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Chaperones Needed for BMS Dance for RSU 1 5th Graders on June 4th »

As part of the transition of current 5th graders to BMS 6th grade next year, the Bath Elementary PTA and BMS are sponsoring a dance for 5th graders from RSU 1 community schools.  Here’s the info from the Bath Elementary PTA blog:    

5th Grade Dance – June 4 6-8 PM. We need chaperones – BMS PTSA will help with that. It is in the cafeteria. Bath PTA will make popcorn, Woolwich will sell water. Claire will make flyer and tickets. PTSA has items to donate towards a raffle. Send tickets/flyers to the schools.”

FMI or to volunteer, please contact:  Geniene Marco, Kate Foye, Laurie Burhoe, Lisha Wentworth, or Claire Berkowitz  or go to their blog @


A reminder for parents of current FMS 5th grade students:  Bath Middle School is holding their Parents’ Night for FMS parents and students this Thursday, May 5th @ BMS Cafeteria from 6:00-7:00 PM.  FMI, see earlier posts related to transition to BMS.

RSU 1 Board Sets Budget Public Hearing Schedule »


Wed., March 30 at 6:00 pm
Public Hearing
MHS Cafeteria

Mon., April 4 at 6:00 pm
Public Hearing
BMS Cafeteria

Mon., April 11 at 5:00 pm
Board/A-Team Workshop
BRCTC, Room 301

Thurs., April 28 at 6:00 pm
Public Hearing to discuss impact of proposed budget
BMS Cafeteria

Tues., May 10 at 6:00 pm
Special Board Meeting
MHS Cafeteria

Tues., May 31 at 6:00 pm
District-wide Budget Meeting Vote
BMS Gymnasium

Tues., June 7
Referendum Vote

RSU 1 Seeks Dialogue on 2011-12 School Budget »

“Budget 2011-2012: Questions, Answers and Dialogue” blog

Supt. Shuttleworth has created a blog to invite public dialogue on the difficult budget decisions facing RSU 1.   The blog can be found at the home page of the RSU 1 website or by clicking on the following link:

This is an excellent opportunity to have your budget questions addressed directly.  You have the option of providing your name or posting an “anonymous” comment.  The blog already has several posts and replies, including links to the:

  • Results of the RSU 1 Community Survey on the budget;
  • Schedule of public hearings on the budget (see post above); and
  • Budget overview presented by Supt. Shuttleworth to RSU 1 staff on March 16th.

Hopefully, the blog will continue to post updated information as the budget takes shape over the next weeks and months.  Please take a few minutes every week to check out the site and register your thoughts on budget priorities for our schools in 2011-12. 

I would also encourage you to contact members of the RSU 1 Board of Directors (see e-mail addresses below).

RSU 1 Board of Directors

Mr. Hamilton’s Outline: 5th to 6th Grade Transition Process »

Outline of Transition Process from FMS 5th to BMS 6th Grade
Mr. Matt Hamilton, Guidance Counselor, Bath Middle School

  • Beginning of March, Deb MacPhee sends Delyse Conley our parent input form.  Due to BMS by end of March/beginning of April.  This is the time for house requests for family history or whatever.  Primarily used for us to get to know more about the kids from the parents.
  • End of April, start of May, 5th grade teams divide their groups in half, balancing all things to be considered:  Special education needs, academic abilities, boy/girl, personalities, etc.  Each half of a 5th grade class will become a house at BMS.  Same for all other sending schools.
  • I visit 5th graders in April/May, usually prior to Parent’s Night at BMS.
  • Parent’s Night at BMS Thursday, May 5 from 6-7pm. Kids should come too.
  • Transition meetings with 5 and 6th grade teachers, end of May or June.
  • FM Step Up Day, come up for a tour, usually in June.
  • Kids can visit prior to school starting in August when the office is open.

FMI visit Bath Middle School website: or contact Mr. Matt Hamilton, BMS Guidance Counselor at 443-8270.

March SAG mtg Q & A on 5th-6th Grade Transition »

Meeting Summary
March 14th, 
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm @
FMS Library 

Present:  Michael Barrett, MJ Warren, Vanessa Leavitt, Laurie Burhoe, Lisha Wentworth, Chet Garrison, Ross Berkowitz

1.  Transition - Grade 5 to 6  (Guest expert:  Matt Hamilton, Guidance Counselor, Bath Middle School) 

Mr. Hamilton provided a brief overview of the gr. 5-6 transition process.

Q: Is grade 6 the only grade there on first day? 
A: No, but they stay with a home room teacher most or all of the day that first day or two. Both teams also do a lot of team-building the first couple of weeks. 

Q: Can parents request a particular house? 
A: Yes, contact Mr. Hamilton.  Please check out the website at BMS for more information.  

Mr. Berkowitz also encouraged parents to be sure to use Infinite Campus to check the portal for information on completed assignments and grades.  (All parents are assigned a username and password.) 

