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Several transfers result from cuts
DIXFIELD -- As a result of the RSU 10 board action on Aug. 12 of cutting five positions from the district's special education program due to the federal sequester, there's been a lot of personnel movement.
At Monday's meeting of the RSU 10 Board of Directors, Supt. Craig King said nine people have transferred within the RSU, a lengthy process for which he gave credit to Special Services director Clarissa Errington.
Those transfers were: Kim Peaslee to Mountain Valley Middle School as a special education teacher; Paige Berry to MVMS as a special education ed tech; Jamie Dennett to Dirigo Elementary School as a Title I ed tech; Trina Fortin to Mountain Valley Middle School as a guidance counselor; Debra Mawhinney to MVMS as a special education ed tech; Katie Mazza to Meroby Elementary School as a special education ed tech; Tammy Lynn Perry to Rumford Elementary School as a special education ed tech; Marie Tanguay to RES as a special education teacher; and Terri Williams to Dirigo Elementary School as a special education ed tech.
King said because of the sequester, the district will receive about $151,000 less in local entitlement money than previously told.
Positions eliminated include an educational technician at Dirigo Elementary School, an educational technician at Mountain Valley High School, an educational technician at Dirigo Middle School, an educational technician at Dirigo High School and a district tutor.
King said many educational technician positions are funded by very soft money, which are often dependent on federal dollars which change from year to year.
“The suddenness affects real people who live in the district,” King said. “There are things that may open up. That’s the advantage of a large district. My hope is that down the road, something will open up when these people could be invited to apply."
Errington said, that the elimination of the educational technician positions reverses some of the district's best educational practices.
King said he doesn’t see the federal government increasing their entitlement monies for next year either.
Put on the recall list were special education ed techs Lorinda Payton, Lisa Cote, Patricia Fletcher, Sarah Bolduc and Kate Goroshin.
In other business, among the new hires were two recent local graduates; Carly McCann as speech and language assistant for the Mountain Valley Region, and Chlorissa Plaisted (2008 Dirigo grad, 2012 grad from Univ. of Maine Farmington) as a kindergarten teacher at Meroby Elementary School.
Also approved were Mary Pennington as art teacher for Mountain Valley Middle School, formerly from Mt. Ararat; and Patrick Forque as Dirigo High School English teacher.
Resignations included Erin Overlook as science teacher at T.W. Kelly Dirigo Middle School; Walter Hammond as Pennacook Learning Center bus driver/custodian, effective Sept. 27; and Scott Underhill as the Mountain Valley High School junior varsity girls' head soccer coach.
The board voted to deny a petition asking for another vote on the $36.5 million school budget because it lacked enough valid signatures.
Candace Casey, present with Seth Carey, were behind the petition effort, collected 117 signatures but town clerks determined that 23 of them were not valid.
With only 94 valid signatures, King said legal counsel advised that a minimum of 100 valid signatures are required.
Casey, who said she didn't receive the final list of valid signatures until Monday, said 13 names determined to be invalid should not have been so identified.
Carey added that many people did not know of the second vote on the proposed 2013-14 budget.
Board member Barbara Chow said the district followed the law for posting the second vote, including holding a public hearing and a districtwide vote, then a referendum in each town.
Voters in the district rejected the original $36.2 million budget in June by 32 votes out of more than 3,000 cast.
In the July vote, about half that number of voters cast ballots to more than comfortably approve the new figure of $36.5 million. The difference in the budget figure was because between the first and second votes, the state Legislature mandated that the district pay a portion of the state's share of teacher retirement funding.
As the school year begins Wednesday, there will be five teaching vacancies and a two-thirds library media specialist.
However, Asst. Supt. Gloria Jenkins said all classes will have long-term substitutes except for the two-thirds time media technician at Hartford-Sumner Elementary School. The current educational technician will fill the spot until a new person is hired.
Students in grades seven to 12 will receive iPads to do their school work. The tablet computers will replace laptops.
The new technology is part of the district’s emphasis on integrating technology with learning. The district has four years remaining in the Maine Learning Technology Initiative.
Freshmen students will be subject to new graduation standards. They must demonstrate they have met all the requirements of standards based instruction which follows the federal Common Core program. In order to receive a diploma, a student must prove they have learned a specific body of information.
Board Chairman Jerry Wiley of Buckfield and Vice Chairman Bruce Ross of Dixfield were re-elected to those positions.
Committee chairwomen elected were Betty Barrett for the Finance Committee, Barbara Chow for the Policy Committee and Lolisa Windover for the Personnel Committee.