DIXFIELD — The RSU 10 board adopted a five-year timeline for implementing mass customized learning during a lengthy meeting Monday night. It also opted to work toward getting a grant for a school resource officer for the Mountain Valley region.

Nearly all schools in the district have begun using this new philosophy, which calls for students to work at their own pace, often with individual educational plans, to meet state educational standards.

Superintendent Tom Ward said the process to entirely move to mass customized learning will be slow because the philosophy is very different from traditional education.

“MCL is geared toward all students. We are finding out where students are, then moving them forward,” he said. “Students are very engaged. We don’t have this down 100 percent yet, but this is helping students find success.”

Many of the district’s teachers have visited other classrooms around the state where mass customized learning is fully implemented.

“Students have been positive,” Ward said.

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School teacher Annette Caldwell said parents will become more engaged in the new process once the grading format changes.

For now, both standards-based and traditional grades will be issued. Once the district is entirely standards-based, then only one set of grades will appear on report cards.

In other matters, the board approved working with the Rumford Police Department toward securing a federal grant that would provide a school resource officer for the Mountain Valley region for two years.

Ward said the proposal must first go before Rumford selectmen for approval before making the actual application.

Also, the board:

* Approved an overnight service learning trip on the Appalachian Trail for about a dozen Dirigo High School ninth-graders for May 31 to June 1, and an overnight Outing Club adventure soon after school lets out in June.

* Approved an eighth-grade class trip for 42 students at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School to Boston for May 30-31.

* Approved an eighth-grade day trip for about 60 students at Dirigo Middle School to Boston on May 17.

* Approved a Project Graduation celebration for the 65 to 75 students in the Class of 2013 at Dirigo High School in Dixfield to Sunday River Ski Resort and the Big Adventure Center in Bethel for June 7.

* Approved a Project Graduation celebration for the 100 students in the Class of 2013 at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford to the Boothbay Region YMCA for June 6.

* Approved a Project Graduation celebration for the 42 students in the Class of 2013 at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School to the YMCA and Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston and Flagship Cinema in Auburn for June 8.

* Approved a student dress policy that calls for coverage from the neck to the knees for both boys and girls.

* Approved the transfer of guidance counselor Trina Fortin from Mountain Valley Middle School to Mountain Valley High School. She will replace longtime guidance counselor Jim Ippolito, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

* Appointed Ryan Casey as Mountain Valley High School’s girls’ varsity basketball coach and Adam Curato as that school’s golf coach.


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