TURNER – Directors of SAD 52 have given final approval of a $21 million budget for the next school year, 3.9 percent more than the current year.

Directors and Superintendent Thomas Hanson had set a 4 percent cap on the budget for 2006-07.

Greene and Leeds will actually pay less for the coming year than currently, $1,545 and $16,283, respectively, while Turner with its higher valuations will contribute $156,720 more. Hearings on the budget proposal will be held in each of the three towns prior to a districtwide vote on the funding in June.

In other action at the Leeds Central School, directors authorized Hanson to form a committee of school administrators, directors and residents to develop a job description for a chemical health coordinator. It will be presented to the June 29 meeting.

This position was dropped two years ago when federal funding stopped. There is $40,092 in the budget to back the commitment. People interested in serving on the committee should contact Hanson at 225-3795 as soon as possible.

The board authorized Hanson and the district’s attorney, Peter Garcia, to formulate a warrant article for the district budget vote capping renovations at 486 Turner Center Road, which houses River Valley School, Turner Adult Basic Education and the district offices. Directors voted two weeks ago to terminate the alternative education program at River Valley School for one year.

The board determined Thursday that when it resumes in 2007 it will be at a different location, and beginning right away, the building will be renovated for district offices in the upper floor, and adult education in the lower floor.

The board voted to have the warrant article cap the renovations at $300,000 with arrangements for payment over a number of years. About $40,000 is in the current budget proposal for that purpose.

Gerry and Michelle Angello, Lauri Blais and Michelle Deblois requested that the school bus be permitted to drive into Buck Lane in the new Howes Corner Estates development to pick up young schoolchildren. The parents contended the alternative would be for the youngsters to wait for the bus at a dangerous curve on Route 219.

Permission was granted, with the conditions that Buck Lane receive a second asphalt coating that meets Turner’s specifications, that the road be maintained properly in winter as determined by the district’s director of transportation, and that the developer sign an agreement freeing the district from any liability while using the road prior to its acceptance at town meeting next April.

The board heard Leavitt Area High School students Jimmy Buzzell, Jen Duguay, Keisha Motley, Tristant Perry, Danny Pellerin, Kenny Maher and Caiden Leavitt tell of their Odyssey of the Mind group placing second in a regional competition and heading for Ames, Iowa, on May 24-28 to compete in the world competition.

There will be at least 20 countries and all 50 states represented at the world event. The group said $10,000 is needed for the trip, and about $5,000 is in hand or promised. The directors determined that about $4,000 remained in the account covering such situations and allocated $3,500 of it for the group.

Also, directors heard students from the Leavitt Area High School Gifted and Talented Program discuss their recent experiences in writing, math and sciences. Nina DeSoi, Erica Austin, Kayleigh Maxwell and Danny Pellerin described the uplifting experience of hands-on learning with gifted writers, and of getting into the forests and taking part in a statewide program of forest inventories. The students told the board both programs offered excellent opportunities for applying what has been learned in the classroom.

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