JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors voted on Thursday night, March 28, to make April 8 a half day due to safety concerns with the solar eclipse happening that afternoon.

“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.”

He also spoke the previous day with a Jay official, said there is real concern. 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 transportation-wise we can get our kids home, I am recommending that we have a half day,” he stated. “Other schools around us are doing the exact same thing.”

Albert said no nearby schools have canceled classes that day, Rangeley might because “it’s where everyone seems to be going.” There are no large parking areas, the safety of Rangeley Lake is unknown at this time of year, he stated.

The eclipse is exciting and interesting, 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 and the afterschool program had planned to attend.

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

No update was available just before noon April 1.

Director Holly Morris of Livermore said some school districts in the area were having a half day that Monday, others were not and School Administrative District 52 in Turner was also deciding what to do that 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 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 – except for during the pandemic, Kymberly Bryant, technology teacher noted.

The bus leaves at 6 a.m., returns at 6 a.m. the next day so 14 of the 24 hours are spent on the bus, Bryant stated. Students will be divided into small groups of six or seven and paired with a chaperone to do various activities in the city such as visiting museums, shopping, going to visit landmarks, etc., she shared.

The musical chosen to attend this year is Wicked, which costs a bit more than some other shows, Bryant said. Costs for travel and ticket is $230 per student, she stated. Cost of meals during the trip is the responsibility of the individual, she noted.

Tuesday and Wednesday shows are cheaper, it is less busy in New York City, Bryant said. The trip will be right before seniors get busy with end of the year activities, she noted.

“This has been a weird year on Broadway,” she said. When a decision was finally made on the show, things happened fast to secure seats, she stated.

The bus holds 55, this trip is open to seniors and juniors first then sophomores and freshmen if space is available, she added.


Trips to Europe were approved, one for April 12-22 and another in April of 2026.

This is the first European trip since COVID-19, it filled up within two days of announcing it, Bryant said. Deposits were paid by 42 students the next day, she noted. The Europe trip is on a 2-year rotation, open to students who will be juniors or seniors the year of travel, she stated.

Students signed up for the trip with stops in England, Ireland and Scotland in the spring of 2022 and have had two years to raise money to supplement their trip, Bryant said. The money raised goes directly into their individual accounts to count toward airport transportation and tips [$191 each] and any additional funds are going back to students to pay for spending money during the trip, she noted.

A record-breaking lawn sale was held, raised almost $7,000 for the trip, Bryant stated. She works with a travel organization, “it’s a very well-oiled machine,” she said.

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.

Planning for the 2026 European trip, an eight-day trip to Spain featuring both Barcelona and Madrid will begin after this year’s trip, Bryant said. Student cost for the trip is $3,829 and covers all travel, accommodation, attraction fees, breakfast and dinner, she noted.

Sophomores and freshmen now can sign up for the 2026 trip in May, Bryant said. There are 42 spaces available on the tour and students get priority over adults for spaces, she noted. Having the trip sign-ups two years in advance keeps payments lower for students, gives them more time to work/fundraise to pay for it, she added.

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