Basketball Roster Concerns Raised in Baileyville

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

On Tuesday, December 5th, the Baileyville School Board met. Parents of Baileyville students were in attendance to voice their concerns about the Junior High basketball team. Several of the parents present were of sixth grade students that had been cut from the team. 

In the past, the practice has been to include students from both the sixth grade in Baileyville as well as the Princeton seventh and eighth grades. The concern of the parents was that their students were cut from the team after having been told they made the team. Prior to the start of the season a mandatory meeting was held where the sixth graders and Princeton kids were invited. According to parent Jeremy Pottle, at this meeting everyone there was told they were on the team, but at the conclusion of tryouts the sixth grade students were told they had been cut. 

The school board listened to the concerns shared by the parents and said they would look into the issue for the future season. The consensus of the board before moving forward is they would like to speak to the coach and the athletic director about the situation.

In her written report, elementary school principal Mandy Belanger advised the board about the intent to hire a second fifth grade teacher. She also mentioned looking into adjusting the policy regarding the age requirement for students that can walk home. Her goal is for third graders to walk home if they live within a mile of the school.

High school principal Thomas Vicaire told the board about the upcoming changes to the MPA eligibility requirements for students interested in sports. They will be changing the language so that students would have to be passing four learning experiences, leaving the determination of what qualifies as learning experiences up to local schools. The determination of when eligibility reports are run will be left to schools as well. Some schools will run reports every week while others will run a little less frequently. This gives kids a chance to make up school work and bring grades to passing and still be able to play. 

Superintendent William Braun advised the board that the budget is running about 10 percent ahead, but that the cost for special education is likely to exceed budgeted amounts. The cost of sending students to the Calais Alternative School for the year is $87,744.48, which doesn’t include transportation costs.  “They need those services,” Braun stated. 

Braun advised that he would be interested in looking into the possibility of bringing a similar facility to Woodland. The opening of a facility in Woodland would allow Baileyville to save some money from these costs and provide the services for the students locally. Braun said there was nothing against the Calais facility, but that it would be nice to get something in Baileyville. 

The school board also approved the hiring of Keith Damon as a custodian. The next meeting of the Woodland School Board will be on December 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Woodland High School Library.