The RSU 21 School Board informally endorsed the proposal to have representatives from select boards in Arundel, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport to meet regularly with their school board counterparts, in an effort to foster better communication. Daniel King photo

KENNEBUNK – Representatives from select boards in Arundel, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport will be getting together regularly with their school board counterparts, in an effort to foster better communication.

The RSU 21 School Board informally endorsed the proposal in November after being approached by the three town managers – Michael Pardue in Kennebunk, Laurie Smith in Kennebunkport and Keith Trefethen in Arundel.

Pardue updated the Kennebunk Select Board on the matter Nov. 26.

“Ultimately, we’re all working for the same taxpayers,” said Pardue. He said working together would lead to more stability, better funding and the opportunity for shared resources.

Under the plan, two representatives from the RSU 21 School Board, and two select board members from each of the three towns would get together and discuss what is happening, and what issues are emerging. Because there would be two members of each board, the meetings would not be open to the public, RSU 21 board chair Kendra Connor noted at the RSU 21 meeting.

“I think it helps for people just to get to know each other; we serve the same population,” said Smith, in part. She pointed out that Kennebunkport is currently going through a market analysis that will impact valuations – information the RSU 21 board might want, and that the towns might want information on RSU 21 budget negotiations, or other matters.

“The enrollment issue is a pretty major issue for our district and is going to be a significant issue for our towns,” said RSU 21 board member Rachel Phipps.“I think its a really good idea and I am fully on board.”

An RSU 21 Enrollment Task Force has been exploring a number of issues relating to balancing enrollment. A report to the full RSU 21 board is due this month.

“I support it too,” said RSU 21 board member Loreta McConnell of the plan for school board members and their select board counterparts to meet.

“Community communication and involvement is really important,” said Kennebunk Select Board member Ed Karytko at the RSU 21 session. “The perception is you have the school district and you have the town. “

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