January 14, 2022
Back to In-Person Learning
Dear Staff, Students, and Parents,
I am pleased to announce that Brunswick High School will return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. We will also be resuming all extra-curricular activities, including athletics and after-school clubs at BHS and BJHS. Although COVID-related staff absences continue to be a challenge, I feel we will have the infrastructure and capacity to welcome students back into the building next week.

As I have consistently said, closing a school is the last resort. As a community, we need to work together to help keep our schools open for in-person learning. You can help do this by doing the following:

  • Proper and consistent masking. Students and staff should wear masks that fit properly. Masks should fit the face and be snug around the edges, fully covering both nose and mouth. Masks may only be removed during meals and when outdoors.

  • Vaccinate. According to the CDC, vaccinated and boosted people have a significantly lowered chance of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Family members can also help by ensuring that they are fully vaccinated and therefore less able to transmit the virus within households.

  • Sign up for Pooled Testing. Early detection is critical for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Pooled testing allows schools to identify positive cases early and helps keep our schools open for in-person learning. Pooled testing is meant for early and pre-infectious detection to help stop the further spread of the virus. Staff and students can still register for pooled testing. The directions can be found here.

  • Stay home when sick.  If exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or any illness, stay home and seek testing before returning to school.


I appreciate your continued support and understanding and look forward to having students return to school on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Sincerely,
Phillip J. Potenziano, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Reminder
Monday, January 17, 2022
No School In Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Click here for the Brunswick School Department calendar.
Health & Safety Update
COVID-19 Cases
Between January 8 and January 13, there were 115 new COVID-19 cases in the Brunswick School Department:
Cumulative statistics on all COVID-19 cases during the 2021-22 school year are available on the COVID-19 Dashboard.  Please note that the number of COVID cases has risen dramatically in recent weeks. The data above and on the Dashboard are as accurate as possible but they are constantly evolving.
Absences
The following information is provided as an indicator of health in the schools.
Please note:
  1. This information is published during the day on Fridays so Friday data is not available.
  2. Staff absences have been filtered to only include those due to sickness.
  3. Staff average absentee percentages are not provided because these absences include all staff assigned to a building regardless of function, job category, or schedule.
Pooled Testing
Pooled testing continues to be an effective tool for monitoring and identifying COVID-19 in the school community. You can still register your children for pooled testing. The directions can be found here.

Please note that due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, pooled testing at Kate Furbish Elementary School will happen on Wednesday, January 19.

Also, please be aware that Concentric, the contractor processing our pooled tests, is backed up and we are being informed of positive pools later than usual.  
Maine Department of Education's
Teacher of the Year Award
Nominations are open! Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and who inspire the achievement of all students.

Nominations can be made through a nomination form on the Maine Teacher of the Year Website now through 5:00 pm on Feb. 4, 2022. Nominations will be accepted from students, parents, caregivers, community members, school administrators, colleagues, college faculty members, and associations/organizations (self-nominations, and nominations from family members are not accepted).

To be considered for the County and Maine Teacher of the Year award, a person must:
  • Be employed by a Maine public school including PK-12, Career and Technical Education sites and centers, and/or Adult Education Programs.
  • Hold the appropriate professional certification for their position.
  • Be actively teaching students at least 50% of full-time at the time of nomination and during the year of recognition.
  • Have been teaching for a minimum of five years – three of which are in Maine.
  • Remain teaching in the County for which they are selected during year of recognition.

Maine’s County and State Teachers of the Year serve as advocates for teachers, students, and public education in Maine. They serve as advisors to the Department of Education and state-level education stakeholders across Maine. Additionally, County and State Teachers of the Year join a cohort of teacher leaders that actively work together for the betterment of education in Maine. They also receive on-going professional learning and participate in many state and county leadership opportunities.

For more information on nominating an educator or to submit a nomination, please visit the Teacher of the Year website.
BHS Collaboration with Pejepscot History Center
The BHS Social Studies Department spent their November professional development day at the Pejepscot Historical Center (PHC). On a guided tour of the iconic Skolfield-Whittier House, this Victorian mansion revealed and reflected much about the period in Brunswick - the impact of shipbuilding, European travel, servants, mills, technology, medical advances, Bowdoin College, and women’s history. Teachers also engaged in workshops on teaching with PHC’s Digital Resources database, and physical holdings like archival photos and artifacts. PHC staff and docents generously gave their time to provide these sessions and help teachers lay plans for future class collaborations. A great day for all!
Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine
Brunswick School Department is pleased to partner with Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine for parent training.

Sexual Violence 101 & Responding to Concerns of Sexual Abuse
This training is free for Brunswick-Area Parents and Caregivers.
January 26th, 2022 from 6:00-8:00pm
*THIS IS NOW A VIRTUAL EVENT VIA ZOOM*
Employee Spotlight
Amanda Cohen
Special Education Substitute Teacher at Harriet Beecher Stowe

A special note from Amanda's coworker and friend, Carmon Parker:

My first conversation with Amanda Cohen was four years ago. For those who know Amanda, it will come as no surprise that it was of course about her son, Jacob. Her eyes matched the smile on her face as she shared so many wonderful stories about him. From this moment and from countless others we’ve had together, I’ve known a couple of things to be true about Amanda. First, the love she has for her son and her husband, David, is fierce and unconditional. Second, all the love this amazing woman has in her heart, can’t be contained.

This past year, Amanda found her true passion in life, which is sharing all her compassion and support to those who need it most. She has volunteered her time and resources to painting with students with special needs at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School. Her gentle understanding, and kindness made it easy for each child in all four self-contained programs to make a connection with her. Amanda’s light has brightened the darkest of days for many of our students. This light has undeniably extended throughout the entire school community. She has subbed in classrooms, including the art room, and even held a paint night for teachers to fundraise for special education programs. The students have now nicknamed her, Mrs. Coco, which she embraces with pride.

This past week, Amanda and David received tragic news. After beating breast cancer twice, it has now returned to Amanda’s brain. Even though the prognosis is not what we would’ve hoped for, she still is committed to dedicating her life to her family and our students. The lessons Amanda continues to teach us are that there are no “bad seeds” and that we all have a light inside that deserves to shine.
Employment Opportunities
WE'RE HIRING! Click the link below to view current employment opportunities within the Brunswick School Department.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
For more information: call (207) 373-6970 or email jgodo@midcoasthealth.com
or click here to register for the January 10th session.
Brunswick School Department | https://www.brunswicksd.org/