Superintendent Gartley’s Latest Update: 10/23/22

RSU 18 Community, I hope you are all having a great weekend.  

In my updates over the past three years, I have tried to remind everyone of our two goals, 1. To provide the great education that our students need and deserve and 2.  To have a safe school environment for staff and students. Even as our schools get back to normal from the pandemic, these goals have not changed.   

In the next couple of weeks our district safety committee is meeting. Some of our agenda items are, to discuss our preparedness for emergency situations, to schedule safety walkthroughs in our schools and to look at what professional development we need to help our staff be well prepared. We also will be talking about how to collect feedback from staff, students, and parents about any safety concerns you may have (more to come soon on this). We hired a new safety officer last year, and this has allowed us to identify issues that can help us improve our facilities and climate. Another safety issue we have been discussing is the upcoming Halloween. I love seeing the enthusiasm from the kids this time of year, and it is fun to hear about their trick or treating adventures. But recently I have heard stories of fentanyl disguised as candy. It is hard to even wrap your head around the evil that would do such a thing, but it is a reality. Please be careful.  Have conversations with your kids about these topics and how to keep them safe.  If you need help, reach out to us. I have been asked twice this month by parents if we have Narcan in our schools. This is a drug that can be used to reverse the effects of a drug overdose. Yes, our nurses have this life saving tool available in each school. I hope we never have to use it, but we do have this.   

COVID-19 is still in our schools. We have had students and staff test positive. We still have home tests available, if you need one, they are at the schools. The rules have not changed, if you have COVID-19 you isolate for 5 days, then you must wear a mask for 5 days. If you test negative two times you do not have to wear the mask. If you have questions about this let us know.  

We are in the process of trying to finish our fall academic testing (NWEA for most grades). Our teachers use this data a great deal to help them design their lessons and to plan for academic interventions. This takes extra time for the staff, but the hard work they put in pays off for students. The academic progress our students are making is impressive. We recently received data on how our high school students did on Advanced Placement (AP) testing. I am proud to say that our students did fantastic, outpacing most districts in the state and across the country.   And while MHS should be very proud of this accomplishment, this is definitely a k – 12 effort.  

Last week was bus driver appreciation week. We are lucky to have such committed drivers. They do much more than transport students, they help us take care of them. Many times, our drivers are the first one who notices a student is having trouble. The work they do is so important, and even though this appreciation week is over, if you know one of our drivers, let them know how awesome they are.

Carl Gartley

Superintendent of Schools

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