RUMFORD — Regional School Unit 10 directors Monday evening approved a request for Mountain Valley High School students and staff to travel to Pennsylvania next month, aware that the coronavirus epidemic may derail those plans.

Principal Matt Gilbert and educational technician Leanne Virgin requested permission for the trip for 37 students who have been fundraising for nearly a year. Among the sites they plan to visit are the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, Carpenter’s Hall, the Philadelphia Zoo and Valley Forge National Historic Park. They are also working on stops at the Rocky Balboa statue, the Ben Franklin Museum and the Eastern State Penitentiary historic site, once the most famous and expensive prison in the world.

Gilbert and Virgin said they were aware the coronavirus epidemic may affect their plans.

“I have spoken to both the bus company and the hotel this afternoon and right now they’re not seeing any problems or any issues,” Virgin said. ” They’ve both guaranteed us that if for whatever reason that we can’t make this trip any deposits that we put on, which has only been the bus, they’ll give that back to us or hold it, and if we have to, we’ll do (the trip) next fall.”

In another issue, the board approved spending $890 for the Western Foothills Kids Association to become a nonprofit starting next year. Doing so, it will be able to apply for more grants and hire employees.

The association is in its first year of a five-year grant and can only hire district staff, Superintendent Deb Alden said.

The association offers homework help, cross-country and downhill skiing and science, technology, engineering art and math lessons. There are also summer classes in yoga and mindfulness, art, hiking and biking.

Sixty-four students participate at Rumford Elementary School; 60 at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico. There are 23 paid staff and four volunteers, according to information from association Director Miki Skehan.

Directors also reviewed the $30.48 million budget for 2020-21, which is $2.58 million more than this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The proposed spending would increase assessments to the seven district towns an average of 6.65%.

Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Principal George Reuter, Mountain Valley Middle School Principal Ryan Casey,  Meroby Elementary School Principal Kim Fuller, Rumford Elementary School Principal Jill Bartash and Hartford-Sumner Elementary School Principal Ryan Wilkins presented their budget requests to directors.

George Reuter, principal of Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, presents a spending plan for the school for the coming fiscal year to Regional School Unit 10 directors Monday evening at Rumford Elementary School. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

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