FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 directors voted to adopt a calendar Tuesday for the 2017-18 school year that includes 35 late-arrival days.

The first day of school for students in kindergarten through grade nine will be Aug. 30. Grades 10 through 12 will start Aug. 31. Students will have their first day off on Sept. 1, which creates a long weekend for Labor Day, Sept. 4.

The calendar was reviewed by the Education Advisory Committee, Superintendent Tom Ward said.

It includes the same number of late-arrival Wednesdays as this year. The time is used for educators to continue professional development. Students will start school an hour later than normal on those days.

It is difficult to match calendars to all of the schools sending students to the Foster Career and Technical Education Center, Ward said. 

“It really limits how much flexibility we have,” he said.

In other matters, directors learned of the June 30 retirements of three longtime teachers: Brenda LaVerdiere, Academy Hill School in Wilton; Roger Bisaillon, an art teacher at Mt. Blue Campus; and his wife, Susan Bisaillon, a sixth-grade teacher at Mt. Blue Middle School.

Ward read letters from each of the teachers. All have enjoyed their years teaching in the district and what they have learned from their students.

“Teaching has never been just a job for me,” LaVerdiere wrote. “It has been a calling … my calling. It is what I was meant to do. I have loved the challenge and the privilege of making a difference in the lives of my students.”

Ward said all three teachers have had an impact on students.

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