RSU 10 budget OK’d; staff to have furlough days

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MEXICO — The Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 board Monday overwhelmingly adopted a 2011-12 school calendar that includes three unpaid furlough days for staff.

The savings will be $336,000, Superintendent Tom Ward said. The savings, along with other changes resulted in a budget that is the same amount as this year: $34.1 million.

The budget will go to a districtwide vote June 9 and a referendum June 14.

“We appreciate and are proud of the Western Foothills Educational Association (for approving this),” Wall said. “It sends a great message to our communities and it will save positions. I know it was very difficult in tight economic times.”

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The furlough days came at the expense of three teacher workshop days and are scheduled for Oct. 7, 2011, March 23, 2012, and April 13, 2012. Two workshop days remain in the calendar.

Ward said there will be times during the school year when all teachers should get together to discuss common issues. He said those may be scheduled for one or more early-release days that occur once a month on a Wednesday.

In another cost-saving measure, the board appointed Mountain Valley High School football coach and English teacher Jim Aylward to the newly redesigned position of athletic director/part-time teacher for the next school year.

The high school had employed a full-time athletic director. John Bernard holds the position and is retiring at the end of this school year.

Ward said other positions within the district will be reassigned during the next few months to even out the number of students in classes at each high school, Buckfield, Dixfield and Rumford.

One of those, that of a half-time mathematics teacher at Mountain Valley High School, is tentatively slated to be moved to Dirigo High School.

Math department chairwoman Lisa Russell appeared before the board in opposition to the suggested change because it could have negative affects on the district’s intervention plan for students who are having difficulty with the subject.

RSU 10 is comprised of Mountain Valley and Dirigo high schools, and Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.

In another matter, the board learned of the resignation of longtime Rumford representative Marcia Chaisson because of an apparent conflict of interest with Rumford’s town charter.

Chaisson is a Registrar of Voters for the town.

Ward said the school district found no conflict from its perspective.

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