LIVERMORE FALLS — The Regional School Unit 73 board of directors on Thursday approved a trip to China for members of Spruce Mountain High School’s robotics team.

Members will leave May 26 for Shanghai, and return June 4. During the trip they will help Chinese teams prepare for a FIRST Robotics competition.

The students will pay for the trip partly with their money and partly from the robotics team’s account, Spruce Mountain High School Principal Thomas Plourde said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” he said.

Board Chairman Denise Rodzen said she hadn’t seen any email or other correspondence about the trip until the meeting Thursday. She added that she was supportive of the opportunity for students to travel abroad and experience another culture.

“I think it’s great,” Director Joel Pike said.

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In other business, Special Services Director Tina Collins said that earlier in the school year RSU 73 and other school districts in the region had applied for an Educational Efficiencies Grant from the Maine Department of Education. This spring, they were initially informed that they had been unsuccessful in obtaining grant funds.

However, in early May it was revealed that extra grant money was available and the school districts who applied for it would receive it, Collins said.

The grant totals $789,000. The money will be shared equally among RSU 10, RSU 73, RSU 9, RSU 56, School Administrative District 58, RSU 44, the Rangeley schools, and partner organizations.

Collins said the grant will allow for regionalized day treatment programs for students that need it, as well as staff training for those programs.

The Spruce Mountain Adult Education graduation takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 1, at at the Spruce Mountain High School gym. State Rep. Tina Riley, D-Jay, will be the keynote speaker.

Facilities and Transportation Director Ken Vining said that the RSU 73 contract with Bailey Bros. Ford of Livermore Falls for bus maintenance expires June 30. Directors suggested he meet with Bailey Bros. to see what the price would be on a contract extension and with other firms in the area to compare prices.

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In other business, directors:

• Approved a snow removal contract of $90,000 for 2017-18 from Castonguay Excavation of Livermore Falls.

• Set their next meeting for 6 p.m. June 8 at the Superintendent’s Office on Cedar Street.

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