Classes Begin on MDI



BAR HARBOR — School starts Tuesday, Sept. 8, for approximately 1,700 students at the nine schools of the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (RSS), which officially replaced Union 98 on July 1.

 

Freshmen councilor Michele Gurtler, in pink, and assistant principal Pam Bush address students on the freshmen’s first day at Mount Desert Island High School. Freshmen began classes Friday; all other grades begin classes on Tuesday, the same day all area public elementary schools start classes. —MELINDA RICE
Freshmen councilor Michele Gurtler, in pink, and assistant principal Pam Bush address students on the freshmen’s first day at Mount Desert Island High School. Freshmen began classes Friday; all other grades begin classes on Tuesday, the same day all area public elementary schools start classes. —MELINDA RICE

The most significant change in the system is the addition of Trenton Elementary School.

Students at Mount Desert Island High School will have a new principal, Matthew Garrity-Janger.

“We’re very excited about having him here,” RSS superintendent Rob Liebow said Monday. “He’s a smart guy, and I think he will do a very good job.”

School officials won’t have firm enrollment figures for another several weeks. But Mr. Liebow said it appears that the number of students in all of the elementary schools is holding steady.

“They’re not going up; they’re not shrinking,” he said.

High school enrollment has declined in each of the past four years, from 670 in 2005 to 571 last year. Mr. Liebow said he thinks that trend will continue for another couple of years before leveling off.

“I think it will be down this fall compared to last year, but the freshman class enrollment is pretty strong, so I think the drop is going to be less than we originally thought it would be.”

Mr. Liebow provided an upbeat assessment of the state of the school system as the new year begins.

“We have a good, solid staff, we have good resources, we have a common curriculum, and we have supportive communities that trust and expect that we will do a good job,” Mr. Liebow said. “I think those are all signs of a healthy educational system.”

Freshmen will report to school at MDIHS on Friday, Sept. 4. Students in the other schools, including Conners-Emerson, Mount Desert, Pemetic, Tremont, Trenton, Frenchboro, Islesford and Swans Island elementary will start on Tuesday.

 

For more education news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

 

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