Regional School Unit No. 5
For information on the Freeport High School renovations, please visit the Renovation Advisory Committee website at renovatefhs.org
Dear Parents and Community Members,
Our annual State of the Schools report is mailed to community members to provide information about our academic and financial performance. It has long been a goal of ours to be transparent about our areas of strength and areas we are working to improve. The Maine Department of Education is now providing a report card for each school, which will provide a grade reflecting our performance in math, reading, and our graduation rate.
We have much to be proud of across our schools. As we have shown through the State of the Schools report, we have a high graduation rate and a strong academic program. It is important to note that while the state’s grade reflects math and literacy, we have other exceptional programs that should also be highlighted. These include our visual and performing arts programs, science, writing, world languages, wellness programs that promote healthy living, and many other programs too numerous to mention. The culture in our schools is engaging, dynamic, and supportive of the needs of our students. I want to thank our staff, parents, and community members for your efforts to make RSU5 such an exciting place to work and learn.
The grade assigned to each school is based on student achievement in reading and math, growth/progress in achievement, and graduation rate for the high school. Our grades are as follows:
Freeport High School: B
Freeport Middle School: B
Mast Landing School: C
Morse Street School: No grade because it’s a PK-2 school
Durham Community School: C
Pownal Elementary School: A
The link to the full report card for each school is: http://www.mediafire.com/?gq66s8r9v1n96
This first year, the state’s cut scores were created based on the bell curve with the majority of schools earning a C. We should take great pride in our efforts and the overall outcomes for our students. Building administrators will provide more specific information about their schools in later correspondence.
There is much to celebrate about the quality educational experience we provide for our students. Our teachers, administrators, and support staff work hard on behalf of each student and in our support of each other. I truly appreciate those efforts.
Shannon L. Welsh, Superintendent
Dear Parents, Community Members, and Staff,
Dear Parents, Community Members, and Staff,
The month of May begins next week and Teacher Appreciation Week occurs the week of May 6th-10th. Our students consistently benefit from the exceptional effort put forth by all of our teachers and staff. We are blessed to be part of an educational system where educators truly care about individual students; are knowledgeable about their content area(s); and have the skills and attitude it takes to ensure students meet expected levels of proficiency and have a little fun during the process! I want to personally thank each of our educators for their work this year and I encourage others to extend your appreciation of their efforts, as well.
Schools Delivering on the Mission: A JOYful day at Pownal Elementary School
Educators, students, and parent volunteers helped each other recognize the unique gifts and talents of each individual in the school. Everyone's efforts contributed to a JOYful day. Find out more about JOY and the day's events in this month's article written by parent volunteer Kate Dawson.
School Calendar: The RSU5 Board of Directors has adopted the school calendar for the 13-14 school year. The adopted calendar is available here so you can begin planning next year's events! Our students start school after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 3rd so you have lots of time to enjoy your children during the summer months.
FHS Renovation Project:
Our recent public informational meeting regarding the high school renovation project was well attended. Citizens reported that the presentations were very informative and helpful in understanding the needs being addressed through the project. We have scheduled a formal Public Hearing on the project for Wednesday, May 15th at 6:30 in the cafeteria at the high school. Citizens will hear information about the project and have the opportunity to present their feedback and options on the project.
For more information about the project, please visit the Renovation Advisory Committee website at renovatefhs.org. Here you can find detailed information about the project, including frequently asked questions and a link to send questions to the committee. To keep up to date on the latest changes, "like" the Facebook page called Renovate Freeport High School. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me or committee members at FHSFacilities@rsu5.org.
The Board is continuing its budget deliberations as they work through the budget process. The goal is for the public to be fully informed about the Board's budget and to have the opportunity to provide input before a final vote. The Board anticipates a final vote on the budget at their May 8th meeting.
The proposed budget continues our investments in technology, capital improvements, and teaching positions to support increased enrollments. It reflects a net increase of 2.58% ($644,847) with the following anticipated impact to each community:
Durham - an increase of - $343,593 or a mil rate increase of $1.04 (7.81%)
Freeport - an increase of - $355,664 or a mil rate increase of $0.26 (1.69%)
Pownal - an increase of - $161,820 or a mil rate increase of $2.09 (6.20%)
It is important to note that the state assessed valuation of each of our three towns has changed and that has impacted our state subsidy. This would have changed what each town would pay for education regardless of whether we are a consolidated system or separate individual systems. Without the valuation changes, the impact would have been:
Durham - an increase of - $154,528 or a mil rate increase of $0.47 (3.51%)
Freeport - an increase of - $615,727 or a mil rate increase of $0.45 (2.92%)
Pownal - an increase of - $90,822 or a mil rate increase of $1.17 (3.48%)
We will continue our budget review over the next two months with the following dates scheduled as part of this process:
May 1st - Board budget review with community input 6:30 pm at Freeport High School Cafeteria; Opportunity for Town Leadership and final opportunity for public comment prior to Board adoption of the budget
May 8th - Final budget adoption 6:30 pm FHS Cafeteria
May 22nd - Annual Budget Meeting for budget approval 6:30 p.m. FHS Gym
June 11th - Budget validation referendum in each town
The Board encourages our citizens' involvement in this process. Please join us for these important meetings to learn more about our budget and the quality educational program we are working to provide. After each meeting, we will post the budget handouts here so please log on to get more information and to follow our progress. We welcome your participation!
Wednesday, May 1st - Dine and Discuss at Freeport High School Cafeteria 5:30 p.m.
RSU No. 5 Board of Directors' Special Meeting at Freeport High School Cafeteria 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 8th - Finance Meeting at Central Office 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 8th - RSU No. 5 Board of Directors' Meeting at Freeport High School Cafeteria 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 15th - FHS Renovation Project Public Hearing at Freeport High School Cafeteria 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 22nd - RSU No. 5 Annual Budget Meeting at Freeport High School Gym 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 15th - Freeport High School Graduation at Merrill Auditorium 11:00 a.m.!
Tuesday, June 11th - RSU No. 5 Referendum Votes on Budget and FHS Renovation Project - Voting held in each town
Wednesday, June 12th - RSU No. 5 Board of Directors' Meeting at Freeport High School Cafeteria 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 19th - Last student day (half-day) for students in all schools
As always, your involvement and support is greatly appreciated.
Shannon L. Welsh, Superintendent