The Jefferson School Committee voted 4-1 to approve an after-school program at JVS through the Central Lincoln County YMCA for fall 2016.
School committee member Forrest Bryant said he is in favor of the program, which will create the potential for Jefferson students to become more involved with the YMCA.
“It seems like the kids in Jefferson are kind of off to the outskirts as far as what goes on at the Y as far as programs, the day trips, and all that goes on throughout the summer,” Bryant said. “Kids up here, I don’t think have any inkling. I mean, there’s another whole world happening every day, and there is no link and no direct communication for that, and I think this would help.”
The after-school program will run from dismissal to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
The cost of the after-school program for YMCA members is $50 per week and for nonmembers $60.
Registration for the after-school program will open Friday, June 10. The program is for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
CLC YMCA Senior Program Director Joe Clark said a minimum of eight students need to register for the program.
A YMCA-run pre-kindergarten program was also proposed, but the committee decided to get more information on the program before making a decision, and will return to the matter during its July meeting.
The pre-K program would run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
The program would cost $165 per week for YMCA members and $175 per week for nonmembers.
Clark said there may be full or partial scholarships available for those in need.
Central Lincoln County School System Superintendent Steve Bailey said he believes there is a need in the community for a pre-K program, but he recognizes there may be an ongoing conversation on how to make the program available aboutto those who would benefit the most from it, but might have a difficult time covering the costs.
JVS Principal Peter Gallace echoed the need for a pre-K program in the community.
“There is a real need in Jefferson for a pre-K program based on students coming into kindergarten. Whether they know how to follow rules or even know how to hold a pencil, there is a real great need for some of those kids. The gaps coming in – some kids have no experiences, some kids have lots of experiences – we need to close that gap somehow,” Gallace said.
For more information about either the after-school or the pre-K program, call the CLC YMCA at 563-9622.
Eagle Scout project
Madison Allen, a former JVS student and current sophomore at Lincoln Academy, had his third meeting with the school committee about his proposal to build a long-jump and triple-jump pit behind the school as his Eagle Scout project.
Allen, a past member of the JVS track and field team, first met with the committee in April.
After his presentation on Monday, June 6, the school committee approved Allen’s project 4-1.
During the presentation, Allen gave the committee an update on his fundraising efforts.
Allen said he had raised $734.45 and needs a total of $848.06 for the project.
He said he is meeting with the school’s PTA this week about the possibility of a $100 donation to his project.
Local businesses have donated some of the materials for the project.
Allen said he would make sure he has all the funding for the project at the outset to ensure he can complete it.
Bryant lauded Allen for his work on the project.
“I think you are doing a great job, kid. You put together more information here than most of us board members have put together. … You are two-thirds of the way there and I think you are going to finish strong and we are all going to be happy with what you have done,” Bryant said.
Before adjourning for the evening, the committee voted unanimously to approve the district’s new shared programs.
Bailey said the vote entailed agreements on how the partners in the shared programs interact and work together.
The shared programs within AOS 93 consist of the Pathways Educational Center at JVS, the Compass behavior support program at Bristol Consolidated School, and the Center for Alternative Learning at Nobleboro Central School.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Jefferson Budget Committee member Peter Brush raised a point on the upcoming budget validation referendum.
The vote, to be held on the day of the state primary, Tuesday, June 14, contains two questions, including whether to approve the budget and whether to continue the budget validation referendum process. The process requires voters to approve the budget twice – once in an open meeting and once by secret ballot.
Jefferson voters approved the town’s 2016-2017 education budget during a meeting at Jefferson Village School on Tuesday, May 24.
The budget totals $5,692,028.46, an increase of $159,137 or 2.88 percent.
Brush pointed out the low turnout at the school’s budget meeting, around 36 voters, in addition to similarly low turnout at school budget meetings in Whitefield and Wiscasset.
“I’m kind of a bit concerned that the school budget process is being driven by a small handful of people. There is nothing we can do about voter apathy, but it’s really disturbing that such a small number of people are driving this budget,” Brush said.