Calais Schools Receive $1 Million Grant

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

The Calais School System received an AWARE Grant for a total of $1 million over the course of five years, an allotment of $200,000 per year. The grant provides services, strategies and curriculum for students with mental health or behavioral needs. The grant will also provide money for the education of current staff and allow for the hiring of a new coordinator position for all Calais Schools. The position would require the candidate to have a bachelor’s degree, teaching endorsements and at least three years’ experience in working with students with behavioral needs.

Superintendent Jenkins is hoping that the position will be posted after the next meeting for the grant, taking place on October 25, when they will have a clearer description of what is needed. They are hoping that the position will be filled by Christmas time. “I believe that part of the reason we received this grant was because of our very well respected Blue Devil Health Center,” Superintendent Jenkins said.

Though the school year is well underway, the Calais School System had a few positions that remained unfilled or had positions that had been filled only temporarily. One position the School Committee had yet to fill was the position of a science teacher at Calais Middle High School. The position had been offered to a candidate prior to the start of the year, however, the candidate found a position elsewhere. To get the year started, the school filled the position with a long-term substitute. The committee approved making the long-term substitute Isaac Turner, a first-year probationary teacher with Tom Robb opposed. Principal Mary Anne Spearin said she will continue working with Isaac on the areas that need improvement. Mr. Turner will remain in the position through the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

With the end of the fall sports season approaching, the School Committee looked ahead to the approaching winter season and the two vacant coaching positions. The committee needed to fill the Junior Varsity Coaching positions for both boys and girls basketball. After interviews, the committee heard the Superintendent’s recommendation on who should fill the position. The committee unanimously approved the hiring of Marty Cushing for Boys’ JV Basketball Coach and John Cowell as the Girls’ JV Basketball Coach.

The committee also unanimously hired Sarah Lambrecht as the long-term substitute for the Calais Middle High School. Lambrecht has office experience prior to the position and was a very energetic candidate, according to Superintendent Ron Jenkins.

The Calais Elementary School also filled out their kitchen staff with the hiring of Angela Demmons for a three-hour a day position. Demmons had subbed in the position for five days prior to the School Committee meeting and had demonstrated her capacity for this position.

Students at the Calais Middle High School will have the opportunity to participate in the Outdoor Adventure Club again. The program encourages students to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and other similar activities. The club will offer students the opportunity to do three big outings throughout the year, with several smaller ones scattered throughout. The program is free for students and will not only be fun but educational as well. Superintendent Jenkins’ recommendation was for Stephanie Griffin to fill the stipend advisor position for the program.

Elementary and Middle School students had their own outdoor adventures this past week and will have more in the upcoming weeks. With a grant received by Spencer McCormick at the WCCC Outdoor Adventure Center, students will get to participate in three outings over the course of the year. The students will canoe on the Grand Falls Flowage and explore the outdoors. The two additional trips will take place this winter and spring for grades five through eight.

 

The next School Committee meeting will be held on November 13 at 6 p.m.