DIXFIELD — Middle school and high school principals made their cases for funding in 2014-15 to RSU 10 directors Monday night.

Mountain Valley High School Principal Matt Gilbert focused on the ways students can find a career path, including the Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico.

“If they complete a two-year program, they are prepared for a job,” he said. “There are multiple pathways for students.”

He said his school and Dirigo High School in Dixfield send 20 percent of their students to the vocational center.

Other pathways include taking classes at Mountain Valley High School for college credit, participation in the Aspire Program and the online PLATO program.

Dirigo High School Principal Michael Poulin said extracurricular and co-curricular activities keep students focused on school. He said the Guidance Department is very active in helping students find a career path.

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Principal George Reuter focused on advanced placement courses and how a student’s success in them can be predicted.

Principal Ryan Casey of Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, Principal Celena Ranger of Dirigo Middle School in Dixfield and Reuter spoke about individualized learning, programs to help students having difficulties, the importance of technology and library media and the Unified Arts Program at Mountain Valley Middle School.

Presentations on curriculum, instruction, assessment, technology and the gifted and talented program are scheduled for the Feb. 10 board meeting at Dirigo High School.

Business Manager Mary Dailey said all departments have submitted proposed budgets to the Central Office. The greatest increases, besides repairing the leaky roof at Mountain Valley High School, are salaries, wages and benefits, iPad lease payments, student trip transportation and diesel fuel and heating oil.

Superintendent Craig King said the board must decide how get the school nutrition program back into the black. It has been operating at a deficit for several years.

“We must make some decisions on how to generate more revenue,” he said.

A proposed budget will be presented Feb. 10.

The current RSU 10 budget is $36.5 million.

In other matters, the board accepted the resignation of longtime board member Betty Barrett of Mexico.

King said the Mexico Board of Selectman can appoint a director to serve until the June election.

He asked the board to consider whether to offer an early retirement incentive to eligible teachers between the ages of 59 1/2 and 62. The district would pay them $5,000 for medical insurance for three years.

He said he doesn’t know how many staff members would qualify.

King said some teachers are at the top of the pay scale, and replacing them with newer teachers could save money.

RSU 10 includes the towns of Byron, Roxbury, Mexico, Rumford, Canton, Carthage, Peru, Dixfield, Buckfield, Sumner, Hartford and Hanover.


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