Thursday, Oct. 24 Regional School Unit 73 Directors voted to hire another Education Technician II for the Spruce Mountain Primary School and one for the middle school due to an influx of special needs students. Pictured from left during the vote are Board Chairman Bob Staples, Superintendent Scott Albert, and Directors Steven Langlin, Scott Jackson, Sara Hughes, Taylor Guay, Tammy Frost, Doug DiPasquale and Lenia Coates. Not pictured were Directors Ann Schwab, Phoebe Pike, Joel Pike, Lynn Ouellette and Dale Leblanc. Absent were Directors Andrew Sylvester and Michael Morrell. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

JAY — Thursday night, Oct. 24, Regional School Unit 73 directors voted 12 to one to hire two additional staff members for special education. Doug DiPasquale was opposed and Andrew Sylvester was absent.

The new staff will be Education Technician II’s.

After the meeting, Special Education Director Tammy Verreault said the education technicians will be working in the Life Skills program. One will be at Spruce Mountain Primary School and the other at the middle school.

“More than 40 kids (with special needs) have moved in to the district,” she said. “That’s a high percentage.”

Superintendent Scott Albert spoke of the recently aired WGME report on a bus recall that will start Dec. 1.

The nationwide recall affects over 53,000 Thomas Built bus models from 2014 to 2020 that don’t have adequate padding on seat backs in the case of collisions or bumpy rides.

“It affects three of our buses,” he said. “The buses will not have to be pulled from the road. They’re coming here to fix any of the buses in question.

“The new buses that we’ve ordered that are coming in are all set to go.”

The Directors were invited to a luncheon prepared by students in the Life Skills program at Spruce Mountain Middle School. Student Mason Labonte passed out student-made invitations.

Labonte said the menu for the Nov. 8 meal would be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, apple crisp and ice cream – all made by the students in the program. He asked that reservations be made the Friday before to better plan.

Board Chairman Bob Staples said, “I will be there. You had me at food.”

Directors also tabled a decision on the completeness of meeting minutes needed. Requested was a review of board policies and research to see if closed captioning would be available on future videos of board meetings.

Staples said he had attended a workshop for board officials, presented by the law firm Drummond Woodsum of Portland, where it was suggested districts should be less detailed when recording minutes in case something is written down incorrectly or missed. Now that meetings are videotaped, it was felt those that wanted more information could review the tapes.

Director Phoebe Pike said elderly people in her neighborhood are caring for grandchildren who like to read what is going on.

Director Lynn Ouellette said the videos should be accessible to all.

In other business:

  • Director Phoebe Pike said she again visited fourth grade students at the elementary school. They were a lot more confident in reading out loud than they were during her last visit. “Their progress is remarkable. The teachers are doing a wonderful job,” she said.
  • Spruce Mountain Elementary School Principal Pat St. Clair said the clothing closet is coming along nicely. Donations of clothes, shoes, boots, mittens, gloves and blankets have been made. Size six to eight underwear for boys and girls are needed.
  • Curriculum and Technology Director Chris Hollingsworth said he believes recent issues with Power School are due to a problem with the program itself. He has asked for a closer look to see if the problem can be identified and fixed.

Mason Labonte at left, a student in the Life Skills program at Spruce Mountain Middle School delivered student-made invitations for a luncheon prepared by the students to the Regional School Unit 73 Directors Thursday, Oct. 24. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

SMMS Life Skills student Mason Labonte delivers a luncheon invitation to RSU 73 Directors during their meeting Thursday, Oct. 24. Also pictured are Directors Phoebe Pike and Joel Pike. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

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