Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 29, 2018 and The Weekly Packet, November 29, 2018
New reporting elements top Union 93 agenda
by Monique Labbe
Members of the school boards in Union 93 met for the first meeting of the 2018-19 school year, tasked with only one action item: to elect a chairman.
Penobscot member Jerry Markley, who was chair during the previous year, was elected in that capacity again.
In other business, Union 93 Curriculum Coordinator Dawn McLaughlin reported on new implementations to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was revised in 2015 and approved in 2017. The new implementations include reporting avenues and elements of focus at all levels of education.
The new “report cards” will be user friendly for parents and school staff, with expanded data points including behavior and per-pupil expenditures. Principals also now have the opportunity to highlight added elements within the school of which they are especially proud, according to McLaughlin.
The new implementations will target four indicators of school success. At the elementary/middle school level, those indicators include chronic absenteeism, academic progress, academic achievement and English language proficiency. Academic progress is utilized in the elementary and middle grades as there are multiple grades taking the same state assessment; therefore, progress can be determined, reported McLaughlin.
McLaughlin also said the Maine Department of Education has developed a tiered differentiated model for school supports based on need. Tier 1 includes school supports for all schools experiencing challenges with one or more eligible student groups; Tier 2 provides supports for all schools experiencing challenges with one or more eligible student groups for three consecutive years; Tier 3 supports are designed specifically for Title 1 schools experiencing the most significant challenges.
Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt also briefly discussed the 2019-20 Central Office budget, which is in the early stages of formation and will be voted on in December.
A December 6 meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Blue Hill Consolidated School.