RSU18 Budget Unveiled

As Principal I spend a lot of time with our school and district budget.  It’s a hard process each year, but one that I am proud of and one that I believe reflects well on our RSU18 staff.  From Bus Drivers to teachers, to administrators and support staff, it is my belief that we do well by our local communities.

Information on the 2015-16 budget can be found at:

Information on past budgets can be found at:

This weekend I was asked about the budget (as a long-time resident with three kids moving through the district, I’m often approached with questions).  Below are some points I would share about our budget and the budgeting process.

Our district spending over the past five to six years has been very responsible:

RSU18 Budget 4.12% increase since 2011-12 (avg. increase of less than 1%/ year over that time frame).

Neighboring districts: Augusta – 8.15%, Maranacook – 10.85%, Waterville – 11.8%, Winslow 4.79% (Note: MSAD49 information not yet out for 2015-16)

RSU18 is frugal with their spending based on the per-student spending as reported by the state when compared both to state averages as well as the surrounding school communities.

RSU18 per-student spending: $11,524

Neighboring districts: Augusta – $12,714, Maranacook – $13,878, Waterville – $11,742, Winslow – $11,835.

RSU18 Comparison Data

(2013-14 Maine School Expense Category Comparison)

RSU18 does well by kids…  As principal of Messalonskee High School I have seen us work to better the education of the students in our building over the past four years.  The teaching staff has been flexible, increased a larger variety of offerings for students, and managed to consistently raise scores each year (as reported by state testing).   Last year we were one of only two High Schools in our area to receive a “B” on the state report card.  Although this year’s report cards will not be coming out, MHS scores were again up – 11 points above the state average score in reading and 9 points in Math (SAT test, Spring 2014).

Complete information on the 2015-16 budget can be found at:  Information on past budgets can be found at:


Some key dates to get more information on the proposed 2015-16 budget.

Public Hearings in Towns:  

4/13 – Oakland Public Information Meeting – Messalonskee Middle School, 6:00 pm

4/14 – Sidney Public Information Meeting – James H. Bean School, 6:00 pm

4/15 – Belgrade/Rome Public Information Meeting – Belgrade Central School, 6:00 pm

4/16 – China Public Information Meeting – China Middle School, 6:00 pm

RSU18 District Budget Hearing

5/7 – District Budget Hearing (citizens discuss, make motions, and vote on the budget to be presented to communities) – Messalonskee High School PAC, 6:00 pm

RSU18 Budget Validation Referendum (vote)

5/19 – District Vote on RSU18 15-16 budget (All communities)


The process for finalizing the School Board’s budget is well under way; if you have feedback or suggestions I suggest you reach out to your local board member to express those (Board Budget likely finalized for voters on 4/1/2015).   As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have pertaining to the budget or other items related to our work at MHS.

I hope to see you at one of the community meetings, the District Budget Hearing(5/7) and at the polls on May 19th!

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Think Spring with the MHS Garden Club Flower Power Fundraiser!

Jon Moody:

Check out the great things happening in RSU18 as the MHS Garden club is working to get the greenhouse up and running. In addition to the amazing practical educational experience for our students, we are hoping to eventually collaborate with RSU18 Nutrition services to provide more locally grown items in our food program!

Originally posted on Nutrition Services:

Greenhouse CLUB  2014-15

The MHS Greenhouse Club could really use your help!

 For the past year, the Greenhouse Club has filled out applications for grants, received donations from businesses, and physically helped to build an 18 X 28 greenhouse! The Greenhouse Club are trying to raise 3000.00 for the electrical and heating supplies.  They have started some tomato plants but the temp is ranging from 34-100 degrees in 24 hours and the environment needs to be regulated.

Here is how you can help. Think Spring!
3.3 Greenhouse snow Feb 2014 north

We are selling flower items through a Flower Power Fundraiser. The items that you order will get shipped directly to your home in time for spring planting and every sale is very much appreciated.

You can go on line to purchase items. The site is:

OR Google “Flower Power Fundraiser” and  click on “Find A Group” 
Just put in Maine for the state and options will come up to choose…

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MDA Benefit: Help me help the MDA, to help Kids!

Last year at about this time I received a call from a friend saying “I’ve been locked up, I’m in Jail, and I need you to bail me out.”.  I’m not sure what I thought at first, I certainly didn’t think he was the “Jail” type…  so I said “uh… okay – you are?  you do???”  He laughed, and explained that he had volunteered to be locked up to raise money to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  I promptly logged in and donated to help the cause.

So… fast-forward a few months…  In February I was contacted by a very nice sounding woman – letting me know that I was “nominated” to be locked up in jail.  Again I thought “locked up, I’m not really… I mean I once got a parking ticket but???”  And then it hit me!

So here I am, raising money for the MDA.

To make it even more interesting, I have heard that a neighboring principal has joined the cause and will be locked up with me at the same time (Mascott: Ram’s).  In the same spirit my friend contacted me, I’m reaching out to you to ask if you would consider donating and share this post with others to spread the word and ask if they too might consider donating to benefit this worth cause.

Help Bail Me Out!!!

Thank you for spreading the word and of course, helping bail me out!

~ Mr. Moody

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What’s The Matter With You People?

Jon Moody:

Thank you Mr. Smith for focusing us in on those things that really matter in school… Great teaching is (and should always be…) our priority!

Originally posted on rsu18supt:

As a Superintendent, I receive hundreds of emails and many of them are dealing with the issues and problems of the day that we need to address and work on.  So you can imagine my reaction to a recent parent’s email about their experience recently at our High School’s Parent Teacher Conference.  It was such a different message that I had to share this with others as the way it started out left one thinking what would follow…  This parent gave me the go ahead to do just that.  So here goes – the slightly edited email is below…


Good Morning,

I wanted to send a note regarding my experience with Parent/Teacher Conferences last evening at Messalonskee High School. It is a bit of a rant, so forgive me…My son … is a sophomore at MHS.  Throughout his academic life in the District, I have always been impressed with…

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MHS Big Brothers Big Sisters Benefit, April 11th

With the help of local volunteers and our MHS students and staff, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Maine has begun a BBBS program at Williams and Atwood Elementary Schools in Oakland.  Below is information about the “Bowl for Cassidy’s Sake” benefit being held to help benefit that program.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.54.43 PMGo on and register today at!


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Junior Class Auction: March 28th 5:30PM

Junior Auction

Come and join us for the Junior Class Auction to benefit Project Graduation!

Sure to be a fun evening with something for EVERYONE and EVERY budget!

Saturday March 28 5:30pm at the MHS Cafeteria

$10 ticket includes soup/chowder dinner, dessert and beverage.

Tickets available at the door or contact Ninette Fenlason at for advance purchase of tickets.

For complete details CLICK HERE.

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Regional Post-Secondary Planning Night: 3/18

Our Guidance department from Messalonskee is joining forces with the Guidance staff’s from Lawrence, Waterville and Winslow to offer their annual March Regional Post-Secondary Planning Night!  The event will be held at Waterville High School this year and will showcase a variety of topics and information for students whose interests range from certificate programs to two or four year college options and beyond.  Complete information is included in the Guidance letter below:

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 10.40.40 AM

Post-Secondary Planning Night

If you have questions give our guidance office a call at 207-465-4989!

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