The Biddeford and Dayton school departments will share central office administration for the next two years, school officials announced Friday.

Dayton residents voted last year to leave Regional School Unit 23, the consolidated district it had formed with Saco and Old Orchard Beach. Biddeford Superintendent Jeremy Ray said in a statement that the arrangement was reached with “excitement and enthusiasm.”

“Unlike the formation of consolidated school units, Dayton and Biddeford will operate two separate school departments under the leadership of two individual school committees. This greater collaboration will allow each school department and community to retain their own identities while setting a unique vision for education services for students,” Ray said.

Dayton has its own elementary school. Dayton students go to Thornton Academy or Old Orchard Beach High School. Under the new agreement, they will still be able to choose and won’t have to go to Biddeford High School, “thus preserving the longstanding relationship with Saco Middle School, RSU 23 and Thornton Academy (in Saco),” Ray said.

Ray said the school departments will continue to look for greater efficiencies through joint purchasing and contracting.

The Biddeford School Committee voted unanimously Friday to authorize the agreement. Financial details of the arrangement were not immediately available.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

Twitter: grahamgillian

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