LEWISTON — Less than four months on the job, first-year Superintendent Todd Finn provided a progress report Monday on his entry plan to improve the Lewiston School District.

Todd Finn Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

His ambitious plan contains 22 goals he described as a “road map.” Finn said the parameters deal with areas such as community, communication, need-assessment and leadership development.

“It will take a year to put this all into place,” Finn said.

A major weakness in Lewiston, Finn said, is the lack of an adequate curriculum office, which will be one of Finn’s priorities. One area he mentioned that could be improved is special development, including personalized learning and developing real-world skills.

“I was surprised that in a school in excess of 6,000 students, we do not have a curriculum office,” Finn said.

In addition to receiving as much feedback as possible, he wants to address social and emotional learning and help students deal with the trauma in their lives and within the school district.


His goals also include empowering teachers and staff. For example, Lewiston is teaming up with the University of Southern Maine to teach skills to assistant principals who would like to move up, and provide instruction to teachers who want to take the next step to become assistant principals.

Praising his central office staff, Finn said he was surprised to discover that none of them had contracts. Told by state officials that up to 99 percent of central office staff around the state had contracts, Finn proposed that those employees receive three-year contracts, while new employees get two one-year probationary contracts before being eligible for the three-year plan.

The committee unanimously supported the move.

The panel received an update from nurse Wendie Bourgoin, who described what type of treatments the nursing staff provide on a daily basis. At Farwell Elementary School, for example, 22 students are seen for daily medication, 29 for an asthma action plan, 13 for allergy action, three for a diabetic road map, five for an individual health plan and 10 for a seizure action plan. Bourgoin also provided numbers for all the schools for treatment for such things as abrasions, bumps, falls, head check, headaches, incontinence, pain, and stomach aches.

Members were concerned that if a nurse is absent, the School Department could open itself up to a liability issue.

Bourgoin said some students have been asked to stay home if there is no nurse coverage.

The board will offer a motion at its next meeting to possibly vote to add a registered nurse, a position that was cut from last year’s budget. That individual could provide relief where needed or could fill in for an absent nurse.

The committee gave Finn permission to advertise for a new position — social emotional learning coordinator. The salary will come from a federal grant.

The board went into executive session for the final 30 minutes of the meeting to discuss the superintendent’s job evaluation.

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