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Joyce Endee

Superintendent urges accepting Middleton students at Kingswood

Approving Article IV would benefit district and students

EFFINGHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL KELLY COLBY-SEAVEY shared a Dr. Seuss-inspired poem thanking retiring Administrative Secretary Joanne Fiorini for her 10 years of service to the district. Fiorini is set to retire at the end of the school year in June. (Heather Terragni photo) (click for larger version)
March 06, 2014
EFFINGHAM — At the March meeting of the Governor Wentworth Regional School District board at the Effingham Elementary School this past Monday, March 3, Superintendent Kathleen Cuddy-Egbert said that voting in favor of Article IV, which would allow the school board to enter a 10-year tuition agreement with Middleton School District for the education of Middleton students in grades seven thru twelve, is advantageous for the school district.

This agreement could bring in revenue to the district in a time of declining enrollment numbers as well as offer new academic and social opportunities to students.

Allowing Middleton's seventh thru twelfth graders to attend Kingswood Regional Middle and High School as well as the Lakes Region Technology Center makes better use of these newly-renovated and expanded buildings.

There is plenty of space to accommodate the approximately 130 Middleton students assured Cuddy-Egbert, without exceeding state class size averages or requiring additional staff. With about 22 students per grade level "they can easily be absorbed," she said.

Even by adding in the additional 130 students Kingswood enrollment numbers would still be well below the 80 percent capacity recommended for optimal school operations and learning.

There is no additional financial burden attached to letting the Middleton students attend Kingswood either, Cuddy-Egbert emphasized. In fact, the district is likely to generate between $1.2 and $1.4 million dollars per year from the tuition agreement, which will benefit the taxpayers by offsetting operating costs and taxes.

Additionally, by allowing Middleton students to attend the district and thereby boost the schools' overall enrollment numbers, each facility will be better able to maintain the breadth and quality of programs students and teachers have come to expect and enjoy at each.

Most importantly, Article IV reflects what both Middleton school board and the Governor Wentworth Regional School Board believes is best for both districts' students.

School Board Member Jack Widmer said of what he believes to be a win-win situation, "the monetary part is nice, but in the long run it's about the students."

"Even though we are six towns, we are one school community and there is something for everyone," added Cuddy-Egbert who felt positive Middleton students would be accepted and integrated into the schools with ease.

The tuition agreement has been approved by the State Board of Education, but needs the approval of both GWRSD voters and the Middleton School District voters to make it binding. Both communities need to pass their articles in order for this agreement to take effect.

The proposed tuition agreement can be viewed in its entirety on the GWRSD web page.

The board encouraged the district's residents to get out and vote Tuesday, March 11.

In addition to the district's other five towns Effingham residents can vote at the polls at Effingham Elementary School from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (instead of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. as earlier reported).

Residents with any questions regarding the warrant are encouraged to contact a board member before Tuesday. Phone numbers for each are posted on the district's web site, https://sites.google.com/a/govwentworth.k12.nh.us/gwrsd.

The full board meets again on Monday evening, April 7 at New Durham School, beginning at 7 p.m.

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

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