LEWISTON — Lewiston High School Principal Jonathan Radtke advised the School Committee on Monday night of the positives and negatives of the new study period for students who need extra help from teachers.

The 35-minute flex/activity periods are held three days a week, including Fridays, at the beginning of the day.

Starting this school year, they provide help with schoolwork, makeup work and other needs, he said. They also serve those who may not be able to come to school early or stay afterward.

Radtke shared survey results from last December from students and staff that showed most of them are utilizing the time to get or provide extra help.

The downside, he said, is it takes almost six hours away from each class over the course of the school year. Another downside is students report some teachers are so busy tending to students from different classes and different grade levels that they do not receive much help.

School staff has not been able to track students well enough to know how many of them are actually going to get help from teachers instead of walking the halls or going to another classroom to hang out with friends. However, Radtke said he has not noticed students roaming the halls much during that time.


The flex/activity period replaces Ice Week in February and Mud Week in April when students could make up failing grades, he said. On Fridays teachers can choose to operate a club, such as chess or improv, for extra enrichment, he said.

Most committee members who spoke seemed to support the new study periods.

Both student representatives, freshmen Abby Martel and Kaiya Poulin, said they like the flex/activity time to catch up on schoolwork or get help from teachers, and they enjoy connecting with new students during activities on Fridays.

During public comment, former committee member Paul Beauparlant said he is concerned about the flex/activity periods taking away classroom learning. One person submitted anonymous testimony through Lewiston Education Association President Jaye Rich expressing the same concern.

Another member of the public read a letter from an anonymous teacher who favors the new study period.

In another matter, Superintendent Jake Langlais explained that the district does not have remote learning on snow days because there are many logistics that are need to be worked out.


Only high school students are provided electronic learning devices to take home, he said. Teachers and officials would have to figure out how to develop a remote lesson for younger students without devices or how to send younger students home with devices and also provide staff with electronic devices.

Langlais said districts are still required to provide students lunch in remote learning and it would be complicated for a student body the size of Lewiston’s.

He said he put the issue on the agenda because several parents have asked him about it.

Committee member Meghan Hird said she previously requested that it be placed on an agenda.

Several committee members spoke against the idea of implementing remote learning days on snow days. Committee member Janet Beaudoin said remote learning did not work well during the pandemic and therefore does not support it on snow days.

In other business, the committee unanimously approved giving the high school Mock Trial Team $8,000 toward its trip to the national Mock Trial Competition on May 2-5 in Wilmington, Delaware. The team has raised $8,000 through public donations toward the total $15,000 cost, according to adviser Michelle Crowley and team members.

The cost to attend the national competition this year is less expensive because students will be driven there, Crowley said. The $15,000 will cover transportation, housing, food, registration and a few other expenses.

The team won the state competition Dec. 8 against Cape Elizabeth High School.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.