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Covid-19 Update - Superintendent's Office - 4/8/2020

posted by Seth Cole

Dear friends...

I'm sure you heard on the news today that Commissioner of Education, Pender Makin, issued a communication last evening that included a recommendation--supported by Governor Mills--that Maine schools remain in a remote learning mode for the remainder of the school year.  The hope, albeit fleeting, that we may return to classroom-based instruction by re-opening our schools in May, is all but dashed.  

It is difficult for me to formalize the announcement that we will not be re-opening our Kittery schools before the end of the current school year.  Admittedly, my optimism was clouding the realities of the impact of Covid-19--the reality that the virus in our region of the US is just beginning to ramp up and that a return to school-based learning too soon would negate any progress that we've made by staying home. It's a bummer. 

It's a bummer because for many of our students, they rely on school for stability, love, food, protection, and socializing.  For many of our parents, school provides them the time to do their own work and to take care of their personal and professional needs, the needs of the elderly, and the needs of their families. 

It's a bummer because our teachers and support staff entered this profession because they love children and they love interacting with children (yes, even the teenage ones!). None of us signed on to do that through Zoom or Google Meets.  

Yes; a bummer for sure, but we'll do it!  We'll make it! SO FAR, SO GOOD (as the Traip Academy sign now reads).  In the weeks ahead, the Leadership Team and I will address some very difficult questions including these:
  • What will the 2020 Traip Academy Commencement look like?
  • What will the 2020 Shapleigh School Promotional look like?
  • What about Senior Capstone Project Presentations?
  • How about other important culminating school events like parades and concerts?
  • What will happen with the Traip Academy Prom?
  • How will our 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade students be effectively transitioned to Shapleigh School and Traip Academy?
  • What if a student feels unprepared for next fall and a new grade level?
  • Will Summer Academy be offered?
  • What will final 'grades' look like?
There will be others.  If you have a specific question, feel free to reach out to your teachers or building principal (or me!).  There is no 'Owners Manual' for all of this; you are in luck, however.  You have a team of highly motivated, creative, and thoughtful leaders in the Kittery School District who are supported by hardworking and determined teachers and support staff.  And they are buoyed by you, our families, who have shown us so much love and support these past three weeks.  Keep that coming!

In the wake of the Commissioner's announcement last night, it is going to be tough for me to say something funny for my Friday vlog, but I'll come up with something that is worthy of a big, collective eye-roll from my kids.  That's my motivation! 

Stay positive, Kittery!


Eric F. Waddell
Supt. of Schools
Kittery School District
Kittery, Maine
(207) 475-1334

Sharknado Of Books - Take A Pic With Your Finished Book!

posted Apr 7, 2020, 7:58 AM by Seth Cole

Shapleigh sharks have been devouring books during these unique times! We'd like to document the books that kids (and teachers) are reading.  Every time a student finishes a book before April 24, please ask them to take a photo of themselves with the book (or a sign with the title if they read it online) and upload it to this shared drive:  or they can email it to Mr. Cole at

We hope to combine these photos into a project that will be shared on the Shapleigh School website!  So again, please upload pictures of any completed books by April 24!

Kittery School Nutrition Lunchtime Changes Start April 6

posted Apr 3, 2020, 11:42 AM by Seth Cole

Starting on Monday April 6, Kittery lunchtime meal pick up sites will be at Shapleigh School from 11:00am-12:30pm, and Woodland Commons from 11:00am-12:00pm. Kittery School Nutrition will continue to deliver meals to folks who can't get to a site.  See flier attached!

Covid-19 Update - Superintendent's Office - 3/24/2020

posted Mar 24, 2020, 9:18 AM by Seth Cole

Good day Kittery...this is Eric calling from the Superintendent's Office.  I hope you are all doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.  I wanted to give you an update today on our status in the midst of the current Coronavirus pandemic.  The Governor is urging Maine schools to expand the current school shutdown.  As a result, the Kittery School District will not resume classroom-based instruction until Monday, April 27th.  Even then, I predict that it may take far longer than that to resume business as usual.  Of course, this situation changes by the day; if our status changes here in the School District, I will be sure to keep you informed. 

Our staff is hard at work to ensure that our students receive an engaging remote learning experience and that our families feel supported by their teachers, special educators, and support staff.  If that is not the case, I urge you to reach out to your student's principal.  Strong communication is key, and even though we are not all under the same roof right now, we can communicate as though we are.  

