JAY — A panel began work Tuesday night to create a new school system to better serve the students in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.
The Transition Committee is tasked with putting together a detailed budget for a consolidated Jay and RSU 36 system and to operate it for the first year of RSU 73.
The committee is also responsible for doing a comprehensive analysis of what budget supports will be essential and what savings can be realized in the first year of operation, Jay school Superintendent Bob Wall said.
They are also charged with developing clear curriculum expectations that will be presented prior to the start of school. The new system is effective July 1.
“We need to paint a clear picture of what we want out of this system,” Wall said. “We need to let our staff know that they have our support.”
To do that, Wall said, they need to empower the staff to do what is best for students.
“We need to do a better job with the money we have,” he said. “We need to make this work.”
Transition is not a negative, he said.
“It is about letting go of the way it has been done in the past and move on to make the new system better,” Wall said. The memories of both school systems, will always be there, he said.
“These were good times,” he said.
The idea for the new system is to bring the best of the old system forward and create a new system to make sure every student has what they need to succeed, he said.
The new system needs to be responsive to what all students need, RSU 36 Superintendent Sue Pratt said.
RSU 73 needs to have the integrity so that students can go out and use their talents, Wall said.
The Transition Committee is made up of voting members of Jay School Committee Chairwoman Mary Redmond-Luce and Jay Selectman Tom Goding, RSU 36 Chairman Ashley O’Brien and Livermore Selectperson John Wakefield, and Livermore Falls Selectman Jim Collins. Nonvoting members are RSU 36 Vice Chairwoman Denise Rodzen of Livermore Falls, Jay school Superintendent Bob Wall, RSU 36 Superintendent Sue Pratt, and Jay school Business Manager Stacie Lowe.
Members voted to have O’Brien be the chairman of the Transition Committee. Wakefield was also nominated but declined the extra work due to legislative responsibilities.
The date for the committee’s first review of the proposed 2011-12 budget is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at the Jay Middle School. The budget is already in the process of being put together. A districtwide budget meeting for residents of all three towns to consider the budget is proposed for May 24.
The curriculum review process will be initiated in joint staff meetings on Thursday, March 17, an early release day for students, and Friday, March 18, a workshop day for teachers and no school for students. The process will continue in the following months.
Concept presentations are scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the Jay Middle School cafeteria. Presentations will be made on combined sports/activities, freshman academy, organizational foundations and bus garage. It is planned the Jay bus garage will be converted to let the school district repair and maintain its buses.