SAD 51 board OKs goals, contract with drivers

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CUMBERLAND — The School Administrative District 51 Board of Directors on Monday unanimously approved a three-year set of goals.

The panel also unanimously approved a labor contract with the district’s bus drivers, and a quitclaim deed to the Chebeague Island School.

The four strategic planning goals for 2015-2018 were born out of data reviewed by the district’s Strategic Planning Committee, Superintendent Jeff Porter said Monday. That committee hosted a community dialogue last November, and is using that input and information from other sources to shape the strategic plan.

At the November meeting, residents of the Cumberland-North Yarmouth district advocated a greater emphasis on creativity and innovation in the arts, and a deeper focus on critical thinking skills and student-centered learning.

While the School Board has approved the goals for the plan, the plan itself has yet to be written. Porter said he expects the board to consider it in June.

“We wanted the board to weigh in early, because these are the big goals for the plan that will drive all the other work (on the document),” he said.

The goals are:

• Providing “broad-based learning opportunities, with an emphasis on multiple pathways, that prepare all students for citizenship, college, and career within a global context.”

• Broadening “access to robust, rigorous, and relevant learning opportunities for each student while promoting the well-being of all members of our school community.”

• Maintaining the “high quality of all district employees by maximizing opportunities for ongoing learning and collaboration.”

• And expanding “mutually beneficial partnerships that enrich learning opportunities for students and engage the community in our schools.”

The School Board also approved a three-year contract with the SAD 51 Education Association Bus Drivers. Porter could not divulge details of the agreement because the Education Association has not voted on the agreement.

The board’s approval of the quitclaim deed on the Chebeague Island School, conveying that building to the town of Chebeague Island, was a formality, Porter said, because the school went with the town when it seceded from Cumberland in 2007.

Because there was never a formal vote by the School Board to transfer the school from SAD 51 to Chebeague Island, one took place Monday, as requested by Chebeague Island, Porter said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.