LEWISTON — School Committee members unanimously agreed at Monday’s meeting to apply for a state waiver for missed school days in the wake of the Oct. 25 mass shooting, during which schools were closed for three days.

Superintendent Jake Langlais heard from many parents about their desire not to have the school year extended at the end of the year because of too many canceled school days, he said. He did reassure committee members that early release days still qualify as regular school days.

Ward 6 committee member Meghan Hird agreed with the idea and also does not want to see children and staff in school longer, particularly because of how hot the weather can be that time of year, she said.

Langlais suggested that the school department wait to submit the waiver until around February in case snow days need to be added to the application, depending on the type of winter is ahead, he said.

Moving into an update about how the schools’ reopening plan has been going, he said the last couple of weeks has moved “really fast.” The plan was well informed and helped facilitate a healing approach that allowed people time to grieve.

Langlais talked briefly about community events and the president’s visit to town that helped people cope with the events of Oct. 25. He said students have also been empathetic. “When kids show up to school to ask their teachers if they’re ok, that’s good stuff. So, we’ll be stronger in the long run,” he said.

Chairperson Megan Parks said she is still in communication with staff from the offices of Rep. Jared Golden and U.S. Sen. Angus King for funding to improve the safety in city schools.

Langlais has also had some conversations with people who told him that they would get the schools whatever was needed but those conversations now seem to center around what will qualify for help.

In other business, committee members agreed to hire Christiana Ellis as the new special education assistant principal at the Raymond A. Geiger Elementary School. Ellis has been working as an interventionist at the school for the last two years.

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