JAY — Regional School Unit 73 board of directors voted Thursday to make April 8 a half day for Spruce Mountain schools due to safety concerns over the solar eclipse.

“I am sure you have all heard about the eclipse,” Superintendent Scott Albert said. “This is really about public safety concerns. A couple of months ago we knew about it, wasn’t that big a deal. Then we started being contacted by Franklin County Emergency Management.”

Yesterday, he spoke with a Jay official. Albert said officials are not exactly sure how many thousands of people are going to be on the state Route 4 corridor.

“Out of public safety and to make sure transportationwise we can get our kids home, I am recommending that we have a half day,” Albert stated. “Other schools around us are doing the exact same thing.”

Albert said no nearby schools have canceled classes that day. However, Rangeley might cancel classes because “it’s where everyone seems to be going.” There are no large parking areas, he stated.

The eclipse is exciting and interesting, but may not be so much for those in public safety, Albert noted. The expected numbers keep getting higher and higher. There is a rumor that state Route 4 from Strong north will be closed, he said.


Jodi Cordes, a director from Jay, asked if the afterschool program would run that day.

Members of the high school Envirothon team will be participating in a solar eclipse activity scheduled for that afternoon at French Falls. The afterschool program had planned to attend.

The organizer of the afterschool program was checking on staffing and busing, and had not gotten back yet, Spruce Mountain Elementary School Principal Pat St. Clair said. The program is held at that school in Jay.

Director Holly Morris of Livermore said some school districts in the area were having a half day, others were not and School Administrative District 52 in Turner was also deciding what to do Thursday night.

Morris and Joel Pike, a director from Jay, voted against making April 8 a half day. All others were in favor.

In other business, directors unanimously approved three school trips, two for this spring and one for April 2026.

A New York City humanities trip was approved for May 28 and 29. The trip has been held annually for about 30 years, beginning when Livermore Falls High School was in existence, Kymberly Bryant, technology teacher noted.

Trips to Europe with stops in England, Ireland and Scotland were approved, one for April 12-22 and another in April 2026. Bryant thought she had obtained board permission for this year two years ago.

This year 27 students, six chaperones plus 14 parents, relatives and community members have signed up, Bryant said. “It is a safe way for adults to travel with their kids,” she noted. Travel outside the United States can be scary. This is a wonderful way for that to happen, she added.

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