LIVERMORE FALLS — The RSU 73 board Thursday granted approval for Spruce Mountain High School Principal T.J. Plourde and staff to continue developing a program to better prepare students for careers.

Plourde hopes to put all the pieces of the Career Readiness Program into place over four years.

“This will prepare students for future employment and meaningful job placements,” he said.

The Principal’s Advisory Team, along with teachers, will work on the plan with the potential assistance of businesses, colleges, Franklin Memorial Hospital, RSU 73 adult and community education, state legislators and other organizations. Plourde said he will bring components of the program before to the board before putting them in place.

Among the ideas are bringing in a Junior ROTC program, apprenticeships, internships and cooperative programs.

As proposed Thursday, the Career Readiness Program would try to concentrate the core courses for students during their first two years of high school and allow them to take courses of specific interest or internships during the last two.

“Some students have no idea how a certificate or internship works. We need to find a way to do (teach) this before they leave high school,” he said. “Self-reliance (is needed) earlier and earlier now.”

Other requirements that may be implemented include a change in how the school is organized. Details on what that might look like will be presented later.

“There are so many possibilities,” he said. He is looking for grants that may assist in the extra costs that will likely be required, he said.

Board Chairwoman Denise Rodzen said although she thinks the idea is a good one, if additional money is needed, something else must be eliminated.

Shari Ouellette, a Jay representative, questioned how many students know what they want to do in life during their high school and sometimes college years.

Livermore board member Tim Madden said such a program could be good for both students and businesses.

“Both would benefit,” he said.

Additional details will come once teachers have discussed the proposal.

In other matters, the board granted permission for three out-of-state student trips.

French teacher Maria Rier will take six students to St. Georges, Quebec from March 11 to 15 for a French language experience. Students will attend the local high school and stay with the families of students. St. Georges students will visit Spruce Mountain High School in May.

Rier was also given permission to take a group of 30 foreign language students on an overnight trip to Montreal in May to experience the culture of the city.

And English and theater arts teacher Anne Weatherbee will take up to 55 students to New York City to see “Matilda, the Musical,” as part of the school’s humanities seminar at a date to be determined.

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