October 28, 2021

Atkinson asks SAD 68 for assured acceptance

MONSON – One town wants in and the other wants out of SAD 68.

As Charleston residents work to withdraw from the district that also encompasses Dover-Foxcroft, Sebec and Monson, Atkinson residents announced Wednesday that they want to join the district.

A written request from Atkinson selectmen seeking assurance that SAD 68 will accept the town if residents vote to withdraw from SAD 41 (Milo, Brownville, LaGrange and Lakeview Plantation) was discussed by directors, Wednesday, at the Monson Elementary School.

Directors agreed to advise Atkinson town officials that the board is interested in discussing the matter further.

Twenty-nine residents, some of whom supported a recent unsuccessful attempt to deorganize the town, recently submitted a petition to Atkinson selectmen seeking the change.

“A lot of us are really pushing for this,” said Amy Guyotte, one of several Atkinson residents who attended Wednesday’s board meeting. “We feel that SAD 68 has a lot more to offer our children,” the mother of a fifth-grade pupil said. “We want the best opportunities for our children.”

Atkinson HAS 46 students in kindergarten through grade 12, and about four of those have special needs.

Contacted after the meeting, SAD 41 Superintendent David Walker said he was unaware of any petition for Atkinson’s withdrawal, nor have residents discussed any educational concerns with directors, he said. “Losing Atkinson students would not be a good thing for SAD 41,” the superintendent said.

Atkinson residents were told Wednesday that the SAD 68 board was open to the possibility of the town’s inclusion, but SAD 68 Superintendent John Dirnbauer said the town first needed to resolve some issues. He suggested town officials contact the Department of Education to explore their options.

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