July 09, 2020

SAD 4 directors consider donating their stipends to scholarship fund

CAMBRIDGE — In an unusual move Tuesday, School Administrative District 4 directors discussed donating a portion of their stipends to establish a scholarship for a Piscataquis Community High School senior.

In a straw vote, the directors unanimously agreed to support the scholarship drive and then voted to establish a special scholarship committee.

Paul Davis, who suggested the scholarship, said it troubled him that the district had such a small amount of money for scholarships, while other schools in the county provided thousands of dollars for their students.

At previous town meetings, residents in the district voted to pay the directors a stipend of $20 a meeting for their services.

Directors took no action on a petition to change a Guilford Middle School administrative policy regarding students waiting outside for school to start during the winter months. The decision to take no action was based on the fact that Principal Allyn Ward said the issue would be moot next year because an eight-period day would be instituted at both the middle and high schools.

About 300 people signed the petitions that asked to have the administrative policy changed to allow all students to enter the school upon their arrival during the winter months. Some parents were upset to learn that one GMS student had suffered frostbite while waiting for school to begin. That student, according to administrators, was not dressed properly for the weather and told no one that she was cold. “If students came to school dressed properly then there wouldn’t be a problem,” Pam Goulette said.

GMS students scored lower than the state average in reading, writing and humanities on the Maine Educational Assessment Tests, and higher in mathematics, science and social studies. The scores were as follows, with the school score listed first followed by the state average: reading, 225-270; writing, 210-250; humanities, 245-275; mathematics, 310-300; science, 275-265; and social studies, 285-255.

Charles House, guidance director at GMS, told the directors that the faculty planned to do some extensive work on the reading program this summer. He said the scores of the eighth-grade class were compared to the scores taken by the same students in the fourth grade. The students lost a “little ground,” said House, who believes that the attitudes of students is a critical factor in the test results.

The directors adopted a school calendar for 1990-91 with the starting date for pupils set for August 30, and voted to eliminate the eighth grade graduation and hold a field day for the students instead.

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