RUMFORD — Student test scores districtwide are much improved from a year ago, Regional School Unit 10 Assistant Superintendent Matt Gilbert told directors Monday evening.

This fall’s national standard assessment testing by the Northwest Evaluation Association yielded “a significant increase in the percentages in every area of our students’ performance; and that’s kids who are at or above average, based on the NWEA,” Gilbert said.

The most significant growth is in students in kindergarten through second grade, where 35% are reading at or above average, he said. “The nice part of this data is that in every grade range on both reading and math the majority of our kids this year are either at or above average at each level,” he said.

A year ago, students who scored at or above average in math were in kindergarten through second grade at Hartford-Sumner Elementary School in Sumner. “So, we’ve made some really significant progress and that shows you the value of direct instruction,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert also presented data on student attendance which showed a lower percentage of those at risk of or chronically absent. Those who miss more than 10% of school days, or 18 days of school during the academic are considered chronically absent, he said.

Last year at this time, 55.84% of Mountain Valley High School students were chronically absent. This year, it’s 32.06%, he said.


At Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, 56.95% of students were chronically absent last fall; this fall it was 25.48%.

And at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, last year 48.02% were chronically absent; this year it’s 19.65%.

In other business, directors decided to table a vote to approve the name for the new prekindergarten through grade eight school in Mexico until their meeting Jan. 9.

The school is planned for the site of Mountain Valley Middle School at 58 Highland Terrace and Meroby Elementary School at 21 Cross St., both in Mexico. It would replace those schools and Rumford Elementary School and serve more than 1,000 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade. It’s expected to open in August 2025.

Nearly all the $91.8 million expense would be paid by the state.

The name Mountain Valley Community School was chosen in a contest by students and staff at the three schools.

Director Bonnie Child of Mexico said she thought there wasn’t enough community involvement in naming the new school and that “we’re not doing a very good job in getting our community to get excited about this.”

The district received 1,056 responses to naming the new school, but Child said she and her neighbors had hardly seen any communication on the subject.

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