Voters approve Reg 9 budget; bullying prevention discussed

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MEXICO — Just over 30 residents from the 16-town vocational region overwhelmingly approved a $2,034,820 secondary education budget and a $279,173 adult education budget for school year 2010-11 at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology on Tuesday night.

The secondary vocational budget is up about 1.4 percent from the current operating budget while the adult education budget is down about 6 percent. The vote for both budgets was 27-5.

The districts in which each of the three sending high schools are located will have their share of the vocational school costs as part of their proposed operation budgets. Mountain Valley High School in Rumford and Dirigo High School in Dixfield are members of Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10. Telstar High School in Bethel is part of SAD 44.

Both districts will hold budget validation votes on June 8.

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Region 9 serves about 190 secondary students and several hundred academic and enrichment adult education students.

At the board’s regular monthly meeting, which followed the annual vote, a number of issues were discussed, including one that aims to solve an ongoing bullying problem.

Cheryl Ellis, student services coordinator, said bullying at Region 9 was no different from other schools. However, she said the vocational school was likely a little later than other schools to address the problem.

She said funds from a Perkins grant has enabled the school to hire a consultant to coordinate a study of bullying and to help find ways to solve the problem.

She said Stan Davis, founder of International Bullying Prevention Association, will be working with the vocational school throughout the year on developing surveys that can identify causes of bullying. A plan to address the problem will eventually be developed.

“We’re just starting the process now. There are a huge amount of issues with Facebook, texting, e-mails,” she said. “It caught us by surprise.”

The board also approved a third year probationary contract for automotive instructor Daniel Richard, and continuing contracts for adult education teacher Tiffany Santy and early childhood education teacher, Terri Downs.

It was announced that the adult education high school graduation is set for 6:30 p.m. on June 8, at Mountain Valley High School for at least 20 students, and the annual Awards Banquet for vocational students on June 2.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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