KINGFIELD — Regional School Unit 58 is planning a pre-kindergarten program.

The board set aside $30,000 this fiscal year to begin the process of adding equipment and making building modifications. The district could be eligible for a four-year grant to fund the program, according to Strong Elementary School Principal Felecia Pease.

She told directors she attended meetings this summer and gathered preliminary data to structure a high-quality program that will educate, transport and feed the students at the Phillips, Kingfield and Strong elementary schools.

Although Pease said she has received suggestions that she meet with Community Concepts, Head Start and day care program providers, she told the board local residents should be their first audience.

“I would like to meet with the folks in the communities first,” she said. “We should talk about their wants and wishes and worries first.”

Pease stipulated that the teachers and education technicians the district hires must have the most highly-qualified credentials available. A part-time program would not work efficiently, she said.


“You’re talking about three teachers and three ed techs,” Pease said. “What my heart tells me is that a person can’t do two days here and two days there.”

The youngsters could travel on the buses with the older students, but safety should be a priority. Pease suggested older students might be able to partner with younger students as part of their obligatory community service component for graduation.

The students would eat in what Pease described as “family style” groups and would have other adaptations as needed. The pre-kindergarten program could start as early as 2015, Pease said.

In other news from last week’s board meeting, Superintendent Erica Brouillet, along with 20 teachers and six administrators, spent several days reviewing three years of student data to project goals for the newly-developed plan to meet new graduation standards for all students.

The Maine Department of Education will be issuing annual school report cards for the district, so the goal, according to Brouillet, is the development of a District Academic Improvement Plan for school years 2014 through 2018. The plan will have three goals each for English language arts and mathematics. Professional development, texts, activities and resources will focus on these goals, according to Brouillet.

“This Academic Team will meet quarterly to be sure we are meeting short-term goals and address any issues relative to the plan,” she said in a description of the process.


Additionally, teachers will go back to their schools and form teams and plan specific improvement and progress throughout the school year.

Mt. Abram High School Principal Marco Aliberti told the board that he is pursuing the process of meeting Maine Department of Education requirements for graduates, possibly starting with the Class of 2018. He and Brouillet will continue to study curriculum development methods and offer the board and communities a chance to absorb some of the new requirements.

In other news, Russell Black, the new Mt. Abram High School dean of students/athletic director, reviewed a draft of guidelines for crisis management. Teachers will learn about ways to handle a multitude of emergencies, including bomb threats, accidents and situations inside and outside the schools. He will be working with local fire departments, Franklin County Emergency Management personnel and related crisis response teams.

Black will continue to develop a communications network, so parents and staff will know who and where to call in an emergency. The proposed revisions will designate assembly places for parents, in case of an emergency. The final plan will contain different levels of information, allowing administrators and staff to receive the proper level of crisis response training.

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