DIXFIELD — RSU 10 administration and staff have been scrambling this summer to fill positions in time for the beginning of the new school year.

Due to budget cuts, 44 full- and part-time positions were eliminated.

“The reduction-in-force process is lengthy because of seniority,” Superintendent Craig King said.

He said nearly everyone is in place, but there are a few openings due to last-minute resignations. They include a Mountain Valley High School French teacher, an art teacher at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, a third-grade teacher at Meroby Elementary School, one first-grade teacher at Dirigo Elementary School, one first-grade teacher at Rumford Elementary School, two special education teachers, one educational technician and one bus driver.

King said positions that aren’t hired by the time students return will be filled by well-known substitutes.

Teacher workshops will be held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 25 and Aug. 26. Students in kindergarten through grade six and grade nine in the Mountain Valley and Dirigo regions, and kindergarten through grade seven in the Buckfield region return Wednesday, Aug. 27, and everyone attends classes Thursday, Aug. 28.


King said a major goal for the school year is to solidify the new teacher-leadership structure, with late-start Wednesdays used for that purpose.

The focus of teaching will be a more structured instructional practice as part of the standards-based educational process. Also to be completed this year is the development of a new teacher evaluation tool.

A major section of the Central Office is being closed because of budget constraints, resulting in some staff moving to other buildings.

Two administrative positions were eliminated, leading to Dirigo High School Principal Mike Poulin and Assistant Principal Mike Hutchins serving as leaders at the high school and Dirigo Middle School. Hutchins will continue as athletic director at the high school.

At Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, Principal George Reuter will be leader. The former assistant principal/athletic director left and is being replaced by a part-time business teacher and athletic director.

A preliminary report on the use of the district’s 10 buildings will likely be given to the RSU 73 board in September. The study was done by the Buildings and Grounds Committee and architect Bob Howe of HKT Architects of Portland.


Public informational sessions will be held in October, November and December. The study and any possible future changes are an effort to reduce costs.

“We’d like to get down to seven or eight buildings,” King said.

High school student will have an opportunity to earn college credits through a partnership with the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Students would pay one-third of the regular cost for taking courses used for college and high school credit.

Mountain Valley and Dirigo change quarterly ranking periods to trimesters, like Buckfield high school does.

Other changes include:

* New after-school programs at Mountain Valley Middle School and Dirigo Elementary School. After-school programs will continue at Rumford, Meroby and Hartford-Sumner elementary schools, Dirigo Middle School and Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.

* The district’s four modular classrooms are being sold.

* The Rumford high school roof has been repaired, including over the auditorium. Within a couple of weeks, Muskie Auditorium will likely be finished and ready for use.

The district employs 506 people and serves about 2,720 students. It is comprised of the towns of Mexico, Rumford, Roxbury, Byron, Peru, Dixfield, Carthage, Canton, Hanover, Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner.

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