September 29, 2015


MSAD 11 is currently participating in a federally funded grant called the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), which is overseen by Maine Schools for Excellence (MSFE). The focus of TIF is to support the ongoing development of teachers and administrators. Part of that work includes assessing and improving the culture and climate of our schools.

I am the chair of a state committee charged with developing tools to help schools assess school climate and culture. To date, our committee has created school climate surveys for students and staff and most recently we have developed a set of questions for parents and guardians. As chair of this committee, I have offered to ‘test’ these questions in MSAD 11. The best way to do this is for parents to meet as a group and discuss the questions and share ideas, thoughts, and perceptions abut the culture and climate of the school your child attends.

On Thursday, October 8 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm (at a location to be determined), MSAD 11 will host a Parent Focus Group to conduct the first focus group. What does this mean? – Volunteers wanted. We are seeking six parents from each of our seven schools – Helen Thompson, Laura E. Richards, Pittston, River View, TC Hamlin, Gardiner Regional Middle School, and Gardiner Area High School – to answer a few questions in small building-based groups that in addition to piloting the protocol, will provide MSAD 11 some insight about how our families think about school climate in each of our buildings. No preparation is necessary to attend this meeting.

A representative from the American Institute for Research (AIR) will help me facilitate this one hour conversation. Individual responses and comments from parents participating in this discussion will be kept confidential and will not be shared with teachers, administrators or any staff related to the school.

Thank You to Coutts Brothers!

August 26, 2015

Attn: Brittany Moody
Coutts Brothers
PO Box 58
Gardiner, ME 04345

Dear Ms. Moody:

On behalf of MSAD 11, I would like to thank Coutts Brothers and all its employees for the generous donation of 56 backpacks filled with school supplies for MSAD 11 children. Your employees demonstrated true kindness and generosity in their effort to support struggling families and students in MSAD 11.

As you can imagine, back to school is a stressful time for some families. The expense to purchase supplies and clothing causes a real financial hardship for many. Your incredibly thoughtful donation will help ease the burden those families’ experience.

We in MSAD 11 are truly appreciative to have local businesses, such as Coutts Brothers, serve as a supporter for all of our children. Thank you!


Patricia Hopkins
Superintendent of Schools

Be Ready for Reading!

We are all excited for those lazy, hazy summer days of reading. When it is too hot to do anything or those gentle rains are coming down, don't forget to have a book ready for reading. Sometimes summer slides occur in reading skills, continuing to read is a great way to keep those skills on level and growing. Gardiner Public Library is offering a summer reading program for elementary students. Stop by to get involved in their program. Happy reading and all of the MSAD 11 librarians can't wait to discuss your reading adventures when you return this fall.

For the Love of Reading

Maria Padian, recipient of the prestigious Maine Library Association 2013 Juvenile/Young Adult Lupine Award for her novel Out of Nowhere, visited three of Ms. Gingras's Freshman English classes at GAHS. The author's tea featured Somali style tea and flatbread. Students were eager to discuss the book with the author and get the inside scoop. They urged Ms. Padian to continue writing young adult novels, and even made suggestions for a sequel. Sharing her research process on the Somali immigration to Lewiston, ME, was valuable and timely for their literary memoir assignment. One student expressed, "I fell in love with the character Myla, as much as Tom did." Another student read in character a passage from the book at the urging of his classmates. Impressed with the level of student preparedness, Ms. Padian plans to adjust her website to include author visit materials thanks to the feedback from the students. They look forward to the next great book to love as much as this one.

No Policy Committee Meeting Tonight - June 4, 2015

There will be no Policy Committee Meeting tonight, June 4, 2015.

2015 Budget Report

Please click on the attachment below to access the 2015 MSAD11 Budget Report.

GAHS Civil Rights Team Teaches Students in Windsor

The GAHS Civil Rights Team was invited to Windsor Elementary School on May 8th to teach over 200 students in grades 3 through 8 what "bias" is and how to avoid it. Accompanied by 2014 CRT Alumnus Nate MacDonald, team members Kylie Peacock, Josh Mathews, Mariah Lang, Robert Blier, Jillian Moore, and Melanie Mansir dazzled the younger students in presentations that included a slide show, interactive games, and Dr. Seuss's "The Sneetches." Our CRT was such a hit that Windsor students now want to start their own civil rights team ! Bravo, CRT!

MSAD 11 Teacher Wins Kennebec County Teacher of the Year!

Congratulations to Gretchen Nickerson, Grade 4 Teacher at the Helen Thompson School, the 2015 Kennebec Country Teacher of the Teacher! We are so proud!

GAHS Student Wins Award for Her Video!

The Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine has chosen Emma Hickey, a GAHS student, as their 2015 Schlossberger Outstanding Student of the Year for her video "Drop the Gender Mask." Emma will be honored at a banquet in South Portland at the end of May. Thank you to teacher Rob Munzing for his efforts to support her work. Congratulations to Emma on such an outstanding achievement!

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