Bonny Eagle has selected a new assistant superintendent. File photo

Districts across the Lakes Region are preparing to open their school doors for the new year with some changes in store. Here are highlights, from construction projects to new administration and programming.

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Bonny Eagle is introducing a variety of new educational programs, including an expansion of the school’s Chinese program, which will move from an immersion model to an exploratory model and will now be available at both the elementary and middle schools. In addition, the middle school is introducing a “clan” structure with three different content areas: traditional, outdoor education and STEM. Students have chosen the theme they feel will work best for them.

High school principal Lori Napolitano has moved to the position of assistant superintendent and Mike Johnson has filled her position. Tim Vacchiano, formerly the assistant principal at the middle school, is now principal at Edna Libby. The district has hired Mel Craig as dean of students. Katie Vetro is the new assistant principal for both George E. Jack Elementary and Hollis, while Clay Gleason will serve as principal at George E. Jack.

Superintendent Paul Penna said the district would like community input on the future of Steep Falls Elementary School, which the district considered closing earlier this year. “We want to hear from the community about what they want. That will help drive what happens next.”

School will start on Aug. 28 for students entering pre-kindergarten through grade 6 as well as students entering 9th grade. All other grades will start school on Aug. 29.

RSU 14 is revamping its math curriculum this year. File photo

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RSU 14 is revamping its math curriculum this year, moving to two new programs: Ready Math and College Prep Math. Superintendent Chris Howell said the district underwent a math audit over the past two years in order to increase its students’  math scores. Both of the new programs, he said, “have a strong research component and really emphasize problem solving for students. They have been highly, highly rated.”

The Windham-Raymond district also hired Christine Frost-Bertinet as assistant superintendent.

The district is waiting to hear what state funding it will be receiving for the construction of a new middle school. Howell said he will have more information on that process later in the fall. In the meantime, he said, the district will hold community dialogues in October to hear from residents about their vision for a new middle school.

School will start Sept. 3 for grades 1 through 9, Sept. 4 for grades 10-12 and Sept. 5 for kindergarteners.

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The Gray-New Gloucester district is implementing a new math program at Dunn School. The McGraw Hill “My Math” instructional series, said Superintendent Craig King, “challenges students to independently solve problems, develop strategies and provide timely assessment to check for student understanding.”

In addition, Russell and Memorial elementary schools have a new reading and writing program that focuses on independent student work in combination with teacher modeling and one-on-one and small-group instruction.

The district has hired Susan Robbins to serve as the middle and high school athletic director and Meghan Szente as the new technology director.

School starts Aug. 28 for all students.

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The Lake Region district will offer a new early childhood program at its vocational school.

“It’s an opportunity for kids to expand their horizons in relation to maybe becoming a teacher or early childhood provider, so it’s pretty exciting,” said Superintendent Al Smith.

Holly Wilson has been hired as assistant principal at the high school, while Maggie Thorton has moved from the assistant principal’s position into the role of principal. Courtney Smith was hired as the new assistant principal at Songo Locks School. The principal will be Bridget DelPrete.

The renovation of Crooked River Elementary School is going well, Smith said.  An office has been established in the building, and departments that had been located there were relocated.

Smith said the building plans are nearly done, and the district is still in the process of gathering its building permits: “We’re in good shape. We’re moving in the right direction.”

School will start on Aug. 28 for all grades.

Sebago

Sebago Elementary School is now offering a pre-kindergarten program. The school has also added a new student assessment system to help measure growth and added IXL, a math and reading support system.

In addition, the school replaced its furnace and water circulation system, which was over 50 years old, with an energy-efficient system.

Superintendent Mark Gendron added that there has been “lots of new construction” at the school, encompassing “quite a litany of different things.”

Projects included the creation of a new basketball court, upgrading the outdoor lighting as well as the security system and installing new cameras.

School will start on Aug. 28.


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