School Committee Vote on Memorial School 

The School Department is facing a significant budget shortfall for next year:

Requested School Budget      $17,440,595

Town Proposed Budget           $16,881,790 ($9,755,847 - State; $7,125,943 - Town)

Deficit                                     $ 558,805

After conducting a comprehensive analysis, school administrators came up with two options for reducing expenses: close Memorial School or keep it open. This evening the School Committee unanimously voted to close Memorial School beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

This decision was not made lightly. The group considered many factors such as maintaining educationally sound practices, the impact of potential actions on the Middle School building project, grade restructuring, the capacity of existing buildings, and much more.

This action means that the Pre-K will move to the High School, grades three and four will move to the Primary School, and grade five will move to the Middle School. This could mean that staff may be reduced by up to 13.6 FTEs, and 24 stipends could be eliminated.  

By adopting this plan, our schools:

  • Maintain educationally sound practices
  • Enrich programming at each school, including adding STEM education for elementary students
  • Minimize transitions for students
  • Provide handicapped accessibility for all students
  • House all students on one campus
  • Provide more efficient transportation
  • Utilize staff in a more efficient and effective way
  • Keep all current programs in place

There will be one-time construction costs, and the Memorial School will be vacant in the short term. However, there may be opportunities to lease the facility to other educational organizations or businesses. Under both options, there will be a reduction in staff, but the impact will not be as great under this plan.

Over the next few months, the School Department will be working diligently to bring this plan to fruition with as little disruption as possible.

Posted by colbyl On 12 February, 2019 at 7:34 PM  

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