Media Archive

Effort underway to transfer LaGrange students to PVHS

Article from The Lincoln News, Vol. 42, No. 20, June 20, 2002

By Kevin Tenggren

HOWLAND LaGrange Selectman Fred Weymouth told Howland officials Monday night that he is not making much headway with MSAD #31 in trying to introduce students from his town into that school system.

Weymouth told the Howland Board of Selectmen that the school district that represents LaGrange, MSAD #41, is "disintegrating" and suggested that the 34 LaGrange high school students be sent to MSAD #31 to save money. He added that consolidation is a major theme among state educators.

Weymouth also said that a recent meeting with SAD #31 Superintendent Keith Cook did not go well and added that SAD #31 Board Chairman Paul LaForge, who was invited to the meeting, did not show up.

On Tuesday, Cook told the [Lincoln News] that the topic of the meeting was that if plans for the SAD #31's high school project should ever have to be revisited, them MSAD #41 would be interested in discussing the matter further.

"Our district over there is disintegrating," Weymouth told the board Monday night. "We only have three towns left to support it; Milo, Brownville, and LaGrange. We've got to find some place to go. Logically, it would be appropriate for LaGrange to come to Howland."

Weymouth said that during the meeting three weeks ao, SAD #31 was not interested in students from LaGrange attending that school system.

"It kind of looks like we are going to have to go to Old Town because Howland is not interested," Weymouth said. "We'd be very interested in some sort of consolidation of districts - coming over to Howland and bringing our high school students to Howland which is logical because they are of an age where transportation is not a big issue."

Town Manager Glenna Armour said she was a little surprised to hear of Weymouth's news because she sits on a committee which is working on a "catalyst" and one of the objections of the "catalyst" is to increase school enrollment.

Selectman Joey Dunn asked Weymouth if Cook made the decision on his own. Weymouth said Cook was the only SAD #31 official at the meeting.

Armour said she would assume that the school board would have to enact upon the request and advised Weymouth to meet with the board during a future meeting.

"I think i would be talking to the school board about the LaGrange students," Armour said. "Here's an opportunity to increase the student population of the school and you seem to be running into a brick wall."

Weymouth said he has also enlisted the help of State Sen. Mary Cathcart and has met with state school officials to discuss the matter. He added that school officials informed him that they are no longer providing funding for schools with declining enrollments.

"You have declining enrollment in your school system," Weymouth said.

Weymouth also expressed doubt about whether a proposed new high school will actually be constructed due to the district's declining enrollment.

"My concern is that the information is not getting out to the people who make the decisions," he said. "Something's going on that isn't quite right."

Officials reiterated that Weymouth should meet with the SAD #31 board and that they too would offer assistance.

"Your next step shoudl be to get on the agenda of the next (school) board meeting," Armour said. "What you need to do is get on that school board agenda and we'll be there so we can hear first hand."

In other business Monday night the board:

Increast the pay of part-time employees 20 cents per hour effective the first pay period in July.

Awarded the reconstruction bid of the Bunker Hill Road to KC construction of Medford for $30,849.50. M.O. Harris of Howland was the second lowest bidder for $31,484.60.

Awarded a bid to repave Caron Drive to D&D Paving of Island Falls for $8,400. The next lowest bidder was Bickford Paving of Enfield. M.O. Harris and Sunrise Materials bid $11,247 and $9,220 respectively. In both paving votes, Selectman Mike Harris abstained. Harris owns M.O. Harris.

And issued a liquor license to Audrey Street, doing business as Audrey's Auction & Treasure Barn. Street told the board that in the future she may rent the building for weddings, etc.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.