STRONG — While Regional School Unit 58 students enjoy their last two weeks of summer vacation, directors, administrators and staff met Thursday evening to review their few remaining tasks.

The first day of school for students in pre-kindergarten though ninth grade is Wednesday, Aug. 31. All grades will be in attendance Sept. 1.

“We’re getting very close to being ready for school to open,” Superintendent Susan Pratt said.

She said she anticipates all staff positions will be filled, but she and Strong Elementary School Principal Felecia Pease are still searching for a strings teacher. Mt. Abram High School expects to have a vocational skills teacher by opening day, but the teacher will be an employee of the Mt. Blue Regional School District.

The Foster Career and Technical Education Center will hire and pay the half-time employee, who will run the Mt. Abram High School satellite program for the school year.

Bus routes have been published, Pratt said, but the district is advertising for substitute teachers, bus drivers and other temporary staff positions.

The year’s goals include continuous improvement in basic educational requirements for graduation, she said. Reading and math instruction and goal setting and testing will involve more parents this year.

Pratt also addressed finances.

“Our balances this year are very strong,” she said. “Still, I recommend we set aside $30,000 of unassigned funds for fuel.”

The auditor, she said, has recently reviewed the district’s financial situation and agreed to a fuel reserve account. Last year’s $277,000, compared to the current $800,000, doesn’t mean this reserve won’t be spent during the school year. Last year’s budget was frozen because of uncertain revenue streams, and the funds available for emergencies were very low. The board approved the request.

Board members applauded Paul Orbeton’s service to the board. He is moving from the area, and Kingfield selectmen recently appointed Peter Manning to fill the remainder of his term. Manning ran against Johanna Prince for for Beth Luce’s seat and lost.


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