August 8, 2022

Hello RSU 67 families and staff,

With each passing day of August, we are inching ever closer to the highly anticipated first day of school. Before we know it, the air will become increasingly crisper and the trees will begin to surround us with the most beautiful colors of the year. With just about 3 weeks to go before the start of the school year, our staff and administrators are busy preparing for an exceptional year of learning for every child. In this week’s edition of the Superintendent’s Corner, I will talk about school safety and the steps RSU 67 is taking to address this important issue in 2022-2023.

As we look ahead to the start of the school year, I have no doubt that events such as the shooting in Uvalde Texas last spring, is on the mind of many parents, children, and staff. To this, I want to assure everyone in our school community that as Superintendent, my first priority is to ensure that our facilities are safe and secure, and every child and/or adult who enters our facilities feels safe, welcomed, and valued.

Over the course of the summer, I had the opportunity to meet with Chief Sparks of the Lincoln Police Department to discuss the potential of a school-based police officer for the 2022-2023 school year. I am happy to report that as a result of our meetings, RSU 67 now has a school-based officer, generously funded by the Lincoln Police Department and the Town of Lincoln. Officer Linwood Severance will join RSU 67 in late August and he will be based at Mattanawcook Academy during the school year. However, he will also visit Mattanawcook Junior High School and Ella P. Burr Elementary regularly as part of his duties in the district. I hope that when you see him, you will all join me in welcoming Officer Severance to RSU 67.

In addition to addressing school safety and security with a new school-based police officer, I am pleased to announce that the district is also spearheading a summer “School Safety Summit” which will take place later in August. In addition to district administration, the summit will include members of the Lincoln Police Department, and administration at Northern Penobscot Tech Region III. The purpose of the summit will be to collaborate with regional partners about school safety, receive updated training on responding to school violence, review current safety plans, and to update our plans as appropriate. After the summit, it is my expectation that training will be provided to members of our school community within the first days of the school year. It is also my hope to hold a school safety forum for anyone who wishes to attend later in the fall.

School safety can be a difficult subject to discuss, but it is an important issue that cannot be ignored. Ensuring the safety of our schools, and the students and staff in them, is my top priority. I am confident that if we are vigilant, we can make a difference. As we begin the school year together, I ask that members of our community, families, staff, and students do their part in making our schools as safe as possible. If you hear or see something, please say something to a teacher, administrator, or police officer. Together, we can make our schools safer for everyone.

Remember……If you Hear or See Something…. PLEASE Say Something! If you have questions about school safety, please contact your school administrator for more information.

Until next time…...

Paul Austin, Superintendent of Schools