The School Committee approved the FY15 budget at their January 30 meeting which included a tuition-free full day kindergarten program. A $350,000 placeholder was put on the town meeting warrant for temporary modular classrooms to help house the FDK program. At the February 27 school committee meeting, Dr. Cathy MacLeod asked that the modulars be removed from the town warrant and the school committee voted in favor of removing the article. MacLeod explained the modulars were put on the warrant as a placeholder while 3 different options were researched for housing the full day kindergarten program. The options included temporary modular classrooms, splitting students between Elmwood and Center School or housing the program within the Center School building. After careful consideration of all 3 options and consultation with her administrative staff, Dr. MacLeod decided housing the program within Center School was the best options for the students, teachers and town. Dr. MacLeod acknowledged there will be some space issues within the Center School but noted that this will not have an impact on class sizes or classroom space.
The draft of the 2014-2015 school calendar was presented to the school committee last week. The proposed calendar has the first day of school on Thursday, September 4. Early release days will remain on Fridays. No major changes were made to next year’s school calendar but Dr. MacLeod announced she is considering removing some of the religious holidays for future school calendars. She would also like to see one school break after the Christmas holiday. A possibility would be removing February vacation and moving April vacation to March. This would require working with area school districts in order for this to work as it would impact sport schedules and have significant impact on many teachers’ families who live in the surrounding towns.