JAY — Members of the regional school planning committee voted Tuesday to use Spruce Mountain Regional School System as a temporary name for planning purposes.
The decision came after 40 minutes of debate about how to establish a name that could stay or be changed by a new board of directors that would oversee a new school district.
Voters in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls will consider a school consolidation plan Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011.
Prior to the vote on the temporary name, some planning committee members raised concerns about making sure students and community members were involved in the process. The permanent name will be developed by a process set up by a new board.
It still would be recommended that students come up with new school names, new mascots, team names and new school colors for high and middle schools as originally proposed if the plan passes in all three towns, Jay High School Principal Gilbert Eaton of Livermore Falls said.
“We never talked about naming of the system,” Eaton said of the subcommittee he chaired for athletics, co-curriculum and culture that involved students.
Jay Superintendent Robert Wall and RSU 36 Superintendent Sue Pratt met with Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 Superintendent Tom Ward in Oxford County. The purpose was to find how they were able to get voters in the towns that encompassed three school administrative districts, including Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield, Canton, Buckfield, Sumner and Hanover, to join together.
One recommendation was to come up with a school system name to give it an identity during the process, Pratt said.
“It doesn’t mean the new (regional school unit) board would keep it,” she said. “It will help with publicity and everybody would know who you are.”
Ideas tossed around to develop a name was to have students make recommendations and hold an opinion poll at the Nov. 2 elections.
In the interest of time before the plan needs to be submitted, and having children disappointed if the new board changes their suggested school district name, the planning committee opted for a temporary name.
Livermore Falls Town Manager Jim Chaousis suggested they think of some things that unite the community.
Jay School Committee Mary Redmond-Luce suggested Spruce Mountain because all three towns own the mountain and volunteers from the towns run it.
She also suggested Tri-Town Regional School Unit.
“We have a symbol of community identity of working together,” Chaousis said.
Chaousis suggested Spruce Mountain Community School District but changed his recommendation after discussion to Spruce Mountain Regional School System.