MSAD #51 District Newsletter - May 5, 2022


From the Superintendent

jeff"The Secret Sauce"

Last week I shared that our district's unique distinction of having both the #1 high school and middle school in Maine for multiple years was the result of fantastic kids, skillful staff, and supportive parents. I also noted that a laser-like focus on academics and the classroom in our district has sustained value for many years. So, what exactly is MSAD #51's "Secret Sauce," or the formula we have created to get the best academic results in Maine? The "secret" is all in the research.
Educator John Hattie has written extensively about research-tested strategies that are most effective in promoting student learning and achievement. Hattie's research has been vetted for 20 years and found to be wholly credible, given his reliance on those factors or "influences" that can be directly tied to increasing student success in the classroom. Hattie gives particular weight to strategies that rise above an effect size of 0.40 as contributing to more than one year's growth in achievement within a single school year (indicated in the blue zone of desired effects below). 
the secret sauce

MSAD #51 has a history of success with these effective research-based influences due to their off-the-chart evidence of helping students achieve more than one year's academic growth annually:

1.57     Collective teacher efficacy - teachers working together on curriculum-related topics
1.44     Students’ own expectations - hard-working students
1.28     Abstract thinking processes - rigor in learning, offering challenging curricular content
0.90    Teacher credibility - hire the best teachers and staff
0.75    Clear learning targets - viable & coherent curriculum
0.72    Teacher-student relationships - mental health supports
0.67    Prior knowledge - Essential Learning Standards that identify the most critical skills students need
0.52    Home environment - supportive & involved parents

As you can see, there is no "secret sauce" per se, just a purposeful focus on students and their learning using strategies that have been proven highly effective. Celebrate the success of your child's schools and be an ambassador for our district's efforts in raising the achievement level of all students. Thank you for your continued support in making MSAD #51 a leader at the state and national levels. 

Jeff Porter

lawrence alexanderequity group
Equity Consultant Lawrence Alexander speaks at the joint PTO/Foundation 51/MSAD 51 Equity event on Wednesday evening about why equity work is critical for all students in preparing for the 21st Century global economy.

Notices from the Office of the Superintendent

We Need Your Help!

Consider having your child ride our buses.  As you may be aware, our campus is very congested at the beginning and end of the school day. Please consider having your child ride the bus to help alleviate the traffic snarls that take place with the high volume of vehicles on campus during these peak times. A reduction in vehicles on campus for drop off and pick up will also keep our environment cleaner and improve air quality conditions for students and staff. Call our transportation department at 829-4820 if you need more information or have questions about bus runs. 

Meet the Candidates

Candidates Night in North Yarmouth is May 9 at 6:00 PM in Wescustogo Hall & North Yarmouth Community Center. Hear from the candidates running for office and listen to their goals and ideas for the future.  This is for all open seats, not just the MSAD #51 Board of Directors.

The Town of Cumberland will be hosting a Meet the Candidates night on May 18 at 6:45 PM for the MSAD #51 School Board candidates, in the Town Council Chambers.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our District's weekly newsletter by clicking here.
Follow us on Twitter @SuperMSAD51
Like us on Facebook at MSAD #51
Find us Instagram @msad_51
YouTube Channel MSAD #51

COVID-19 Cases

Below is a snapshot of the current positive COVID-19 cases.  For more information, including updated information regarding COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Information Center at:

Current COVID-19 Cases

covid dashboard

MSAD #51 Board of Directors Information

Meetings start at 6:30 pm in the Greely Center for the Arts at GHS unless otherwise noted.

May 19 - District Budget Meeting, 7:00 PM

Remember you can watch our meetings on YouTube LIVE (

Meeting Dates, Agendas & Minutes
Board of Directors Meeting Videos


Budget Information 2022-23

Detailed budget information can be found on the District's website at:

2022-23 Budget Update

The MSAD #51 Board of Directors unanimously approved the proposed 2022-23 budget earlier this week. There are only two steps left: the district budget meeting on Thursday, May 19 @ 7:00 PM in the GCA open to all voters who live in Cumberland and North Yarmouth and the voter referendum on Tuesday, June 14 held at your town's polling station. 

A separate question on the June 14 election ballot includes acceptance of $1.5 million in state funds for light renovations to replace aging windows and doors, upgrade HVAC systems, and improve security at Mabel I. Wilson School. 50% of these funds will be free outright and the remaining 50% will be loaned at 0% interest. Acceptance of state funds for these renovations is not contingent upon any future decisions regarding a new school. These renovations are needed regardless of how the MIW facility is utilized going forward. If approved, these state funds will take care of about half of the total identified upgrades at MIW, with the other half expected to be rolled into a future bond package for a new school.

Check out the current status of the 2022-23 Budget:
FY 23 Budget Summary
Proposed Budget-March 21 Initial Presentation

Community Partners

Our Community Partners are strong supporters of various areas of the school.  Without them, our students would not have many of the wonderful opportunities and experiences that they receive.

Staff Appreciation Week! May 9-13

Please join the Greely PTO by celebrating our amazing staff and teachers at our three schools during the week of May 9-13! Help us show them gratitude and shower them with love for all the hard work they are doing. Please see the flyer for ideas or get creative with your own ideas!
staff appreciation

Useful Links

Employment Opportunities

MSAD #51 Website

2018-2021 Strategic Plan

District Calendar

GHS Athletics Schedule

Greely Center for the Arts Events


If you would like something included in our weekly newsletter, please send a brief write up with title along with a JPEG or PNG image of your flyer (if applicable) to Fran Prentice for approval. The deadline each week is Sunday. Any requests received after Sunday will be reviewed for possible submission in the following week's newsletter. All approved submissions will be posted on the district's website.

Not all items in this email are MSAD #51 sponsored programs. If you need more information, please contact the group or organization that is sponsoring the event.

Maine School Administrative District #51
357 Tuttle Road, PO Box 6A, Cumberland, ME 04021
Contact Us   |    207.829.4800