FARMINGTON — By all accounts, opening day in RSU 9 was a success, administrators told the Board of Directors on Tuesday.

There were only a few tears from younger students and a couple of students went on the wrong buses, but other than that, everything went smoothly.

The student population has grown by 30 students since this past spring to 2,346, Superintendent Tom Ward said.

“We were extremely busy,” district transportation specialist Richard Joseph said.

There was a lot of change this year since the sixth-graders are now attending the Mt. Blue Middle School. That affected the grade levels at five elementary schools in the 10-town district.

Busing the sixth-graders to the middle school along with others went very well, he said.


There were no calls from parents on the second day of school during the first of 34 late-arrival Wednesdays, according to Joseph.

The buses are equipped with GPS units, so if a parent calls and says a bus didn’t go down the road, Joseph said he can look up the bus and tell them at what time the bus was there.

If a bus is speeding, Joseph gets an email. He also can tell when a bus is idling, he said.

Darlene Paine, principal of the Cape Cod Hill School in New Sharon, said she rode a school bus and was impressed with the bus driver’s method to pickup children safely and efficiently on Route 2.

When the driver picks up a child or more at one stop, she has them sit in a specific seat behind her. When she picks up the next students, the first group moves back to their assigned seats, Paine said.

No kindergartner cried until about 2 p.m. when the child didn’t get a ride on a swing.


The gardens the children planted last spring have flourished. Sunflowers are about 8-feet tall, she said.

“We didn’t have any tears,” middle school Principal Gary Oswald said.

So far, everything has gone well, he said. The 170 or so sixth-graders have fit right in, he said. Classrooms were modified to fit the sixth-grade into the school, he said.

“Opening day was spectacular,” he said.

Both Keith Martin, assistant principal at Mallett School, and Oswald said the school buildings looked great.

Bruce Mochamer, interim principal at Mt. Blue High School, said they had two opening days. One for the freshmen and the other when upper classmen joined the freshmen the next day.


Both days went well, he said.

Glenn Kapiloff, director of Foster Career and Technical Education Center, which is blended into the high school at Mt. Blue Campus, said that they unveiled a new Mt. Blue Campus handbook.

Mochamer also met with all the students, including the sending school students.

The Mallett School is off to a great start, Martin said. It is little odd without the third-graders at the school, he said but the student population has skyrocketed.

The first grade has grown by 16 students since August, he said.

Third-graders now attend Cascade Brook School in Farmington.


There were some crying at the kindergarten level, he said, but called it normal.

The commercial air-conditioning units installed over the summer have helped cool off the second floor for students and staff.

Nichole Goodspeed, principal of Cascade Brook, said there were seven new classroom teachers.

“We’ve seen a lot of fifth-graders step up and take a leadership role” now that sixth-graders have moved to the middle school, she said.

There is a large third-grade class with about 100 kids. There are 25 in a classroom, she said.

Ward said that he may be coming to the board in the future if the class continues to grow with a proposal for a floating educational technician.

Goodspeed also mentioned that Sarah Reynolds, a fourth-grade teacher at Cascade Brook, is one of four finalists for the Maine Teacher of the Year.

She was named Teacher of the Year for Franklin County during a ceremony at the State House in May.

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