News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, September 15, 2022
Adams School enrollment at 49 students
New principal feeling at home

by David Avery

The school board met at Emerson Hall on September 7. An audience of six was present to hear about the opening of the new school year.

During the principal’s report, Fred Cole said that Adams School “feels [like] more of a home to me” now that staff and students are around. Cole took over as principal during the summer.

He also reported that enrollment at the K-8 school is 49 students: six in pre-K and kindergarten; nine in grades 1-2; 10 in 3-4; 13 in 5-6; and 11 in 7-8.

He also said that several homeschool students are participating part time at the school.

Several stipend positions have been filled, Cole said. Other positions were still open, however, including music teacher and modern language teacher. The board authorized Cole and Superintendent Reg Ruhlin to complete the hiring process for such positions.

Ruhlin reported to the board that there have been no major recent changes to legislation affecting schools. He also said that a policy concerning admission of non-resident students is being vetted by attorneys before he presents it to the board.

In addition, Ruhlin said that the teacher contract would be considered during executive session.

The board heard from Sarah Stammen, of the Parent Teacher Committee, which will have its first meeting in September.

Other business

In old business, the board discussed ongoing improvements to the playground. Board member Temple Blackwood reported that the town is willing to help maintain the playground by mowing, for example. He also reported that the new slide is fully installed.

The student handbook was addressed during the meeting and was adopted 3-0 by the board, though it acknowledged that the book may still need revisions.

The board also unanimously adopted an emergency management plan that is also subject to revision. The goal, Ruhlin told the board, is “to ensure the plan contains best practices” pertaining to student safety.

The meeting opened with a statement from Bobby Vagt, who represents the town on the Budget Review Committee of George Stevens Academy. Of the committee’s latest meeting, Vagt said that “vision seems lacking” at GSA and that the board ought to consider demanding new leadership from the GSA board of trustees.

The board entered executive session to discuss personnel and labor issues at 6:15 p.m. Following executive session, the board unanimously voted to accept the pending teacher contract and to admit two non-resident students.