JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors Thursday night, May 11, were given updates on grants being sought for adult education and told some transportation issues are worsening.

Offices of senators Susan Collins and Angus King have forwarded the Area Youth Sports application for Congressionally Directed Spending [CDS)] to the Appropriations Committee and recommended funding for the $1.7 million project, Robyn Raymond, Director of Spruce Mountain Adult and Community Education stated.

“This is not a guarantee for funding, there are many more obstacles, but I am encouraged with how well received this project has been,” she stated. Funding would improve infrastructure at the AYS building to allow expansion of adult education’s culinary arts and workforce training programs while also assisting AYS with needed upgrades, she noted. The application with Congressman Jared Golden didn’t make it through the first round, she said.

In March, several local officials met with King, Collins and Golden representatives to discuss potential funding for the Jay-Livermore-Livermore Falls area in light of the impending closure of the paper mill in Jay.

“Because of what is happening in our three towns with the mill closure,” Raymond said then, she and Kendra Baker, executive director of United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, had conversations about grant opportunities available and “what we can do to bolster and strengthen our communities. We had reached out to Golden’s office, King, Collins, Maine Development Foundation, any resources that were available to possibly do a community action front for the Jay-Livermore-Livermore Falls area.”

At the same time, directors for Area Youth Sports were working to bring the building up to state fire codes. The issue was brought to light when the local United Way moved its Halloween fundraiser from Farmington to the AYS building. Sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, exit signs and lights were among items either missing or not up to code.


Adult education is included in a CDS application with the Maine Development Foundation that has also been forwarded to appropriations, Raymond said Thursday. It did have to be amended, the CDL [Commercial Drivers License] training is still in but the staffing costs were removed, she noted.

“I am hopeful to hear by July,” she added.

Transportation Director Norma Jackman said behaviors have gotten worse over the last couple of months. Most buses are at capacity and last minute calls to change where a student is to go after school, sometimes 20 minutes before the buses are to leave are causing issues, she noted.

Substitute bus drivers may not know the students, some bus passes are thrown away, counterfeit notes have been received, Jackman stated.

Middle and high school students need bus passes, text messages will not be accepted, she noted. “It’s not because we don’t want to take them, we are legally bound by law on the number allowed on a bus,” she stated.

Jackman said she and Superintendent Scott Albert will send a letter to parents now and again at the beginning of the new school year about transportation policies.


Director Andrew Sylvester of Livermore noted there is a lot of crap out there, there have been issues since crayons were invented. He asked if there was a plan in place to address bus damage.

Two parents have been sent a bill, Jackman replied. It costs $200 to cover a seat, the district has taken care of most of it, she said.

Jackman has had more cameras installed so most buses now have four. “The problem is the seating,” she stated. “The cameras don’t always get at the problem, some students know where to sit.”

The cameras record activity on the bus, Jackman said. She watched five videos Thursday, reviews footage when she can around her other duties.

At Spruce Mountain Elementary School two 22 by 35 feet areas have been staked out, Ken Vining, facilities director reported. Ground work will be completed there prior to concrete pads being poured for the greenhouses, he noted.

The school was awarded a $100,000 Rethink Respond Educational Ventures [RREV] grant to build greenhouse/outdoor classroom spaces and hire a coordinator for outdoor learning opportunities.


A competitive grant is being worked on with high school teacher Rob Taylor and others to provide extra funding to enhance learning technology, Chris Hollingsworth, curriculum and technology director noted. Adding more equipment would enable students to get the full benefit of the computers in the imagination room, he stated.

At the last Rotary meeting the speaker had worked for the Department of Defense, is a CISSP [Certified Information Systems Security Professional], Hollingsworth said. There are only 50,000 CISSPs today, there are 250,000 job openings requiring that certification, he noted.

Hollingsworth said the speaker provided him with a device that looks like a USB drive which is used to prevent phishing. “Phishing works on one out of three people,” he noted. The device will charge electronic devices but can’t carry data, making it safer and more secure when travelling, he stated.

The individual is willing to talk to staff next fall and share his security recommendations, Hollingsworth added.

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