Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District got 25 new students this fall. Boothbay Region Elementary School Principal Shawna Kurr and Boothbay Region High School Principal Tricia Campbell updated the CSD school committee on the new students and demographics Oct. 14.
Kurr said BRES’s 14 new students are about half Mainers and half from out of state. “We have some from the south, we have some from New England, we have some from other parts of Maine. There's definitely no demographic except that they're from all over.”
Campbell said BRHS’s 11 new students include two each from Southport and Boothbay Harbor, three each from Boothbay and Edgecomb, and one commuter from Pemaquid. Campbell said all students are attending in person except for one attending completely online.
Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Superintendent Keith Laser said the increase in student population is a step in the right direction for the district. Laser said neighboring districts and those along the Maine coast are not pulling in new students like the AOS 98 system.
Said Laser, “I'm proud of everybody and … I think the work Tricia and Matt and Shawna did with their planning and then getting it out and really publicizing it really gave people a lot of confidence that what we do is in the best interest of the students. All the staff has done a tremendous job making sure we were ready to open, open on time … I think the word's out: these are darn good schools.”
The committee approved a memorandum of understanding with BRHS teaching staff. Chair Stephanie Hawke and member John Bertolet said the memorandum came out of contract talks with Boothbay Region Education Association which requested protocol for class video footage, how it is stored and what it can be used for.
Said Bertolet, “All this boils down to is that we will not use recordings for evaluations of a teacher's performance until the evaluation committee meets and comes up with a plan for whether we will or will not use these videos.”
Kurr said as teaching and learning have changed, evaluations are also going to need to change, so BRES will be speaking with Kim Marshall, an education professional on teacher evaluations. AOS 98 has already adopted Marshall’s evaluation model and rubrics, Kurr added. “It makes sense for teachers. It's really about affecting teacher practice and not about jumping through hoops and dog and pony shows for teachers. It's about conversations and relationships, not paperwork.”
Committee members voted to continue sending member Peggy Splaine as its representative at the Maine School Boards Association. The committee hired Spanish teacher Nora Reed, educational technician III Madison Burch and custodians Scott Carpenter and Anita Koplau. Laser said three educational technician III jobs remained unfilled and all have candidates waiting for interviews.