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Nathan Hale Students to be Split Between Five Schools

Residents had their first glimpse at the redistricting plan this week and will have a chance to share their opinions of it at a hearing on March 29 at the high school.

When school starts this fall, students who would normally go to Nathan Hale Elementary will find themselves in new surroundings.

Because of significant facilities problems - the heating system that is about to fail - school officials here have for the 2012-13 school year and evaluate the situation.

Saying that they understand that this change could greatly affect the families in the neighborhood, where children are accustomed to walking to school, school officials will present a plan that calls for the relocation of the 221 students who attend classes at Nathan Hale to a nearby elementary school. Currently, nearly 24 percent of 290 students in the Nathan Hale neighborhood attend school in another area of town.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Richard Kisiel said that there are eight classrooms available to accommodate the transferred students and that classroom size will still be below the district wide limits, 25 for Kindergarten and 26 for the older elementary grades.

The current plan, prepared by the consulting firm of Milone & MacBroom, suggests that the best course of action would be to relocate the kindergarten through fourth grade students to Highland Park, Washington, Keeney and Martin. The fifth grade would be transferred to Bennet Academy. (View the plan in the attached Pdf.)

The breakdown for the K-4th grade is as follows:

  • 49 to Highland Park
  • 65 to Washington
  • 47 to Martin
  • 36 to Keeney

To help families ease into the transition, the Milone & MacBroom plan also outlines a series of programs and steps to familiarize the students with everything from riding the bus to hosting an orientation program at the new schools.

By making the change to relocate the students, the school board must also adjust the boundaries for two other schools in order to state in compliance with the State Mandated Racial Balance.

Consultant Michael Zuba told board members at their March 12 meeting that a minor boundary change should be made to address a racial imbalance at Verplanck and one that could be created at Buckley.

In the plan, Zuba proposes to send the 16 students who live in the Beacon Hill Apartments to Waddell instead of Verplanck. It also proposes to send 12 students who resident on Charis Road, Elvree Street, Karen Drive, Jamie Lane and from 700-1000 Parker St. and who currently attend the Robertson school to Buckley.

As school officials consider the plan, they must also consider what to do in the future. Over the past decade the the K-5 population has dropped from 3,508 in 2001-02 to 3,065 in the current academic year. Based on birth projections, Consultant Michael Zuba told school officials at their March 12 meeting that he expects that the K-5 student population to increase to 3,464.

For more information about the proposal thumb through the attached PDF and attend the March 29 public hearing, which will start at 7 p.m. in the Manchester High School auditorium.

