- November 18, 2022
- November 4, 2022
- October 20, 2022
- October 14, 2022
- September 30, 2022
- September 16, 2022
- August 15, 2022
Dear Falmouth Schools Families, Caregivers, and Staff,
Shortly before the formal start of the school day for Falmouth Middle and High Schools, the Falmouth Police Department (FPD) received information about an online threat specifically targeting Falmouth Schools. Out of an abundance of caution, and in collaboration with FPD, I made the decision to close our schools for the day.
The FPD sent additional support to our campus within minutes of learning about the threat, and their team began working immediately with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other local law enforcement agencies to identify the source of the threat. At this time, they have determined the threat to be a hoax and not credible.
The timing of the threat, when students and staff were in transit and just beginning to arrive in our schools, presented an array of challenges which our school administrators and staff successfully negotiated. Our students and staff are to be commended for their calm and helpfulness. I cannot thank our parents, families and caregivers enough for their cooperation and patience as we worked to return students safely home today.
I want to thank the Falmouth Police Department for their immediate and professional response to this situation, and for their ongoing collaboration and dedicated support to our schools. The ongoing partnership between Falmouth Schools and the Falmouth Police Department is an invaluable part of keeping our schools and community safe.
School activities on campus will resume tomorrow (for those programs with Saturday events), and we will return to school on Monday with all normal safety protocols in place.
You can find emergency numbers and contact information for Student Services Team members in each building on our Student Services Website Page, and don’t hesitate to reach out to building administrators as needed. The following resources may be useful to you as you talk with your children about the events of the day:
Please take good care,
Superintendent of Schools
Dear Students, Staff, Parents, Families and Caregivers,
The Spirit Weeks at both the Middle and High School these past few weeks culminated in successful dances in both schools, and the student council groups and faculty advisors/chaperones are to be commended for their efforts. A huge shout-out also goes to our FES PTO and the Elementary School administration and staff for an awesome 2nd (hopefully) annual Harvest Festival.
In addition to welcoming parents back for conferences with an in-person option next week, we are also looking forward to welcoming the community to the Veteran’s Day Assembly put on by the Falmouth High School Band,Chorus, and Jazz groups (see information below). This is an important opportunity for us to pause and express our gratitude for the members of our community (staff, caregivers, parents and grandparents) and beyond, who have served, and continue to serve our country.
Monday, November 7, 2022 - School Board Workshop (Agendas)
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - Conferences / Election Day / No School
Thursday, November 10, 2022 - Veteran’s Day Assembly
This Falmouth High School Band/Chorus/Jazz Band concert event on Thursday, November 10 from 1:25-2:20 is open to the Falmouth community, and especially for Veterans, who we would love to see there! If you can’t make it in person, we invite you to watch via Zoom Live Stream.
Friday, November 11, 2022 - Veteran’s Day / No School
Upcoming: December School Board Workshop (Falmouth Performance Data & Math Curriculum)
We have also started planning a Community Conversation around our district equity and inclusion work. Our goal is to foster a learning environment where every child feels welcome, safe, and able to express themselves. We know there are questions and a desire to collaborate. It is important for us to create an opportunity to share information and hear the perspectives of our students, staff, parents, and caregivers. Stay tuned for more information once we have rounded the bend of conferences and settle on a date that works best.
Superintendent of Schools
Dear Students, Staff, Families and Caregivers,
On Monday, October 17 the Falmouth School Board voted unanimously in favor of a motion to adjust the 2022-2023 School Calendar to eliminate remote learning days. Should there be school closures due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances this year, we will add in-person learning days to the calendar in June.
The updated 2022-2023 Falmouth School Calendar is attached and available online.
Why was this change made to the calendar?
In conversations with the School Board, the District Leadership Team, and Falmouth Education Association (FEA) Leaders, a number of important concerns were raised that led to this determination:
Teachers and families/caregivers have questioned whether remote days have learning value equal to remote days, and also highlighted the value of ‘letting kids be kids’ on real snow days (e.g. letting them go out and play in the snow).
Teachers and families/caregivers have shared the challenge that real snow days come with additional demands (shoveling, arranging childcare, etc.) that make the addition of schoolwork difficult.
