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RSU 73 Hires Another Special Education Teacher

JAY — Local Schools Unit 73 The Board unanimously approved the hiring of additional special education teachers for grades 7-12 on Thursday evening, September 22nd.

“The middle school and high school numbers are very worrying,” said Special Services Director Sherry Parker. Even so, staff express feelings of being overwhelmed and drowning in not having enough time in the day.”

Teams in each building do their best to move students around and even out the case load, Parker said. I can,” she said. “We came earlier this year and the caseload numbers are 25 to 30 in resource rooms and 16 to 19 in more intensive life skills and behavior programs.

“Anything above 15 in behavioral programs and life skills is very stressful, because almost all academic programs are taught individually to students in these rooms according to individualized education plans. [IEP]”

The Maine Unified Special Education Regulations outline the permitted student-teacher ratios as follows:

• 10-14 years old, 8 students to 1 teacher

• 15-20 years old, 10 students to 1 teacher

• The Education Technician allows 5 additional students to be added to the classroom.

Parker noted that some teachers in both middle and high school exceed these group sizes due to identified student needs. ) is currently in middle school and high school, she said.

“Using current numbers and looking at projections for next year, middle school has 33 students advancing and 42 going into the next sixth grade,” Parker said. “By the time he graduates from high school, he will lose 19 and gain 33 next-graders.” In 2023, he will have 119 middle school special education students. In high school she was 127, and in total she was 246, or about 65% of all special education students in the district, she added.

In the monthly report Parker submitted earlier in the conference, she said she had 33 students in the referral process, an increase of 16 since the beginning of the school year.

Current Special Education Number:

• The number of primary school students is 74, a decrease of 4

• The number of primary school students is 84, an increase of 7

• Middle school student numbers increased by 9 to 110

• 113 high school students, an increase of 4

There are 8 students in a special purpose school outside the district, and 1 student who recently transferred to the district must follow an IEP developed by the previous district, thus setting up day care at the special purpose school. is needed, said Parker.

Parker said the Ed Tech III positions are open in middle schools, the Ed Tech I and Ed Tech II positions are open in elementary schools, and Ed Tech III is open in elementary schools.

Special education teachers are advertised as being accredited for grades 7 through 12, Parker said. Once hired, she noted, the middle and high school architectural coordinators come together to figure out how to get the most out of their teachers.

Jay’s chairman Robert Staples said he taught special education for the first four years. He pointed out that with so many students, the teacher was trying to keep his head above the water.

“It’s not safe,” Staples said. “This request is absolutely necessary.”

Jay Director Joel Pike asked how the position would be funded.

Superintendent Scott Albert said there is a local entitlement rollover and funds are being put into the emergency fund each year. “We can find it,” he added.

“The state needs to take over this issue,” said Director Joel Pike. [special education] need to do it. You have to take care of your children. ”

All special education teachers are also case managers, must complete paperwork, and by law must meet with each student at least once a year, Parker said. She added that some students have already had two meetings this year.

Vice Chair Robin Beck asked if there was enough money to hire two special education teachers.

“If you need it, I’ll find it,” said Albert. The problem is, [teachers]he asked.

Parker said he had reached out to several previous applicants but had not heard back from them.

Early in the meeting, Livermore Falls community member John Benedetto asked if there had been any discussion about how the closure of Jay would affect the Mill’s budget.

Information is being collected for use in future budget processes, Albert said. Albert reached out to another state-level school commissioner, Pender Makin, to see what the three towns could do.

Livermore Falls Director Phoebe Pike said these issues will help her address budget concerns. “Our teachers, our students need to be supported,” she said. “It will pay off in the long run. If we don’t support them, who will?”

Among other projects, two people were announced to receive $1,000 from the Marcia and Louis Brown Scholarship.

“It’s been incredible. We’ve had a lot of great applications,” said director Phoebe Pike. “I ended up having to find the negatives.”

She said the recipients were:

• Hunter Dalton, environmental science researcher at the University of Maine, Farmington.

• Morgan Dalton, Studied Nursing at St. Joseph’s College, Maine.