Enjoy your day!

Watch And Listen To Band And Chorus Concerts!

posted Mar 24, 2020, 5:43 AM by Seth Cole

The Shapleigh School "Music in our Schools" Band and Chorus concerts from earlier this month are now available to watch and listen again! Under the direction of band director Jonathan Roth and choral director Jayne Segedy, plus special appearances from the Traip Academy band and chorus and the Seacoast Wind Ensemble, music in our schools is alive and well!

Click here to view the band concert (53 minutes) - from March 10, 2020
Click here to watch the chorus concert (49 minutes) - from March 12, 2020

New Shapleigh School Counseling Website Launched

posted Mar 18, 2020, 7:39 AM by Seth Cole

Shapleigh School counselors have a new website to help families understand and address topics concerning Covid-19 and distance learning. Middle school counselor Kristin O'Neill, and elementary school counselor Kelly Martin have created this site. They can also be reached via email.

Free Breakfast And Lunch Starts March 18

posted Mar 17, 2020, 4:01 AM by Seth Cole

The Kittery Schools Nutrition Program will be offering free breakfast and lunch to all families starting Wednesday, March 18. Curbside pickup will be available from 11am-12pm at three locations: the Kittery Community Center, Woodland Commons and Howard Street. Please see attachment for more details.

Covid-19 Update - Superintendent's Update 3/14/20

posted Mar 14, 2020, 2:37 PM by Seth Cole

Good afternoon, Eric calling from the Superintendent's office.  I just completed a web conference with the Commissioner of Education followed by a meeting with my leadership Team.  For many reasons, I have determined that the Kittery School District will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16th.  The first two days of the shutdown, as noted in our Continuity of Operations Plan, will be identified as 'storm days' and will be made up in June.  During this time, our buildings will be deep cleaned and the leadership team will reconvene.  Among the important topics that we will continue to address are a plan for feeding our students, a plan to address students who receive specialized services, and a plan to support our teachers and support staff as they build their understanding and craft around distance learning.  Our staff will return to work on Wednesday, either on site or remotely, to prepare for our distance learning deployment, and this professional development time will extend through Friday, March 20th.

Beginning Monday, March 23rd,  remote lessons will begin and extend through the week.  I will notify families when classes will resume back in our schools.  In the meantime, you can expect to receive a communication from your student's principal.  This could come as early as Sunday afternoon or as late as Monday morning, so please watch for that. This is a challenging time, and these are uncharted waters for me.  Thank you for being patient with me and with your student's school.  We are doing our best.  Have a good evening!

Donation Due Date For Kittery Kids Live! This Thursday

posted Mar 10, 2020, 4:55 AM by Seth Cole

The "Kittery Kids Live! Talent Show" is March 20, but the donation due date for the Basket Raffle is THIS THURSDAY (March 12). In addition to giving our kids the opportunity to show off their talents “Kittery Kids Live! Talent Show” is the largest K-8 PTA fundraiser for our schools.  A big portion of this is due to the Basket Raffle and its success is 100% due to the amazing donations we receive from YOU!  Each grade level is assigned a theme and we ask for donations around that theme.

Please see below for grade themes and the link to a signup genius.
These are suggestions to get you started – but feel free to be creative! All ideas are welcomed (choose “other” on the sign up) and no gift is too small.  If you’re strapped for time you can send in a cash donation and the PTA shopping crew will do the buying for you.  Gift cards are also a fantastic addition to the baskets (or to help build the baskets).  Got friends (AKA class parent)?  Pool your ideas and resources with a group donation!

Kindergarten – Arts & Crafts
1st Grade – Summer Fun
2nd Grade – Baking Fun

3rd Grade – Family Game & Movie Night

4th Grade – Health & Wellness

5th Grade – Gardening

6th Grade – Sports & Fitness

7th Grade & 8th Grade– Camping & Grilling

We love featuring local businesses – if you own a business (or have a generous employer) we happily welcome your product or gift certificate.

Event Date is Friday, March 20 and the Donation Due Date is Thursday, March 12.

Thanks in advance for your support! If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact Casey at

Perry Named Assistant Principal, Featured In Local News

posted Mar 2, 2020, 11:01 AM by Seth Cole

Michelle Perry, Shapleigh's School's interim assistant prinipal since August, has been appointed to assistant principal. The announcement was made unanimously by Superintendent Eric Waddell at the School Committee's February 12 meeting.

Click here to read the article online that was published on February 28.

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