The Star-Herald

MSAD 1 to revisit potato harvest break

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The board of directors at Maine School Administrative District 1 is considering changes to Presque Isle High School’s annual potato harvest break.

The MSAD 1 board of directors will hold a workshop on Monday, Jan. 8, to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of continuing, changing or ending the harvest break, said superintendent Brian Carpenter.

“The board would like to have some input from both sides of the issue,” Carpenter said.

The workshop will have presentations from five people in favor of keeping the break and five people who support ending it, as well as a reading of written comments, Carpenter said.

In February 2016, the school board voted 9-7 to keep the high school’s three week harvest break for at least three more years.

At the time, parents and board members in favor of ending the harvest break expressed concerns that less than 15 percent of high school students worked in potato harvest jobs during the break in the fall of 2015.

Carpenter said he is not making a recommendation on a path to take. If the school board votes next year to end the policy, it wouldn’t take effect until the 2019-2020 school year, Carpenter said.

If the board votes to continue the break, he said, it would make sense to have the break for all grade levels, similar to other districts with the harvest break. Currently Presque Isle High School students begin classes in late August, while the rest of the grades start after Labor Day.

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