Questions for the Superintendent:
How are the heating/cooling systems regulated in the Elementary Schools? In such new schools, why are they unable o adjust the thermostats within the schools? For an example, the Art Room at Brown is so hot most of the time, day and evenings, that they have to open the windows during the winter. It doesn't seem very cost effective.
The elementary school heating/cooling systems are designed to deal with winter. Because we can't "cool" the rooms, this causes difficulty on shoulder months (fall and spring) when we have cold mornings and warm days. The system is designed to bring the temperature up to the set point of a given room (68 degrees), then will shut off the hot water to that room. Hot water leaves the piping and continues to heat the room until the hot water cools thus resulting in some overheating.
While the systems were considered efficient when the buildings were constructed, they are currently 7-8 years old.
Who designed the new report cards for K-5?
A team of teachers, administrators, and Mr. Bailey worked this summer on revising the report card structure through the Infinite Campus system. At the same time the team was responsible for aligning our report card with the updated Maine Learning Results and Common Core standards. Drafts were shared with grade level teachers throughout the fall and revisions resulted in the current document. A feedback loop for teachers and parents is being developed including a survey to identify strengths and weaknesses. The current document will be maintained for the 2010-2011 school-year with revisions being incorporated into the 2011-2012 document.
I'm interested in learning more about where school lunches come from. For example, how many of the meals are made from scratch, in the cafeterias, and how many are premade and processed (frozen or canned)? Are we making an effort to use fresh, local ingredients?
The food service program is an enterprise account meaning that it is primarily self-funding, and receives minimal financial support through the local budget. Our Food Services director, Martha Spencer works to balance nutritious meals with federal requirements and programs. She would be glad to meet with PTA's or Chalkboard's to discuss the specific initiatives being implemented in South Portland, including buying fresh, local produce.
There is talk of a split schedule at the high school while there is construction. This will be difficult for families who have children in other schools in the district. Would you please explain the plan?
A split schedule is not being considered at the high school while there is construction. The concept plan (we're currently working on finalizing the design plan) is to begin the new construction on the back of the site while students/staff remain in the current classrooms. Once new construction is completed on the back of the site and ready for occupancy, construction would shift to the front of the site. Students/staff would move to the new classrooms, the annex would be dropped and construction would focus on the front of the site. The final phase would involve utilizing 12 portable classrooms for the final year (at the back of the site) while renovation work is completed on the original building.
In developing the phase plan consideration has been given to enrollments, schedules, and classroom space allocations to ensure that space is available to maintain our current school schedule.