The Central Lincoln County School System – AOS 93 – clarified that it does not have the authority to operate a regional middle school as an educational system.
The AOS, or alternative organizational structure, for the Central Lincoln County School System cannot operate a school, AOS 93 Assistant Superintendent of Business Lynsey Johnston said at a meeting of the AOS 93 Board on April 14.
The AOS is merely a fiscal and operational management system for the individual districts, she said. If individual towns or communities wanted to form a regional middle school, all the towns would have to vote to create an entirely new district.
Johnston said there has been some discussion at school committee meetings about the idea of a regional middle school and the administration wanted to clarify how that could be done.
“The point of having it on the agenda is to have the discussion be public and to take it from a rumor of what people think the AOS or individual towns and schools are up to and to verify what is or isn’t in the scope of responsibility of the AOS,” Johnston said.
AOS 93 includes seven towns – Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Jefferson, Newcastle, Nobleboro, and South Bristol. Among the seven towns are five elementary schools – Bristol Consolidated School, Great Salt Bay Community School, Jefferson Village School, Nobleboro Central School, and South Bristol School.
“Many of us have heard bits and pieces of talk about space issues and how a middle school might or might not alleviate that issue,” AOS 93 Board Chair Matthew Hanly said.
Walter Greene-Morse agreed that operating a school is not an AOS function and “surely not an AOS board function.” He said that if individual towns want to get together and create a new school district, the discussion would have to start at the town level.
“It’s outside of our realm,” Greene-Morse said.
School committee members can participate in these kinds of discussions but not as representatives of AOS 93, Superintendent Craig Jurgensen said.
Bristol Consolidated School is currently in the planning process for looking at a larger school, Jurgensen said.
“It would be the same exact way that (Great Salt Bay Community School) was born,” Greene-Morse said.
“A regional middle school would require towns to vote to participate in a new consolidated school district, which would add a tenth entity to our AOS, should that district choose to join the AOS,” Johnston said.
The AOS 93 Board is not responsible for strategic planning either, Greene-Morse said. That is an individual school committee function to plan for the future of its school and town, he said.
The AOS 93 Board will meet at Nobleboro Central School at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 10. To view recordings of past school committee meetings, go to the AOS 93 YouTube page.