Originally published in The Weekly Packet, November 10, 2022
Brooksville Elementary school board approves naloxone
‘The community is ready for it now’ says school nurse
by Maggie White
“It will be one more device we have to keep people safe,” said Brooksville Elementary School nurse Jen Pert about having naloxone available for emergency use by trained individuals. Often referred to by its brand name, Narcan, naloxone is used to treat opiate overdoses. The topic was on the agenda of the November school board meeting, which took place in the Brooksville Elementary School library on November 7 at 5 p.m.
Pert made a brief case seeking authorization to stock naloxone on the school premises, explaining that she would train staff members on safe usage and that the antidote has minimal side effects. She also said that, after some initial hesitation, she realizes that “much of our community is ready for it now.”
The board unanimously approved the request for Pert to stock, possess and train staff on naloxone usage—with an official policy pending.
GSA ‘budget to actual’ reports
George Stevens Academy’s request for supplemental tuition was raised and tabled while GSA Finance and Operations Director Brock Muir was in attendance to emphasize the school’s commitment to transparency. “We at the school are really trying to step up our community involvement,” he said.
An example Muir gave was GSA’s sharing of quarterly “budget to actual” updates and the school’s efforts to “provide you with way more than you are used to,” according to Muir.
Along those lines, later in the meeting School Union 93 Superintendent Reg Ruhlin praised Catherine Moore, the Brooksville representative on GSA’s budget review committee, for her clear and consistent communication regarding the BRC’s work.
“We have a ways to go…we’re committed to multiple years of doing this,” said Moore, who shared that one of the current focuses is to help GSA identify additional/alternative sources of revenue.
Thirty-two Brooksville residents currently attend George Stevens Academy.
Principal Cammie Fowler said in her principal’s report that additional roof repairs are needed, a recent fire drill resulted in only minor suggestions from the fire chief and the school’s water tested well below the safe threshold for PFAS, also known as forever chemicals.
In staff news, Fowler said that all school staff are reading Building Thinking Classrooms, by Peter Liljedahl; teachers are engaged in peer coaching; the newly hired technology teacher will split time between Penobscot and Brooksville schools; a full roster of coaches is lined up for winter sports; and the only staff hole yet to be filled is a part-time Ed. Tech.
Brooksville Elementary School’s Thanksgiving lunch is November 10, in partnership with the Community Café and honoring Ray Pata.
Fowler closed her report with a video made by seventh and eighth grade students about their Kieve Wavus leadership program.
Ruhlin shared that there will be a joint school board meeting at Penobscot Community School on Tuesday, November 15. School board chair Matt Freedman was approved as the Brooksville Elementary delegate.
Ruhlin said that a recent request for public access to school documents alerted him to the fact that there is no policy in place at any of the five schools in the union. Using a template from Maine School Management, Ruhlin presented a draft to be voted on at the next meeting. For more information on public access, visit maine.gov/foaa/.
October numbers showed enrollment at 46 students (down from 54 last year), with 10 homeschooled students (up from nine).
At the October 17 meeting of School Union 93 board chairs, Freedman said that the superintendent search was discussed. (Ruhlin announced his resignation, effective June 2023, this past September). A vote on whether or not to employ the services of Maine School Management to assist with a formal search will take place at the November 15 meeting.
“They offer a menu of different services,” said Freedman, who added that cost would be roughly $3,000, split among the five schools.
Board member Barbara Blake-Chapman raised a question. “Have you sat down with [Ruhlin] and gone over what needs to be done to make the position manageable?”
Freedman acknowledged this need, and said that discussions are ongoing.
Bradley Jones was approved as interim school board member until a new candidate can be voted onto the board in 2023.
The next meeting of the Brooksville Elementary school board is Monday, December 5.