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The school community of MSAD #74 will work together to raise the aspirations of all students by providing them with lifelong learning skills that they may become self-sufficient contributing members of society.
Dear Parents and community members,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the revised School Budget that was approved yesterday at the polls. This past year all of the faculty and staff here have worked very hard to continue to provide the students of the community with excellence in educational programs and services. Throughout the district we continue to see the improvements that we have built on over the past years. The districts on time graduation rate has continued to climb while the drop out rate has continued to fall. Students college enrollment and success has continued to improve. In fact last year Carrabec Students were amongst the few in the state who required no remedial course work in the university of Maine system. At the Elementary level the students in all of our schools continue to improve on state assessments and the Solon School was identified this year as being one of the top twenty five elementary schools in the state for student academic growth.
Through the Americorps program, Move More Kids, Perloff Foundation, and numerous other competitive grant programs we have continued to expand opportunities and services to students while at the same time keeping the budget at the lowest levels of increase of any of the school districts in our area. This has been achieved not at the expense of student programs and services but instead through efficiencies and reductions in non instructional areas. We have significantly reduced administrative costs through restructuring. We have reduced cost by partnering with neighbor school districts to share services particularly in special education and transportation. We have used competitive bidding aggressively to reduce insurance, and other outside vendor costs. We have reduced legal costs significantly by bringing contract negotiations in house and standardizing procedures and documents.
While these expanded opportunities and contained costs reflect the combined efforts of all the RSU #74 faculty, staff and administration none of this would be possible without the parent and community support that you all provide not just at budget time but throughout the year in the contributions, volunteering, PTO and boosters, scholarship funds, parent involvement and community connections and opportunities for the students. . Parents, community and schools working together we are creating new opportunities and strong foundations for the youth of the communities.For all of this we thank you.
Superintendent of Schools
on behalf of your School Board
To the Parents, Taxpayers and Citizens of MSAD/RSU #74,
As we look forward to the completion of another successful year for our students and schools the community can take pride in the many accomplishments of your children. This has only been possible through your active support of the work of the teachers and staff. We thank you for this continued support of your students’ success.
Each year in the development of the School Budget we work to maintain and expand educational opportunities for students and at the same time to do so within the financial resources of the communities. This year the board faced many difficult decisions in achieving these two goals.
State cost shifting impact on the local tax effort
Once again this year the state of Maine is failing to fulfill its obligation to provide 55% of the certified costs of education. As in the past this continues to place a greater burden locally.
This year the State subsidy revenue to RSU #74 is projected to decrease by an additional $80,790.
Another factor impacting the budget is the continued expansion of Charter Schools. This spring the Maine Charter School Commission approved the creation of four new Charter School including an on line charter school. Rather than funding these schools directly the State requires the local school districts transfer School District funds for the support of these privately governed schools. As a result this years school budget contains $72,000 for possible Charter School costs.
A third area of cost shifting continues this year with the State of Maine shifting the responsibility for the state teacher retirement costs to the local school budgets. This represents over $105,000 in expense.
School Board Budget Review and development
Despite these outside forces over which we have no control the staff, faculty, administration and School board have worked hard to preserve student educational opportunities while restraining the local property tax increase.
During this years budget development process an initial budget increase of $539,696 was reduced to $158,661. This represents a 1.75% total increase in the budget.
Specific areas of increase in the final budget proposal include:
Charter School costs $30,500
Teacher Aide support for 27 student 2nd grade $ 22,940
Extracurricular stipend increases $ 12,000
Food Service costs $30,000
CHS renovations legal, bond and initial design costs $50,300
High School Telephone system costs $13,400
One additional bus driver position $20,000
Teacher Wage & Health Insurance (aprox) $95,000
Other employee Wage & Health Insurance (aprox) $70,000
The total of these specific increased costs along with the smaller line by line costs of such items as insurance, water, maintenance supplies, etc. total much more than the final budget increase of 1.75%. The majority of cost increases have been offset by budget reductions and newly identified non tax revenues.
Specific budget cuts and revenue increases made by the school board in the budget process include:
Contract with Stratton School for P.E. services $20,000
Contract for transportation with MEANS $10,000
Erate phone service reimbursement $15,000
Reduction of initial estimated renovation bond costs $107,000
Increased Medicaid reimbursement $5,000
Reduction of initial charter school estimated cost $72,500
Special Education contract services $20,000
JMG 6-8 Reach program $25,000
Two 9-12 teaching positions $100,000
Restructuring 6-8 administration $30,000
Restructuring of 9-12 administration and alternative Ed $40,000
Throughout this process the School Board, administration, faculty and staff have worked to identify wherever possible non instructional budget reductions. When instructional program reductions have been made it has been in keeping with the changes in enrollment so that to the greatest extent possible educational opportunities for students will be maintained or enhanced.
In closing, I wish to once again thank all of the parents, citizens, faculty and staff for their strong support of the schools and in particular all those citizens who attended budget meetings and/or emailed suggestions for trimming the budget while preserving the programs for the children of the communities. These were once again helpful in the development of the budget proposal and go to prove the saying that all of us together are stronger than any of us alone.
