RSU 9 district reports improvement in chronic absenteeism numbers

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FARMINGTON – At the RSU 9 Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, November 14, board members voted unanimously to accept the computation and declaration of votes on the referendum regarding the district’s lease/purchase agreement of the Holman House located at 227 Main St.

Out of the district votes, a total of 3,624 voted in favor of the property purchase and 1,780 voted against.

Superintendent Christian Elkington provided the board with the superintendent’s report and stated that the funding review shows that the district has been given $36,000 more dollars to invest on multilingual education.

“This could not have come at a better time for us as we have had a family move to Farmington who needs increased support,” Elkington wrote in his report. “These funds will help pay for the Support Staff member we will need to hire.”

Elkington also stated that Nurse Kathryn Clement of the W.G. Mallett School has earned the National School Board Nurse Certification, increasing the number of nurses in the district with this certification to two.

Director of Technology Kevin Bremner provided the board with his administrator report and stated that the Maine Department of Education notified the IT Services Board of Directors in September that they have been awarded $93,000 for the Maine Learning through Technology Initiative (MLTI) Grant. The funds were awarded to purchase additional network switch to replace remaining hardware throughout the district, and to renew licensing for the switching that was previously put in place over the last two years. Bremner stated in his report that the equipment will be ordered over the next few weeks.

During the presentation section of the meeting, Elkington listed the attendance rates of each school throughout the district based on the first 37 days of school and stated that the numbers have improved at every building.

Academy Hill School has seen a 15% increase in the number of days students have attended school, and the number of chronically absent students who have attended school has improved by 15%. Cape Cod Hill School has seen a 35% increase in attendance, and chronic absences have decreased by 60%. Cascade Brook School has had an improved absenteeism rate of over 20%, and the chronically absent rate has decreased by 33%. Cushing School has seen a 20% increase in attendance, and a decrease in chronic absenteeism of 20%. Mt. Blue High School has had a 25% increase in attendance and the chronic absenteeism rate has decreased by 33%. Mt. Blue Middle School has seen an 8% increase in attendance and a decrease in chronic absenteeism by 40%. W.G. Mallett School has had a 27% increase in attendance, and a decrease of chronic absenteeism by 40%.

“We’re seeing a lot of efforts, a lot of communication, and a lot of improvement,” Elkington said. “It is good to see that the numbers are going in that direction.”

This meeting was recorded by Mt. Blue TV and is available for viewing online at

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