December, 2012 Update from the Superintendent

posted Dec 18, 2012, 11:43 AM by Fran Prentice   [ updated Dec 18, 2012, 11:44 AM ]

School Committee News

Sarah Tavares is our newest member of the School Committee. She was appointed by the Ogunquit Select Board on December 4th and attended her first School Committee meeting December 5th. We welcome her and appreciate her willingness to fill the unexpired term until June, 2013.

High School Building Project

The high school Building Committee is making very good progress.  At their meeting December 12th they selected an option for the architects to develop into a concept design.

The diagram for this is attached.  They will next verify what the staff and students reported for what departments they would like to have in proximity. Meetings generally take place the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for 6:00 to 8:00 PM in the WHS library.  They are open to the public. Note we will not meet on December 26th but will resume the schedule on January 9th.

Question of the month:  How is the decision made to call off school on snow days?

Answer: It is a multiple step process.  At about 4:15 AM a phone call update regarding the weather is received.  Next local road reports are obtained and the transportation company is called.  By this time the second cup of coffee is poured and calls from area superintendents   begin coming in (after they have made the similar calls outlined above).  

Based on the best information available at the time the decision is made. If we do cancel or call a delay, more calling or on line work takes place.  We send the information to the three television stations, several radio stations, post it on our website, and develop the message for our automated phone calling system a/k/a " robo call" . The call is set to be delivered at or about 5:00 AM.

Budget Note

Two things have happened regarding the school budget for the current year (FY’13).  In late November we were informed our state subsidy was reduced by $6575.  This reduction was applied to all public schools in the state. The second issue is the potential curtailment as a result of the federal “fiscal cliff” and in response to the state budget, since revenues are not meeting projected targets.  We were told to expect the Governor’s plan last Monday but as I write this we do not have any information on how it will impact our district.  Please know as we learn of any changes we always attempt to keep any reductions as far from impacting students as possible.

The Season

The recent events in Newtown, Connecticut have touched us all. Perhaps it is because Newtown is so close in proximity and its New England town atmosphere and culture so similar to our own that we are so deeply saddened.  Of course it is because of the children as well that the nation’s grief is profound.  It is difficult to think of the holiday spirit so close to this tragedy, but we as a society are resilient. Let us hope all the families and loved ones impacted can draw upon their resiliency as they grieve.

As we turn the calendar to the final month of 2012, I hope you can look back on 2012 and recall many happy memories. May you, your families and all you hold dear find peace and happiness in the New Year.