Carrabassett Valley School committee regular meeting
CARRABASSETT VALLEY — As both chair and vice chair had not yet arrived, Carrabassett Valley School Committee member Deirdre Frey opened the meeting. The minutes were approved with 2 minor changes.
Superintendent Dr. Regina Campbell reported on her findings regarding the cost of transportation being assessed by MSAD #58 and Stratton Elementary School. Student transportation arrangements overall have been streamlined to student benefit, but there are questions about percentages in MSAD #58’s case. MSAD #58’s superintendent has not replied back to Campbell to explain the blanket 35% that district is charging.
Stratton’s blanket $5,000 charge turns out to be a good deal for the Carrabassett Valley School District. The charge covers field trips, the Foster Tech/Farmington runs and late runs for student athletes.
Dr. Campbell talked with Earle Morse, former chair of the School Committee, about the history of studies done in Carrabassett from 1997 to 2003, initiated because of an MSAD #58 announcement in 1997 that Kingfield Elementary School (KES) was overcrowded. She presented a timeline and included the original full-length study finished in 2003.
The result of the study to build an elementary school in Carrabassett was narrowly defeated by residents. In 1999 the Carrabassett School Committee signed a seven-year agreement with MSAD #58. Generally, children from Redington and south went to KES, those north to Stratton. Most high school age students primarily attended either Carrabassett Valley Academy or Mt. Abram High School.
Today, the exact opposite of the 1997 situation is the case. Because of the new Middle School in MSAD #58’s solution to their declining population, more children are going to Stratton. Frey is concerned that the committee act proactively. She wondered whether Carrabassett’s part might be to fund a feasibility study for the entire district, as their part in current strategic planning. With solid data around everything from teachers to guidance counselors, families, housing, etc., everyone could make better decisions.
Year-end financial concerns
Committee member Erin Demshar reported that MSAD #58 is in a cash-flow crunch, a result of which was not having enough money to pay for the equipment funded by the school committee for the recently awarded grant to Mt. Abram High School (MTA). Current committee policy requires the recipient to buy the item and submit an invoice to Carrabassett Valley for re-imbursement. An added complication is the Carrabassett Valley school district’s fiscal year ends June 30.
The committee approved buying the equipment directly for MTA, with written recognition from the MSAD #58 superintendent that this was a one-time occurrence.
Separately, it was noted that Stratton had not yet submitted an invoice for payment on their grant. Committee member Danielle London moved to authorize Dr. Campbell to reach out to Stratton so that grant money be encumbered by June 30, 2022 and if not, to be designated to be paid in fiscal year 2023.
The committee agreed to skip a July meeting and to meet again August 23. Dr. Campbell agreed to have visited with involved schools by that time. The board then adjourned for the special Carrabassett Valley Town Meeting to approve the budget.
Special Town Meeting to approve school budget
CARRABASSETT VALLEY — With 22 Carrabassett Valley residents attending the Special Town Meeting, the town approved the $1,864,827 budget for the fiscal year 2023 school budget. Of special note was the increase from $25,000 to $100,000 for the school district’s Enrichment Grant Fund for MSAD #58 schools attended by Carrabassett Valley students.