RUMFORD — Directors of Regional School Unit 10 voted unanimously in a straw poll Monday night not to pursue forming a Regional Service Center with surrounding districts because of the cost and timing.

“If we don’t pursue it and they don’t change the legislation, it’s (a loss of) $46 per student or around $80,000 to $82,000 for our district, Superintendent Deborah Alden told the board. “But it’s going to cost you some money to do it anyway.”

The new state calls for school districts to share administrative and programming services and bundle purchases to save money and streamline services.

The deadline for filing an application for a center is Nov. 30, and voters would decide in June if they approve the plan.

Board Chairman Jerry Wiley said another $60,000 to $80,000 would be needed for administrative costs if RSU 10 joined a Regional Service Center, and, in his opinion, the district pays enough for administrators.

“You can’t get out of it once you’re in, so no way, it is not worth it,” Director Michelle Casey of Buckfield said.

In other business, the board:

• Heard a presentation by Leanne Condon, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for RSU 10, who said more time and focus is needed in math and reading programs;

• Approved a field trip to Bangor for seven Mountain Valley Middle School students and five high school students from the Civil Rights team. The students would learn about discrimination and bullying prevention, and all costs will be covered by Healthy Franklin County. The request was made by Barbara Radmore, coordinator of the Western Foothills Kids Association; 

• Hired Favour Akhidenor as a social worker for Pennacook Learning Center. Akhidenor has two master’s degrees in social work from Nigeria and from the University of Maine at Orono.

• Appointed Vickie Dobson as varsity cheerleading co-coach at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School;

• Announced retirements of Suzanne Duka, a Mountain Valley Middle School teacher with the district for 40 years; Judith Houghton, administrative assistant to the superintendent; and Suzanne Tifft, Hartford-Sumner Elementary School Title 1 teacher of 32 years.

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Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

Leanne Condon, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for RSU 10, told the board Monday night that more time and focus is needed in math and reading programs. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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