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Administrative changes mark new school year in Scarborough

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Administrative changes mark new school year in Scarborough

SCARBOROUGH — The new school year brings a couple of administrative changes to Scarborough, as well as additions to math and technology programs this fall.

Scarborough Middle School Principal Jo Anne Sizemore has been appointed interim assistant superintendent of schools, taking over for Andrew Dolloff, who resigned in June to take a superintendent's position in another district.

The Board of Education selected Sizemore after none of the five applicants interviewed for the position measured up to their requirements, Superintendent David Doyle said.

"The board had established some skill sets they felt were most important," he said. "Each (candidate) had great strengths in several, but none of them in the board's view had the broad range they would have liked. I think the decision to choose an interim was a good one."

Doyle said Sizemore has "great skills" that will be beneficial to the department. The relatively short period of time between Dolloff's decision to leave and the beginning of a new school year made it tough to find a qualified replacement, he said, adding that a new search will begin soon with the expectation of finding a superintendent by the beginning of the 2010 school year.

With Sizemore's appointment, Scarborough Middle School Assistant Principal Barbara Hathorn is the interim middle school principal and an in-house search will be conducted to find her temporary replacement.

Though Scarborough sometimes hires as many as 30 to 45 new staff members annually, this year, Doyle said, the district has hired only 15, with two positions left to fill.

Middle school students will work with a new impact math curriculum this year, School Board Chairman Brian Dell'Olio said. Teachers have been working this summer to get it ready for the sixth- and seventh-graders.

Another curriculum change is the reintroduction of technology at the high school level, Doyle said. After a survey of students last spring that indicated a strong desire for technology offerings, the board pushed hard to make it happen, resulting in the addition of two of the staff teaching the courses.

"Going through the budgeting process, there was a question of whether we'd be able to pull it off," Doyle said.

Now, students are adjusting their schedules to make room for the new courses.

With the threat of the H1N1 flu virus in the school community, the nursing staff and representatives from Scarborough Public Safety attended a meeting in Augusta recently, Doyle said.

"Answers weren't as forthcoming as the nurses had hoped," he said. "The question is what role we'd be able to play or help with in terms of a vaccination program?"

Though the department can look at the possibility of having the schools as a base for vaccination clinics, Doyle said the big question is who would provide all the staffing to administer the vaccines.

"There are a lot of things on our plate between H1N1 and budget concerns," he said. "The stimulus money has helped to a degree, but stimulus money runs out. That's going to be an interesting piece as we go forward."

And a critical part of the budget is the teachers' contract that is still unresolved, Dell'Olio said. As it stands now, the provisions of the previous contract will carry forward and negotiations will continue, he said.

School begins Monday, Aug. 31, for grades three, six and nine. Everyone else, except kindergarten students, will go back on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Kindergartners meet individually with their teachers at a scheduled appointment time during one of those first two days of school. The teacher will evaluate the new students to get a base assessment on each child's skills and to get to know each child, Doyle said.

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.