June 06, 2020

Penquis districts form cooperative Towns look to enhance adult education

MILO – Three Penquis region school districts are combining efforts to improve adult education and save costs.

SAD 4 in Guilford, SAD 41 in Milo and SAD 68 in Dover-Foxcroft have formed the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative in which the three districts will share an adult education director and programs starting in the fall of 2005.

“I really believe that in the end, there will be no loss of local adult education programming,” SAD 41 Superintendent David Walker said Friday. But he expected the programming would be enhanced across the region.

Under the consortium, each of the districts will continue to offer their own adult education programs locally, but would have a shared administrator. The collaboration also allows the districts to share staff development and to operate with the same wage scale, according to Walker.

“Our vision calls for this to be very similar to the financial structure of the vocation center [Tri-County Technical Center],” SAD 4 Superintendent Paul Stearns said. “We’re not looking to remove adult education services from each campus, we’re looking to enhance it.”

Under the collaborative effort, programs that could not be offered in the past in a certain district because of low enrollment would be open to participants from the other two districts without additional cost.

Walker said the districts have excellent instructors but individually they cannot offer some instructors enough hours to retain them, so this effort will help toward that end.

Instead of offering an instructor one class per week, the instructors could teach the same class in each of the three communities. Together, the three districts could pay a reasonable wage to keep the qualified instructors, he said.

“It’s kind of exciting,” Stearns said of the effort.

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