SAD 44 to apply for middle school MELMAC grant
The School Board Tuesday gave its blessing for SAD 44 to apply for a grant to encourage middle school students to “be involved in talking about post-secondary education,” in the words of former Telstar High School principal Ted Davis.
The district will apply for a four-year MELMAC Partnership grant that would provide between $6,000 and $7,000 a year.
MELMAC, the Maine Educational Loan Marketing Corporation, supports initiatives that increase educational opportunities for Maine people.
For the past nine years Telstar High School has received funding to take students to visit colleges, prepare for entrance tests, make post-secondary plans, and follow through with them. Eighth-graders have also been included on college visits.
This past summer THS received a new four-year, $10,500-a-year MELMAC grant to continue those efforts.
Schools in Maine that received such recent grants were invited to apply for middle school funds, Davis said.
If TMS receives funding, he said, the school would be helping to break new ground in the lower grades. There are currently no standards for “best practices” at that level for promoting post-secondary interest, he said.
Whatever the specific course of action, parents would be a key component.
Noting that parents are typically very involved in their children’s school lives in the elementary grades, Davis said, “We’d be hoping to work with the parents and convince them to be as active in middle and high school as they are in elementary school.”
Supt. Dave Murphy said if TMS is successful in the grant application, the effort would go well with a current move to reintroduce parent organizations in upper grades (See Letter to the Editor regarding a TMS PTA, Page 2.)
In other business Tuesday, the board approved $19,330 for the purchase and installation of a warm air furnace at the SAD 44 Bus Garage. The vendor is Field Plumbing and Heating.
The cost is significantly less than an alternative system the district looked at last year, Murphy said.
Norm Greenberg was appointed social studies teacher at Telstar Middle School. He had been serving as a long-term substitute in that subject, Murphy said.
The board will hold a public hearing Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at Telstar’s Helen C. Berry Auditorium on a proposed $2.5 million project to improve air quality and energy efficiency. A district-wide referendum on the issue will take place Nov. 6.
The Andover Withdrawal Committee will hold its first meeting Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Andover Town Office. Committee members are Selectman Chair Susan Merrow, SAD 44 director Tim Akers, Paula Lee and David Percival.