June 20, 2018
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Slight name changes on tap for SAD 4 schools

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

GUILFORD, Maine — The SAD 4 board of directors adopted some name changes Tuesday in light of consolidation efforts that will move elementary pupils into the middle school and seventh- and eighth-grade pupils into the high school next fall.

The middle school building, which will house kindergarten through grade six, will be named Piscataquis Community Elementary School starting in July. Guilford Primary School and McKusick Elementary School pupils will be relocated there next fall.

The high school facility will have two names, according to SAD 4 Superintendent Paul Stearns. The seventh and eighth grades will be known as Piscataquis Community Middle School, which will have its own identity, including sports teams and activities. In addition, the high school will continue to be known as Piscataquis Community High School. The entire middle and high school complex also will be known as the Piscataquis Community Secondary School, he said.

Adding a consolidated name to the middle and high school will help in the accreditation process and with applications for federal money, and it will allow the district to have one contract for software licensing rather than two contracts for two schools, according to Stearns.

“The board wanted as few [name] changes as possible,” Stearns said Wednesday.

One change directors embraced Tuesday was the start-up in the fall of a prekindergarten program, which will be funded in its first year through one-time federal stimulus funds, according to Stearns. He said the district likely will extend an invitation to pupils in outlying school systems that do not offer a prekindergarten program. No SAD 4 children will be displaced by those from outlying systems, he said.

Although some board members expressed concern about starting a new program during bad economic times, Stearns advised that once the program is in place, the district will receive state subsidy money for the 4-year-olds during its second year. He expected the program to become self-supporting.

In an unrelated matter, the board learned that Bowman Bros. of Newport was awarded the contract for renovation work in the district. The firm will renovate a room for the kindergarten class at a cost of $34,500, which will be funded through a designated reserve account for facilities. Bowman also will replace the high school roof at a cost of about $599,000 funded through a voter-approved bond.

“Our entire roof will be brought up to current code and much of that is inside steel reinforcement work,” Stearns said.

Directors also authorized Stearns to dispose of two portable classrooms at the McKusick Elementary School. Since Parkman is entertaining two proposals for the purchase of the school building once it is vacated later this summer, directors authorized Stearns to negotiate with the selected party. Directors authorized Stearns to solicit bids for the two buildings and have them removed if the town has taken no action by mid-May.

Michelle Ward was named the new chairman of the board and David Bridges was named vice chairman.

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