SAD 44 exploring EBS future, CPS voting issues; hoping for education grant
The SAD 44 School Board’s Facilities Committee has begun discussion on the future of the Ethel Bisbee School and the future of holding elections at the Crescent Park Elementary School.
The district recently received a resolution from Bethel selectmen asking that the EBS building be returned to the town.
At Monday’s School Board meeting Supt. Dave Murphy said it is currently used for storage and SAD 44 needs to find an alternative should the district give up the building.
“That’s an issue for us,” he said.
He said he has been discussing options with Town Manager Jim Doar, and that Maintenance Supervisor Ron Deegan and Doar looked at another potential facility for the district to use.
The Facilities Committee will report back to the board when the research is complete.
The committee also met with Bethel resident Darren Tripp, a former police chief, regarding his concerns about holding elections at CPS.
In recent months the town and SAD 44 have heard from citizens worried about the safety of children at the school when it is so accessible to the public on voting days.
Murphy said the committee will discuss the situation further at upcoming meetings.
Murphy also informed directors he is hopeful SAD 44 may be able to join a $25 million, five-year ongoing/federal state grant program that focuses on school environment, educator evaluation, professional growth and data management, “a lot of the things we’re talking about that we need to put some effort into,” he said.
Murphy said one of four Maine school districts that began the program “Maine Schools of Excel-lence, Teacher incentive Fund” last fall has dropped out and a replacement district is being sought.
“Based on our demographics, we’re a good candidate,” he said.
The program includes financial incentives fro school staff for meeting certain goals, he said.
Murphy also updated the board on the Telstar High School/Central Maine Community College Dual Enrollment Program, which will allow members of the Class of 2014 to attend CMCC classes next year and at the same time earn THS graduation credits.
Two students have registered for the program, two are in the process and another is considering it, said Murphy.
Up to about 10 students could participate.
Murphy said he hopes if the initial class has a successful experience the program will grow in future years.
Project Opportunity and Sunday River Resort have pledged financial support for the program.
In other business Monday directors:
Approved a $15 increase per laptop for next year’s Maine Laptop Initiative program for seventh- and eighth-graders. Directors had earlier approved funds to make up a gap of $18 each in state funding for the program, but further information revealed additional local funds would be needed.
Approved revisions to the district policies and procedures including a second and final reading of the restraint policy; a first reading of the bullying policy; and a first reading of the supplemental instruction materials policy.
Learned of the resignations or retirement for the following personnel: Michael Gilbert, THS French teacher (part-time); James Thibodeau, K-5 instrumental music teacher (part-time); Raymond Geiger, Telstar technology technician; Linsley Chapman, Adult & Community Ed clerk/receptionist.