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School district not ready to absorb Wakefield students at this time

THE GOVERNOR WENTWORTH SCHOOL BOARD thanked graduating senior Dylan Tarbox for his time as a student representative with a gift. Tarbox will be attending Cornell in the fall. (Heather Terragni photo) (click for larger version)
June 05, 2014
WOLFEBORO — The Governor Wentworth Regional School Board turned down Wakefield School District's request to discuss developing an area agreement at this time. The decision was reached at the board's June 2 meeting held at the Skylight Dining Room in the Lakes Region Technology Center.

Superintendent Kathleen Cuddy-Egbert reported that SAU 64 Superintendent Michael Tursi had contacted her on behalf of the Wakefield School Board with a formal request to meet. It was her understanding that a recent survey of Wakefield residents revealed quite a bit of interest from parents wanting to explore the possibility of having their students attend Kingswood Regional High School.

Presently Wakefield's area agreement with Rochester School District allows them to send up to 10 percent of their student body elsewhere, of which 14 students currently attend Kingswood.

At this time Wakefield has approximately 192 to 200 high school students, according to Cuddy-Egbert, who expressed her concern that adding so many students on top of the 90 or so from Middleton that are slated to join the district thru a tuition agreement beginning with the 2015-16 school year, would bring the school uncomfortably close to 80 percent capacity.

Board members agreed it would be most beneficial for Governor Wentworth to integrate the incoming Middleton students first before considering the idea of taking on others.

The board voted in favor of taking any future discussion of an area agreement with Wakefield School District off the table, but was open to reviewing the possibility of a tuition agreement or otherwise after the 2015-16 school year.

This would allow the district time to assess voters' opinions, possible growth within the school district itself, and how staff numbers and other expenses might be affected.

Kudos to the board

Being that it was the last school board meeting of the academic year Cuddy-Egbert thought it appropriate to give some recognition to the board itself for all its accomplishments over the past year.

She mentioned full day kindergarten and the Middleton tuition agreement as two of the board's biggest achievements these past few months. From researching the pros and cons of both to getting voter support to putting in place the appropriate supports the board managed these two tasks without missing a beat it seems.

Cuddy-Egbert shared that the board's willingness to support new programs and innovative ideas as well as always having the backs of the building administration and staff really "sets a culture in the district of people not being afraid to take a chance to go out on a limb to make things a little bit better for students," something she said that creates a healthy climate.

From successfully working through individual student issues to exploring the best way of doing energy audits in the district's buildings, the Superintendent thanked the board for its continuous hard work and support. "You've done some great stuff," she said.

50 years of Kingswood

The class of 2014 will be the fiftieth class to graduate from Kingswood Regional High School; therefore, President of the Kingswood Alumni Association Kristie Smith along with her fellow alumni association members Lenny Moore, Cindy Clough and Deb Skelley are gearing up for several events in celebration of 50 years of Kingswood.

With a presence in the Fourth of July parade the group will be promoting special events planned over two days during homecoming weekend, Oct. 3 and 4.

These events will include admission to student sporting events, guided tours of the Kingswood complex, an alumni art show, golf tournament, Winni Belle cruise, and a dinner dance at the Wolfeboro Inn.

"We don't just think of this as just an alumni event," said Smith, "we think there are thousands of alumni, employees, and community members who've all been positively affected by the existence of the high school."

More events are planned in celebration of Kingswood's 50 years throughout the year as well, such as an alumni hockey game (Dec. 6), a Winter Carnival ski event (date tbd), alumni basketball game (date tbd) and a grand finale event planned for May 2015.

The association is always on the lookout for more alumni.

For more information visit www.krhs-alumni.org, find the alumni association on Facebook or e-mail krhsknights@gmail.com with questions.

The school board won't meet again as a whole until Monday evening, Aug. 11 at the Brookfield Town Offices.

This meeting can be viewed in its entirety at wolfeborocommunitytelevision.com.

Martin Lord Osman
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