MANCHESTER, NH — A special meeting of the Board of School Committee will be held Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. with a single agenda item: Discussion of funding for construction necessary for inclusion of fifth-graders at Southside, McLaughlin and Hillside.
RELATED STORY: Aldermen oppose middle school plan for grades 5-8
The Board of Aldermen on Dec. 17 voted down a $2.2 million bond that would cover the costs of renovating the three middle schools by a vote of 6 to 6. Parkside Middle School on the city’s West Side has already adjusted into a grades 5-8 school as of September. That was part of a plan previously voted on by the school board to transition all middle schools to include fifth-graders.
The idea originally was championed by previous school superintendent Bolgen Vargas based on the success of a similar program in Goffstown schools as a way to ease overcrowding by reducing class sizes at the elementary level, make better used of available space and create more educational opportunities for students.
School Superintendent Dr. John Goldhardt told aldermen during the December meeting that if they did not favor the $2.2 bond, a new plan would be needed to either increase the size of existing elementary schools, or build new ones.
Immediately after the special meeting on the bonding issue concludes, the board will reconvene to consider terms of a tentative contract agreement with the Paraprofessionals Union.