Rick March 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Hmmmmm and how old is the heating system at Washington school?
Rick March 18, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Seems like many elementary schools in town will be hearing the same sad state of affairs as Nathan Hale if they are allowed to deteriorate like this school was.....accountability is in order from past and present elected officials it seems .......we entrust them to do the right things to keep schools and other government entities maintained.......while swimming pools......and basball parks are nice, they are not a necessity comparitively, if this funding was used on schools would this even be an issue now?
John Key March 18, 2012 at 07:57 PM
At least Buckley will be spared of having to accomodate students from others schools for the 3rd time in 5 yrs. Highland Park will be brand new and a better fit for these kids how lucky for them !!
manchesterresident March 18, 2012 at 09:36 PM
If they had made repairs in a timely manner the town would have saved those costs by now. Exactly how much does it cost to run a 100yr old boiler? Even a home owner knows the benifits of maintaining property and the savings in using more efficiant systems.
Jon Crickmore March 19, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Its more important to buy electronic devises for board members here is the bylaw pertaining to the tax payer funded I PADS. "Bylaws 9000 Article IV Section 13 – Use of Board of Education-Issued iPad Tablets In order to avoid unnecessary copying and printing, to reduce the district’s printing and copying costs, and to make information readily available electronically for all Board members, the Manchester Board of Education (“Board”), are issued iPad tablets.
Jon Crickmore March 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM
REDUCE PRINTING AND COPYING COST ???? Ha Ha Ha what a joke. I cant find an I-pad tablet cheaper then $300.00 and that's for a used or refurbished one. While they save on printing costs they spend thousands more on electronic devices.. Don't worry about school repairs our I Pads are more important.
Frank March 19, 2012 at 05:56 PM
iPads instead of paper is a cheaper long term investment. The boe members don't keep them. The main problem in Manchester is no long term planning. In fact the whole reason we are moving students from Nathan hale is that we didn't do long term planning. So boe wants to do long term planning that will pay off in the long run and everyone wants to hate. What gives? Fear of voters freaking out over short term funding is what keeps our officials doing crazy stuff like taking garbage from other towns in a giant stink dump or let people live in stop n shop parking lot or even let people live in woods behind methadone clinic instead of funding police n services. Viva la iPads.
Jon Crickmore March 19, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Not to go too far off topic. Here is my math. 9 I pads, cheapest i could find is about $350.00 each x 9 = $3150.00 add $30.00 per month x 9 for media packages = $270.00 a month. Lets say they keep them 2 years that is $12.960.00 just in media payments. Total cost $16110.00 Now lets do the math for paper, a copy machine, and ink. A copy machine that does 17 pages a min and 20 thousand pages per ink drum cost $560.00 ink included. 300 thousand sheets of paper $125.00 TOTAL cost $685.00 Lets say they paid this each year x 2 years = $1370.00 lets double it for arguments sake.$2740.00 I'm no math scholar by any means but PLEASE explain the long term savings?? Of course all of this is assuming they wont be needing to make any copies since they have I pads. Frank this is not hating this is facts. Keep in mind these are rough numbers,and i only figured this for 9 board members. This is just one example of wasted tap payer money.
James T. March 25, 2012 at 06:37 AM
That's assuming Highland Park is ready. I'm guessing it will be, I live in the neighborhood and I see the lights on in there all night long as they burn the midnight oil. Christmas eve, New Years eve it doesn't matter. I've seen the lights on in there all night, every night for some time now.
Merrill Kidd September 02, 2012 at 09:37 AM
I am unaffliated. Mr. Moran has not changed that. Call the registrars office before you take citizen advice Mr. Moran. I asked you to change it. You may look like......a bad reporter?
Merrill Kidd September 02, 2012 at 09:43 AM
We are going green. Do the multipication and save trees. I did not like the I Pad. I had to learn it. Paper was better but, way more expensive in the long run. I took the time to do the math and learn the Ipad.
Merrill Kidd September 02, 2012 at 09:47 AM
Mr. Patriot, I have 4 children that are NOT afraid of me, nor their friends. I suggesst you go by a real name and ask me questions up front before you attack me about my party. MY SEAT does NOT belong to a PARTY, it belongs to the PEOPLE
Jon Crickmore September 02, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Maybe I'm ignorant to this. How does an I-pad save trees ? I imagine most things still need to put on paper. I like how your quick to respond on Patch. Mrs Kidd i emailed YOU and the other BOE members twice about a situation with the police dept removing kids from school bringing them to East Cemetery to have them participate in drug stings. You and the rest of the so called members chose not to respond to me. Well Mrs Kidd I'm part of the PEOPLE you talk about. Its obvious your seat and the seat of the other BOE members belongs to someone,but it's not the PEOPLE.
Merrill Kidd September 02, 2012 at 10:38 AM
I did see your letters. You need to take this to adminastration. Your complaint has been recognised and brought to the proper people. I can't help you. I am sorry.
Jon Crickmore September 02, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Again thank you for responding to my emails. It blows me away that the BOE has no say with what happens at our schools. We wonder why the school system is in its current state. Mrs Kidd i also brought this to the attention of Dr Kissel. Several phone calls and a face to face meeting. He like the rest of the BOE has chosen to ignore this. As an elected official Mrs Kidd this should disgust you as much as it disgusts me. To bad people no longer do whats right for our children. Its politics as usual. No one wants to ask the tough questions. No one wants to demand answers. Why ? Because it's not politically correct. One day i hope we can elect people who work outside the box. People who will do whats right. This goes for ALL elected officials. I'm certainly not singling you out.
Merrill Kidd September 02, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I agree Mr. Crickmore. I don't know how I could get anymore involved as a children's avocate and had no idea that our schools were in their current condition. However, I do think the current BOE is being transparent and letting people know we need to start taking care of our investments. The teachers and children deserve to learn and teach in a safe, clean enviroment. I am praying the ref. passes this November.All the children should be going to a school like Bennet and Highland Park. If you ask the other members on the BOE I am sure they feel the same way. It all comes down to money. 80% of the school budget goes to salaries and benefits. That increases every year so does oil, electric, etc. The teachers spend a lot of their own money for supplies and so on. It's sad but, reality. It's not just Manchester. All of the surrounding town are faced with the same issues.These unfunded mandates are a big problem. We are forced to pay for them by the state. If I didn't have faith in our school system my kids would not be in them. We do have wonderful and dedicated teachers. I was amazed at what the high school has to offer our children! There are lot's of positive things to say about our schools and what is happening in them. :-) You all should go sit in on the curr. and instruction committee meetings. Lot's of wonderful things happening. Adminastration and teachers work hard. It's exciting and my favorite committee.

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