RSU 68 a big part of regional adult ed program

DOVER-FOXCROFT — New Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative Director Dr. Joshua McNaughton updated the RSU 68 school board on a number of organization programs during a meeting at the SeDoMoCha School on Tuesday evening. 

McNaughton, who has a background in adult education, came to the PVAEC after previously serving as superintendent in Millinocket. Living in Dover-Foxcroft with school-aged children, he had wanted a job closer to home to allow him more time with his family.

McNaughton said 148 students representing the four RSU 68 communities are part of PVAEC career readiness, high school credential and enrichment programs. The 148 account for nearly 39 percent of current cooperative enrollments. “That is the greatest of the communities we serve,” he said. 

Fourteen students in the 16- to 20-year-old age bracket are in high school credential and career readiness programs according to data from a bi-yearly report the state requires, the director said. He said these students have received nearly 280 hours of instruction, “so overall our numbers are strong.”

Students enrolled in Commercial Driver License programs will be taking their driving tests soon, and McNaughton said there has been a lot of interest in these classes. He said related driving hazmat training classes may be offered in the future, to give graduates another distinction.

When asked, McNaughton said CDL class sizes are at five students. Many of these are older than the 16-20 age range he mentioned earlier.

The PVAEC is one of the few adult ed programs in Maine that offers students virtual, hybrid and in-person classes, depending on the particular program. 

A new pottery class is being held at SeDoMoCha and McNaughton said an advanced session and another for beginners may be offered. 

The PVAEC will partner with the National Digital Equity Center to offer programs from “how to turn on your smartphone to advanced web design and everything in between,” McNaughton said. “We can customize training for school departments.”

McNaughton said part of a $12,000 grant will go toward digital equity initiatives. “It will help us be able to update some technology pieces to help our students,” he said about other uses of the funds.

During the meeting, the directors voted to extend the district’s participation in PVAEC for another academic year through June 30, 2025. In the current RSU 68 budget, the district has a near $64,000 proportional share of the approximate $411,000 total PVAEC budget.

In business, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Cameron Archer gave an update on Eagle winter athletics.

He said as of that evening the A boys basketball team had a 7-0 record and A girls were 6-1, with both squads aiming to earn No. 1 seeds for the upcoming playoffs. The postseason is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 17 with the Penquis League championships set to be held at the Ridge View Community School in Dexter on Saturday, Jan. 21. The B boys team has a record of 5-2, and B girls are 5-1.

Archer said the SeDoMoCha cheer team will have its first competition on Saturday, Jan. 14. The Eagles are also getting ready to roll out the mats and perform for the crowd at halftimes of basketball games.

Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey told the school board about a pair of events celebrating the secondary school’s bicentennial later this month.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, students will be presenting projects on school history. Shorey said from five to 10 students from each class will speak for about 20 minutes on different half centuries of Foxcroft Academy’s past. The presentations will be followed by fireworks.

The official 200th birthday for Foxcroft Academy is Tuesday, Jan. 31. Shorey said local and state representatives have been invited to an assembly to celebrate.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.