The School Committee met June 5, 2023. Chairperson Paula Cote and Vice Chairperson Amy Sevigny were absent due to family commitments. Jennifer Davie served as Chairperson.
The minutes of previous meetings, workshops and executive sessions were approved.
There were no public comments and no communications.
The Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation requested approval of naming rights for the baseball practice field on Alumni Boulevard and a chemistry lab in honor of John Cochin. Mr. Cochin had a lengthy career in Sanford as a beloved science teacher and baseball coach. He also wrote a sports column in the local newspaper for several years. He remains as a trustee of the Sanford Water District where he has served for many years. Stay tuned for a dedication event to be announced soon.
Naming rights were also approved for the Landscaping and Horticulture Program at the Sanford Regional Technical Center through a generous sponsorship by Eldredge Lumber and Hardware, which recently opened a third store in Sanford. Lindsey Eldredge was present to speak about their passion and commitment to organic gardening and her favorable impressions of SRTC students and staff, where she has already become involved. She expressed their gratitude for the strong welcome in Sanford.
The mission of the Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation is to enhance the experience of students in Sanford’s Schools and Regional Technical Center by expanding opportunities beyond those provided through public funding.
Special Education Advisory Committee: The planning team recently held a meeting to review the referral process. Mr. Nelson provided an overview of the process, which can be initiated by a parent, a teacher or Child Development Services. He also outlined timelines and areas they identified for improvement in the process and next steps.
Student Representative Report: Aiden Gendron highlighted the many events occurring during this busy end of the school year. They included the Spring sports awards banquet, Senior Awards Night, and the Senior Banquet culminating with SHS Graduation, which took place on Wednesday, June 7th. On the day prior to graduation, the seniors donned their caps and gowns and walked through all the elementary schools, including St. Thomas. This has become a tradition to show younger students what they can aspire to. The last day of the school year for all other students is Tuesday, June 13th. Aiden also reviewed the Sanford Schools Spotlight Newsletter with highlights of the happenings in all of our schools. View it here https://www.sanford.org/page/sanford-spotlight-newsletter
Reminder: School Budget Referendum vote on Tuesday, June 13th at the regular polling places.
The Skills USA National Leadership Conference is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia in late June. Five of our SRTC student medal winners in Maine’s competition will be attending along with their chaperones.
New Community Member Update
37 students from asylum-seeking families have been enrolled and welcomed by students and staff and are eager to learn. It’s a challenging time for new students with all of the end of year activities including safety drills. They’re being acclimated to basic routines and expectations of school while taking into account cultural differences. They’re also being taught basic skills and given instruction in language classes. Grade levels are different than in their countries of origin. Families were welcomed in for an open house and a tour. SCAE has set up adult courses in coordination with Curtis Lake Church. Tentative plans for summer are being developed. School and community coordination meetings have been taking place weekly. Curriculum and professional development options are being explored.
Federal funds and grants: Assistant Superintendent, Steve Bussiere, and Curriculum Director, Beth Lambert, reported on the ESEA Planning Team, which reviews how federal funds and grants are allocated. There are three categories. Title 1-Math and literacy support; Title II-professional development; and Title IV-student support and enrichment. Allocations for next year will be similar but with some decrease. With increases in contracted salaries and benefits, the funding is starting to fall behind.
Using the fall NWEA testing results to assess needs is challenging due to difficulty getting tracking data from fall to spring. Reading scores are higher than math scores. Some interventions have been done to address math scores. Many students are not where they are expected to be, so intervention is needed. Areas in which some students are lagging include: academic; social emotional skills; executive functioning; student engagement; and consistent attendance. A staff survey was done this past winter to elicit what they believe is needed to support students.
Funding recommendations for the federal funds and grants, as well as the information from their presentation will be on the Sanford Schools website to give the public the opportunity to review and comment. https://www.sanford.org/ A formal application will be completed and submitted to the Department of Education in July.
Tobacco Vape Prevention Workgroup: They continue to meet and discuss areas of concern. Moving forward, messaging, curriculum, physical environment and response to offenders will be the focus of their work.
Summer nominations: Voted to authorize the superintendent to issue teacher contracts during the summer
Retirements, resignations, athletic appointments and transfers: Announced by Superintendent Nelson
Policies: Approved updated Education Policy and Mission policy
High School Graduation 6 PM 6/7
Next School Committee meeting 6/12
Last Day of School 6/13
School budget referendum vote 6/13
Sanford Community Adult Education graduation 6/14
Meeting Adjourned at 6:55