RSU 10 offers teacher retirement incentive

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DIXFIELD — The RSU 10 board on Monday unanimously approved offering a retirement incentive to eligible teachers in the 12-town district.

Superintendent Craig King said 10 longtime teachers have indicated interest in accepting the offer of three years of district-paid health insurance at approximately $5,000 a year.

The offer was made as the district develops its 2014-15 school budget.

Generally, when a veteran teacher chooses to retire, he or she is at or near the top of the pay scale. Replacements are usually lower in pay grade so the district would save money. Also, a decision has not been made on whether to fill each of the vacant positions if the eligible teachers choose to retire.

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The district has offered similar incentives several times the past few years. A total of 24 have chosen retirement.

To be eligible, teachers must be at least 62 years old and meet requirements for the number of years taught.

The district includes the towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Byron, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford and Hanover.

In other budget matters, Assistant Superintendent and Curriculum Coordinator Gloria Jenkins updated the board on changes to bring students in line with state requirements by graduation in 2018. She said these priorities call for preparing students for a standards-based proficiency diploma for the Class of 2018. She said the three high school principals will begin meeting with parents of incoming freshman later in the spring to explain the changes.

Another priority is ensuring that by third grade, all students are on reading grade level. Current research indicates that children who are able to stay on grade level in the younger grades are much more likely to be successful students throughout their school careers.

Also important to improving student success are implementation of a coordinated intervention system to catch students before they fall behind, a curriculum of common standards and instruction for all students, focused staff development and a state-mandated single evaluation system for all teachers and administrators.

In other matters, Building, Grounds and Transportation Director Kenny Robbins said an engineer from St. Hilaire Roofing Contractors of Lewiston will make a presentation to the board Feb. 24 on the options for repairing or replacing the roof at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Last month’s heavy rains caused dozens of leaks in the roof and hundreds of dollars in damage.

King said the presentation will provide information on sealing most of the roof for $80,000 and replacing the roof for more than $1 million.

The board also welcomed newly appointed member Peter DeFilipp of Mexico. He is a retired business analyst and replaces longtime board member Betty Barrett, who resigned last month. He will serve until the June town meeting.

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