SAD 61: When is a student ready to move ahead?

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Determining whether a student is “ready” to attend college or enter the workforce can be measured in a number of ways.

There are the PSAT and SAT measuring sticks.

Lake Region Principal Erik Good told the SAD 61 school board Monday night another way is to challenge students to strive higher by signing up for a college-level class (and pass it) or enroll in a vocational program that suits an interest.

Good said 50 students currently take a college-level class with an 85% passing rate. But, the principal would like to see those figures grow.

“I’d like to see every student, who plans to go to college, take at least one college (level) course and pass it,” he said.

He also pointed how vocational programming helps students become “career ready” if they enter the workforce following high school graduation since courses are designed to teach skills identified by potential employers.

Good described vocational programs offered here as “vibrant” and successful in preparing students for real world jobs.

In other administrative reports, LRMS Principal Matt Lokken told directors that a reassigned space in the building to create a “Learning Lab/Maker Space” — overseen by Andrea Capano and Paul Miller — has been a hit. The space is used by students involved in robotics, houses the school’s 3-D printers, and is home to a solarium, which presently has “working” composting bins.

Adult Ed Director Madelyn Litz noted that her department is working with a local substance abuse coalition to present an opiate workshop this spring.

Twelve Adult Ed students are on course to graduate this spring, while 31 students are involved in the college transition program.

In other meeting news:

Timeline adjusted. Bridgton Director Karla Swanson-Murphy noted some adjustments have been made to the budget timeline.

The district budget vote is scheduled for May 16, while the validation vote is May 30.

The goal is to wrap up board discussions and recommendations on the budget by March 8, with the full board acting on the budget on March 22.

Retirements at the end of the school year by: Judy Morin as an administrative secretary at Lake Region High School; Linda Dutil as a gifted and talented teacher at Lake Region Middle School; and Sandra Hamblin as an English/Language Arts teacher at Lake Region Middle School.

Resignation by Cristen Regios as a special education technician at Lake Region Middle School effective Jan. 27.

Donation of $50 to SkillsUSA from Steven Milton Jr., who graduated from the Law Enforcement Program in 2015 and is presently a student at Southern Maine Community College.

Snow days. Superintendent of Schools Al Smith pointed out to the board that SAD 61 had just one snow day left, as of Monday. The ice storm Tuesday forced cancellation of school, using up that last date. With more than a month of possible weather-related cancellations ahead, officials will discuss how days will be made up.

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