April 20, 2018
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Rockland-area school district, St. George reach withdrawal agreement

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The negotiations were lengthy and contentious at times, but the Regional School Unit 13 board in the end voted unanimously to approve an agreement to allow St. George to withdraw.

The board voted 8-0 at its Thursday evening meeting.

St. George plans to operate its own kindergarten through eighth-grade school and then tuition its high school students to neighboring high schools, which could include RSU 13’s Oceanside High Schools — Oceanside West in Thomaston and Oceanside East in Rockland.

RSU 13 has agreed to accept St. George high school students for more than the first year. That had been a sticking point in the early stages with RSU 13 saying it would not guarantee accepting St. George students beyond the first year.

St. George needs approval from the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education before it can put the matter before voters for a referendum, likely on Nov. 4.

Last month, residents of the Five-Town Community School District approved an agreement in which the district would accept 15 to 25 St. George students starting in September 2015 at Camden Hills Regional High School.

And Regional School Unit 40, which includes Medomak Valley High School, agreed last week to accept St. George students.

St. George has about 100 students in grades eight through 12 attending Oceanside High Schools in Thomaston (grades eight and nine) and Thomaston (grades 10 through 12). About 80 are in grades nine to 12.

At the Thursday meeting, the board also voted to retain two positions in the 2014-15 budget that voters at a districtwide meeting last month had recommended when they added $72,000 into the spending package.

The two positions to be retained are an industrial technology instructor at Oceanside High School West and a library media specialist.

The board also voted to hold off appointments to many fall coaching positions until a new athletic director is hired.

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