School committee reviewing volunteer policy

Wed, 09/15/2021 - 7:45am

    New Edgecomb Eddy School Principal Christina Boursaw reported enrollment hit 119 for the first week of school. Boursaw told school committee members Sept. 13, enrollment included 31 students from other towns: Alna, 18; Westport Island, six; Boothbay, two; Wiscasset, two; Bremen, one; and a student who previously attended Great Salt Bay.

    The new year also resulted in a new bus problem. School officials found themselves with no bus turnaround until a neighbor offered her driveway. “School is off to a great start, and we offered her a big thank you for her assistance,” Boursaw said.

    With students back in school, the committee’s new goal is allowing visitors, guests and parents into the school. The committee is reviewing a 2018 school volunteer policy in determining how guests can safely be included into the academic program. The principal and classroom teacher determine who is allowed into the classroom. The policy allows for those with a special talent such as musical or work experience to volunteer. The policy also describe roles for field trip chaperones. Volunteers must also be at least 18 years old or an older student can tutor or if they are involved in a school club or group.

    “The policy encourages those with time, talent and experience to share that experience without compensation. In general, it’s an adult under the direct supervision of the principal or staff,” she said. “There has already been an incredible amount of work getting the school ready for students, and I think we need to take a look at this policy to allow volunteers back into the school.”

    The committee will review revised policy language next month. Committee Chair Heather Sinclair said the policy would require volunteers to follow the same guidelines as staff and students for mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitization. The policy also requires a background check on volunteers. Sinclair supports the school committee paying for the background check and required fingerprinting. 

    The committee went into executive session to discuss ongoing contract negotiations with support staff. 

    The committee meets next at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4.