FARMINGTON — The RSU 9 board heard the first official presentation on proficiency-based education and toured a section of Mallett Elementary School on Tuesday night.

Leanne Condon, curriculum coordinator, along with other members of the staff, described how changes in the next few years will result in Mount Blue High School graduates receiving diplomas that meet certain academic standards.

“Everything we are doing, we feel is the best for our students,” Superintendent Tom Ward said.

Although district staff has been working on the changes for sometime, Monday’s presentation was a kickoff to educate the public and the board.

Ward said the district is requesting an extension for first-time graduates to receive the standards-based diploma until the Class of 2019, which would be this year’s incoming eighth-graders.

The state mandated proficiency-based diplomas to be presented in 2018, but recently extended that to 2021. Ward said he believes all changes will be in place for the Class of 2019 at Mount Blue High School.

The district plans to present the changes to the public at meetings with such groups as the Franklin County Area Chamber of Commerce, the local Rotary Club, and other organizations.

High school Principal Bruce Mochamer said because the change is required throughout the state, many resources are available to the district.

Condon said she will keep the board updated on the change.

The board also toured a section of Mallett Elementary School with facilities director David Leavitt to view modifications to a second-floor classroom to improve air conditioning and light reflection on SMART boards.

Leavitt said the changes, including a larger air conditioner and insulation of parts of the windows, have cooled the room and eliminated the reflections on the SMART board so teachers can use it with computers.

The cost to have all eight classrooms modified is expected to be about $50,000.

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