Superintendents Corner

October 10, 2023

Greetings RSU 67 staff, students, families, and community.

As we welcome the month of October, the beauty of this very special time of year is all around us.  Vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows are quickly covering the countryside as the trees hold the leaves that will eventually carpet the ground.  With colder temperatures just around the corner, last week’s spectacular and unusually warm temperatures allowed us to hold onto summer for just a few more days.  The bright sunshine feels so good.

This edition of the Superintendent’s Corner is dedicated to addressing the safety, security, and social/emotional needs of our students, staff, and community.

As Superintendent, the safety, security, and emotional well-being of all RSU No. 67 students, staff, and visitors is my top priority.  Over the course of the past 15 months, the district has made great strides.  The administrators and I participated in advanced safety/security training, we completed a facilities safety review, we reviewed and revised school emergency plans based on best practices, we provided safety and security professional development for staff, and we hired a full-time school resource officer for our schools.  To ensure that safety and security remains a top priority, the district has formed a safety and security team, consisting of members of the faculty, support staff, local law enforcement, and administration.  The work we have done has been extensive, but we will not, nor can we, rest.  We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to ensure that anyone who attends, works, or visits RSU No. 67 is safe and secure in our facilities and on our school grounds.

Throughout my career, I have often been reminded that “It takes a village to raise a child.”  To me, this means that we all share some responsibility for the health, safety, and well-being of every child in our community.  As a parent and grandparent, and with all that is happening in the world today, I understand that the simple act of dropping your child at school, sending them to the playground, or letting them go to the movies can be a bit scary.  While no one can prevent all bad things from ever happening, I firmly believe that together, we can make RSU No. 67 and our surrounding communities as safe and secure as possible.  This all starts with an open and honest community conversation.

It is a priority for the district to encourage conversations that support a positive school environment.  RSU No. 67 is dedicated to working collaboratively with parents, guardians, students, staff, and community members, and we welcome partnerships that will strengthen our schools and create strong foundations for years to come.  As a first step, I am pleased to announce that at 6:00 PM on October 23rd, 2023, RSU No. 67 will hold a “Safe Schools Forum” at Mattanawcook Academy.  This event is open to anyone interested in the work the district is doing to provide a continuum of services to meet the needs of all students.  On October 23rd, I will lead a panel of professionals from our schools, children’s mental health services, community leaders, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and local law enforcement.  After a brief introduction by each of the panel members, we will take questions, listen to concerns, and provide an opportunity for any suggestions you might have to make RSU No. 67 the best learning environment possible.  This will be an engaging and informative evening and I hope you all consider attending.

I wish you all good health and happiness! 

Until next time…...

Paul Austin