RSU 10 students begin classes Tuesday

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DIXFIELD — Some Regional School Unit 10 students will see additional music, art and physical education classes beginning Tuesday, thanks to reinstatement of full-time staff.

Four positions in those areas were cut to half time in 2014-15.

Nearly two dozen new staff members were greeted Thursday.

Students at Meroby Elementary School will see longtime Principal Melanie Chasse for a few days before she leaves to become assistant superintendent of RSU 16 in Poland.

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Superintendent Craig King said longtime teacher Kim Fuller is expected to serve as interim principal.

Vacant positions include a special education teacher for Rumford Elementary School, a math teacher at Mountain Valley High School, a health teacher at Mountain Valley Middle School, a half-time social worker at Hartford-Sumner Elementary School, and a literacy interventionist at Meroby Elementary School.

King said there will be an emphasis on elementary literacy. The district will continue working with the University of Maine on professional development for teachers on the topic.

Another focus is post-secondary education. Students from grades six through 12 will have an opportunity to take part in a university program known as GEAR-UP. It aims to increase awareness of opportunities for furthering education after high school.

Technology continues to play a major role in education, as well. King said each elementary school has received 125 new laptop computers, while virtually all upper grades have iPads.

Also this year, the 12-town district faces the prospect of four and possibly five towns withdrawing. Canton, Carthage, Peru, Dixfield and Byron have begun withdrawal efforts.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee, along with an architect, will continue studying future use of district buildings.

King said he expects 2,650 students will be enrolled this year, the same number as last year. An official count won’t be available until October.

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