The future building and grade configurations of the newly formed Freetown-Lakeville School district could be determined Wednesday.
The education model subcommittee will make a formal recommendation to the Transitional Regional School Committee; the committee will then vote on the matter at 6:30 p.m. at Apponequet Regional High School.
Transitional Regional School Committee Vice Chairman John Olivieri stated the EMS has recommended turning the Freetown Elementary School into a kindergarten through Grade 3 school and Assawompset Elementary School would educate the same grades. The George R. Austin Intermediate School would educate students in grade 4 and 5. The middle school and high school’s grade configuration would not change.
This recommended configuration only reflects a one-grade change over what the district has in place. The Austin school currently educates fifth-graders in both towns while the elementary schools educate students through Grade 4.
Last week, the subcommittee and Superintendent John McCarthy conducted a presentation on the matter. The subcommittee unveiled a report that revealed having kindergarten through Grade 5 schools could be educationally beneficial.
An drastically modified configuration could turn the Austin school into a kindergarten through Grade 5 school and also add a Grade 5 to the Freetown Elementary School and to Assawompset Elementary School.
The report, which will be available on the school’s website this week, expressed a strong interest in the kindergarten through Grade 5 setup.
According to a community survey that netted 800 respondents, a pre-kindergarten through Grade 5 configuration was the most popular grade configuration.
Olivieri stated that even though research supports a kindergarten through Grade 5 configuration, there haven’t been many studies conducted about the benefits of intermediate schools.
‘We need to look at what’s ideal for our district,” he said.
Reached last week, Transitional Regional School Committee Chairman Lawrence Ashley stated parents at last week’s presentation in Freetown appeared concerned mostly with the educational bottom line.
“Parents are not married to a grade configuration or a building configuration; they want their son and daughter to have the ideal education,” Ashley said.
He stated once a new grade configuration has been established, the committee hopes to work out a new budget by December.
The potential new grade and building configurations have caused consternation among Freetown officials, because the Austin school has been used and financed mostly by Lakeville since it became an intermediate school in 2000.
At first, Austin was used to educate Lakeville fourth- and fifth-grade students and Freetown fifth-graders, which is why Lakeville has spent more money on running the school.
Two years ago, Lakeville sent its fourth grade back to Assawompset Elementary School due to financial constraints.
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Submited at Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 at 12:00 am on Uncategorized by hilman
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