OXFORD – The SAD 17 Board of Directors has agreed to hire a fourth kindergarten teacher to serve the growing enrollment at Rowe Elementary School in Norway.

There are 57 students, so far, for the fall opening. They will be divided into three classrooms of 15, 21 and 21.

Superintendent Mark Eastman asked for a fourth teacher, because he expects the enrollment to go higher through the summer. He also told directors that an additional teacher is necessary because almost half of the students have either special needs or health needs including heart ailments and cancer.

While directors asked if the students could not be spread out to other schools, Eastman said traditionally he has preferred they stay there because there is a full-time nurse and the school is close to Stephens Memorial Hospital.

The teacher’s salary will be paid by savings from staff retirements or, if necessary, through the school contingency fund.

“It’s an issue with small community schools. You see those bubbles,” Eastman said.

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