Emergency guidelines presented to SAD 58 board

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PHILLIPS — Regional School Unit 58 directors reviewed a comprehensive set of proposed crisis response guidelines Thursday night.

The district’s new dean of students, James Black, was asked to review existing emergency procedures, with the goal of improved crisis management in more than two dozen scenarios.

On Thursday night, directors were presented with Black’s plan of action for a wide range of emergencies, including a bus accident, death or injury, assault, school lockdown and weather-related possibilities.

Black handed directors a form to report suspected drug or alcohol incidents. Criteria will include whether the student or employee is unable to stand, is staggering or swaying, and has slurred speech.

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District employees must file an incident report documenting the behavior, and administrators will be expected to know when to call appropriate authorities.

Principals will be expected to provide firefighters with a current floor plan and all other pertinent information.

Personnel also will receive training to work with local and state police officers.

Superintendent Erica Brouillet said she was concerned the district had a lack of current policies and urged the board to review and amend them as quickly as possible.

“This isn’t perfect, because perfect comes after years of trying things and changing things,” she said.

The board also reviewed a set of academic standards developed by teachers and administrators over the past several months. The Maine Department of Education has changed graduation standards, and all Maine schools will be required to adopt Common Core requirements before students can receive a diploma.

“We’re changing tests,” Brouillet said.

The goals for all students must be attainable, she said. Children won’t only be asked to answer a question on a test but will be required to explain how he or she arrived at that solution. If a student improves critical thinking and problem solving skills, that student might have a higher score than simply providing the correct answer.

Among other requirements, the plan mandates literacy and mathematics instruction daily in all classrooms.

The board listened to a review of the status of a proposed prekindergarten program in Strong, Phillips and Kingfield schools. If approved by voters, the lowest cost option would add salaries for one teacher and one educational technician who would teach two days in Strong and two days in Kingfield.

Phillips Elementary School has a Head Start program led by a licensed teacher.

In earlier board discussions, Business Manager Luci Milewski said if the district received federal funds, it would be required to offer a program five days a week and pay part of the grant money to a state-assigned supervisor.

If the district receives federal funding, district voters will have the option to approve starting a full-time or part-time program or no program at all, Brouillet said.

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