MEXICO — Directors of Region 9 School of Applied Technology learned at Wednesday’s meeting that a new, half-time student program is underway.

The pilot program is named Exploratory Skills and was approved by state interim Education Commissioner Jim Rier. Students may attend each of the vocational programs part time to decide whether they want to pursue a program full time.

Director of the school, Brenda Gammon, said just over a dozen students are taking part this semester. The program will be repeated when the new semester begins at the end of this month.

Gammon also reported that representatives from the Maine Department of Education visited the school last month and recommended that a Wellness Committee be established to assure that healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle are emphasized. She said a committee of parents, instructors and students will likely be organized during the next month or so.

An inspection of the Region 9 lunch program was also approved.

Gammon said the school also passed the annual sanitation inspection. She said representatives from Maine School Management conducted an assessment of student risk and safety last month, as well. That report has not been sent to Region 9.

The board met in an hourlong closed session to begin Gammon’s annual evaluation, which will continue at the Feb. 5 meeting.

Prior to the February meeting, the board will make its annual tour of all vocational programs at the school. Directors will begin at 8 a.m. and hold their regular meeting at 4 p.m.

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