Executive Director’s Report March 7, 2019
The month of February has been filled with a tremendous surge of energy. Drew Freme, our business consultant, has done an amazing job in assisting MECDHH in crafting our request to the State for the additional funds needed to carry out our vision of serving more students statewide. We are well prepared for our meeting on March 8th with the Commissioner of Education Pender Malik, and her team, to discuss our budgetary needs and present our vision for the future. We will share a comprehensive Power Point presentation, a draft of our strategic plan, and a proposed budget. The budget request to the state will be presented by the Executive Director during Executive Session at Thursday’s meeting.
During the board meeting we will discuss the first draft of our strategic plan. Input for the plan has been gathered from the leadership team, staff, and the Deaf Council. It is shaping up to be a vibrant, breathing document that states clearly the direction we want to pursue and the actions necessary to reach our destination. A lot of hours have been poured into this document, but it has been time well spent as it will provide the driving force to fulfill our vision for the future. A huge thank you to the leadership team for hanging in there and staying the course.
On Februry 12th, Drew and the Executive Director met with representatives from the Bureau of Real Estate Management and the Attorney General's office to discuss the redevelopment plan proposal for buildings B and G. Following a brief description of our goals and the proposed financing structure of the project, the AG's office approved drafting and, pending final review, releasing the RFQ to redevelop the buildings.
At the board meeting you will meet our new Director of Operations and Human Resources, Cathy Murphy. She comes to us with over ten years of experience as business manager for the Camden-Rockport School department. We are thrilled to have her on our team. Drew will remain with us until March 15th to ensure a smooth transition.
Lee Goldberg, reporter and anchor at WCSH, produced a wonderful television segment featuring our programs. You can view it on the homepage of our website. While there, you may notice considerable work has been started to update the site. This refresh will be ongoing as we continue to remove out-of-date data and add more pertinent information. Online job applications have been created to make applying for a position at GBSD more attractive and streamlined.
Recruitment of staff and board members has been going well on both fronts. Both Karen and Rebecca spent part of their February vacations recruiting in Washington, DC, and Florida respectively. We expect receive word soon from the office of Boards and Commissions regarding two of our most recent applicants to the board.
Mainstream and Deaf Education Programs
East End Community School
Over the winter break, the GBSD program at EECS moved into one large classroom. The space will allow us to work with more students at the same time and still give us room to stretch! The older students are looking forward to being role models for the younger students. We are thankful to the maintenance crew for assisting with this move.
Portland High School
Students are in the process of selecting courses for next fall. Several of them have visited PATHS to see what trades are available for them to learn.
We have a potential new student visiting on March 6th. She will be shadowing two of our students in their mainstream classes and also participating in our ASL classes.
Our high school students have been invited to view a doctoral defense. They are excited to visit a local college and see the process of defending a dissertation!
Statewide Education and Family Services
The Early Childhood and Family Services team has done three presentations at CDS (Child Development Services) sites to discuss our 6-visit process, the new hearing assistive technology process and new resources. Corri O’Brian has been doing these sessions with the consultant assigned to the site. Katie Duncan has been involved as well!
We have had 12 new referrals this month from the Maine Newborn Hearing program! This is high for a monthly referral count. ECFS is working hard to keep up with all the new babies coming their way.