In last year’s Maine Educational Assessment, Edgecomb Eddy School students scored above the state average in all three areas tested. Principal Ira Michaud reported the 2018-19 results during the Nov. 4 Edgecomb School Committee meeting.
In English and language arts, 23% scored above state expectations, 48% met state expectations, 23% were below expectations and 5% were well below expectations. In Maine, 19% scored above expectations, 37% met expectations, 27% were below and 17% were well below. Edgecomb Eddy’s math and science scores followed the same path. In math, 8% of Edgecomb Eddy students scored above state expectations and 44% met state expectations. Edgecomb had 36% below state expectations and 17% well below. In Maine, 9% scored above state expectations, but only 27% were at state expectations. Maine had 37% scoring below expectations and 27% well below.
Michaud also reported Edgecomb has 78% of students scoring at or above state expectations in science compared to 62% for the state. Committee member Dawn Murphy gave personal testimony to how much her daughter enjoys the science curriculum. She jokingly asked Michaud to visit her home and see for himself all the science experiment messes. “You can come over and help clean up after all the fires and spills from her experiments,” she said. “And you should see her face when I tell her no more.”
In other action, Alternative Organizational Structure 98 Superintendent Keith Laser updated committee members on the Community School District’s master plan. Last year, it was discovered Boothbay Region’s elementary and high schools needed $5 million in repairs or renovations. This led to the formation of a master plan committee to study future community educational needs. On Oct. 5, the CSD hired Lavalle Bresinger Architects of Portland to catalog the two buildings’ needs and consult on short- and long-term building options.
School committee members quizzed Laser about how the master plan would impact their school’s and Southport’s future. Laser explained that discussion wouldn’t take place for at least a year. “All this is looking at options for Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. They need a strategic plan in place, and this is the first step. I’m sure when the time comes there will be plenty of discussion,” Laser said.
But Edgecomb School Committee will face another decision impacting AOS 98 members later this month. The AOS is considering becoming an education service center, a regionalization plan proposed by the LePage administration. According to the Maine Department of Education website, the centers “support member school administrative units by offering educational services designed for increasing student achievement and creating efficiencies through partnerships.” There are nine of the centers in Maine. So far, no AOS has done it.
The state wants school units to regionalize and provide two current services not already being shared between members. The state would provide partial funding for a learning director who would likely serve as an AOS curriculum director, according to Laser. The director’s salary is based at 55 percent of the average superintendent’s salary and benefit package. Laser announced that figure is $116,000 per year. In return, local school systems would receive financial incentives to regionalize. “The learning director would be a CSD employee. They would be responsible for the lion’s share of the salary. To qualify, the AOS would have to find two areas we aren’t already sharing now. Something like transportation which would mean Ira (Michaud) would spend more time talking to Dave Benner,” Laser said.
AOS 98 has until Nov. 30 to decide whether or not to pursue becoming an education service center. Laser is scheduling an informational meeting sometime between Nov. 19 and 21 so the five AOS members can hear more about the program. Following the meeting, individual school units would meet and vote on whether or not to become a center.
The meeting ended after committee members adjourned after holding an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Edgecomb School Committee meets next at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9.