JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Spruce Mountain Middle School gym to possibly reconsider a 6-5 vote last week to not allow interscholastic sports.

Students gathered outside of Spruce Mountain High School in Jay on Monday evening to protest the Regional School Unit 73 School Board’s decision to ban winter sports. Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal Buy this Photo

A board member recused herself because she has a student athlete and another member was absent at the Dec. 10 meeting, Superintendent Scott Albert said Thursday.

Tuesday’s in-person meeting is limited to 50 people, including board members, administrators and staff, Albert said. He estimated there are probably about 20 people in that category.

Those attending the meeting must wear masks. The meeting will also appear on Zoom. To join the meeting, go to  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83859956672. Once there type in the meeting identification number, 838 5995 6672, and when prompted type in the passcode: p28MjP.

At last week’s meeting, administrators and coaches had recommended students be allowed to play. The plan was to follow all Maine Principals’ Association  guidelines, which includes wearing protective equipment, such as masks, and sanitizing, Adjustments have been made to some sports to make them safer for student participants. The district also follows Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Students, parents and community members participated in a partially in-person and drive-by protest Monday night outside Spruce Mountain High and Middle schools. The high school is in Jay, which is in Franklin County. The special meeting had been set prior to the protest.


The county is considered a low risk area under the Maine’s Health Advisory System. Gov. Janet Mills sends out an update on a county’s risk in regards to schools each Friday.

Spruce Mountain Cheer also set up an online petition that had garnered 422 signatures as of 1 p.m. Thursday.

Spruce Mountain High School Athletic Director Marc Keller said Dec. 1o that based on the Maine Principals’ Association guidelines, the district could effectively and safely have student athletes participate.

“MPA did a survey on fall sports,” Keller said at the meeting. “Seventy-three percent of schools participating reported back. Out of more than 13,000 participants, there were only 10 positive COVID-19 cases. Those are extremely low numbers.”

Albert also told the board then that he believed they could keep the students safe. He said there is a “good chance” the season could be very short.

Albert did not know Thursday if the board would make any motion or reconsider allowing winter sports to be held.

The winter sports up for consideration are basketball, competitive cheering, ice hockey, Alpine and Nordic skiing, and wrestling.

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