RUMFORD – Superintendent Jim Hodgkin told SAD 43 directors Monday night about the actions taken in the wake of reported swine flu cases in Maine.

So far, Hodgkin said, seven cases have been confirmed statewide, but none in the SAD 43 area.

Hodgkin said the district’s contacts with state’s Bureau of Health commissioner, Dr. Dora Mills, resulted in letters sent home with all pupils, along with e-mails and voice mails.

“We put together simple information to share with people to let them know we are taking this seriously but not going overboard,” he said. “We had a couple of situations where people thought we were overreacting.”

On Friday, the superintendents of neighboring SAD 21 in Dixfield and SAD 44 in Bethel, as well as SAD 43, met with Region 9 School of Applied Technology director Brenda Gammon to discuss the matter. It was decided that if any Region 9 vocational student contracts the illness or is suspected to have the illness, all three districts would be closed. The three districts send students to the vocational center.

Also on Monday, Mountain Valley Middle School Principal Ryan Casey told the board that staff member Lorraine Tanguay wrote a grant that resulted in the school receiving about $5,000 for appliances and cabinets for the Family and Consumer Science classroom. The grant comes from Lowe’s Toolbox Grants, which is part of the Lowe’s homecenter retailer.

The board entered a closed session with Casey to discuss a personnel matter. No decisions were expected.

Whether the regularly scheduled May 18 meeting will be held is not known yet. The last meeting is set for June 15 when former board members will be invited to mark the end of SAD 43.

On June 30, SAD 21, SAD 43 and SAD 39 in Buckfield will cease to exist. It their place will be the newly consolidated Western Foothills School District, also known as Regional School Unit 10, as of July 1. The central office will be in Dixfield.

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