JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors Thursday, April 29, approved the school calendar for 2021-22 providing in-person learning is permissible.

Classes for students in kindergarten through grade 12 would begin on Wednesday, Sept. 1, with pre-kindergarten classes starting the following Tuesday. Teacher workshop days would be Aug. 30 and 31.

Late arrival Wednesdays would again be in place. The exception would be Sept. 22 which would be an early release for students only as has been tradition during Farmington fair.

The calendar aligns with SAD 58, Rangeley and RSU 9, the other schools sending students to Foster CTE Center, Superintendent Scott Albert said. Five differences in the calendar are allowed per year and there are two, Rangeley is a little bit different; administrators are happy with it, he noted.

In other business, the directors heard two presentations related to maintenance of the district’s buses.
Bailey Bros. Ford in Livermore Falls currently provides maintenance. Owner Brenda Brochu presented a two-year contract that would see the labor fee increase from $60 to $63 per hour.

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

Flexibility, not having to pay for a supervisor, someone obtaining parts or when the person is not needed have to be factored in, Brochu said. The district is bringing in more new buses so costs have lowered, she noted.

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

“I think we should cut out the middle man,” Transportation Director Jim Shink said. $25,000 could be saved this year, next year, he noted.

In an email provided after the meeting, Shink told directors the district could save money in the long run. A district mechanic with benefits and purchasing some tools to be compliant as a working garage would be around $75,000, he continued.

Prior to the consolidation, the bus facility did provide maintenance before the Town of Jay took it on, Shink wrote. A district employee who formerly worked on the buses while a Bailey Brothers employee isn’t interested in being lead mechanic, but would help out if needed, Shink noted.

“We would definitely have to post the position and hire from outside,” his email continued.

Have there been any issues with dissatisfaction with Bailey’s quality of work, Director Lynn Ouellette asked.

None known about, she was told.

No action was taken. It will be taken up again at the May 13 meeting.

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