JAY — Regional School Unit 73 Director Phoebe Pike on Thursday night reminded drivers to pay attention to flashing lights on school buses to prevent injuries to students and others.

“School bus drivers have been doing an absolutely wonderful job,” the Livermore Falls resident said. “I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work as well as the level of safety they keep in mind when taking care of the children and everyone else in the district.”

On Monday, a driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel and partially drove under the back of a school bus in Kingfield, the Sun Journal reported.

That same day, it reported an incident on Sept. 8 when a student had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by a car while waiting for a school bus in Livermore Falls.

“If you see the stop sign, please stop,” she urged. “It is not just for the safety of the students, it is for the safety of the community as well. If we don’t support our drivers on the road, then you are putting the entire district at risk.”

Slow down when driving, particularly during school hours, Pike said. “We want our kids to be safe, our drivers, our teachers, everyone in the community to be safe,” she added.


During administrative reports given at the meeting, Superintendent Scott Albert said the state has a new Parent/Guardian Economic Status form that must be filed.

“We need it filled out and returned immediately, if you haven’t already done so,” Albert said in contacts he sent Tuesday. “Information from this form helps the state of Maine to decide how much state funds our school will get next year.

“At the moment the state is paying over 70% of our essential programs and services school budget. If we do not get the forms in and we end up getting less money from the state next year, this will be damaging to both the school district and to the local taxpayers.”

In her report, Laura Merrill said food service provided meals for six programs for seven weeks this summer at five locations. Staff served 1,620 breakfasts and 2,724 lunches.

On Aug. 30, the first day of school, 43% of students in the district were served breakfast and 60% lunch, Merrill noted. The numbers rose to 57% and 67%, respectively, Thursday, she said, and expected those percentages to continue to increase.

Transportation Director Norma Jackman said bus drivers are doing a great job with all the road closures resulting from flash flooding June 29, as well as the extreme heat.


She said the mechanic at Bailey Bros. Ford in Livermore Falls helped another district when two buses being returned from service had mechanical issues on the Crash Road in Jay. For RSU 73, the mechanic located a source for fluid film to undercoat buses for about half what was quoted elsewhere.

Candy donations are being accepted for the second annual Trunk or Treat from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Spruce Mountain Elementary School parking lot, Jackman said. Candy may be dropped of at the bus garage at 15 School Bus Road, Jay.

Spruce Mountain Adult and Community Education Director Robyn Raymond said in July she was told funding requests to U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for Congressionally Directed Spending had made it to the next round. She isn’t sure how many rounds there are.

In March, representatives of Collins and King and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden met to discuss potential funding sources and plans for the Area Youth Sports building. Culinary arts students in the adult education program served a meal during the meeting, followed by a tour of the building highlighting the potential for larger, better space for that class and others offered through the program.

“They did say it was approved by the Appropriations Committee,” Raymond said. An application was made for $5 million to upgrade the AYS building and for workforce development initiatives.

In other business, directors approved an addition to the Spruce Mountain High School handbook regarding absenteeism.


Students were leaving school during the day, Principal TJ Plourde said. “We weren’t able to correct that the way the handbook was written.” The addition should help keep students at school during classes, he stated.

“Students who are dismissed by parents/guardians must have an approved excused absence in order to return to school that same day,” the addition states. “If a student returns to school before the conclusion of the day, the student must have documentation of excused absences as noted by Maine law. If a student returns to school prior to the conclusion of the day without evidence of an approved absence, the student will receive two office detentions.”

Pike asked about students who don’t live with parents.

Plourde said they can sign for themselves. “It’s never an issue with those students,” he said. “They want to be in school.”

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