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News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 3, 2014
Sedgwick School Committee ratifies teachers’ contract

by Tevlin Schuetz

The Sedgwick School Committee approved the ratification of the three-year teachers’ contract Tuesday evening, June 17.

Other matters discussed included funding for summer programs and staffing needs.

State funding for the summer Magic Food Bus program, which makes weekly deliveries of food and books to participating families, had “disappeared,” according to Sedgwick Elementary School principal Don Buckingham, but the school can cover the program with existing funds from other budget areas at no additional cost. The committee approved the reallocation, citing the importance of the program to the community.

Buckingham also sought and received approval from the committee for 12 summer tutors funded by grants and an additional educational technician, covered under the existing budget.

Dr. Owen Logue, Union 76 Director of Student Services, reported on the progress made this past year as well as the challenges still facing the district. He expressed concerns with the shortage of applicants for educational technician positions and the lack of outside service providers who can visit the area to perform needed psychiatric evaluations of students and monitor progress. The “personnel issue is scary,” he said.

Superintendent Mark Jenkins said the bids are already out for next season with respect to heating oil, milk and other school year necessities.

Jenkins will be attending a three-day superintendents conference for K-8 schools at the end of the month that will address how proficiency-based education at the high school level will affect the lower grades. Grade level expectations will likely need to be reexamined, which will require “hard work” from teachers and administrators in the near future, he said.

Next meeting:

Tuesday, July 15, 6 p.m., Sedgwick Elementary School library