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RSU 10 building change process paused for study
DIXFIELD -- Before the end of 2012, it's expected a process will begin to recommend short-term options for RSU 10 that could include closing one or maybe two schools as early as the following budget year.
Since the end of school, the RSU 10 administratators and the Board of Directors have had several workshops to discuss the most efficient utilization of their buildings, making the best use of those facilities. The state of the economy has made such consideration essential for the financial well being of the three-region district.
The board has come up with an option for each region, sometimes two options, and the administrative team has another option. But before moving on to the next step, the board agreed unanimously Monday with a recommendation by Supt. Tom Ward to spend up to $2,500 to hire Planning Decisions, Inc. of Portland to conduct a study, which he said could take three to four weeks, depending upon the workload.
Called a cohort survival report, Ward said, "We need to know the long range. This will help us with what pre-K and kindergarten will look like seven years down the road (population) and also help us with the boundary lines for the communities."
"It's about as accurate as you can get," he noted, adding that he has a lot of faith in this company.
Board Chairman Jerry Wiley said this company was used when they had the addition of the Hartford-Sumner Elementary School a few years back. "They said the population would go up for three of four years and then drop right off. They were right on, almost perfect. It was unbelievable how close they were."
Ward noted that when the recommended process for short-term options does get underway, it will include public information meetings in each of the three regions. Because the district will be referencing material from this study, a representative from Planning Decisions will be present to elaborate about the study.
On their website, Planning Decisions, Inc. is a 30-year-old Maine research and planning firm. Their clients include the public, private, and non-profit sectors. In the public sector, they regularly work with municipalities, school districts and state agencies throughout Northern New England. They work with the development community, private businesses and industry associations in Maine and the greater New England area on questions related to market feasibility, economic and fiscal impacts and public policy.
To date, the one- to three-year short-term options being suggested are as follows:
From the board:
Mountain Valley Region -- PK-2 at Meroby; grades 3-7 at Mtn. Valley Middle School, grades 8-12 at Mtn. Valley High SChool; Pennacook Learning Center to MVHS/MVMS; close Rumford Elementary.
Dirigo Region -- Option 1: PK-6 at Dirigo Elementary; grades 7-9 at TW Kelly Middle School; grades 10-12 at Dirigo High School; close Central Office. Option 2: PK-6 to DES; grades 7-12 to DHS; close TWKDMS.
Nezinscot Region will stay the same.
From the Administrative Team:
Mountain Valley Region -- PK-2 at MES; grades 3-6 at MVMS; grades 7-12 at MVHS; close RES; PLC stays at Virginia School.
Dirigo Region -- PK-6 at DES; grades 7-9 at TWKDMS; grades 10-12 at DHS; close Central Office.
Nezinscot Region stays the same.
While there are no plans to change the Nezinscot Region, once a plan is finalized, some students from Canton or another nearby area may be sent to these schools.