School Committee May 10, 2021 Meeting Summary

The Committee approved the Memorandum of Understanding with Flanagan’s Driving School for the new Driver Ed program at Sanford Community Adult Education. The program will begin June 1.

There were no public comments. Chair Don Jamison noted that he received an email from a parent complaining about profanity in “The Show Must Go On,” the Sanford High School Theater Club’s recent musical production.

Superintendent of Schools Matt Nelson gave the update on construction and associated legal issues. A claim from a subcontractor on the SHS project will go to arbitration in October. Another claim by a subcontractor for escalation costs on the Pride Elementary School project is being discussed by attorneys to determine the best course of action. It may go before a judge to decide, as arbitration would cost more than settling the claim. There are two other subcontractors waiting to see how this case is handled.

Mr. Nelson announced that the SHS/SRTC project architects have been recognized with two American Institute of Architects Design awards and were in contention for a possible third “People’s Choice” award. To vote, go to https://aiamaine.secure-platform.com/a/gallery/rounds/4/details/380. Lance Whitehead of Lavallee Brensinger was the lead architect on the project.

Vice Chair Paula Cote gave an update on the Sanford Performing Arts Center. She spoke about the SHS musical which was presented before a live audience. Theater Camp will be held at SPAC in July. Year-end academic celebrations will include Sanford Community Adult Education and York County Community College graduations.

In her report, Student Representative Grace Davie also talked about the musical, saying it was “a path toward getting back to normal.” She said students are already looking forward to next year’s production.

The latest installment of Good News from Sanford Schools was presented. Download the Powerpoint presentation here.

Superintendent Nelson gave the latest update on the plans for bringing all students back to school in-person full time in the fall. See separate story.

Kathy Sargent, Director of the Sanford Regional Technical School, presented an update. She noted that students were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society on May 6, and the ceremony was broadcast on WSSR-TV. She said that SRTC students medaled in the Skills USA competition and the First Robotics team also won accolades. These competitions are being held virtually this year, and she said the students have done an amazing job adjusting to that. Some students will be going on to the national contests, which will also be virtual. Third-party exams for CNA and welding programs are being held this month. She will be conducting tours for prospective SRTC students during the summer.

Recognition Night for SRTC will be held at Alumni Stadium Wednesday, May 26, with the following night as the rain date. STEM and Arts & Communication pathways will be at 5:00 p.m., with Business & Marketing and Health & Human Services pathways at 7:00. This will enable each student to bring more guests.

Ms. Sargent is looking for more applicants to teach the new plumbing program next year. A full class of students has already signed up for the morning program. In the afternoon, she hopes to bring in seniors from other programs who would like to add a year of plumbing. Having both sessions will enable her to hire a full-time teacher. “It’s a great opportunity to train the future plumbers of the world,” she said.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Bussiere gave a review of title grants, and an update on transportation issues. He said Ledgmere is looking to expand their fleet in the fall, as the Department looks to return to a five-day schedule. The buses are available, but there is still a shortage of drivers. He also reported on the Safety Committee. Overall, injuries have been down this year. In addition to having fewer kids in school due to the pandemic, the Department also provided special education de-escalation training, which he feels had an impact.

Curriculum Director Beth Lambert gave an overview of the summer programming. See separate story.

The Committee reapproved Covid sick leave benefits, the sick bank and compensation schedule for Covid-related duties. Mr. Nelson said this should be the last time, as he doesn’t anticipate a need in the next school year once most teachers are vaccinated.

The Committee awarded the bids for new furniture for Pride Elementary. The desks and chairs will be purchased from W. B. Mason. The desks are a unique triangular shape and the height is adjustable. For the birch cubbies and shelves, Business Manager Cheryl Fournier recommended the higher bid from Warren’s Office Supply. She explained that the cubbies (like lockers, but without doors) from Warren’s are individual ones, whereas the cubbies from W. B. Mason are stacked one on top of another, making social distancing impossible. Covid funds will cover the additional cost. Shelving to match the cubbies will also be ordered.

Mr. Nelson announced the resignations of several staff members, including Samantha Brink, career exploration manager at SHS/SRTC; Megan Brown, 4th grade teacher at MCS; Kayla Burke, band instructor at SMS; Mark Camire, math teacher at SHS; Susanne Dompkouski, library media specialist at Willard; Amos Dunlap, ELA teacher at SHS; Nathaniel Glaude, special education ed tech at Willard; Mary Labbe, food service at SMS; and Alaine Tomlinson, science teacher at SHS.

Linea Randall has been appointed as special education ed tech at MCS. Tracie Hallissey was nominated to become the new principal at MCS, replacing the retiring Chuck Potter.