BERWICK, Maine — The entire fourth grade class at the Vivian E. Hussey Elementary School will transfer to the Eric L. Knowlton School, the MSAD 60 School Board decided Thursday night.
The consensus came as a result of a capacity study completed in March 2011 that showed the need to rearrange students within the district in order to avoid a greater student overcapacity than exists.
According to Board Chair Peg Wheeler, the board concluded the overcapacity situation at Vivian Hussey was the most dire of all the schools and needed to be addressed first. The board did not vote on the decision Thursday, but it made it clear it will make a formal decision and vote to authorize the shift at its next meeting on Feb. 2.
Along with coming to a consensus for a singular restructuring option, the board also came to a consensus on eliminating two restructuring options that seemed to be causing fear and anxiety among district parents.
The first option taken off the table on Thursday was moving the 11th- and 12th-graders from Noble High School and housing them at the Noble Middle School, and making the high school a sixth- through 10th-grade facility.
The second option that was taken off the table by the Board was to restructure the lines of the district, making it so that students could only attend schools they lived close to. This option would have apparently taken about 80 students from Vivian Hussey and siphoned them to other schools in the district.
According to Wheeler, while the situation at Vivian Hussey was the most dire, there are still other issues and questions within the district that need to be addressed fairly soon. One of the biggest questions that still remains, according to Wheeler, is whether to move the sixth-graders from the middle school to the high school or whether to move the eighth- graders from the middle school to the high school.
There are pros and cons for each situation, according to Wheeler, who said she understand why parents may be concerned about having their eighth-graders in the high school setting.
© 2012 Foster’s Daily Democrat
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