June 20, 2018
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SAD 41 directors decline elementary school proposal from SAD 64

By Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer

MILO, Maine — The SAD 41 school board said thanks but no thanks this week to a letter from officials in SAD 64 in the Corinth area asking if the SAD 41 directors had any interest in looking into a districtwide elementary school SAD 64 is pursuing,

“They are looking to build a consolidated elementary school, and because their district borders some of our district towns they have to ask if we are interested in joining a regional elementary school,” Superintendent Michael Wright said at the board’s meeting on Monday. “My suggestion would be that isn’t in the cards for us.”

Wright told SAD 64 he would bring the letter before the school board for the directors to make a formal motion. “To be honest with you, I thought it was a formality asked of us,” he said. “I would say at this time we are not interested in moving forward.”

School Board Chairman Don Crossman asked his fellow directors if they thought a potential elementary school partnership with SAD 64 would be of benefit to SAD 41, and they said they did not believe so — noting that transportation costs would likely increase because the travel distance would be greater than to the district’s schools in Milo, Brownville and LaGrange. The school board voted in favor of a motion thanking SAD 64 for its letter but declining the invitation to look into the matter further.

In other business, the elementary principals provided updates on the conclusion of the previous school year and plans for the upcoming year.

“We had a great ending to our year, both schools had great assemblies,” Lynn Weston said of Brownville Elementary and the Marion C. Cook School. She said all students were recognized at assemblies, and she also passed around a copy of the Brownville Elementary yearbook for the board members to see.

“As Lynn said, the year end was action-packed,” Milo Elementary Principal Eric Smith said. He said the school held a kindergarten picnic with 28 of the students who will start school in the fall, along with 35 parents and guardians. The students played on the school’s Clayton Memorial Johndro Playground and enjoyed popsicles before going inside to see the classrooms and meet the teachers.

“We will do a formal visit when they come back in August,” Smith said. “Initially we had 42 signed up for Milo Elementary,” he added, noting the number will likely fluctuate slightly as the start of school in late August approaches.

The school board later voted to hire several district elementary teachers. “It was pretty competitive; the people you see tonight came out on top of 50,” Wright said of the number of applicants for the positions. Crossman said the high number of job-seekers speaks well of SAD 41 and its reputation.

Penquis Valley Principal Matthew Hackett said that renovations to the school library continue. He said the old tiles and carpeting have been removed and the renovations should be finished by the first week of August. Hackett also said the gym floor is being resealed, and the should be completed early next month.

“We have been in the process of hiring three positions now,” he said. The board hired a speech therapist on a two-fifths, part-time basis and a guidance counselor on Monday, and the search for an assistant principal is continuing.

With the start of fall high school sports about a month away, the board approved the appointments of the three head coaches. Jason Mills, boys soccer, Teri Morrill, girls soccer, and Jeremy Bousquet, golf, will all be returning to lead their respective Patriot squads in 2012.

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