'Ambitious' goals set for Yarmouth school year

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YARMOUTH —  Teachers and administrators have been working through the summer to ensure a successful 2010-2011 school year, which begins Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Superintendent of Schools Judy Paolucci said teachers will continue to move the curriculum forward without any major changes to programming.

“We do a great job with what we have,” she said. “As far as projects for the future, we have an ambitious schedule, but it is a good thing.”

New staff include Lisa Haase in special education at the middle school, Lorissa Lemay in kindergarten and Rosemary Lenehan in fourth grade. At Harrison Middle School, Marita O’Neill will teach language arts, Patric Santerre will teach industrial arts. Judith Shank will be a reading specialist at Yarmouth Elementary School and Nancy Jones will be the new speech therapist for grades 5-12.

Jodi McGuire has been named director of instructional support and Tom McDowell will be the instructional strategist. McDowell was previously a high school special educator, and McGuire was the instructional strategist.

On the management side, Paolucci said Carol Kinney, director of business services, is expected to leave the district in December after 18 years in the position. She said the search for a new business manager will begin in the fall.

For programs and improvements, Paolucci said there has been discussion about buying a new piano for the Yarmouth Performing Arts Center. It could cost about $35,000, she said, and the School Committee will discuss ways to fund the purchase.

Paolucci said the committee is also looking for ways to keep high school seniors engaged in the academic school year after they take Advanced Placement exams and receive college acceptances.

As a way to help fund new programs, teacher educational opportunities and extracurricular activities, Paolucci said the School Committee would like to create  an educational foundation similar to the organizations in Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth.

Finally, Paolucci said the athletic program will be evaluated and the School Committee is expected to discuss funding sources other than a pay-to-play system for sports programs.

“We are uncertain of what the state budget will be, but our hope is to identify options for supporting athletic costs,” she said.

A preliminary report is expected by November.

The School Committee will present its first reading of the new Extra Curricular Honor Code at its meeting on Thursday, Aug. 26. The new policy will be posted  on the school’s Web site by the end of next week, Paolucci said.

The School Committee will meet at the Log Cabin on Main Street at 7 p.m.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net