Gateway Regional School District to Consolidate Elementary Schools
Wendy V. Long of the Gateway Regional School District in Huntington, MA writes:
The Gateway Regional School Committee voted [Wednesday evening] to consolidate its five elementary schools, with all elementary students attending school at either Littleville Elementary School or Chester Elementary School in the 2010-11 school year. Blandford Elementary School, R. H. Conwell Elementary School and Russell Elementary School will close, and those buildings will be returned to their towns. The vote (13 in favor, 3 opposed) was taken at approximately 10:15 p.m., following a lengthy discussion and input from Gateway town officials and community members.
A total of 426 students currently attend the five Gateway elementary schools.
Educationally, the move will provide more opportunities for teacher collaboration and student groupings, reduce or eliminate multi-grade classrooms, reduce the number of staff traveling between schools, and improve the administrative support to the schools.
The motion also stipulated that the school committee “acknowledges and agrees that MSBA will be recouping funds from the district in the amount of $4,587,165 in annual payments of $327,655 for 14 years” for renovations to those buildings. Consolidation is expected to save the district approximately $485,000 in FY ’11 after paying MSBA.
For background information on this issue, please visit the Elementary Advisory Committee website.