DIXFIELD – The SAD 21 school board Monday unanimously signed the warrant to place an item on the Nov. 4 ballot that would bring SADs 21, 43, 39 and the town of Hanover together in an administrative merger.

If the three districts approve the plan, the next step would be a joint meeting of the three school boards to set a date for electing a 17-member board to govern the school administrative unit, said Superintendent Tom Ward.

That election would likely come in January. Members of the three boards would continue to serve until June 30. On July 1, the new Western Maine Foothills Regional School Unit board would take over.

Ward said the three superintendents, which includes Jim Hodgkin of SAD 43 and Rick Colpitts of SAD 39, plan to meet on Wednesday to decide when a brochure outlining the proposed school district will be mailed to people.

District residents will hold informational hearings beginning on Oct. 21 in Buckfield, Oct. 22 in Dixfield, and Oct. 23 in Rumford. Hanover will hold its hearing on Oct. 15.

In other matters, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Dirigo Elementary School will take place at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2.

Ward said a sign created by Rumford graphic artist Erik Dickson will be erected at the entrance to the school this week.

Also, newly hired French teacher John Glaus of Rumford has resigned.

Dirigo High School Principal Michael Poulin said interviews have begun to fill the slot as soon as possible. In the meantime, Spanish teacher Amity Beane has helped by creating lesson plans and inviting the French classes to join her Spanish classes. A couple of substitute teachers have also helped.

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