RANGELEY — The RSU 78 board Tuesday approved three overnight trips for students.

Middle school teacher and Outing Club sponsor Lucy Simonds presented details of the club’s overnight snowshoe trek to the Poplar Stream hut, operated by Maine Huts and Trails. Simonds said the trip, scheduled for March 8-9, is a repeat of last year’s popular jaunt. The board unanimously approved the trip.

They also approved a trip for the student accepted to the New England Music Festival in Bennington, Vt., and the eight-member cheerleading team’s trip to the regional cheering competition in Bangor.

Superintendent Sue Pratt reported that a committee formed to study proficiency-based diplomas will start work in February, and the current policy manual is now online for public perusal.

Rangeley Lakes Region School Principal Charles Brown reported that the Winter Concert in December was a success, and that band instrument instruction has begun. A donation of $500 for the athletics program was received from a graduate in Afghanistan.

Student representatives Brianna Hall and Tala Ferguson reported that students appreciated the longer-than-usual Christmas break, and that 13 students were preparing to recite in the Poetry Out Loud festival at the Lakeshore Theater.


Special Education Coordinator Sheila Butterfield attended a state Least Restrictive Environment workshop aimed at getting more special education students back into regular classrooms. The federal requirement calls for 65 percent of special education students in regular classrooms 80 percent of the time. Rangeley’s totals have jumped to 49 percent, and Butterfield said the goal is reachable.

Pratt attended a school board meeting in Errol, N.H., with board members Harold Schaetzle and Tom Rideout to investigate reports that some Magalloway Plantation students might transfer to the Errol school because of its proximity. They discovered that the township involved is Lincoln Plantation and that none of the students seeking to transfer currently attend Rangeley schools.

“The report seems to have been based on confusion,” Pratt said. “It’s not an issue at this point.”

A Building Committee should begin monthly meetings Jan. 29 to address issues such as disabled access, the portable classroom, the elevator and the science labs. Pratt envisions the committee’s work will take about two years.

The board accepted for first reading policies concerning purchasing and contracting, procurement and staff conduct; referral and pre-referral of students with disabilities and procedures for the same; promotion, retention and acceleration of students; private school students’ access to public school co-curricular, interscholastic and extracurricular activities; and freedom of access. The policy on graduation requirements was sent back to the Policy Committee for clarification.

The board amended the winter-parking maintenance fees to include the new bus parking area. The current service provider quoted an additional $2,150 to service the area, including snow removal.

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