Selectmen welcome new Edgecomb Eddy principal

Posted:  Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 6:45am

Edgecomb selectmen met Edgecomb Eddy School’s new principal during the Oct. 3 school committee meeting. Principal Ira Michaud told selectmen about his 13 years as an elementary school teacher and three as an assistant principal. Michaud also gave his first report about the 80 students enrolled this year at the pre-kindergarten through grade six school.

This is the school’s first year offering a pre-kindergarten program. The new class has 13 students including four from Alna and one from Westport Island. The school’s largest class this year is 16 in the fifth grade. The smallest is six in grade three. The current enrollment numbers for each class are seven in, kindergarten; 10, grade one; 11, grade two; eight, grade four; and nine, grade six.

Michaud reported everything was working fine for the new pre-kindergarten program.“The pre-k is having an amazing time. Mrs. Casey and Mrs. Beam are effectively piloting a group of very young students. Whenever I enter the room, I find students who are engaged in learning, well-behaved and respectful,” he said.

The pre-k class isn’t the only one with out of town students. Michaud reported Edgecomb Eddy has a total of 12 tuition or private students. Besides pre-k, Alna has sent one second grader and one sixth grader. Westport Island has sent one third grader and two fifth graders. Southport has sent two private pay students who attend fifth grade.

In other action, the school committee approved increasing substitute teachers’ pay. The committee voted unanimously to raise pay from $70 to $85 for substitutes without a teaching degree or certificate. Substitute pay for retired or former teachers will be $100 per day. Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Superintendent Eileen King recommended the pay increase to attract more substitutes into the pool. The AOS has about 40 substitutes, but that number is limited depending upon grade level and other substitute teachers’ availability on a monthly basis.

“We are having a hard time finding people on a consistent basis. We’re hoping this will attract more retired teachers to become substitutes,” King said.

A technology tool is close to being ready for linking the community to various AOS 98 schools and classrooms. AOS 98’s new smart phone app may be ready sometime during the week of Oct. 9, according to King. The app can be obtained now at an app store and school information should be loaded and available for community consumption sometime next week.

The committee will meet next at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6.