Kenneth L. Coville
Superintendent of Schools
To see our budget proposal please click here
This morning the Morning Sentinel contained an article covering the Anson Selectmen’s meeting ofTuesday evening. In that article the possible future of the Garrett Schenck School was discussed. Information in that article was inaccurate and misleading. I want to take this opportunity to give you the straight scoop.
First of all there has been no school board decision or even formal discussion of closing the Garrett Schenck School. Further more there has been no School Board decision or even formal discussion of transfer of 7th and 8th grade students to CHS. Before any such significant decisions were taken there would be a public process that would seek parent input and open public discussion of the pros and cons of such action.
In every discussion I have had with citizens, town officials, board members and school staff I have consistently and repeatedly stated that school closure decisions are decisions made by the school board in consultation with the community.
That being said it is an indisputable fact that declining enrollment over the past several years has left us with much greater facility capacity than students. This is particularly true for the Garrett Schenck School where we now have extra or underutilized space.
In fact last summer the Board entered into discussions with the Anson selectman regarding selectman interest in using a portion of GSS to serve as town office space due to the problems at the Town office. While there was initial interest and discussions the town officials decided against pursuing that option at that time.
The recent decision by citizens of Anson to request alternatives to renovating the existing town offices prompted renewed discussions of the future of GSS. The town officials were advised as mentioned above that the future of GSS would be a school board and community decision (not a superintendent decision) and that no decision or formal discussion had occurred at this time. Declining enrollment and excess facility capacity of the district was discussed with the town officials along with the fact that enrollment in 9-12 had also declined over the past two years and would continue to decline in the near future, resulting in excess capacity at the high school. Renovations at the high school are designed to correct long standing functional and infrastructure issues. Any decision on grade realignment would be independent of the renovations.
In closing let me state again that the articles implication that any decisions had been made regarding school closure or grade attendance reorganization is false but also that the community and school board will have the challenge in the coming year of deciding these issues. Be assured that as the School Board moves grapples with these issues you will be kept in the loop. Just as we did with the school safety issues it will be my plan to have parent/citizen meetings to seek your direct input on any plans that would affect the schooling of your children.
Superintendent of Schools
04/09/2014 8:00 am
Kindergarten Screening for Fall 2014
MSAD 74 / RSU 74 (Anson, Embden, New Portland & Solon) will be holding kindergarten screening for all Pre-school children entering Kindergarten in the fall. Children must be five years of age on or before October 15, 2014.
The screening tool used will be the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning (DIAL-IV). Testing will be administered individually by a team of teachers on a variety of tasks. The information is used only to assist us in developing the best program for your child.
Screenings for all District children will be held by appointment only on Wednesdays,
April 9th at the Carrabec Community School in North Anson.
Please call Bonnie Atwood at the Superintendent’s Office 635-2727 Ext #3 for an appointment and/or any questions you may have. Screenings take approximately 1 hour per child.
If you know of other children ready to start school please share this information.
We are now taking applications for the Fall 2014 Head Start Pre-School Program. Please call Lee Ann Salley at 649-6570 for registration information.
January 23rd, 2014
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is investigating a confirmed case of pertussis also known as (whooping cough) in R.S.U. #74. This illness is also circulating in our community.
Pertussis is a bacterial illness that is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Pertussis usually begins with symptoms of a common cold (sore throat, low grade fever and runny nose) and often develops into a severe cough after a few weeks. The cough can last for several weeks or more. Most children are vaccinated against pertussis, but it is still possible for vaccinated children to become ill. Babies are most at risk of serious illness.
To prevent the spread of pertussis in our community, please follow these following recommendations:
If your child has or severe cough (may include coughing to the point of gagging, vomiting after coughing or difficulty breathing) or a prolonged cough lasting 2 weeks or longer, please take your child home and contact your health care provider. If your provider suspects pertussis, they will obtain a specimen to be sent for pertussis testing.
Children/Adults with severe cough, prolonged cough or confirmed pertussis will be started on antibiotics and will need to remain at home for 5 days while taking these antibiotics.
Please check with your medical provider to be sure you and your child are up-to-date on pertussis vaccine. Most children have had vaccine before the age 7 years, but their immunity to the disease may gradually wane over time. Booster shots (Tdap) are now recommended for children 11-18 years old. A single Tdap shot is also recommended for adults, especially adults who have contact with infants and young children.
***Please remember the rules of respiratory hygiene and cover coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.
If you have further questions, please contact your family doctor, the school nurse or the Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821. For more information please visit the CDC website fact sheet.
Linda- Jo Andrews R.N., School Nurse
Time to sign up for Preschool!
Don’t forget to sign up your child for Preschool.
If your child will be four by October 15, 2014
please call for a preschool application
for possible enrollment into the fall 2014 preschool program.
Note:You will need to provide income verification, a copy of your child’s birth certificate, Mainecare Card, and immunization record.
If you would like to have an application sent to your home.
We would like to thank all of those who came out and supported the school budget.