 an optimal educational experience for all students. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, or any of the RSU #71 School Board Members.

Yours in Education,


Paul D. Knowles, Ed.D


Children and Teens Can Enroll in Affordable Health Care Insurance Year-Round

posted Mar 17, 2017, 10:05 AM by Betty Lu Davis

It’s not too late to sign up for free or low-cost health coverage! Enrollment is open year round. Children or teens in a family of four earning up to $52,404 a year may qualify for MaineCare or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Parents may be eligible for MaineCare as well. With health insurance, kids get the medical care they need to make sure they’re able to fully participate in classroom and after-school activities.

For more information about Connecting Kids to Coverage, speak with your School Nurse or call the Consumers for Affordable Health Care Helpline at 1-800-965-7476 to discuss your child’s eligibility and get linked to a local enrollment specialist who can help you complete a MaineCare application.

BAHS Academic Audit Report

posted Mar 1, 2017, 6:30 AM by RSU71 Webmaster

In the spring of 2016, the RSU #71 School Board commissioned an academic audit for Belfast Area High School. The purpose of the academic audit was to examine and verify the classroom experiences of students and teachers in grades 10, 11, and 12, resulting in recommendations for action to help and support improved learning and teaching.  The attached document details the findings of this audit.

BAHS goes through their Accreditation Process

posted Dec 7, 2016, 7:03 AM by Betty Lu Davis

Belfast Area High School (BAHS) is presently undergoing their Accreditation process. The Accreditation Process is overseen by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The process takes 18 months and will be completed in March, 2017. The first step in the process involved redeveloping the school’s Core Values, Beliefs, and 21st Century Learning Expectations, (Core Values). A link to the newly released Core Values can be found on the BAHS website’s front page.


     Accreditation occurs every ten years and BAHS is one of 650 high school in New England that participate. Accreditation assures adherence to seven Standards; Core Values, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, Culture and Leadership, Resources for Learning, and Community Resources.  The Core Values Standard can be found throughout the other Standards and establishes the foundation for much of the decision-making at the high school level. The recently developed Core Values maintains many aspects of the previous Mission Statement and reflects recent changes in education and updated NEASC expectations. BAHS is proud of their recent work and hopes members of the community finds the time to familiarize themselves with this recent document.


BAHS Accreditation Steering Committee

Charles Hamm

James Davis

Mary Alice McClean

Diana Leighton

Jan Banks

Tim Doran

Elizabeth Small

JMG May Newsletter

posted Nov 15, 2016, 8:13 AM by Betty Lu Davis   [ updated May 30, 2017, 6:47 AM ]

We hope you will take a minute and read the attached JMG - Jobs for Maine Graduates - newsletter and see the wonderful things that these students are doing.

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