RANGELEY — The School Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the eighth grade class trip to Quebec in May.

Kelsey Orestis, a middle school social studies and language arts teacher, said the trip has been an annual event for 25 years.

“The trip provides educational opportunities in geography, history and communication,” Orestis said, “and it’s a rite of passage as they transition from middle school to high school.”

She said that places on the itinerary include the Plains of Abraham and the Citadel, and the Chateau Frontenac.

Orestis said there has been a good response from parents, and the ratio of students to chaperons stands at 2-to-1. The class has raised about $4,000, enough to cover all expenses except a few incidental meals.

Committee member Bill Roy said he accompanied the students on the trip last year. “I think I learned more than the kids,” he said. Roy enthusiastically moved to approve the trip, which the committee did unanimously.

In related news, the committee unanimously approved a day trip for the fourth-graders to visit a sugarhouse in Lac Megantic, also in Quebec Province, in early April.

Superintendent Brian Foster said Bill Hayes will chair the Facilities Committee, which is still looking for members, either from the committee or from the community.

Foster has accepted the resignation of Beth Luce, the school nurse, who will leave at the end of the school year. The position will be publicly posted.

Jeff LaRochelle has agreed to coach middle school baseball; Tom Cooper will coach Middle School softball.

Student representative Gabrielle Chevalier reported that every member of the senior class has been accepted into at least one college. She added that the subject of Hat Day is on the agenda for the next Student Council meeting. Hat Day is a fundraiser for a senior scholarship.

Principal Sherry Connally previewed a draft of a PowerPoint presentation to be shown to the No Child Left Behind review board, which is visiting the school March 27. The report begins with demographic information on the region and the school, and includes test results from New England Common Assessment Program. It indicates how the scores show progress in the district toward meeting proficiency requirements.

The presentation detailed programs that support learning and increase student achievement, including homework assistance, reading buddies, math and language labs, teachers’ professional development, summer literacy camp and newsletters to parents.

Connally added that the school’s graduation rate last year was 92 percent, as opposed to 83 percent statewide.

“We have highly qualified and driven staff here,” she added.

Foster led the committee through a brief look at the budget for 2012-13, which the Finance Committee had been drafting into a new format. Section A looks at the budget calendar, leading up to the district validation vote on June 12. It goes on to address ED279, by which the state calculates state aid to the school, and local allocations and property evaluations.

Section B addresses regular instruction, with teacher requests for supplies, books, furniture and other equipment. Section C does the same for special education, and Section D covers food service, health services, administration and transportation.

Foster said that during the process the Finance Committee will be changing and redrafting elements, and he asked the committee to provide input. The Finance Committee will meet every Tuesday for the next four weeks.

The committee voted, with two opposed, to hold the public budget hearing for the district on June 5.


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