The Nobleboro Central School has been awarded a $2,500 grant from the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission to assess traffic flow and parking limitations at the school.
AOS 93 Superintendent Lynsey Johnston informed the Nobleboro School Committee about the award during their meeting on Monday, May 8.
Committee member Michael Ward brought up the issue during a meeting on Dec. 12, 2022. Ward said limited parking on school property forced parents to park on the side of the road while waiting to pick up their children at the end of the school day. According to Ward, the resulting logjams posed an impediment to the smooth flow of traffic on Center Street.
The committee discussed several possible options during the December meeting to expand parking space on school property, during which Chair Angela White said wetlands may need to be considered. At the time Johnston suggested adding an engineering study to the school budget request in order to determine the most feasible plan.
Now that the traffic study is funded, the committee can prepare to analyze the results to determine the best solution for addressing the problem.
In staffing news, the committee approved second year probationary contracts for five teachers and a continuing contract for social worker Erin Barter. Barter is at the school three days a week to work with students identified as needing special education services. She also helps teach Second Step, the school’s social-emotional curriculum.
In his report to the committee Principal Adam Bullard said he has “a strong applicant pool” to replace retiring art teacher Lisa Workman, but still needs to fill two educational technician positions. In addition, Bullard said a long-term substitute teacher will be leaving May 19, but a replacement will start May 24, leaving a minimal gap in coverage.
Bullard said Workman is guiding the development of an NCS Lion logo, a project that has been under discussion based on the possibility of a new school sign. Bullard said Workman is employing student ideas and he is pleased “to place the art side of it into her able hands.”
According to Bullard, repairs are underway to address the performance of HVAC and boiler room pumps. White requested further information on the issues requiring repair.
“I’m just worrying about that boiler and the age of it and how long it’s going to last,” she said.
Bullard said the PFAS remediation system to address contaminants in the school’s water is in the hands of the engineer for approval and installation should begin soon. PFAS are a group of long-lasting chemicals that have been found in soil and groundwater in Maine. The chemicals pose potential human and environmental health risks. The school has been providing bottled water to students since the presence of the chemicals was identified.
Bullard said Hearty Roots, one of the school’s community collaboration partners, is seeking federal grant money to expand their services to deliver additional social emotional learning opportunities to students. Bullard wrote a letter of support to, and received responses from, the offices of U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins acknowledging the work Hearty Roots and Nobleboro Central School have done together.
In other news the committee approved updates to the Lau Plan, which ensures that students for whom English is a second language have access to services that support them in their education. According to Johnston, the Lau Plan is required by the state whether needed or not. She said the AOS 93 school system has had anywhere from zero to five or six multilingual students in grades K-12.
Johnston said the state recommended updating the identification from English learners to multilingual learners, adding a subcategory for students with limited or interrupted learning, and updating the test which determines eligibility for services.
The committee set a work date of Saturday, June 17 to improve handicap accessibility at several entrances around the school. Tall steps at some entrances make it difficult to access or exit the building with a wheelchair.
The committee approved Ward to the position of AOS 93 Board representative with White and Matt Benner as backups.
The next meeting of the Nobleboro School Committee will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 12 at the Nobleboro Central School.