Fall 2017 News from RSU 71

posted Nov 13, 2017, 11:56 AM by Betty Lu Davis   [ updated Nov 14, 2017, 4:43 AM ]

Fall 2017 News from RSU 71—The School District is Hopping! 

At Belfast Area High School (BAHS)…

·         Phase 1 of the $7.6 million overhaul of the BAHS is underway including a revamped heating system, a newly remodeled kitchen, an upgraded gymnasium with proper ventilation and renovations to the pool. The next project phases will include renovations to old special education classrooms, additional upgraded classrooms once the old “math wing” is demolished, relocation of adult education and the administrative offices from outdated mobile unit to new space within BAHS, and an updated entrance. Eventually the mobile unit that currently houses administrative offices will be torn down and removed, resulting in one less building to maintain. As BAHS Principal McLean has stated, "It's a physical manifestation of the intention and passion that this community has for its kids and their education.”

·         Every high school student now has a laptop for academic use at BAHS. Principal McLean calls it a “positive game-changer for students, enabling them to stay at forefront of 21st century learning strategies.”  These new student laptops combined with upgraded technology for teachers means an increase in the opportunities for teaching staff to expand content and techniques in the classroom. It is a great and long over-due step forward for the district’s high school.

·         BAHS hosted the Post-Secondary Education Workshop (PSEW)--a college and career fair—in mid-October. Students attended four half-hour workshops on college, military, or careers to learn more about post-secondary possibilities and topics around college application. A wide range of Maine colleges and branches of UMaine attended and presentations included information from branches of the military. Special presentations included: Completing the Common Application, Adjusting to College life, College Essay and application, Salvaging your High School Career, Benefits of Community College, Transfer options, and Financial Aid by FAME. Local presenters included: Front Street Shipyard, Law Enforcement (BPD), Automobile careers, Game Warden, Health Careers, and Cosmetology.

·         Music, music, music….BAHS and THMS Bands and Choruses will hold their Fall Music Concert November 13th, 7:30pm in the high school gym. THMS Drama Club is just wrapping up its run of “Midsummer’s Night Dream” and BAHS opens its fall musical, “Working: A Musical,” which will run November 10 & 11 at 7pm, the 12th at 2pm, the 18th at 7pm and the 19th at 2pm. Working is based on Studs Terkel's best-selling book of interviews with American workers; this classic has been updated for a modern age, featuring new songs by Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda and others.

At Troy Howard Middle School (THMS)…

·         THMS is several months into its newly restructured programming—replacing “academies” created from multi-age themes with those established by grade level (6th, 7th, 8th). The 8th grade academy has begun to create new goals to “encourage a spirit of exploration and discovery,” in a variety of areas including: Core subjects (Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies); enrichment subjects (Music, Technology, Performing and Visual Arts); sports and other forms of games; communication skills; imagining the future; our local communities, our country, and the world, and much more.

·         In the THMS garden, it is the season of pulling and cleaning garlic, neatening up the gardens and other fall chores. This is where the living sculpture that adorns the outside wall of Waterfall Arts all summer will now spend the winter, being babysat with care by middle school students.  (See THMS Garden Facebook for great photos: https://www.facebook.com/Troy-Howard-Middle-School-Garden-461997233878911/ )

·         Students have also met with several special visitors: the admissions director of Maine School of Math and Science, and Maine District Court Judge Eric Walker whose presentation was directed at any students thinking about a career in law. (More info and photos on school Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thms.rsu71/)

Around our District Elementary Schools…

Captain Albert Stevenson School (CASS) has a new principal, Glen Widmer. The school is collecting non-perishable food for their Food Cupboard. On November 9th, a Family Game Night will be held with help from the Game Loft. There’ll be a school wide morning of exercise on November 16th with a 1 km walk/run course around the grounds and a family meal following at midday. Meanwhile at the Tri-Towns Schools (Ames in Searsmont, Weymouth in Morrill), trips to the Searsmont Library for the kindergarteners continue with great popularity. November 21 will bring a Chewonki Foundation learning experience on bats for the students. Fifth graders at Nickerson (Swanville) will visit the Waldo County Technical Center on November 13. There’ll be a school wide all family Thanksgiving dinner on November 14th, likely to be a “full house” according to principal Abigail Hartford. At East Belfast School a buddy program pairs older (3-5th grade) and younger students (K-3rd) for weekly theme-based projects; right now the work is all about Veteran’s Day. The 2nd and 3rd graders visited the Cole Land Transportation Museum (Bangor) in October and this month there’ll be a presentation on owls.

FMI: See www.rsu71.org   and the individual school websites and/or contact the school principals:

BAHS: Mary Alice McLean mamclean@rsu71.org

THMS: Bruce Bailey  bbailey@rsu71.org

CASS: Glen Widmer gwidmer@rsu71.org

Tri-Towns: Lori Smail lsmail@rsu71.org

EBS, Nickerson: Abigail Hartford ahartford@rsu71.org