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Update From Superintendent Gartley 10/26/23

October 26, 2023

Staff, Parents and Community,

This message is going out to all staff and parents.   I want everyone to have the same information.

I am deeply saddened by the events that have shaken our state.  Maine is an incredible place to live and raise a family.  But unfortunately, we are now dealing with an unspeakable tragedy.   So many people lost their lives yesterday, it is hard to even imagine what those families impacted are going through.

Maine is a close knit community.  I have already heard from several people in our towns with direct connection to families who are impacted by this event.  No words can make this better, but I am confident that as a community we will come together to support anyone who needs us.

Accompanying this letter are a few recommendations and resources for helping staff, parents, and families talk to students.  And of course, if anyone knows of a student who is struggling, please reach out to their building principal so we can provide support.

Plans for school tomorrow are still unknown at this time.  There are many details up in the air.

Option 1 for tomorrow:  If law enforcement agencies notify us that the suspect is no longer a threat for our area, we will have school tomorrow.  However, we will have a two-hour delay.  Parents, we need time to take care of the staff so they can take care of the students.  Staff, we will start at 7:30 in each school.  All teachers and educational technicians will meet with their building principal at 7:30 to get ready for the day.  The student day will start at 10:00.

If I decide to go with option 1, I will announce this decision as soon as it is made.

We will have students and staff greatly impacted by the events of the last 24 hours. Administrators are working with social workers and school counselors this afternoon to prepare for tomorrow morning.

Option 2 for tomorrow:  If law enforcement deems the situation to still be a threat in our area, we will unfortunately have to cancel school once again tomorrow.   If this is the option I decide to go with, the final announcement will likely not come until tomorrow morning.  As you know, things can change quickly in situations like this.

Thank you to the entire staff in RSU 18 who continue to demonstrate amazing care and empathy for our students.   And finally, a special thanks to local law enforcement and EMS.  Their support cannot be overstated.

Take care of yourselves and your families.

Carl Gartley

Superintendent of Schools

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