Superintendent’s Corner - October 11, 2022   

Dear RSU 67 staff, students, families, and community members,  

As we approach the halfway point of October, we are surrounded by the beauty of the changing season in Maine.  A quick ride across the region shows the most stunning red, yellow, and orange colors which grow more vivid with each passing day.  Fall is indeed a special time of year, and I sincerely hope that you take just a moment to enjoy the beauty that is all around us.  In this week’s edition of the Superintendent’s Corner, I want to share some information with you regarding the district’s use of ESSER III funds (Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Funds) which have been extended for use through the 2023-2024 school year. 

  The ESSER III federal funds were awarded to all public school districts to address the impact of the COVID pandemic on our students, staff, and our school communities.  This past year, the district had planned, and the voters approved, the use of ESSER III funds (approximately $2.7 million) to complete renovation projects at Ella P. Burr, Mattanawcook Junior High, and to relocate the Central Office to Mattanawcook Academy.  Unfortunately, due to the rising cost of renovation and materials, combined with a shortage of available construction workers, the RSU 67 School Board made the difficult decision to cancel renovations and reallocate the available funds to new and/or existing ESSER III projects that would provide the greatest benefit to our students, staff, and school community.  

Over the course of the past several weeks, the district solicited input on the use of ESSER III funds from stakeholders in a variety of ways.  We created and posted a survey.  We attended/hosted several community forums.  We solicited input from our faculty and staff at staff meetings in each of our schools, and we discussed the use of funds publicly in an RSU 67 Operations Committee meeting and at School Board meetings.  Once the input was gathered, the RSU 67 COVID Response Team met to review the information and determined new projects and expansion of several existing ESSER III projects, all based upon the input we received.  

The district will submit an updated ESSER III application to the state for approval by October 14.  Based upon what we heard from stakeholders, we plan to extend several positions, such as educational technicians and interventionists through the 2023-2024 school year, and we plan to significantly expand summer school options for grades K-12 over the next two summers.  When our application is approved, we intend to improve and expand playgrounds at Ella P. Burr and Mattanawcook Junior High School, and we will construct new outdoor recreational opportunities at Mattanawcook Academy.  We will fund a school resource officer, provide additional classroom materials, and improve heating and ventilation in all three schools.   

For the complete list of proposed ESSER III projects, I encourage you to visit the district website at or email Dr. Heather Rockwell at for more information.


Until next time………….