Rangeley chorus gets permission to compete in Massachusetts festival

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RANGELEY — Music teacher Erin Smith had the Rangeley Lakes Regional School chorus sing to the Regional School Unit 78 board Tuesday night before asking to take the group to a music festival in Massachusetts next spring.

Smith requested permission for the 24 members to attend the Music in the Parks Festival at Six Flags New England in Springfield, Mass., for three days in late May 2015. School choruses have taken this trip in the past, winning four trophies. The nationwide festival is held at theme parks around the country.

The board unanimously approved the request.

Fundraising is underway, talent shows and concerts are planned and donations from the community will be solicited. Chris Farmer, who will be a chaperon on the trip, spoke enthusiastically of the experience.

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The Building Committee has received what member Ginny Nuttall called an aggressive schedule from the architects for the school renovation. The first meeting with the town to discuss the project is scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 18, with a final public vote to be called in March. The energy efficiency upgrades have begun.

Board Chairwoman Nancy Hilliard announced that several board members attended the recent Maine School Management Association conference. Steve Dudley, Ginny Nuttall, Joanne Chapman and Pratt reported on programs and lectures addressing subjects ranging from legal issues, special education, school finance, suicide awareness and prevention, transgender issues, allergies, service animals and immunization.

Hilliard reported that the voting body had passed resolutions on charter school funding and school district transfers. A resolution to support the Common Core curriculum proved controversial, passing by a slim margin.

A letter from parent Lynn Richards-Pollock of Lincoln Plantation asked for acceptance of her daughter in the 2015-16 kindergarten class. The board approved it and directed Superintendent Susan Pratt to confer with Lincoln Plantation officials about tuition on a one-year basis.

The board accepted for first readings a policy on school board meetings and an amended policy on substitute teachers, which added a clause covering compensation for expenditures incurred for fingerprinting or criminal records check.

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