By Mark Pechenik firstname.lastname@example.org September 6, 2018
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — SAD 35 saw a smooth start to the academic year Tuesday, according to school administrators who reported at the district’s Sept. 5 board meeting.
“It was one of the best starts to the school year,” said Nina D’Aran, principal of South Berwick’s Central Elementary School.
D’Aran and Maureen Goering, principal of Eliot Elementary School, said the district’s staggered start helped. Through this policy, kindergarten begins Friday, Sept. 7 and pre-kindergarten begins Monday, Sept. 10 at both schools.
“It helped make the first day less hectic,” Goering said of the late start for the younger students.
Administrators praised the custodial staff’s efforts to help them prepare for the new year.
“Their work over the summer helped create an inviting and welcoming environment for our students,” said Marshwood Middle School Principal Anthony Bourbon.
“It’s incredible what gets done over the summer,” added Marshwood High Principal Paul Mehlhorn.
District business manager Ryan Cormier said 16 additional students raised district enrollment from 2,319 last year to 2,335 this September. The largest enrollment increases were in pre-kindergarten, from 109 students in 2017 to 138 this year, which necessitated an additional section for this grade.
Other student increases were in Grade 2, from 126 to 162; Grade 8, from 185 to 197; and Grade 12, from 188 to 221. Eliot Elementary and Central School saw the biggest increases in enrollment. Eliot went from 338 to 346. Central went from 355 to 374.
Enrollment declines were seen in Grade 11, from 223 to 193, and Grade 7, from 200 to 178. The biggest decline is at Marshwood Middle School, which went from 532 to 514.
Growth in enrollment of Rollinsford students in the district continued this year with 54 students at Marshwood Middle School, up from 49, and 111 at Marshwood High, up from 108.