News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 17, 2019
GSA headmaster updates Castine school board

by Monique Labbe

George Stevens Academy Head of School Tim Seeley has been making his rounds to school board meetings at elementary schools that send students to the academy following their eighth grade year. Seeley attended the meeting of the Castine School Board on January 2, to update board members on the goings on at GSA.

Seeley reported that the policy surrounding extra curricular activity participation has changed for the better, and that the new policy allows teachers and parents to keep a closer eye on students’ grades before the student reaches a point of falling too far behind. The policy requires two-week check-ins, at which time their participation in sports, theater, etc. can be jeopardized, depending on where their grades stand.

Seeley also noted that testing scores at George Stevens Academy were good during the 2017-18 school year, and that the Castine students at the school are performing well.

One area of concern Seeley reported to the board members is the use of vape pens and Juuls at the school. Both products contain nicotine, but unlike cigarettes, they present as key chains or other small decorative items, and are more difficult to track. These products are typically used by smokers who are looking to quit the habit.

Seeley added that this is not an issue specific to George Stevens Academy, and that it has become an area of concern at many high schools throughout the country.

Seeley has reported this information at each of the schools he has visited so far this school year, and said the plan is to continue having as many eyes in the hallways as possible to try and monitor the situation.

Also during the meeting, the members of the board approved the extension of Adams School principal Sheila Irvine into 2021, and also approved a tuition request for a sixth grade student from Blue Hill. That student started at the school January 7.

The next meeting of the Castine school board is scheduled for February 6.