POLAND — The Regional School Unit 16 board of directors Monday voted to add two potential snow days to the calendar, ending classes June 22 if both days are used.

The school system, which includes Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls, has used six snow days.

The board could have ordered classes on Saturdays or during vacations rather than add time to the end of the school year, but Superintendent Tina Meserve said it’s too difficult to find substitutes to cover for staff members with prior commitments over weekends and vacations.

“Our sub pools are so low in all our areas that it could be a problem just getting kids to school because you don’t have sub bus drivers,” Meserve said. 

If the school system uses more than eight snow days, it will add an hour to the school day rather than change the calendar again. Five school days will be extended for every additional snow day.

In other business, the board approved a bond schedule for the $5.7 million renovation to its combined middle and high school.

In November, the Poland Board of Selectpersons asked the school system to delay the project for six months to allow for final payments on old debt and save taxpayers from paying multiple loans at the same time.

The project’s new bond schedule will allow that old debt to be paid off before the school system has to start paying interest on the new loan. However, it will not delay the project, which is slated to be completed in the fall of 2020. 

The project calls for adding several classrooms to Bruce M. Whittier Middle School, moving some shared middle school-high school offices and creating a single, secured entrance for the building.

Directors on Monday also received a report on its annual audit by South Portland accounting firm Macpage.

Meserve said the company found no issues with the school system’s practices. It also noted the school system has a $1.7 million fund balance, twice the minimum required.

“So we’ll be able to use a little more of that last year to decrease the amount towns have to pay in taxes,” Meserve said.

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