By Katina Caraganis

MediaNews

TOWNSEND -- The North Middlesex Regional School Committee and the teachers' association have come to an agreement on adding advisory panels in the district for students to better interact with each other and staff members.

Committee Member Robert Templeton said the idea of the panel is to reach out to the entire student body in a school, not just a select few.

"It's a group of students within the high school and they come together with one adviser and other students," he said. "It's more of an opportunity for kids to get with a consistent group and teacher/advisor and have the opportunity to talk about different things, whether it be school-related or something completely different."

He said it was unclear if a similar program had been used at the high school in the past, but he said the program had not been incorporated into the existing teacher contract, so both sides needed to draft and agree to a memorandum of understanding.

The document was finalized and agreed to at a committee meeting this week.

The panel would not take the place of a traditional homeroom, Templeton said, but instead would supplement that.

"I think it's a good program. It's good because you have students who typically reach out and look for help and guidance and you have some students who don't, so this is an opportunity for everyone to reach out if they need to," he said.

The panels are already under way in the school, he said.

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