We have received word from the Department of Education that our plan to add one hour of instructional time to Wednesdays starting March 29 through June 7 will be approved by the Commissioner. We will be receiving the confirmation letter next week.
The last student day will be on Tuesday, June 20th and the last teacher day will be on Thursday, June 22nd.
On March 15, 2017, the School Committee unanimously approved a motion to submit a request to the Commissioner of Education in the form of a waiver. This waiver, one that is listed as a recommendation in state statute, allows school districts to add one hour of instructional time to a school day. For every 5 hours of additional instructional time, school districts make up one school day.
The School Committee approved Superintendent Grondin’s request to add one hour of instructional time to every Wednesday afternoon between March 29th and June 7th. This would put two instructional days back into the school calendar, allowing both students and staff to end the school year by June 23rd. The last student day would be on Tuesday, June 20th and the last teacher day would be on Thursday, June 22nd.
The top reasons why Wednesdays were chosen are as follows:
Some questions that the School Committee discussed before approving the submission of the waiver were the following:
One exception would be on May 31st, where middle and high school release times would stay the same, and elementary students would stay until 4:00pm, as it is not a scheduled half-day Wednesday.
Again, tonight’s decision was one that allows Supt. Grondin to submit the proposal to the State. We will then wait for the Commissioner’s decision on our plan to makeup snow days. We will certainly post more information as it becomes available to us.
This Friday, March 17th will be a regular student day instead of the planned teacher workshop day
due to the number of snow days we have experienced this winter.
We understand this decision may be in conflict with prior family arrangements. If your child is not able to attend,
please contact your child's school to let them know, so the absence will be considered excused.
We appreciate your understanding. Thank you.
Katy Grondin, Superintendent of Schools.
Snow days! It has been a winter season of snow day decisions! As I was visiting a classroom before vacation, the teacher asked me if I would mind explaining to the students how a snow day decision was made. After my explanation, a student said, “It isn’t as easy as it seems!” The teacher shared later that she was glad to hear how the decisions are made and thought others would like to hear it too so it is being posted on our website to share with citizens.
Here is the process for how the decision is made…
1. I set my alarm for 4:30am, so I am able to check the National Weather Service for the latest hour-to-hour forecast before Russ Murley, the weatherman, calls at 4:45am.
2. Following Mr. Murley’s information, I call our Support Services Director, who has checked in with Public Works, to hear about the latest road conditions and building maintenance.
3. While these conversations are happening, three Superintendents in the area are texting, asking for opinions and weighing in on possibilities as to what the call may need to be.
4. Finally, the Lewiston Superintendent and I discuss all the information we’ve received to make what we believe is the best decision for both Lewiston and Auburn!
Then, the knots in my stomach begin, especially if schools stay open or delay. Mother Nature is not predictable! What weighs heavily on my mind is that all of the students and staff make it safely to school or make it home at the end of the day safely! Sometimes people forget that the tough decisions are made by people with feelings and emotions. Making a snow day decision is one of the hardest decisions I make in my position. It is not as easy as it may seem! I’m grateful to have other people involved in that decision making process and sharing in gathering the necessary information to determine whether to close schools, delay opening, or keep schools open.
I know many of you have weighed in on what to do to make up snow days instead of going to school so late in the month of June. On our published school calendar there are 5 snow days noted and we are currently at 7 snow days with predictions of more snow coming! It is important to note that we are committed to providing 175 days of high quality education regardless of when those days take place. Below is a response I sent to a parent who asked if I had considered going to school during Feb-April vacations or Saturdays:
“The challenges to make up the school days during Feb and April vacation and/or Saturdays are the same for the end of the year. Families and staff have vacations or scheduled weekend plans. The quality of instruction due to attendance and staff may not be the same. Also, we are part of a regional calendar, so there would need to be discussions across districts, if days were to be made up at other times other than at the end of the year.”
This has been an unusual year! We have not gone beyond 5 snow days in over five years! Just as the snow day decision is not easy, the decision to make up the snow days other than in June is not as easy as it seems either! We will keep you posted on this site if any changes are made regarding making up these days.
Please feel free to share comments and/or questions with me through email at email@example.com using Snow Days as your subject line (so it doesn’t end up in the spam folder).
Katherine Grondin, Superintendent
On Friday, March 17th from 12:30 – 2:30, local author and historian, Douglas Hodgkin, will hold a book signing in the library at Edward Little High School for his new book, "Dear Parent: A Biography and Letters of Edward Little".
Hodgkin, President of the Androscoggin Historical Society, began working on his book in 2015. He will be available to sign copies of the book as well as answer questions about Edward Little. The book can be purchased at the signing for $20.00, plus tax.
Edward Little was the founder of Lewiston Falls Academy, a private school, in the 1830s. He gave a plot of land and money for the construction of the first building. For several years, it was the only secondary school in the area. Some of the land is still notable as the park on the corner of Academy and Main Streets in Auburn.
In 1866, the school was renamed Edward Little Institute in the founder’s honor. When the City of Auburn desired to establish a public school, the academy trustees transferred the property on several conditions, including that it be named Edward Little High School.
“We are pleased to provide the opportunity for people to obtain the book,” according to the current librarian of the high school, Heidi McCurdy. “It is most appropriate that we may learn more about the man whose name graces our school.”
The current high school is located at 77 Harris Street in Auburn. For more information call 333-6652.
Do you need a flexible work schedule? Do you want to work when your children are in school? Do you enjoy helping students succeed?
If you answered yes to these questions and have 60 college credits, we invite you to apply to join our team.
Help provide challenging learning opportunities that prepare students for success.
Substitute teachers in Auburn earn $70.00 to $90.00 per day.
Click on the following link and apply today!
Auburn School Department has openings for a FREE public Pre-K program for the
To provide information by phone, please call Roz Walton at 207-784-6431 ext. 1201 with the information requested above.
Watch the MPA Basketball Tournament!
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We want to make sure all citizens are aware that our schools that are being used as polling sites for voting on November 8, 2016 (Washburn, Sherwood Heights, Fairview, and Auburn Middle School) have sent letters home to parents to outline the precautions taken at each location. Due to the anticipated volume of voters, we have taken precautions to review the polling area at each location to make sure there is no access to any other part of the school. In addition, there will be a police officer monitoring the voting area to ensure safety.
Parents were encouraged to vote early to avoid crowded parking lots and long lines on election day through the use of walk-in absentee ballots that were available at Auburn Hall through November 3rd.
All citizens need to be cautious traveling in the area of the schools on election day due to voter traffic. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work with the city to provide voters an opportunity to vote while we continue to educate our students.
We also want you to know that if you decide to not send your child to school on November 8, 2016, due to concerns about the public accessing the polling location, it will be an excused absence. Please call the school in advance to let the secretary know your decision to not send your child on election day.
If you would like to read the entire letter sent to parents by each school that is a polling site, please click on the attached letters below.