SVRSU continues eying what happens when Wiscasset deal expires

Tue, 05/10/2022 - 7:45am

    Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit Superintendent of Schools Howie Tuttle told the district board May 5, he still does not know if one-time member Wiscasset will want to keep taking SVRSU high school students other schools refuse, when it no longer has to. 

    That status as SVRSU’s high school of record runs out in June 2023, Tuttle said; the arrangement was part of the withdrawal deal. 

    Tuttle brought up the matter when telling the board about a new state law. He probably needs to check with SVRSU’s lawyer to understand how LD 1802 affects the RSU, he said. But he thinks the RSU may go from having to have a high school, to needing a contract with one that would agree to take students other schools “disinvite,” Tuttle said.

    Wiscasset has been taking them. Tuttle and Wiscasset Superintendent of Schools Terry Wood have said those students have succeeded in Wiscasset.

    Westport Island representative Mary Coventry said her look online had her wondering if SVRSU and other rural districts will now have more flexibility and opportunity.

    “I do think it’s more flexible than it was ...,” Tuttle responded. “The key is we’ve got to find a partner.” Responding to a board question, Tuttle said it was his impression Wiscasset was not going to continue the arrangement, “but they have not been formally approached ... We have not had a formal conversation.”

    Post-meeting, Wiscasset Newspaper asked Wood and Wiscasset School Committee Chair Michael Dunn via email: “Is Wiscasset interested in continuing ... to take SVRSU’s disinvited (from other high schools) students after the withdrawal agreement/high school of record arrangement times out?” Both declined comment except to note the committee would need to know more and talk more before any decisions were made.

    Tuttle told his board, the lone volunteer for an ad hoc committee the board approved last fall is no longer on the board.

    “We need to keep on this (issue).” He needs to find out more about the new rules, and the ad hoc committee needs members, he said.