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SeDoMoCha officials pleased with the start of the school year

DOVER-FOXCROFT — A month-plus into the 2023-24 academic year, RSU 68 school board members learned more about the first weeks of classes from administrators during a meeting at the SeDoMoCha School on Tuesday evening. 

“I couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition to the school year,” SeDoMoCha School Principal Adam Gudroe said. He said the building has wonderful new staff and they have fit in very well with those returning.

Gudroe said as of Oct. 1 there are 344 elementary pupils and 296 on the middle school side of the building, four more than at the start of the year, for a total of 640.

The One Book, One School shared family reading program kicked off on Sept. 14 as elementary families learned that night the 2023 selection is “Rescue on the Oregon Trail” by Kate Messner. Gudroe said the title is the first in a series, so hopefully students and families will choose to read the sequels in the future. He said the program finale will be on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Our food pantry is up and running here at SeDoMoCha, our backpack program began last week,” the principal said. He said he believed 100-plus students brought items home.

“I’m so excited that resource is in our school now and our families are being served that way,” Gudroe said.

Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Cameron Archer said the attendance percentage has been 95.58 percent so far, up from 94 percent last year. He said for students having three or more absences so far the percentages are 14.2 at the elementary school and 10.1 for middle school – the state would like to see a percentage of 10.

When asked, Archer said parents of absent students have cited late summer vacations and illness as reasons for their children not being in school.

He gave a rundown of how the Eagle fall sports teams are doing, saying football was 2-2 before a game being played that afternoon and boys soccer is 6-3–1 and will likely be a two or three seed in the upcoming Penquis League playoffs.

SeDoMoCha girls A team soccer is 4-5-1 and the B squad is 2-2-1. Field hockey has a perfect 7-0 record, and Archer said the Eagles are one win away from clinching the postseason’s No. 1 seed. He said B field hockey is 1–1-1, as the only sub-varsity field hockey team among Penquis League schools.

Archer said three golfers and the cross country teams will be taking part in postseason competition during the upcoming two weeks.

“Before you know it we will be rolling out the bleachers for basketball,” with tryouts for this sport and cheering set for Nov. 6.

In other business, the school board approved the cooperative agreement with the Tri-County Technical Center in Dexter for 2023-24.

“There are no changes from last year to this,” Superintendent Stacy Shorey. “I think they do a great job at the tech center and we are all full this year, we have a wait list.”

Shorey said the number of slots for each sending district are reviewed annually.

She said 20 students have been enrolled in the first month for the pre-kindergarten program being housed at the  superintendent’s office at 572 Bangor Road. Eight pupils are in a 1-o-1 program and the other dozen are in a 50/50 classroom.

The district’s administrative team applied for and was awarded a $166,000 grant to expand the pre-kindergarten program. RSU 68 is partnering with SAD 4 of Guilford, the Milo-based SAD 41, and SAD 46 of the Dexter area as well as Child Development Services to provide four classrooms for this program. 

Shorey said three of the four districts are represented in the 20 students.

Last year 20 pre-K students with unmet needs were found, and expanding pre-K in a collaborative effort will help serve the children across the region better. If there is room, the hope is to expand the program to include some 3-year-olds.

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