Update from the Superintendent - April 6, 2023

As you know, MSAD #51 has been experiencing steady enrollment growth over the last several years. As enrollment continues to increase, our buses are more full, requiring more stops, with more time needed between secondary and elementary runs. Currently, several buses are unable to transport students to school on time, especially at the elementary level. Additionally, students who attend PATHS in Portland lose a large amount of instructional time each week due to our existing schedule. 

As a result, there has been some discussion about shifting the start and end times of the school day in 2023-24. At this week's Board budget workshop, this topic was discussed in more detail. The three options considered include:

1. Maintaining the status quo for another year, which was quickly taken off the table given the current adverse impact on many students with more disruptions projected in the future.

2. Adding additional drivers and buses to alleviate pressure on transportation schedules. With the current staffing shortage, it is unlikely that the district would be able to hire several more drivers, along with replacing known retirements. This option is not viable given the current staffing conditions.

3. Adjusting the start and end times of the school day as indicated below, the most feasible of the three options. 

Please plan for this schedule change starting in August 2023:

  Current Grades 6-12 NEW Grades 6-12 Current Grades K-5 NEW Grades K-5
Full School Days 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM 7:50 AM - 2:20 PM 8:45 AM - 3:15 PM 8:50 AM - 3:20 PM
Early Release Days 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM 7:50 AM - 1:35 PM 8:45 AM - 12:30 PM 8:50 AM - 12:35 PM

Please know that this is not the preferred schedule, especially given the research suggesting that later starting times for secondary students are better. The district moved the start time for secondary grades from 7:30 to 8:00 AM back in 2016 based on research suggesting that this is the best course for older students. However, we are faced with the challenges of a growing school district that make it necessary to revisit the schedule at this time. Thank you for your understanding of this need for a schedule change.

Jeff Porter

Thomas cupthomas cup
Five high school students competed for the Thomas Cup last weekend and were named runner's up! Quinn Richter, Greely HS/PATHs, Liam Gordan, Drew Flanders, Brody Gifford Greely HS, as well as former Student Corbin Richter were members of team Bruhzerker.  The Thomas Cup is a competiton in science, technology, engineering, and innovation for the chance to win the Thomas Cup and receive scholarships to Thomas College. Competition areas included cyber defense, e-sports, computer science, robotics and crime scene analysis.