SAD 17 eyes later start time for upper grades


PARIS — Oxford Hill School District Superintendent Rick Colpitts told the SAD 17 Board of Directors at its meeting Monday, Dec. 5, that he expects to submit a report to the Curriculum Committee next month on a late start for the middle and high schools.

A vote could be taken by the Board of Directors on the plan as soon as February.

STRING QUARTET — Members of the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School string quartet, under the direction of Cynthia Wescott standing right, are applauded by the SAD 17 Board of Directors and others after they played three holiday-themed selections at the Monday, Dec. 5 directors meeting.

The decision to pursue a late start plan was initiated by directors earlier this year after reading reports about the educational and health merits of starting school at a later time. Several schools in the state have later start times that have shown positive results.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement two years ago that high schools and middle schools should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The majority of Maine schools, including Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School and Oxford Hills Middle School, start in the 7 a.m. hour.

Committee members had been told earlier in the year it would take an additional 10 buses to get the plan going.

In other news, Colpitts announced that Clyde Clark, the current Director of Adult and Community Education, has resigned effective Jan. 6, 2017, and will retire after 46 years in education.

Colpitts has taken over the administrative duties of the position with the assistance of Director Judy Green, who was the director of Adult Education for many years prior to Clark.

The job has been advertised and Colpitts said he hopes to have interviews underway in January.

In other action, directors approved:

  • the plowing bid for Oxford Elementary School. The sole bid was from Jason Edwards of Otisfield for $400 per storm plus $125 for extra sanding.
  • the appointment of Rachel Coburn as full-time custodian at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.
  • appointment of Nicole Cleveland as part-time custodian at Guy E. Rowe Elementary School in Norway.
  • the first reading of policies including student dress, weapons violence and school safety, student conduct on school buses and drug and alcohol use by students.
  •  the deletion of the student publication policy, which is already an administrative regulation stated in the student handbook.