More SAD 17 students getting meals

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PARIS — The SAD 17 board of directors was told at its meeting Monday that the school district is feeding more children and teachers are seeing less-stressed students taking tests.

However, following the presentation by Food Service Director Jodi Truman, several directors questioned why the state test results have not improved as a result of more children being fed properly.

“There’s a huge disconnect with the test results and (the district) having one of the best lunch programs in the state,” Director Bob Jewell said.

Last year was the first year of the four-year Community Eligibility Provision program, which allows more students to participate in free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch. An additional breakfast time has been added at the high school, and fifth- and sixth-graders are now eating breakfast in their classrooms at Paris Elementary School.

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“We’re working on it,” Truman said. “It’s a work in progress.”

Superintendent Rick Colpitts reminded the directors that having more students eating a nutritious breakfast and lunch removes an excuse for the students to not do well on tests and decreases their stress while testing, but it cannot be blamed for the low test scores with which the district has been plagued.

Truman said participation in the high school breakfast program has “skyrocketed.”

Despite some concern expressed by Director Bob Celeste over the approval of administrative contract extensions because of recent statements by Gov. Paul LePage that central administration positions should be consolidated in public schools statewide, the board of directors approved the superintendent’s recommendation to extend these contracts:

• The mid-management contracts of Paul Bickford, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School assistant principal; Mike Dunn, technology director; Troy Eastman, Oxford Hills Middle School principal; Melanie Ellsworth, federal grants coordinator and literacy coach; Margaret Emery, principal of Waterford and Harrison elementary schools; Sam Iggulden, database manager; Sarah Wielki, high school systems tech; Denise Inman, Oxford assistant principal; Nancy McClean Morrissette, coordinator of guidance and counseling; Ted Moccia, high school principal; Tara Pelletier, middle school assistant principal; John Springer, high school assistant principal; Daniel Hart, Rowe Elementary School principal; Donald Thorne, Rowe Elementary School assistant principal; and Tiffany Karnes, principal of Oxford and Otisfield elementary schools for one year.

• The mid-management contracts of Mary Lou Peterson, Paris Elementary School principal; Lori Pacholski, Paris assistant principal; and Elizabeth Clarke, Hebron and Agnes Gray elementary school principal for two additional years.

• The Central Office administrators’ contracts of Patrick Hartnett, assistant superintendent; Catherine Coffey, business manager; Jane Morse, special service director; and Heather Manchester, curriculum director for one additional year.

• The supervisory contracts of Roland Raymond, head custodian, Robyn Session, assistant food service director and Dave Fontaine, director of transportation, for one additional year.

• Director of Food Service Jodi Truman’s contract for two additional years.

• Facilities Director Dean Dillingham for one additional year.

Superintendent Rick Colpitts reminded Celeste that the governor’s statements concern Central Office positions such as the superintendent and that not only do these positions have expectations they have to live up to, but the contract stipulates consequences should they not.

Salary increases for these positions are negotiated separately and voted on by the directors at a separate time.

In other action, the board voted to award the lease/purchase of 130 Chromebooks to  Gorham Leasing for an annual payment of $13,751 over a three-year period. The vote will allow teachers to get the new Chromebooks by the end of June. Students will be receiving them next fall.

The board voted to award the low bid of $41,899 for the track resurfacing to Maine Track and Tennis. The only other bid was $59,365 by Beaver Brook.

Matt Corbett was appointed as assistant director of facilities to fill the vacancy created by Dean Dillingham’s appointment as facilities director. Nelson Baillargeon is retiring at the end of the school year.

Director of Food Services Jodi Truman, left, with assistance from Business Manager Cathy Coffey, gave a presentation to the SAD 17 board of directors about the district’s meals program Monday night.

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