WATERVILLE — Waterville’s alternative school will move back to the city in time for the fall semester after two years on the campus of Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

Speaking to the Waterville Board of Education on Monday, schools Superintendent Peter Hallen said Monday that while plans aren’t finalized, the alternative school likely will be at Waterville Senior High School in the fall.

Alternative school students have the same graduation requirements as those enrolled in the high school, Hallen said. Classes are smaller at the alternative school and all the learning targets are the same but are presented in a different way, he said.

The students currently ride the bus to the high school in Waterville and then take a bus to KVCC,  where Waterville’s schools also deliver food to them, he said.

Hallen said that in July 2022, school officials had to find a new location for the alternative school. It had been located for many years at the Maine Children’s Home on Silver Street, but the Children’s Home said it could no longer accommodate it. Waterville Public Schools identified a new location for the alternative school at a building in Winslow, but at the last minute code issues were identified that made moving there prohibitive.

KVCC welcomed the alternative school to its campus in Fairfield when Waterville schools had to find a place quickly, Hallen said, adding that the college went to great lengths to help.


“They bailed us out of a bad situation and really turned it into a positive experience,” he said.

But now logistics require the alternative school to move again, according to Hallen. He said KVCC’s enrollment has increased and, where last year the alternative school was able to use spaces not being used by the college, that flexibility is going away and it is no one’s fault.

Moving the school back to Waterville will not only save money, but also will ensure alternative students have access to resources not available now such as food service, school counselors, elective courses and certain extracurricular activities, according to Hallen.

Hallen said after Monday night’s meeting, held in the high school’s media center, that the alternative school has capacity to enroll 40 students and it is at or near capacity. Five slots are saved for Winslow High School students because that system does not have an alternative school.

In other matters Monday, Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Allen announced that the Maine Department of Education awarded a $190,000 literacy grant to Waterville. She and others had applied for the grant to help increase teachers’ knowledge in reading comprehension. The grant will be used primarily for Waterville Junior High School, but Waterville Senior High School teachers also will be able to participate, Allen said.

As part of the grant, author and literacy expert Cris Tovani of Denver will conduct a weeklong literacy institute in Waterville next summer and follow up with classroom support. Her area of expertise is comprehension across content areas at the junior high and high school levels, according to Allen. Teachers taking part will receive a stipend and given hours to focus on instruction and implementation. The grant will be used from now through September.

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