New route created for Spruce Mountain Elementary School student pickup

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There is a new route for parents and others to pick up students at Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay. Drivers will use Hyde Road to access a new road past the bus garage and then to the rear school car park. With exits only on Route 4, that should reduce bottlenecks there, the principal said. Screenshot

JAY — Principals of Regional School Unit 73 on Thursday approved changes to Spruce Mountain elementary, elementary and middle school student handbooks, including how parents pick up students from elementary school.

The morning return will be the same as last year with vehicles from National Route 4 entering the rear parking lot between the tennis courts and the school and looping back to Route 4.

A new road was built from this parking lot to the school bus path. Parents will walk down Hyde Road via the new road near the bus garage, pick up pupils and exit onto Route 4.

“Parents shouldn’t be supported,” Principal Pat St. Clair said.

Manager Joel Pike liked the plan but asked if residents were told about the change. Previously, some residents didn’t want so much traffic there, he noted.

St. Clair said residents weren’t contacted, but with pickup starting at 2:08 p.m. and ending no later than 2:20 p.m., that shouldn’t be a problem. Having all the right corners should also help, he added.

The first day of classes Wednesday for most students in the district will be as normal as possible, Superintendent Scott Albert said.

With board approval later in the meeting to hire Jay’s Michael Morrell as a high school science teacher, all teaching positions are filled, Albert said.

Morrell resigned as vice chairman of the board last November.

There are five Education Technician positions open: two for Special Education, two for Title 1, and one for Social/Emotional Learning. Bus driver/guard positions and a few grant-funded guards are unfilled, Albert noted.

“I think we’re in great shape overall,” he said. “I think that says a lot about our district. I think we’ve done a good job of getting people good contracts, I think they understand that we care about education in those three cities and that’s fine with us.

RSU 73 includes Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

A computer science instructor has accepted the position of elementary school librarian, St. Clair said, but no interest has been shown for the position of computer scientist. He met with Jennifer Stone, the school’s social worker, and they decided to use those 45 minutes of instruction to focus on healthy living – relationships, diet, etc.

“It will fill a need for children,” he noted. “They won’t lose academics but will gain many more.”

When asked if students would still receive computer assistance, St. Clair said each student had a laptop and had spoken with the college principal to ensure students would be ready when they progress.

“I think (the students) will be fine,” St. Clair said. “I think healthy living is more important right now.”

High school reunion week will be the first week of October, giving freshmen a little more time to learn about the school, principal TJ Plourde said.

High school students will have the opportunity to earn credit for completing 100 hours of community service, which applies to a student’s grade point average, Plourde said. Guidance and main office staff will track student hours and have a list of where volunteers are needed, he noted. There are more opportunities in summer than in winter, he added.

Community service had not been done for some time, but resumed last year, Plourde noted. Seniors can look up previous years to get those numbers on credit, he said.


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