It’s back to school time!

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PARIS — Classrooms have been cleaned and teachers are getting ready to welcome back students as the 2018-2019 school year gets underway next week.

New staff, new programs, new facilities and more await the 3,400-plus students from the eight district towns, including 1,100 at the High School, 500 at the Middle School, and 1,900 at the eight elementary schools, who will walk through the school doors.

Students in grades 1 through 6, plus 7th and 9th grade students arrive on Wednesday, Aug. 29 followed the next day, August 30, by students in grades 8 and 10 – 12. Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students will arrive on staggered days.

OHCHS

At the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, Principal Ted Moccia said Nancy McClean-Morrisette will serve as the new Technical School Student Services Director and Stephanie Goss as the new Director of Guidance.

“OHCHS is excited with the hiring of several new staff,” said  Moccia. “They are talented professionals that are sure to help our students succeed.”

The Streaked Mountain program, that has been housed in a self contained former “one-room school house” on lower Main Street in Norway has been moved to a new location in Paris across the street from the high school.

Oxford Hills Technical School Director Shawn Lambert also noted the new Student Services Coordinator, Nancy McClean-Morrisette, who replaces Jane Munn who retired.

“Nancy is the former SAD 17 Guidance Director and has much experience with both student counseling and program implementation,” he said.

Additionally, Lambert said the technical school has a new Forestry Trade assistant,  Brian Barrett.

“Brian is a licensed arborist and former forest ranger with a wealth of experience with forestry, environmental science applications, as well as heavy equipment operation,” he said.

Lambert said the forestry program has added a stronger heavy equipment operation component this year.

“We are purchasing a mini– excavator to train students in the preliminary operation of earth moving equipment in the forestry setting. We will also be providing commercial truck driving training (class A and B) for some advanced forestry students,” he said.

OHMS

At the Oxford Hills Middle School, students will remain on two campuses this fall – North and South Campuses – but will no longer be moving from one to the other  for classes each trimester.

Instead students will remain in one building for the entire 2018– 2019 school year and be studying under a semester system, said Oxford Hills Middle School Principal Paul Bickford.

“OHMS is focused on creating a safe and stable learning environment, focusing on positive relationships and engaging learning experiences.  To support these efforts, students and staff are remaining stationary and working with teachers for either a full year of half– year of instruction, depending on the course,” explained Bickford.
“We are also instituting an advisory block with the focus on building positive relationships and supporting students and their individual academic needs,” he said. “This school year, we are also starting a new version of experiential learning we are calling Viking Voyage.  These will be week– long experiential learning experiences, happening twice during the year, in which students and staff learn outside the traditional classroom, in ways related to the curriculum, with a community engagement element.”

In a related issue, Superintendent Rick Colpitts reported to the SAD Board of Directors, at its August 20 meeting, that Speedway, Inc. has agreed to allow the District to occupy an additional 3,500 square feet of space at the South Campus site at no charge for the coming school year.

“The additional space comes at an opportune time given that the Board has expanded access to Art and World Languages at the Middle School South Campus. Accessing the additional space saves the District needing to renovate. Should the District choose to maintain the space the following year, it will be added to our existing lease,” he said in his report to the directors.

Rowe

Guy E. Rowe Elementary Principal Dan Hart said 15 new staff members have been hired including Jennifer Cousins, Pre-K teachers Brigitta Valente and Paula Miller; Grade 4 teachers Jennifer Perry and Richard Caughey; Grade 5 teacher Susan Allen; art teacher Anthony Orlando ; music teacher Meliss Brennan and half– time social worker Katherine Case. Emily Woodworth  has been hired as an Ed Tech III; Jason Wallace – Ed Tech II and  Holly Davis – Ed Tech I.

Samantha Medici – Grade 5 teacher; Carisa (Miner) Hammer – Grade 6 teacher; Katrina Soucy – Title I/Reading Interventionist and Lorette Ayotte – Ed Tech I Ashbury– Hoy Life Skills are all transfers or new changes in positions.

Hart said the staff has been busy this summer getting ready for the new school year by working on several school management projects, organizing informational items as the 2018– 19 Rowe Elementary Student & Parent Handbook,  the school day schedules and new activities involving recess, Positive Behavioral Intervention Systems (PBIS), school celebrations and home and school communications.

Hart added that Rowe Elementary teachers have been involved in variety of summer training for teacher mentoring, teacher college assessments, Pre-K Institute and School Leadership Team Professional Development and other issues.

The Rowe Elementarty School will have kindergarten to Grade 6 Open House on Monday, August 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Parents will be able to tour the school and meet with classroom teachers, specialists, and school administrators.

Parents and visitors are also encouraged to attend an informational meeting pertaining to PTO news, community groups’ info booths, 2018– 19 school year news/changes and Rowe Elementary School’s Parent Compact. The informational meetings are scheduled that same night for 6:15 p.m.; 6:35 p.m., and 6:55 p.m. in the cafeteria.

The Pre-Kindergarten Open House will be held Wed. August 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Parents should meet at the Early Childhood Learning Center in the school’s Pre-K classroom areas.

Pre-K and Kindergarten students have staggered first days of school during the week of August 27th September 4th.

Agnes Gray 

At the Agnes Gray Elementary School in West Paris, Principal Beth Clarke said there have been a number of new hires including Justin Onofrio, 6th grade teacher; Kate Rideout,– part time social worker; Gergana Rupchina,– part time art; Tony Orlando,– part time music; Ralph Nelson, part time physical education; Davis, Reading Recovery and intervention; Jaime Gilman,– Reading Recovery and Jane Turner, library (K– 2)

A Family Hike will be held prior to Open House on August 28 at 3 p.m. Participants should meet at the Outdoor Classroom. Open House will be held later that day, August 28 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Parents should again meet at the Outdoor Classroom.

This year, said Clarke, the school offers after school enrichment program opportunities including the Garden Club, 4– H Club, Girl Scouts, Karate and Drama.

Oxford 

In Oxford, Principal Tiffany Karnes said Oxford Elementary School teachers are busy getting their classrooms ready for the start of the school year and are welcoming new staff.

“We have a new assistant principal, Denise Bourgoine.  “Ms. Bourgoine is an Oxford Hills alum who is happy to be ‘back home’ working to serve the kids and communities of Oxford Hills.”

New staff also includes two new kindergarten teachers, Caitlyn Flaherty and  Amy Irving; two new first grade teachers,  Tekia Poulin and  Micah Pretorius, as well as a new second– grade teacher,  Michelle Fortier.  Rounding out the new staff this year are two new sixth grade teachers,  Nicole Stevenson and Carol Coy.

A Back to School Open House will be held on Tuesday, August 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“We hope our families will be able to visit the school during this time, meet their new teachers and see where their classrooms will be,” said Karnes.

Hebron 

At the Hebron Station School, Principal D.J. Thorne reports they will be welcoming the addition of a Pre-Kindergarten class to their community along with full time Pre-K teacher Emily Ivers. In addition to pre-k, Ralph Nelson and Mathieu Bowen have been hired as part time P.E. teachers and Tony Orlando will fill a positon in the music department.

Open House will be held Wed., September 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.,” Thorne said.

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