Eric J. Varney Principal Morse High School

Principal's Message

August 23, 2022

Dear Morse Students and Families,

With just over two weeks to go before the opening days of school, I am reaching out to welcome you to a new year at Morse! The school was very quiet this summer with just a few finishing touches being completed on the school itself. However, Morse is starting to come alive again with the Morse staff readying their classrooms for a new year and our fall athletic teams active in pre-season play. I would especially like to welcome the class of 2026 to Morse for their first year of high school.

Set For Success

All RSU 1 students and families are invited to Morse High School on Sunday, August 28th between 10:00AM and 2:00PM for our annual Set for Success event. Set for Success is a wonderful partnership between RSU 1 and the Midcoast Youth Center where all students will receive all of their school supplies free of charge and have opportunities to speak with school officials and other organizations in the community. Students can even receive a free haircut in our cosmetology lab. I welcome all students and families to stop-by. 

Start Days and Schedule

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 6th for grade 9 students only. As in previous years, we reserve the first day of school to orient our incoming ninth grade students to high school. Upon entering Morse for the first time, students will be assisted in finding their advisory room, where they will receive a fresh copy of their class schedule. Students will spend most of the day in their Advisory groups, where they will learn their class schedule, become familiar with the building, procedures, and traditions that make Morse a special place to go to school. Ninth grade students will also attend all of their classes for about 15 minutes, where they will meet their teachers, receive a list of needed supplies, and start reviewing course expectations. The intention of this day is to give the Class of 2026 a little more knowledge and confidence before they attend school with all grades present. Students should bring something to write with and something to write on, as well as their school-issued Chromebook (if they attended an RSU1 school in previous years). 

The first day of school is Wednesday, September 7th for all students, grades 9-12. 

Please remember that this is a late start Wednesday; school starts at 8:40 AM. Students will report directly to their advisory, where they will receive a fresh copy of their daily schedule and other important information. Students can also access their schedule now through Infinite Campus (ic.rsu1.org). This first day of school will also include a full-school assembly and a modified schedule, where students will attend all of their classes for a brief time.

Open House

Morse and Bath Tech will host an open house on the evening of September 15th from 5:00 - 6:00 PM. The Morse Student Services Team will also host a post-secondary planning session for senior students and families in the Montgomery Theater from 6:00 - 7:00 PM. All students and family members are welcome to join us for our open house, see the school and briefly meet teachers. We hope to see you on September 15th!

Bus Transportation

RSU 1 contracts with First Student to provide free transportation between school and home for all students residing in an RSU 1 community (Bath, Woolwich, Arrowsic, Phippsburg) who would like to take advantage of this opportunity. First Student can be reached at 207-707-4856. The communities of Georgetown and West Bath contract with Bath Bus Service to provide the same services. Bath Bus Service can be reached at 207-443-1006. The following links may be helpful in preparing your student for the first day of school:

AM Bus Routes

PM Bus Routes

Afternoon bus lineup in the Morse Bus Loop

Daily Bell Schedule

Morse will run the same daily class schedule as we did last year, with some slight changes surrounding our lunch times. An image of the schedule is below. This schedule will be explained in classes and Advisory on the first day of school. Students who attend a Bath Tech program will have a slightly modified schedule that will also be explained on the first day of school.

BELL

Builder Block (RTI)

As we did last year, Morse will continue to have our Builder Block periods, in the middle of the day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Teachers will request for students to attend their builder block during the period that is marked “RTI” on their schedule. This will show on students’ daily schedule on Infinite Campus. Students will have the opportunity to request to see teachers during Builder Block as well on Tuesdays. Students will be trained /reminded of how this works in their Advisory groups on 9/7 and teachers will help students request teachers for  Builder Blocks on Thursday and Friday of the first week.

Lunch & Breakfast

Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria this school year. Lunch occurs during their 4th-period class on Monday and Tuesday. Those teachers will inform the class whether they go to lunch during the first or second lunch period. Lunch occurs opposite from their builder block on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which is listed on their schedule. This will also be reviewed in Advisory sessions on the first days of school. 

We are thankful that all students can eat lunch & breakfast in the cafeteria for free again this school year. The free lunch and breakfast applies to full meals only; there will be a-la-carte items that will be for sale in the cafeteria as well. Although lunch is free of charge, we ask that families continue to fill out the free-and-reduced paperwork, which helps our school fund important programs. This paperwork is available electronically and is in the packet that will go home on the first day of school. Please contact the food service director, Melissa Cole, for more information: mcole@rsu1.org.

School Supplies

Please make sure that your student brings their school-issued Chromebook, fully charged, to school daily, starting on the first day of school. If they have used their personal device in past years, please have them bring that device. If your student is new to RSU1 schools, we will be issuing a Chromebook to them on the first days of school. Individual teachers will give students’ supply lists on the first day of school. A general list of needed supplies will also be available at the Set for Success event. 

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

The Maine CDC and Department of Education have retired the Standard Operating Procedures that Maine Schools followed for COVID-19 safety during the last school years. COVID-19 is now being treated as other communicable diseases in schools. If a student has a fever, chills, sore throat, cough, muscle or body aches, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell, please stay home and call Nurse Barter at 207-443-8250, or email her at kbarter@rsu1.org, for further guidance. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, Nurse Barter will communicate the requirements around returning to school and masking on days 6-10. Mask wearing is still a personal choice for each individual who is not testing positive for COVID-19 and students and staff will honor this choice with respect.

Student Parking

All students who would like to park in the student parking lot are required to register for a parking permit with Mrs. Levasseur, hlevasseur@rsu1.org 443-8250 - ext 1, in the main office at Morse. Students will need to show their license, return a completed parking contract signed by a parent , and pay $10 to cover the cost of the permit. Parking permits will be issued to seniors first; remaining parking spots will be given to underclassmen as available. If a student does not receive a parking permit at the school, they may park at the tennis courts parking lot at the McMann Field Complex. 

Open Campus Privileges

The open campus privileges will continue for qualified grade 12 students only this school year. Grade 12 students have already received a separate email from Mrs. Levasseur, hlevasseur@rsu1.org  443-8250 - ext 1, who is the contact person for open privileges. Students are also welcome to come see Mrs. Levasseur in the main office for the required paperwork. There are a few important reminders about senior open privileges: 

  • Parent permission is required for an open period and/or for open lunch to occur.

  • Open lunch and first and second periods do not have a grade requirement, just parent permission

  • Seniors who have no D’s or F’s on the previous quarter’s report card may have opens during any period of the day with parent permission.

New Faculty and Staff

In addition to the members of the class of 2026, we are also welcoming several new and talented faculty and staff members to Morse this school year:

  • Sarah Bingham: Health Teacher

  • Karlie Brillant: Science Teacher

  • Georgianna Bunker: Credit Pathways Program Ed Tech

  • Andrew Chipman: Band Director

  • Sarah Coleman: English & Drama Teacher

  • Molly Ellis: School Counselor

  • Matthew Hamilton: Dean of Students

  • Beth Ann Nickerson: Special Education Teacher

  • Roman Quinn: Technology Integrator

  • Scott Stinchcomb: Extended Learning Opportunities Teacher

  • Jamaica Wight: Special Education Ed Tech

  • Abigail Baker will also be shifting from the special education department to the teacher in our new Credit Pathways Program

Although you still have two weeks left of summer, The Morse Faculty and Staff are so excited to welcome our students to a new school year. Please feel free to reach out with any questions in the remaining weeks of summer. See you soon!

Sincerely,

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Eric J. Varney
Principal
Morse High School