     How can we help strengthen this experience? 

Q: What about parents who don’t come? 
A: It may be the beginning of a continuing communication gap…we want to find ways to stay connected to all families…all year.
SAG:  Perhaps we can plan with T1 to have a family involvement event at BMS the night of the BMS Parent meeting, to help ensure more parents attend.

Q: What about volunteers for middle level?
A: YES…we have a volunteer list. We depend on them for field work, field trips, cooking, PTSA, SAG members, or content experts in an area students are studying through an expedition.  Just because your children may not want you to show up in their classrooms twice a week doesn’t mean we can’t use your help!   

Q: How are 7th or 8th grade students involved in mentoring/hosting new BMS students?
A: As tour guides during information night, as expert panelists when BMS staff visit FMS 5th grades.
SAG: Our PTA plans to host a free 5th grade dance here at FMS for all 5th graders in the district. Matt and Ross suggested we hold it at BMS!!!  Ross and Lisha will follow up on that.  Matt suggested the latest date in June possible so all the schools would have been to BMS for their visitation days already. (Brian the custodian does the student dances for BMS.)

Q: Is there anything students get as a rite of passage?
A: Now they just get BMS school planners in the fall.   For the dance, could we help design and provide a decal or book bag tag or something? BMS: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? 

Q: What do you need help with, communication-wise?  Social media, perhaps?
A: Some staff have set up blogs, and we’re working on video projects to put on website with topics like locks & lockers.  

Q: Do you still need the file-a-fax system for students?
A: I heard it suggested at the parent night meeting but then another student was in the other house and they didn’t use it. I will check with teachers so we have that information available at parent meeting. 

Q: Is the biggest change for students the lack of recess?
Parent: I think the biggest change is that students don’t line up for everything, they have freedom to move around the halls by themselves.
A: However, they don’t mix with other grades very much.  Grade 6 is pretty highly supervised and structured. Grade 7 & 8 is more of a jump in terms of responsibility.
SAG:  We do a GREAT job in transitioning students from grade 5 to 6 and 6 to 7; our families had wonderful experiences. 

     Student Council

Mr. Hamilton noted that there is an opportunity for 6th graders to participate in the student council and mentioned that there is a larger turnout of members from the 6th grade class this year than from the 8th grade class.  Since the BMS student council also organizes dances, it was suggested that the BMS student council could help with the 5th grade dance proposed for all RSU 5th grade classes.

2.  Brief Reports:  One Book One School
                                  Board Meetings/Budget Process    

Discussion with Chet Garrison, School Board Member:  Some members expressed a concern about clarity about all cuts that are being considered in advance, so families can prioritize and then be present to advocate for their priorities. Another concern was the lack of equity in which cuts are made based on the swim team or a high school teacher’s fans showing up. The elementary schools have continued to “take the hits” year after year.  Could the cuts for each school be laid out by school?  Chet pointed out that FMS falls in his ward and he would like your feedback so he can advocate -  See RSU1 website FMI on budget process.

3.  Next Agenda

  • Budget
  • Wellness
  • Follow-up 5th grade dance (does PTA need our support with this?)
  • Summarize our accomplishments this year & recommendations for next year

Over 300 Celebrate at “One Book, One School” Grand Kick Off !!! »

WOW !!!  What a wonderful kick off … over 300 FMS students and family members celebrating learning and community!!!
I can’t help but think that the students - who performed so wonderfully - provided lessons for all of us as they demonstrated their skill, competence and teamwork in presenting why Charlotte’s Web is worth reading and re-reading!
Kudos to FMS faculty and staff - especially, Monica Blatt, Joan Newkirk, Patricia Shaffer and Delyse Conley - for launching this incredible event. 
Congrats to Principal Nancy Harriman for her leadership and efforts at promoting collaboration between FMS faculty, staff, the Bath Elementary PTA, the FMS School Advisory Group and community partners.
Well done to the Bath PTA - led by Geniene Marco, Kate Foye, Laurie Burhoe, Lisha Wentworth and Claire Berkowitz - and to the Bath Savings Institute and Help a Kid program for providing significant support for this wonderful event.
What a truly wonderful evening … here’s to the continued success of FMS “One Book, One School” event and many wonderful “Spider Lessons”!

SPIDER LESSONS “Grand Kick Off” Jan. 25 @ 6:15pm »

Spider Lessons:  Fisher-Mitchell School’s “One Book, One School” Event
Grand Kickoff:  Tuesday, January 25th @ 6:15 pm
FMS Gym (Snow Date is January 26th)

The Fisher-Mitchell School community – including kids, teachers, parents, grandparents and staff – is invited to participate in Spider Lessons, FMS’ “One Book, One School” event from January 25th to February 17th. We are using Charlotte’s Web, a remarkable story by the famous, part-time Maine resident, E.B. White.

