Superintendent's Welcome!

Greetings from RSU #24,
 
I hope this monthly update finds each of you enjoying the change in weather.  It was difficult seeing the snow falling the other day as I am not ready for the changeover in weather and all that it brings.  
 
Our students and staff are continuing the transition into The Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus.  We are working out the kinks and refining our practices and protocols to best serve our students.  Our four PK-5 schools are a buzz with learning and opportunities for our students to work with one another.  In light of the previous two years (and the pandemic), it's nice to have students in our buildings.
 
There continue to be limitations to our use of the new facility.  The cafeteria, auditorium, and shop spaces are off limits to students and staff.  This continues to create disruptions to our staff and students.  Per a requirement of the Code Enforcement Officer, we continue to utilize a "fire watcher" any time we have staff and students in the building.  We are hoping to get expanded use of the facility in the not too distant future.  Unfortunately, at this point, we will not be able to have home winter athletic competitions in the new school.  This is highly frustrating and creates a major imposition to our students, staff, and parents.  We will play two away games against each one of our competitors.  There are a couple of exceptions where the varsity girls and boys teams will play at Ellsworth High School as the school has graciously provided this opportunity for us.  In addition, some of our middle school games will be played at the Mountain View School.  Please feel free to check the schedules at the Sumner Athletics link which can be found on the school's website.  As for when we will have access to the entire building, we are still awaiting word from the General Contractor of the project as to a timeline for the construction of the fire sprinkler cistern project.
 
School safety is our top priority.  There continues to be threats against schools in our state that have created major disruptions.  We are working with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office to make sure our emergency plans are meeting the latest in best practices.  Our students and staff in all of our schools have had several emergency drills since the beginning of the school year in an attempt to best prepare all involved.  These drills will take place throughout the school year to keep students and staff alert.
 
It is hard to believe that our Budget and Finance Committee is preparing for the upcoming budget season.  We set our dates for the Budget workshops and welcome anyone who would like to attend.  The meetings are scheduled for the District Services Facility and will be on Zoom as well.  The scheduled dates for the Budget Workshops are February 15, March 1, March 15, March 29, and April 12.  All meetings will start at 6:30 p.m.
 
With the beginning of the holiday season, I reflect on my thirty plus years in the district. Please know that I feel blessed and fortunate to be the Superintendent of RSU No. 24.  The passion that our communities have for our students and our schools is deeply appreciated.  Thank you for your continued support.  
 
Sincerely,

Michael Eastman, Superintendent
Regional School Unit #24
2165 US Highway 1
Sullivan, Maine 04664