Teachers and families/caregivers (all levels) have expressed concern about children who do not have the skills to self-manage in the remote context, and may not have parental oversight to support schoolwork.
Not being in school necessarily means some special education students are not able to access learning.
Teachers have expressed concern that students would need to be ‘retaught’ how to engage effectively in remote learning.
Some Falmouth families/caregivers have expressed that they seem to always lose power in storms even when many others do not. Teachers who do not live in Falmouth have also expressed concern about their homes not having power (even though Falmouth might).
Families/caregivers have shared concerns about sending technology devices (Ipads) home with Falmouth Elementary School (FES) students. The option of creating additional hard copy packets for students each month creates significant work for staff.
In June 2022, the federal waiver allowing districts to continue receiving nutrition reimbursements while operating ‘non-traditionally’ expired and was not renewed. As a result, we are no longer able to receive reimbursement for school lunch or breakfast meal costs on remote learning days.
We acknowledge that mid–year calendar changes are never ideal and that some families may have made plans for the projected school year-end based on the current calendar. We encourage those families/caregivers to share their plans with the appropriate school(s) if we end up having make-up days in June that students will be unable to attend.
Thank you for your flexibility,
Superintendent of Schools
The monthly School Board Business Meeting will be held this coming Monday, October 17th, in the Falmouth Elementary School Cafeteria at 7:00 pm. The agenda is available on the School Board Meetings page HERE.
Dear Staff, Students, Parents and Guardians,
We are a month into school and the busy hum on our campus continues. In addition to the welcome return of families and guardians to our schools for Open Houses and as volunteers, another celebratory highlight of this year is the opportunity once again for our students once to learn and serve outside the ‘walls’ of the campus. Our 6th Grade students have returned to Camp Kieve to deepen their collaboration and leadership skills, our High School Art students have sought the color and inspiration of our regional agricultural fair, and our grade 2 students will head out to learn about our coastal tidal pools next week. Many more plans are in the works.
Campus Master Planning: Thank you to the families, guardians, and staff who attended our first Community Master Planning Workshop this past week. The facilities committee and design team took away a number of important ideas and insights to inform the work ahead. We will continue to update the website’s Campus Master Planning Page as we move through the process. Additional community workshops will be announced in the coming weeks.
Strategic Plan & Pre-K Exploration: Please join us for an informational workshop and community discussion on our proposed strategic plan: Setting the Course for 2022 & Beyond, The first portion of the evening will focus on our priorities around Curriculum, Social Emotional Learning, and Communication/Connection. The second part of the evening will focus on the Exploration of Pre-K Programming for Falmouth Public Schools. Please join us on Monday, October 3rd at 7:00 pm in the Elementary School Cafeteria (during the regularly scheduled School Board Workshop). The official agenda can be found on the website’s School Board Meeting Page.
Flu Clinics on Campus: Falmouth School District is partnering with Northern Light Home Care & Hospice to provide an influenza vaccination clinic during school hours to students. This will be the only student flu shot clinic that will be at the schools this year. (There will be no evening clinics this year). We are requiring pre-registration for this event. If you would like your child to receive an influenza vaccine please complete the appropriate registration form below by Thursday, October 6th.
Falmouth Elementary School CLINIC: Tuesday, October 11 9am-12pm.
Falmouth Middle School & Falmouth High School will be having their student flu shot clinic on Wednesday, October 12 during school hours from 8am-11am.
To our students and families who will honor Yom Kippur this coming week, may it be a good holiday. And to all, Happy October!
Superintendent of Schools
Dear Students, Staff, Parents, and Guardians –
It’s been great to feel the energy of everyone back in school - attending classes, ice cream socials, athletic competitions, meetings, and myriad other events. The energy and excitement level of parents and guardians back in the buildings for Open Houses has been almost as high as it was for students on the first day of school! Suffice to say, it feels great to have students and families back on campus with all of our fall activities and programs in full swing.
We have more than 80 new staff members joining Falmouth Schools this year, coming from near and far; and are thrilled with the knowledge, experience, and creativity they bring to our schools. Also exciting is the energy and ideas of the PTO groups formed or forming in each of our schools. There are great plans for the days ahead!
