May 27, 2024

SAD 27 grades 7, 8 may merge in Fort Kent

FORT KENT – Starting next school year, seventh- and eighth-graders in SAD 27 could be attending a new community middle school.

Declining student enrollment has led the district’s board of directors to consider moving the students attending those grades in the Eagle Lake, Wallagrass and St. Francis elementary schools into one school in Fort Kent.

“This is due to shrinking enrollment and some kids not getting the complete benefit of the middle school experience,” SAD 27 superintendent Patrick O’Neill said Tuesday.

As it now stands, he said, some middle school classes in the outlying schools have only three or four students.

“Some of those classes are just really small,” O’Neill said. “Moving them into one building would allow for opportunities to participate in band, art and a team-oriented curriculum.”

If approved by the board during its January meeting, the move could bring as many as 75 additional students into the Fort Kent school.

Parents met with board members last week, O’Neill said, and indicated they felt the concept was a good one.

“There was some concern about access to transportation and activities,” O’Neill said. “We assured them if the students were participating in after-school activities, we would run the buses for them.”


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