SeDoMoCha will have school resource officer through the end of the academic year
MONSON — A long-term agreement for beyond 2018-19 is still pending, but the SeDoMoCha School will have a school resource officer from the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department in the building for eight hours per week as an agreement was approved by the school board during a Nov. 6 meeting at the Monson Arts Center.
Superintendent Stacy Shorey said the agreement would start as of Dec. 1 and run through June. “We would not be responsible for the salary this year,” she said.
The superintendent said several policies concerning a school resource officer at the SeDoMoCha School will be brought forward for a first reading next month and a memorandum of understanding will also be on the agenda for December.
Before the start of classes Shorey, Principal Adam Gudroe, and Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey began talking with Dover-Foxcroft Police Chief Ryan Reardon about the possibility of a school resource officer working between the pre-K to grade 8 SeDoMoCha School and grades 9-12 at Foxcroft Academy.
“I just wanted somebody to be a presence in the building, so Ryan he took the ball and ran with it,” Shorey said as an officer has been spending time inside the building already this year. She said she was clear there is not money in the 2018-19 RSU 68 budget for the position, but this will not be a problem for the police department as the school resource officer will go between the two schools through the end of 2018-19 while classes are in session.
During last month’s school board meeting, Reardon brought forward a school resource officer proposal which could be approved for 2019-20. According to the proposal, the full wages and benefits would total just over $77,700. RSU 68 and Foxcroft Academy would share 71.1 percent of the wages and benefits and the town would cover the remaining near 29 percent. The school units would split $55,168, and the respective payments would be divided into a pair of $13,792 installments for each due before the start of classes in the fall and then in May before the end of the school year.
The school resource officer would go between the schools over 37 weeks, working for the police department during the summer and school vacations, with SeDoMoCha and Foxcroft Academy having 2.5 days of coverage each week via a varying schedule. Equipment, office supplies, and the vehicle would be covered by the town.
Reardon said many schools across Maine have school resource officers, and the officer can put a face on law enforcement for students while also being a possible resource and mentor in the building. The police chief said the officer would likely be dressed in attire such as a golf shirt and khaki pants and would be in the building to help students rather than solely looking to enforce the law.
In other business, Shorey said last month she sent a letter to Dover-Foxcroft Town Manager Jack Clukey inquiring about the school district purchasing a municipal tax-acquired property that sits behind SeDoMoCha at 101 Harrison Avenue.
The letter says the school board’s building and grounds committee is proposing a purchase price of $1. “The committee realizes that there is some clean up to be done on that property before it could be used,” Shorey wrote. “Potential options for use of the property include additional parking for the school, especially if we expand to create additional classrooms. Long term, it would be a beautiful spot for a performing arts building.”
“He got back to me last week and he thought the town would take up that $1 offer,” Shorey said. She said Clukey will get back to her in a few weeks, possibly after the selectmen have taken action a potential action on the property offer.
The RSU 68 directors also approved a grant application being made by SeDoMoCha Middle School art teacher Bobbi Tardif to the Libra Foundation, which has invested millions revitalizing the town of Monson into an arts destination including the former community center where the school board met on Nov. 6.
“She’s just a real go-getter,” Shorey said. The superintendent said Tardif’s grant application is seeking “just shy of $10,000 and it will finish everything in her room.”
Tardif also already gotten other grants and funds for art classroom upgrades, Shorey gave a figure of $15,000. “The students love it,” Shorey said.
“She’s not just looking to help the students but the adult community as well,” School Board Chair Jenny Chase said.
“The Libra Foundation wanted the board to be aware and support,” Chase said about why the directors voted on Tardif’s grant application.
“Winter sports begin shortly, tryouts begin tomorrow,” Gudroe said in his report.
The five winter head coaches will be Max Andrews for boys A basketball, Tom Sands for boys B basketball, Alexis Dumont for girls A basketball, Karen Snow for girls B basketball, and Kirstie Mower for cheering.