Thank you for your patience as we work out the start-of-school schedule, transportation, and other blips that inevitably present themselves at the start of a new school year.
We are ready to look forward! We spent last year reflecting, capturing data and feedback, and working in teams to develop our Proposed Strategic Priorities: Setting the Course for 2022 & Beyond. The five identified priority areas include:
Campus Facilities: Falmouth Schools will develop and implement a campus facilities master plan that supports our Guiding Principles
Connected Community: Falmouth Schools will be a place where staff, students, and community members communicate and collaborate effectively
Social-Emotional Learning: Falmouth Schools will integrate and foster Social Emotional Learning that supports readiness to learn and wellness
Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment: Falmouth Schools will articulate an aligned program of curriculum and instruction driven by our Vision for Falmouth Students
Pre-Kindergarten: Falmouth Schools will investigate and plan for a Pre-K program that meets the needs of our community and integrates effectively into our schools
The Proposed Strategic Priorities: Setting the Course for 2022 & Beyond webpage includes the background work that led to the document, the document itself, and a Feedback Survey to collect our community members’ thoughts.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING MEETINGS AND COMMUNITY DIALOGUES:
SCHOOL BOARD BUSINESS MEETING: Monday, September 19th at 7:00 pm in the Falmouth Elementary School Cafeteria (agenda)
CAMPUS MASTER PLANNING Community Information & Discussion Session: Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30 pm in the Falmouth High School Theater (Campus Master Planning web page)
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES & PRE-KINDERGARTEN Community Information & Discussion Session: Monday, October 3rd (during the regularly scheduled School Board Workshop) at 7:00 pm in the Falmouth Elementary School Cafeteria (Pre-Kindergarten web page)
As always, be sure to read the Principal Notes to stay informed about school-specific information and important dates.
Thank you for your partnership, and looking forward to a great school year,
Superintendent of Schools
August 15, 2022
Dear Falmouth School Community Members,
While summer continues to offer the best of Maine, the Leadership Team and staff across the district are busy preparing for the year ahead: Crews are wrapping up renovation projects, outfitting new portable classrooms, waxing floors and settling furniture. Teachers are meeting to collaborate on curriculum, ensure student schedules are in place, and organize welcome sessions for students and guardians. Our leadership team just completed several intensive days reviewing operational protocols and planning for the start of the year.
We are thrilled to welcome some new faces to our district leadership and central office teams. We’ll be highlighting these individuals and sharing more information about these folks in our website news updates in the days to come:.
Richard Gowers: High School Principal
Vicki Decker: High School Assistant Principal
Ryan Patrie: Elementary School Co-Principal (3-5)
Karen Walker: Elementary School Assistant Principal (K-2)
Susan Prince: Assistant Director of Special Education
Steve Trockman: Director of Communications and Community Relations
We are also excited about the highly-qualified and dynamic teachers and support staff we have added to our team this year. Falmouth continues to attract outstanding individuals to work with our young people. That said, as with many other districts, we continue to have unfilled positions. We are working diligently at this and are developing creative ways to recruit and retain the right individuals to join our staff. Qualified applicants are always welcome to apply.
The upcoming August School Board business meeting will be held in person on Monday, August 15th at 7pm in the FES cafeteria (agenda here).
All staff will return to campus on Friday, August 26th, and we will reconnect through a discussion of Summer Reading Books. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this year’s titles, it’s a great list!
We look forward to greeting our students back to campus at the end of the month. Please note, due to the way the calendar falls, the first days of school are before Labor Day this year: Wednesday, August 31st (for grades 1-9), and Thursday, September 1st (for grades K-12 ). Principals have begun to share detailed information and schedules, so be on the lookout for their communications.
Falmouth Public Schools is currently a mask-optional environment. We encourage and fully support all to follow the mask wearing practices that make them feel most comfortable. Individuals choosing to wear a mask for any reason should feel empowered to do so. We encourage all members of our community to continue to cover your cough, wash your hands regularly, and stay home if you are sick. Principals and our Health Services Team will be sharing more information in the days to come.
We are so looking forward to our quiet campus once again being filled with the energy and learning of our youngest community members.
Take good care,
Gretchen A. McNulty
Superintendent of Schools