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Dixfield, ME: MORE SPED support needs; 'students not getting attention they deserve'

Feb 27, 2019, Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal: School principals present budget requests to RSU 56 board DIXFIELD — School principals pitched their budget requests to Regional School Unit 56 directors Tuesday night, including a junior varsity sports program, a part-time athletic director/assistant principal and more special education staff. Jason Long advocated for funding junior varsity sports at T W Kelly Dirigo Middle School, where he is principal, and Dirigo High School. The programs were cut from this year’s budget.…. “As much as I’m seeing behavioral issues, emotional needs of our students are not getting the full attention that they deserve,” she said. The assistant principal would be able to help meet those needs, she said. Another staffing request for 2019-20 was made by Heidi Connelly, special education director for the district, which serves Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru. She said Dirigo Elementary School needs an educational technician to help support students in the pre-kindergarten special education program, and the high school needs a special education teacher and an educational technician. “There is clearly a need for an additional teacher at the high school,” Connelly said, in addition to the two special education teachers there. About 10 students, who the district was not expecting this year, have enrolled at the high school and need special education services, she said, making it the highest caseload of any school in the district….
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