Spider Lessons is inspired by the “One School One Book” movement that has spread across the United States and Canada. The idea is for a whole school community to read the same book at the same time and share that common experience. Charlotte’s Web is a classic re-read. Reading the same books again and again is important because it builds important literacy skill such as fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. And it’s fun!

Spider Lessons will give families the exciting opportunity to read and write together. This shared experience, at home and at school, will boost reading and writing skills and give everyone a stronger sense of community.

Students will all receive a free copy of the book, a bookmark and a reader’s journal. Families will read the book together, following the schedule in the journal. Complete the journal entries together. Students should bring their journal to library class each week. There will be a final celebration with displays of student work and awards on February 16th.

Community Partners
This event is made possible through the generous support of our community partners:  the Bath Savings Institution provided 250 copies Charlotte’s Web for FMS students; the Bath Elementary PTA provided program support for the Grand Kickoff; and the FMS School Advisory Group helped recruit volunteers and prepared event publicity.

Volunteers Needed
FMS community members (parents, grandparents, former students) are needed as volunteer readers for those FMS students who may not have one available.  Volunteer readers will read and discuss “Spider Lessons” with FMS students at the school (from 2:45 pm to 3:15 pm between January 26th and February 17th; or at other times to be determined).  We also need volunteers to help with the Grand Kickoff on January 25th. 
To volunteer, please call FMS at 443-8265 and provide your name, contact info and availability to Delyse Conley.  For more information, see the FMS website @

Congratulations to all FMS faculty and staff - especially, Joan Newkirk, Monica Blatt, Patricia Shaffer and Delyse Conley - for their contributions in launching this incredible event.  Thanks also to Principal Nancy Harriman for her leadership and efforts at promoting collaboration between FMS faculty, staff, the Bath Elementary PTA, and the FMS School Advisory Group. 

RSU 1 Board Invites You to Help Shape 2011-2012 School Budget »

RSU 1 Board of Directors “Big Ideas Committee” Meeting
January 19th @ 6:00 p.m. @ Supt’s Office @ 4 Sheridan Rd. 

The “Big Ideas Committee” was established to address the anticipated loss of $1.6m in state funding for the 2011-2012 school year, a significant chunk of the RSU 1 budget. 

This is the time of year that parents need to make their priorities known.  As school administrators and the RSU 1 Board begin to develop their priorities, more involvement of parents and community members is really critical. 

Five subcommittees were created to consider both short-term and long-term impact of these options:

  1. Restructuring H.S. programs;
  2. Alternative revenue sources;
  3. Reconfiguring/consolidating schools;
  4. Adjusting the school calendar (e.g., 4-day week); and
  5. Expanding regional bidding and further streamlining services.

Board members Chet Garrison ( and Tim Harkins ( have invited the public to participate in reviewing alternatives for balancing the school budget.

FMI, call the RSU 1 Superintendent’s Office at 443-6601, contact an RSU 1 Board member (see their e-mail addresses @ or see January 2011 edition of Superintendent Shuttleworth’s Newsletter @

SPIDER LESSONS: Fisher-Mitchell’s “One Book, One School” Event! »

Here’s the (updated) SAG role in the FMS “One Book, One School” program to run from January 25th to February 16th.  Since we’ll be reading E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web, the theme for this program is “Spider Lessons” (Please note:  The Bath Elementary PTA is also providing support with logistics and planning for the January 25th “kickoff” from 6:15 p.m.-7:00 p.m. in the FM gym).
1.  Volunteer Readers.  We need to recruit volunteer readers for those FMS students who may not have one available.  Each volunteer reader is expected to read E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and have conversations with student(s) about the “Spider Lessons” from the book (a “Book Conversations” bookmark provides examples for the reader and student).  Please forward the names and contact info of any volunteer readers to Joan Newkirk ( at FMS.
*** Kudos to Michael Barrett for recruiting 9 volunteer readers (including himself) !!!
2.  Volunteers for January 25th “kickoff event” @ 6:15 pm.  We need to recruit volunteers to help setup the FMS gym (by 5:45 pm) and to staff twelve (12) tables.  Volunteers need to record the names of participating students/family/community members and help distribute materials (book, program information, journals, bookmark, etc.) to participants.  Event runs 6:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
3.  Parent/Community Involvement.  In addition to recruiting volunteers, we need to help publicize this event to the FMS Community.  I agreed to make “back pack tags” to remind FMS students and parents about the January 25th “kickoff event.”  The tags will be distributed to students on Monday, January 24th.  We may need to have a few volunteers to help with this (Nancy — please clarify this with Patricia Schaffer, Joan Newkirk or Monica Blatt).  We also need to publicize/communicate the event to the FMS community … I offered to send a press release to the Times-Record; Michael Barrett suggested posting a blurb on the Bath Community TV (Channel 14); let’s discuss other ideas.