LIVERMORE FALLS — The RSU 73 board took several more steps at Thursday’s meeting to increase the cohesiveness of the new district by approving beginning discussions involving renaming the two elementary schools and working toward resolving the teacher contract.

Superintendent Kenneth Healey said Jay and Livermore elementary schools should follow some variation of the Spruce Mountain name, like those of the high and middle schools.

“We want to bring everyone under the same umbrella,” he said. “We want to look at possibly changing the names to names that have ‘Spruce Mountain’ in it.”

The principals of both elementary schools are currently aligning their student handbooks with one another.

RSU 73 Education Association President Rob Taylor said both the administration and the teachers’ union have met to discuss findings of fact handed down earlier in the month.

The negotiating team from both sides will now meet sometime in August.

The most recent contract expired on Aug. 31, 2011.

Spruce Mountain High School Principal T.J. Plourde received approval to dismantle the stone monuments at the former Livermore Falls High School and the former Jay High School, now SMHS, and cut them to match each other. They would then be placed under the Phoenix sign mounted on SMHS. He hopes this can be completed by time school begins.

“We want to pay tribute to the schools,” Plourde said.

In another move, the gym floor will be repainted to include one of the colors adopted when the combined districts merged. The current orange paint will be replaced by green, and the Phoenix emblem will also be painted on the floor.

In other matters, Healey said representatives from the Maine Department of Transportation visited with him this week to discuss changes to the entrance to the SMHS and SMMS complex.

He said improvements to a section of Route 4 through Jay is expected to begin during the 2015 construction season. He said the MDOT will begin erecting signs in December, and construction is expected to begin when school lets out in June.

Among the changes is a relocation of the current sidewalk, now on the school side of the highway, to the opposite side.

Several positions were filled, including one of the two high school guidance positions, which will be filled by Brooke Bernier. Also, Jennifer Kachnovich was hired as the JES school nurse. Teacher Daniel Labonte was hired as SMMS drama advisor and Joan Gosselin, Abigail Hodgkins and Josh Allbee were hired as educational technicians.

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