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Public presentation of SMHS space options set for Nov. 28
By Eileen M. Adams,
LIVERMORE FALLS — The RSU 73 board set 6:30 p.m., Nov. 20, as a time to review several space options devised by architects Bunker and Savage that could accommodate all Spruce Mountain High School students. They also set 5:30 p.m., Nov. 28, as a time for public presentation of the options and for gathering input from residents of the district’s three member towns on those options.
Superintendent Robert Wall said the board must make a decision on an option by Dec. 14, which is the deadline for filing for state funding. He said the project, once refined and approved, will either be funded by a bond, the state, or a combination of both.
At issue is how to find sufficient space so that all Spruce Mountain High School students now attending classes at campuses in Jay and Livermore Falls can be housed under one roof. The architects are studying potential space and possible reconfigurations of the north campus in Jay, adjacent Spruce Mountain Middle School, and a portion of the nearby Community Center. Just over 500 secondary students from both campuses are expected to be together for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
The board, and several task forces, have been searching for a solution to the space problem for several months. Residents turned down a proposed $5.3 million addition to the former Jay High School in May. The former Jay School Department and RSU 36 in Livermore Falls merged in 2011.
Also at the Thursday night regular meeting, the board accepted a mission statement written by the district’s Leadership Team and based on the previously approved vision statement. The mission is:
“To achieve our vision, our mission is to provide diverse and authentic experiences, rigorous and relevant core and elective coursework, co-curricular activities, and family and community partnerships that:
“Academically prepare students for a variety of postsecondary opportunities requiring critical thinking, problem-solving, communicating, and knowledge of technology.
“Promote knowledge of individual, local, and global financial management and understanding the impact of one’s personal values on fiscal responsibility.
“Explore diverse perspectives through the arts and multicultural appreciation.
“Foster accountability, independence and ownership of education, in order to promote life-long learning.
“Promote responsibility, respect, empathy and compassion throughout the school and greater community.
“Encourage perseverance and celebrate success.”
Other recommendations from the staff included a strengthening of the school/community relationship, reconsideration of the proposed, and defeated, building project, the addition of specific electives to the curriculum, a full-time principal, vice-principal and dean at the merged high school, and several other educationally-focused objectives.
Students appointed to school board
The board also appointed two students to the school board, one from the south campus and one from the north.
Megan Norris, a senior at SMHSS, who plans to attend the University of Vermont in the pre-med program, will represent her school. She is the daughter of Dean and Terry Norris.
Megan said she wanted to serve on the board so a better line of communication would be likely between the board and the decisions it makes, and the students at her school.
Also appointed was Melanie Robitaille from the Jay high school. She was absent from Thursday’s meeting.
In other matters, the board:
*Accepted with regret, the resignation of Gloria Fournier, a 37-year veteran of the food service department;
*Appointed Kathryn McAninch to a part-time secretarial position at Livermore Elementary School and Dale Quirrion to a 20-hour a week bus driving position.
*Learned from board member Tim Madden that several RSU 73 students will attend a construction crafts event at the Augusta Civic Center on Nov. 16.
*Began the annual evaluation process of Superintendent Robert Wall.
The next regular board meeting takes place at 6 p.m., Dec. 13.