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Updates from the Superintendent

July 23, 2021

Dear Parents,

I hope your summer is going well. I wanted to provide a quick update on a couple of topics that I have received questions on recently.

The State of Maine passed a bill in June that increased the amount of subsidy that the District will receive from the State in the upcoming year. Due to the passage of the bill, RSU5 will receive an additional $388,271 from what we anticipated when the budget was created. The RSU 5 Finance Committee and Board of Directors agreed to place the additional funding in the unexpended fund balance. The law for the increased subsidy was not passed until after the last Board meeting and after the passage of our budget. This additional subsidy will be used to offset taxes next year. 

Secondly, there have been questions about the reopening of school on August 30th. The Department of Education distancing requirements have been removed between students and staff, and also between students. At the moment, the only requirement from the Department of Education is that everyone has to remain masked while riding the buses or vans. However, the number of COVID-19 cases in Maine is trending upwards. Whether to require staff and students to be masked on our return is a decision that has not yet been made. This decision will be delayed until sometime in August and will be based upon whatever the latest data is telling us. We fully expect to offer five day a week learning with a return to the normal arrival and dismissal times when school begins. Like last year, it will be important for us all to remain flexible throughout the year. 

Additionally,  we recently were awarded $1.3 million in federal COVID grant funds. We will share how the funds may be used, what our thoughts are for expending the funds, and would love to hear your input and feedback. 

I will be offering a Q & A session on Tuesday, August 17th from 4:30-5:30 p.m. to provide the latest information on school reopening and grant funds.  I encourage you to participate and provide feedback.  You can attend via Zoom at: 
https://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/82510706311
Webinar ID: 825 1070 6311
Join by Telephone: 1 646 876 9923

We appreciate your willingness to partner with us as we prepare for the upcoming school year! It is only through our combined efforts that we can keep everyone safe while providing a quality education. 

Sincerely,
Becky Foley
RSU5 Superintendent of Schools





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