Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, December 19, 2013
Deer Isle-Stonington Community School District school board accepts grants to fund variety of programs
by Jessica Brophy
At a December 3 meeting, the Deer Isle-Stonington Community School District school board members accepted grants, discussed policies and heard updates on new programs.
The board accepted two Island Education Foundation grants to help fund the Eastern Maine Skippers Program. First was a $1,200 grant for trap supplies for a winter flounder project, and a second grant of $2,700 to support cold-water training. A $5,000 grant was awarded to the high school to support the core development team working on developing new pathways, such as an arts and a healthcare pathway, to complement the Marine Studies Pathway. The grant was awarded by the Robert N. Haskell and Gladys M. Stetson Fund.
Wendy Ault from Maine Educational Loan Marketing Corporation Educational Foundation was on hand to discuss a $10,000 grant the board accepted last month to help fund various efforts within the school to improve access to college. The MELMAC grant continues for four years with a total of $35,000 for the school from the foundation.
In other business, Ready by 21 director of mentoring Kyra Alex spoke at the start of the meeting to thank superintendent Mark Jenkins for allowing a Healthy Acadia grant that appointed Alex program director of health and wellness at the high school. Alex said the health and wellness section of the strategic plan is blank, and offers no action steps. She suggested that she and some other stakeholders be allowed to work on bringing forth some ideas for action steps. The board informally agreed.
Alex also raised the question of changes to the GED process which may be discouraging people from seeking a GED. This year, the GED for the state of Maine is now run by a for-profit company. Changes in how the GED is administered have meant challenges, said Alex.
Jenkins said the potential for a Union 76-wide director of maintenance—a position Jenkins had suggested would allow for better long-term planning for the physical plant for each school—was not well-received by the other towns in the union and is therefore “dead in the water.”
The board next meets on Tuesday, January 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the high school.