Rangeley School Board Learns of Outdoor Program

Reposted from: Dale Hill, Special to Sun Journal

Franklin |Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

RANGELEY — The school board saw two PowerPoint presentations, voted for funds for a school bus parking area, and elected a new vice chairman at its meeting Tuesday.

Starting in 2010 with GPS mapping, Simonds worked with student volunteers to develop Maine Trail Finder, Hike Safe and Leave No Trace. Participation has grown considerably for activities such as work on the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, survivor hikes and night skiing, a scavenger hunt with four teams, and a rescue scenario with live victims.

Participants also support the Warrior Hike, in which military veterans hike the Appalachian Trail “to walk off the war,” and join in Rangeley’s Trail Town Festival, “though the latter is difficult to ramp up less than two weeks after school starts,” Simonds said.

Lucy SimondsSimonds confessed that as the program continues to grow it has become part of her. “A Trail to Every Classroom has been the thing that has revitalized and transformed me,” she said.

Superintendent Susan Pratt presented a rundown of report-card data and its connection to funds from No Child Left Behind grants. The federal funds are administered by the state and are used to hire a teacher, Georgia Campbell, assisted by Shirley Schrader and Susan Damm.

The intervention program serves 40 students from kindergarten to eighth-grade in the fields of math and reading. Parents have the right to decide yearly if they want their children to be involved in the program.

The old skate park on the school property, which was in disrepair and had become a dangerous liability, has been demolished and school buses currently park on the site. Pratt recommended installing a culvert and creating a wider driveway onto the access road, installing wiring from the electrical panel to the site, installing  receptacles for bus charging and installing motion-activated lighting. The board unanimously approved the plan with costs not to exceed $13,000. It will be paid from the maintenance budget, which currently has a $22,000 surplus.

Pam Ellis was unanimously elected to replace Michele Eliot as vice chairman of the board. Eliot had asked to step down from the position.

Pratt received approval for hiring of Danielle Ellis as physical education teacher, John Crosby as coach of middle school boys’ soccer, Don Turner as ESL education technician 2 and Hannah Johnson as Special Education education technician 2.

The Facilities Committee discussed options for the portable classroom, and hopes to take action by the end of next year. The Finance Committee is looking at how reports and warrants are formatted and comparing Rangeley with other schools to see how they do things differently. The committee is going through monthly finance reports and noted there are no outstanding expenses.

The board approved second readings of a policy on student use of cellphones or other electronic devices, edited to include digital photographic devices, and a policy on student wellness. The board waived third readings of both policies.

Maine Collaboration!

I’m so excited about the A.T. Community workshop in Maine on Friday! Residents from Millinocket (newly approved to be designated!), Rangeley and Monson will all be there to talk about ways to network and work together to highlight the A.T. in their communities.

April 19 Agenda

While I am a bit disappointed that I won’t have an opportunity to do any hiking this time, it will be fun to have a meeting with 3 A.T. Communities all together. Here are a couple of pictures from my last trip to Maine (last summer)…ahhh, the memories:)

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Oh Clare, making everything fun wherever she goes!