Weighted grades proposal approved
DIXFIELD -- With the intent of encouraging students to enroll in the most rigorous classes, the Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 board voted unanimously on Aug. 15 to place the same weight on all grades earned by high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement and college credit, accelerated, advanced or honors classes.
Dirigo High School Principal Mike Poulin said this was not an issue for Mountain Valley and Buckfield high school, but it was at Dirigo. "Courses not waited last year at Dirigo will be reweighted."
The proposal was made following a meeting of the high school principals with Supt. Tom Ward. As approved, Advanced Placement and college credit courses will be valued at 1.1. Accelerated, advanced or honors will be weighted at 1.05. Weighted grades are used for the sole purpose of calculating grade point average to determine class rank.
In other business, the board also heard about numerous new appointments, new employees, transfers and resignations.
Appointments approved included Rick White, boys' head lacrosse coach at MVHS; Lisa Russell, varsity softball coach at MVHS; Kristen Provencher, girls' varsity lacrosse coach at MVHS; James Taylor, boys' head track coach at MVHS; Lisa Belanger, girls' varsity soccer coach at MVMS; Chris Aube, high school girls' varsity soccer coach and middle school varsity softball coach at BJSHS; Travis Magnusson, boys' varsity high school soccer coach at BJSHS.
Also, Jaymie Milledge, girls' middle school soccer coach and girls' middle school basketball coach at BJSHS; Jamie Henderson, high school/middle school golf coach at BJSHS; Doug Rines, boys' varsity high school basketball coach at BJSHS; Annette Caldwell, girls' varsity high school coach at BJSHS; Joe McLaughlin, high school varsity baseball coach at BJSHS; Caleb McNaughton, middle school varsity baseball coach at BJSHS.
And, Chandele Gray, English department head at BJSHS; Maria Reinstein, sophomore class advisor and high school Civil Rights Team co-advisor at BJSHS; Zachary Reinstein, high school Civil Rights Team co-advisor at BJSHS; Tania Mirach-Jack, middle school Civil Rights Team advisor at BJSHS; Breanna Bellefontaine, freshman class advisor at BJSHS; and Ty Giberson, junior varsity co-ed soccer coach at TWKDMS.
New hires are Mark Lopez as DHS one-year interim Spanish teacher; Kelley Houghton as RES one-year math interventionist teacher; Ryanne Brown as MVHS Title I math teacher; and Tannya Morris as MVMS lifeskills teacher.
Transfers are Tanya Perreault from MES PK Ed. Tech III to DES kindergarten teacher; Abby Waleik from RIF to TWKDMS art teacher; Emily Jorgensen from MVMS Title I math teacher to MVHS/DHS math teacher.
Resignations are Robby Green as MVHS math teacher (moved to Florida); Allie Burke as 21st Center Community Learning Centers Afterschool Program director (moved to Vermont); Brian Laramee as BJSHS assistant principal/athletic director (now asst. principal at Waterville High School); and Kelly Gilbert as second grader teacher at DES.
Also, with the illness of longtime Rumford Elementary School Principal Anne Chamberlin means that that school's head teachers, Denise Richard and Cheryl Sevigny, will be preparing the school for their first day this year.
Superintendent Tom Ward said he and Assistant Superintendent/Curriculum Coordinator Gloria Jenkins will also check in at the school periodically during the first few days.
Regarding another position, special education teacher Tom Danylik was appointed to the stipend position of assistant athletic director at Mountain Valley High School. He will assist part-time athletic director Jim Aylward, who is also responsible for teaching one or two English classes.
Regarding that position, Mexico board member Betty Barrett asked if the MVHS assistant athletic director was specifically created to cover Aylward for football.
Rumford board member Linda Westleigh followed by saying the board hadn't known about this newly created position, nor had it been approved by them.
Ward said he didn't think of it as a new position because it was covered by savings from reducing the previous full-time athletic director's position ($50,000) to half time ($10,000). He said the assistant's position ($5,000) is needed to help set up for sporting events.
He also said the board will take a look at whether or not the assistant position is needed for an entire school year at the end of school year 2011-12.
Buckfield representative Maida Demers-Dobson suggested that the administration look at sports where the numbers are low, such as lacrosse, and consider combining students from the different schools into such teams.
“Eventually there will be one high school. We could take these small steps,” she said.
Ward said he plans to meet with the district's athletic directors to discuss the possibilities and report to the board in September.
Staff are scheduled to attend an opening day workshop on Aug. 30, and students begin classes Aug. 31.