The RSU 78 Board of Education met on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at the Rangeley Lakes Regional School. The meeting began with an executive session and members re-entered the regular board meeting at 6:21PM. Rowenna Hathaway presented on “Catalyzing Change in High School Math”.
Board Chair Mary Richards shared that former board member and chairwoman, Joanne Chapman, had passed away. There will be a celebration of life at Bald Mountain Camps in June. Mrs Richards also shared that Rangeley came in third, with a bronze medal, in the 2023 WinterKids competition. Congratulations RLRS! Superintendent Georgia Campbell shared that the 2023/2024 budget is nearly final and that staff are working hard to present a “needs” budget and not a “wants” budget. Currently, snow days have the last day of school on June 21, 2023. There are a multitude of logistical and financial reasons why remote snow days do not currently work for the district. Further discussion on the 2023/2024 calendar is tabled to the March 14, 2023 meeting.

Principal Seth Laliberte shared that middle school students recently went to Foster Tech and came back extremely excited and engaged about the programming. In the future, RSU 78 may need to look at funding this type of hands-on, career-centered programming for middle school students. Mr. Laliberte also reported that he’s changing up the format of the weekly videos and moving to a bi-weekly release schedule and that video content will be student-driven.
Student Representatives shared that local Girl Scout Troop 1495 is taking pre-orders for cookies through the end of February. Additionally, college courses are starting, as are sign ups for baseball and softball. Kennebec Valley Music Festival is also coming right up and the RLRS Chorus is hard at work preparing for their performance at Six Flags. Spanish students held a successful fundraiser at Sarge’s for their upcoming trip to Puerto Rico, seniors are meeting about graduation logistics, and the sophomore class is doing their annual kettle corn fundraiser. Committee reports included updates from Policy Committee and a host of revisions; Finance Committee is looking at historical costs with an eye to preserving student experiences; Facilities Committee meeting was postponed to March 2, 2023; Curriculum Committee shared that many goals have already been met, and that the remaining work is identifying priority standards, which is time consuming. Staff and administration may want to look at other models to increase transparency; the Negotiations Committee reports that negotiations are progressing and meetings are ongoing.

Two appointments were announced: Emily Austin, Special Education Ed Tech III, and Beth Carroll, Special Education Ed Tech III. Welcome Emily and Beth! One resignation was accepted from Michelle Laliberte. Mrs Laliberte was with RLRS for 21 years, most recently as the Kindergarten teacher. She will be greatly missed and we wish her well on her new adventure as the owner of the Rangeley Adventure Company. Two retirements were announced: Ann Kessler-Parrett (23.5 years of service), and Janet Welch (18 years of service). Lastly, Kim Snow, Kitchen Manager, has decided to move into a part time position.

Action items included approval of an overnight field trip for Honors US History students to Boston, MA; approval of the Program of Studies Handbook for the 2023/2024 school year; revisions to policies DJ, EEAA, EEAA-R, EEAEAA-R, GBN, and GCDK, and rescinding policies GBN-R1, GBN-R2, and GCQCA-E. The meeting was adjourned at 7:28PM. The next RSU78 Board of Education meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at the Rangeley Lakes Regional School multi-purpose room.

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