JAY — At the Oct. 24 Regional School Unit 73 Directors meeting, Spruce Mountain Elementary School Principal Pat St. Clair shared an experience explaining why he really likes having a school resource officer in the district.

St. Clair said there was a third grade student at the elementary school in June. When classes resumed this year, she wasn’t there.

“We still had her on Power School, had her files and she was nowhere to be found,” he told the board. “We contacted the state, gave her information, they couldn’t find her.

“Darin (Gilbert, the school resource officer) and I did multiple visits to the address we had. Nobody was there.”

St. Clair said Gilbert stuck with it for three weeks and was able to find her in another school.

“If he hadn’t been here, there weren’t a lot of avenues for me to find this kid,” he said. “We sent letters, called. The numbers we had were disconnected. There was no chance I would ever find her at all.”

Last week St. Clair said each school keeps records for every student. If a student switches districts paperwork is completed for the move. A request for the student’s records is either faxed or called to the school last attended.

The request for those records was never received by SMES.

St. Clair said Gilbert was able to use the Police Department database.

“I knew she was from Lewiston,” St. Clair said. “Darin contacted that Police Department, found out she is going to another district.”

St. Clair said that district was small and hadn’t hired a teacher for the class the student was in. Once they realized, they did request the records.

“We had no idea where she was,” he said.


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