JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors Thursday approved the school calendar for 2021-22, assuming there will be in-person learning for Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls students.

Classes for kindergarten through grade 12 would begin Wednesday, Sept. 1, with prekindergarten classes starting Tuesday, Sept. 7. Teacher workshops are set Aug. 30 and 31.

Late-arrival Wednesdays would continue, with the exception of Sept. 22 when students would be released early, a tradition during the Farmington Fair.

The calendar aligns with School Administrative District 58 in Phillips, Regional School Unit 78 in Rangeley, Regional School Unit 9 in Farmington, the schools that send students to Foster Career and Technical Education Center at the Mt. Blue Campus in Farmington, Superintendent Scott Albert said.

In other business, directors heard two proposals for bus maintenance.

Brenda Brochu, owner of Bailey Brothers Ford in Livermore Falls has the contract to maintain the fleet, presented a two-year agreement that increases the hourly labor rate from $60 to $63.

“We’re set up to handle maintenance,” she said. “The school system’s main job is to educate students.”

Brochu said the district is bringing in more new buses so costs have dropped.

“You’d be supporting a local business and the people who work there,” she said. “We’d love to continue our relationship. It’s working.”

“I think we should cut out the middleman,” Transportation Director Jim Shink said, adding that $25,000 could be saved this year and next.

In June 2020, directors approved posting a position for a bus mechanic. In July they rescinded that vote and approved a one-year extension with Bailey Brothers.

Director Lynn Ouellette asked if there was dissatisfaction with Bailey’s work and was told none is known.

Action on the contract will be taken up at the May 13 meeting.

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