Rangeley school budget aims to update standards

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RANGELEY — Superintendent Sue Pratt says her proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year would maintain a facilities upgrade and align staffing levels to improve student achievement.

The spending plan also would cover transportation costs and family services and would update curriculum materials for more rigorous standards, she told the school board Tuesday.

“What I built into this budget for insurance is a 10 percent increase,” Pratt said. “We may be able to lower that. We’re using testing data to adjust the budget.”

Business Manager Sheila Raymond distributed copies of the budget to the board, which plans to work on the draft at the next meeting. The budget must be approved by the third week of April.

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In other business:

* The board approved second readings and waived third readings for nine proposed policies.

The policy on graduation requirements was approved for second reading only and will be brought back for discussion at a third reading. Disagreement rose over the certificate of completion clause, which states that the board may provide a certificate of completion to a student who completes four years’ attendance as a full-time high school student, has earned the required credits but has not met Learning Results proficiency standards mandated by the state.

Some members considered the clause a cop-out that is tantamount to dropping out of school, required by the state as a hedge against losing federal funding. Others considered it a valid alternative for students who, along with their parents, have decided that they have completed their education. Pratt said the clause is required and must be in place for the Class of 2018.

* Principal and Athletic Director Charles Brown noted that the newly formed Wellness Committee has initiated several activities. “If they reach their goals, they hope to have an event where a member of the administration receives a cream pie,” he said.

* Student representative Brianna Hall reported that Spirit Week was in full swing. They have had a Wear Pink day for breast cancer awareness and will follow it with Superhero Day and Crazy Hair Day.

* The Facilities Committee met with the new Building Committee for an exchange of information on what needs to be done, including handicapped-accessibility, systems upgrades and rebuilding the science lab.

* The Finance Committee has reviewed monthly expenses and reported that all numbers indicate a surplus of funds.

* The board approved the 2014-15 school calendar with classes to begin the day after Labor Day.

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