School Committee 12/7 Meeting Summary

At the School Committee’s regular meeting on December 7, the following items were among those presented or discussed:

  • In his report on school construction issues, Superintendent of Schools Matt Nelson said the HVAC equipment supplier for Sanford High School/SRTC will be on site this week to determine why some units are tripping during cold weather, and how to address the issue. They will send a report of their findings. After the recent storm, roof leaks were also noted. It’s being looked into to see if it is a roof warrantee issue or an installation problem.
  • At Margaret Chase Smith School, a sign will be installed 50 feet in front of the existing flashing yellow light to warn motorists. Moving the flasher was considered, but as it is solar powered, there was a question as to whether it would get enough sun in the proposed location.
  • Committee member John Roux expressed concern that snowplows working on the unpaved section of the MCS parking lot were pushing dirt and gravel toward the drainage ditch. Mr. Nelson said it would be looked into.
  • Committee member Emily Sheffield gave a report from the Performing Arts Committee. She talked about the two Free For All shows coming up this month, and reported that planning for the SPAC’s 2021 season is underway.
  • Committee Chair Don Jamison gave a report on WSSR-TV. He said the committee is working on generating more revenue, and said they may need to hire more help to continue to grow.
  • Student Rep Juliana Levesque said the Civil Rights team is organizing a video for the day of welcome. Student Rep Isabella Farrington said a video for the Peer Helpers virtual flash mob is also in the works.
  • Mr. Nelson gave an update on the Covid-19 situation in the school district. The number of positive cases in the recent second outbreak at Sanford High School/SRTC was 16, but all of those were determined to be from community and family spread, not acquired at school. Six students are currently in isolation, the rest have recovered and are back in school.
  • Athletic Director Gordie Salls gave a presentation on winter sports. Students are able to begin “skills and drills” December 7, and games, if allowed, will begin on January 11. Swimming, basketball, cheering and ice hockey are considered Moderate Risk activities, while wrestling is considered High Risk, and may not be able to take place this year. Games will only take place if York County returns to a “green” designation. If they are held, they will be livestreamed by WSSR.
  • A presentation on some results of the 2019 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey was given. See separate story.
  • Business Manager Cheryl Fournier gave an update on Covid Relief Funds. An additional $135,000 has been received by the district. Some of the money will be used to link the cafetorium and gymnasium at Carl J. Lamb School with video and audio, so that larger events can be held while still maintaining social distancing.
  • The 2021 budget calendar was presented. The first School Committee workshop will be held January 25, and they will continue through February. All are open to the public. The joint public hearing for the school and city budgets will be held March 18.
  • It was announced that Anthony Papa, a custodian at Sanford Middle School, has retired after 30 years with the district. Congratulations and best wishes Mr. Papa!

Image by soerli from Pixabay