JAY — Program updates for Spruce Mountain Adult Education plus transportation department information was shared with Regional School Unit 73 directors at the Oct. 21 meeting.

Starting in 2022 through a partnership with BoomerTECH, two types of basic technology related courses will be offered, Director Robyn Raymond said. Students will still be able to earn proficiency certificates and digital micro-badges through NorthStar Digital Literacy classes “but we will also partner with a Maine-based education technology company, BoomerTECH,” she said.

“BoomerTECH was founded by three ‘baby-boomers’ who understood the necessity of helping teach people of all ages, but more specifically those 60 and over, the ever-changing ways of technology,” Raymond noted. “They provide self-paced, virtual courses focusing on Zoom, using an iPhone, navigating a Macbook and even a fun based cooking class via Zoom.”

Students may come to the Livermore Falls center and connect there so they don’t feel the stress of trying to navigate new platforms alone at home, she added.

The culinary program received an anonymous donation which will allow investment in new cooking equipment, Raymond said. Adult education is actively recruiting for the November cohort that starts the Monday after Thanksgiving, she noted.

Adult education is still collecting data from the childcare-needs assessment which will determine how the partnership with Western Maine Community Action’s Whole Families program will proceed, Raymond said.

“(WMCA) is committed to expanding access to childcare in greater Franklin County and hope to build a pilot site here in adult education,” she noted.

At the next board meeting Raymond hopes to share a planning overview and present the needs assessment data.

Transportation director Jim Shink said district buses covered 190,146 miles to and from school and sports trips last year.

With four new buses, the average age of the bus fleet is at seven this year and five more new buses will be put in for in the next reporting period, he said. “The fleet is in real good shape,” he added.

Job openings are being filled, Shink said.

Keeping the fleet up to date saves the district money and keeps kids safe, Director Elaine Fitzgerald said.

Bus Driver Appreciation Week was also noted. “Thank them,” Shink said. “They don’t get it enough. Bus driving is a tough job.”

Comments are not available on this story.