Franklin Countys First News

School board approves remote learning plan, budget timeline

FARMINGTON - Regional School Unit 9 directors named an interim assistant principal and approved a budget timeline and an elementary school remote learning plan at Tuesday's meeting.

The remote learning plan described by Curriculum Coordinator Laura Columbia was for use in the elementary schools if they needed to go from the current, hybrid model to fully remote for a period of time. So far, Columbia said, the district had been fortunate and has only had to close the elementary schools individually, no more than a couple days at a time.

The plan calls for a 9:30 a.m. to 3:12 p.m. school day with a minimum of one hour of direct instruction, potentially broken into smaller intervals. There would also be 3.5 hours of student support and engagement activities, which could include mini lessons, group and one-on-one support sessions and practice time, as well as an hour of independent student time. Instruction periods would focus on the reading, writing, math, science and social studies standards, Columbia said, noting that student standards would be prioritized given the more limited school time this year.

The remote plan would maintain the Blue/Gold schedule. Classes such as art, music and physical education would use a mix of recorded videos, live instruction and office hours, depending on the grade level.

Columbia said that the plan had been developed through discussions with teachers. Both Columbia and building administrators noted that they were continuing to reach out to students and families that needed help.

The board also approved a timeline for the 2021-22 budget process. Utilizing a budget committee to review programs during all-day meetings in March, the timeline envisions a mid-April community forum and the process concluding with a referendum on June 8.

The district's longtime business manager, Kris Pottle, has announced her retirement as of this June, marking her last budget process with the district.

Director J. Wayne Kinney of Farmington said that while the district couldn't possibly replace Pottle, they would have to learn to live without her. "She certainly deserves our congratulations," Kinney said.

The board also approved naming Galen Dalrymple, a special education teacher, interim assistant principal at Mt. Blue High School. Dalrymple, who has a number of years with the district and has assisted in administrative functions before, will fill in for Joel Smith, who is serving as interim principal of MBHS with Monique Poulin working as interim Superintendent.

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