JAY — Regional School Unit 73 board of directors unanimously approved permission for Superintendent Scott Albert to request a waiver from the commissioner of education for two days of missed school at their Thursday meeting.

Schools throughout Androscoggin County were closed Oct. 26 and 27 following the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston.

Students from Livermore and Livermore Falls in Androscoggin County and Jay in Franklin County attend the district. Spruce Mountain Primary School is in Livermore; the elementary, middle and high schools are in Jay.

“We needed to close out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students and also for the fact two of our towns and one of our schools were under the shelter-in-place recommendation that was made,” Albert said. “We’re looking to have closure by not having to bring this up in June. There are some area schools that have already been approved.”

Winthrop and Regional School Units 4, 10, 16, 17 and 52 have received waivers, he noted.

“You give the recommendation, (Chair Robert Staples) and I will write the letter and he’s the one who has to officially sign it,” Albert told the board. “It will be up to either the commissioner or deputy commissioner to waive those days for us.”


In other business, student representative Skylar Condon shared the need for clothing donations at the elementary and middle schools.

Emma DiPompo at the elementary school said Friday mittens would be most helpful. “They get lost really easily, get wet,” she noted. A couple trips were made to Maine Needs in Portland recently where ski pants and jackets were obtained, DiPompo stated.

Maine Needs is a grassroots organization that strives to help individuals and families in Maine meet their basic, material needs by providing donated clothing, hygiene products, household items and other necessities, according to the website.

Children’s boots would also be appreciated, DiPompo said. Socks and underwear, which must be new, will always be taken, she noted. Other clothing may be used.

“There is a container in the parking lot to drop off clothing donations but those go elsewhere,” she added. “To donate things to the school, they must be brought into the office.”

At the middle school, counselor Catherine Siggins said underwear and bras were recently donated to the free store there, which were needed. Mittens and boots — youth sizes 4-7, plus men’s 8-13 and women’s 6-9 — could be used, she noted.


Directors also voted Thursday to keep the current substitute pay scale for the remainder of the school year. Teaching substitutes are being paid $130-$140 per day, depending on level of education. Education technicians receive $115 per day.

Food service and secretarial positions receive $16 per hour, custodians and bus monitors get $18 per hour and bus drivers are paid $21 per hour.

“These are the same rates that we started the school year with,” Albert said. “We wanted to see how it went. Of course, we would love to have a few more substitutes, but they are just not out there.”

The district pays a few dollars more or less than other districts, which isn’t affecting obtaining substitutes, he noted. “I think it’s a good place to be,” he stated. “We can take a look again at the end of the school year if we feel we need to change the rates.”

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