JAY — Regional School Unit 73 board of directors voted 11-2 Thursday night, April 27, to accept the school calendar for next year which keeps early release days for professional development.

Voting in favor were Phoebe Pike, Tina Riley, Don Emery, Tasha Perkins, Robin Beck, Robert Staples, Lenia Coates, Elaine Fitzgerald, Jodi Cordes, Andrew Sylvester, and student representatives Ava Coates.

Holly Morris and Joel Pike were opposed. Student representative Dan Wilson abstained. Chantelle Woodcock was not at the meeting.

The calendar has to align somewhat with RSU 9 and Foster CTE Center, because the district sends students to the center, Superintendent Scott Albert said prior to the vote. “You are allowed five different days throughout the school year, we have two,” he noted.

Spruce Mountain will hold classes Sept. 1, Mt. Blue has that day off. Spruce Mountain has a teacher workshop planned with no classes March 14, 2023, which will be a school day for Mt. Blue.

After receiving a survey and consulting with the district’s education association, it was decided to stay with early dismissal days for at least another year, Albert stated.


Last year, directors voted to change from late arrival to early release days to provide more time for professional development.

“It is the same amount of time that we had last year,” Albert noted. “We need to make sure we do a better job making use of those days for professional development.”

Chris Hollingsworth, district curriculum coordinator and IT director will be organizing that, Albert said.

Joel Pike asked if Mt. Blue was still using late arrivals. When that was confirmed, he asked how those different schedules were working for students and busing.

There are some days some high school students will stay a bit later, Spruce Mountain High School Principal TJ Plourde said. Most of those kids can make that stuff up, it hasn’t been an issue, he noted.

“As most of you remember from last year, I like late arrival days,” Joel Pike said, “It is good for kids to get that extra sleep.”


Grant funding will allow continuation of the afterschool program next year, Albert confirmed.

Director Holly Morris asked if some of the early releases could be spread out more, as they were “bunched up with holidays.” She has heard complaints from teachers and parents that there wasn’t much productivity towards professional development and a lot of downtime for the kids.

“I feel like our kids need to be in school learning,” Morris stated.

Input from the administrative team led to changing some of the early release dates for next year, Albert said. There have been meetings with the professional development team so everyone is on the same page, he added.

Next year school will start Aug. 30 for all but pre-kindergarten students, who start Sept. 7.

Early release dates are Sept. 20 [Mt. Blue also dismisses early that day for Farmington Fair], Oct. 25, Nov. 8 and 29, Dec. 13, Jan. 10 and 24, Feb. 7, March 6 and 20, April 3 and 24, and May 8 and 22.


Changes from last year include:

• November releases are on second and fifth Wednesdays instead of the first and fifth

• January with two instead of one mid-month

• February with one mid-month as opposed to two last year

• March releases are on first and third Wednesdays instead of the first and fourth

• April releases are on first and fourth Wednesdays instead of the second and fourth

“Hopefully you will have a few less complaints from teachers and parents,” Morris stated.

In other business, Robert Staples of Jay was reelected chair while D. Robin Beck of Livermore Falls was reelected as vice chair of the board of directors.

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