RSU23 Content

10-26-23 RSU 23 Community Evening Update

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October 26, 2023

4:30 PM Update

Dear RSU 23 Community,

I am reaching out to all of you this evening with a brief update. We continue to monitor the current search that is underway for the suspect in the Lewiston shootings. I have been in frequent contact with area law enforcement, area superintendents and our RSU 23 leadership team as we prepare for the upcoming days.

At the moment, it is too early to definitively say whether or not we will be able to safely return to school tomorrow morning. Law enforcement efforts continue to be underway to apprehend the individual responsible for the shootings and we continue to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our school community. While we all hope for a return to normalcy, we intend to make a decision that is best for the safety of our students, staff, and families within our district.

I will communicate via phone and email to all families no later than 5:30 AM with the plan for tomorrow. Building administrators, school leadership teams, and our district crisis teams have met throughout the day to develop communication and support plans for students. In addition, members of our law enforcement have committed to providing additional resources to support our returning students and staff.

As stated earlier today, we know many of you will be discussing this with your children and coming to terms with it yourselves. Violence of this nature is difficult to understand. As partners in your child’s well-being, we want you to know the district has support in place to help students process their feelings at school. HERE is a resource for parents and educators as you prepare to talk with children about this tragedy. We also ask that you share any concerns or information related to the incident with our school administration or law enforcement as appropriate.

Sincerely,

John Suttie
RSU 23 Superintendent of Schools

10-26-23 Mid Morning Community Update

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October 26, 2023

Dear RSU 23 Community,
Law enforcement efforts continue to be underway to apprehend the individual responsible for the shootings. We want to assure you that we are taking the necessary steps to provide support and ensure the safety of our school community. Although the incident did not occur within our town directly, we understand the impact tragedies such as this can have on all of us in Maine.

We know many of you will be discussing this with your children and coming to terms with it yourselves. Violence of this nature is difficult to understand. As partners in your child’s wellbeing, we want you to know the district has support in place to help students process their feelings at school. HERE is a resource for parents and educators as you prepare to talk with children about this tragedy.

We also ask that you share any concerns or information related to the incident with our school administration or law enforcement as appropriate.

Sincerely,


John Suttie
RSU 23 Superintendent of Schools

10-26-23 Morning Community Communication

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October 26, 2023

Dear RSU 23 Community

There are no words that accurately describe feelings we are all having following the news from Lewiston over the past 12 hours. The senseless and intentional violence targeting members of that community is unimaginable. As a school district, our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the entire Lewiston community.

I’ve been in conference with local and state law enforcement, the Maine Department of Education, and
superintendents in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties overnight. After consultation with the Old Orchard Police Department, and area superintendents and after having conducted a full assessment of existing conditions, we have made the determination to close schools today Thursday, October 26, 2023 out of an abundance of caution. Parent-Teacher conferences are also postponed and will be rescheduled. We will continue to assess existing conditions throughout the course of the day today to inform plans for school on Friday. Additional communications will be forthcoming later today. We are so grateful to be part of such a caring, resilient community. By pulling together during this difficult time, we can help our students emerge stronger. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,


John Suttie
RSU 23 Superintendent of Schools

A Statement From Old Orchard Beach Schools on the Passing of Sandra Lord

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The world became a better place to live on November 21, 1940 when Sandra Lord was born. Education was always important to Sandy as she proved throughout her lifetime beginning with graduating from Farmington State Teachers College and starting her teaching career in February 1965 teaching Home Economics classes to high school students at the Old Orchard Beach High School.  Sandra retired at the end of the school year of 1999 after teaching for 34 years in the Old Orchard Beach School Department.  However, once Sandy retired, she kept her love for the students, staff, families, and community of Old Orchard Beach alive by the continuance of her Sandy Seagull spirit for the school by starting the Old Orchard Beach Alumni Association so former classmates could keep in touch as well as work towards building funds for scholarships to help students in their college endeavors from 2000 to present.  Sandy also became the Scholarship Chairperson for the Town of Old Orchard Beach Schools Scholarship Trust which also helped numerous students continue their education.  No matter how many awards Sandy received for her multitude of hours that she put into educating students and helping to develop scholarships for future college students, there could never be enough gratitude and appreciation for all of her hard work, time, effort, and expertise that she gave to students, staff, families, and community members to help make their educational journeys successful.  Sandra Lord touched immeasurable lives in the community of Old Orchard Beach and, for that, her caring personality and dedication to the Old Orchard Beach School System and townspeople can never be replaced.

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