SAD 72 receives early Christmas gift

FRYEBURG — Christmas came a little early for SAD 72.

At the Nov. 14 school board meeting, SAD 72 Superintendent Jay Robinson announced that Steven and Tabitha King have made a $100,000 donation to the school district.

The superintendent hopes to use the gift in two areas:

  • Supporting the PKA after-school program, which provides various activities for district K-5 students;
  • Supporting those students in need.

Robinson will work with the Finance Committee to create a process for helping those students.

In other meeting notes,

Snow School deed has been signed over to the Town of Fryeburg.

Future planning. Elected as chairman of the Facilities and Transportation Committee, Jack Jones said the group is working on a punch list of small items that still need to be done at the Molly Ockett project. He also noted that the group is looking at short-term facility needs based on a one to five-year plan and long-term needs based on a six to 10-year plan.

Power needs was another topic of discussion. Although Molly Ockett has a generator owned by the Town of Fryeburg (since the school is identified as an emergency shelter), it is currently a manual start and thus the lag creates issues building-wide when the power is out beyond a limited time frame, Ike Heffron (director of Facilities/Transportation) reported. Communication with the Town of Fryeburg needs to take place to rectify the issue.

The committee also looked at the shortage of bus/van drivers. Ike Bennett of Bennett Transportation intends to reach out to other local districts and discuss offering joint driver training in hopes of finding more drivers.

Grants secured. Business Administrator Sue Frost announced that three grants have been awarded — Gulf of Maine Institute has awarded SAD 72 $1,250 to be used for environmental training for two teachers; Tim and Andi Sanborn provided a new mountain bike for the MESA program; and the Mulford Fund awarded $2,000 to be used for students to attend concerts performed by the Portland Symphony.

Staff recognized for October were Kelly Bowles, Technology Department; Nancy Boucher, District Nurse; Christine Gillespie, Food Service cook at Brownfield-Denmark School; Laine Buskin, Special Education Ed Tech, Resource Room at Molly Ockett; and Dara Guptill, Special Education Ed Tech, Essential Skills Classroom, Molly Ockett.

Internet safety presentation will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Kennett High School in North Conway.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, along with Conway Police and SAU 9, is presenting the talk entitled, “Social Media: A Predator’s Playground.” This 1.5-hour presentation is specifically geared toward parents, educators and community leaders who are looking to better understand the technology available to teens today and the way in which child predators use it to exploit them.

Field trip concerns aired. Stacey Snyder of Fryeburg raised concerns eighth grade parents have regarding this year’s eighth grade end-of-the-year trip to Boston.

The trip has occurred the past four years, generally running from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on a Friday. Parents were given the choice of having a PTO-sponsored trip on a Saturday, but most preferred the Friday option, feeling more students would attend.

Parents have been told, Snyder said, that not all eighth-grade teachers support the trip and are not willing to discuss it.

Later in the meeting, some directors weighed in on the subject. Annabel Nash of Brownfield felt disheartened that there are staff members who aren’t willing to celebrate children by going on the Boston trip, according to board meeting minutes. She feels students should be celebrated and the trip could serve as an incentive.

Denmark director Philip Marshall noted that some students’ opportunity to experience Boston is quite limited. He added SAD 72 needs to get creative to make the trip happen.

The Curriculum Committee will explore trip options, form a recommendation and report back to the full board (upcoming meetings are Dec. 12 and Jan. 9).

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