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Closing Bakerville School

by on December 21, 2015

We moved to New Hartford in 1977.  We lived through a time in the 80’s where there were larger class sizes, buildings were actually crowded because enrollment in the town’s elementary schools was somewhere around or over 800 students.

There was a debate at the time whether to build a new school and close Bakerville.   I’m not sure whether New Hartford Elementary was also to be closed, but many folks in town used Bakerville’s wood-frame construction as a reason that it was not fit to house classrooms for any of the town’s children.  The resolution was to add classrooms to Antolini (I think there were 10 to 15 but that could be wrong), move the third grades there and correct code problems at the two other schools.  That gave us the space to hold our over 800 students and saved a ton of money.  Our students’ scores continued to excel, classrooms weren’t bulging at the seams and all was well.  Fast forward to today, where we have about 460 students in buildings designed for many more students.

Emotions are bound to run high for the folks affected by the change.  I think everybody needs to take a deep breath and spend some time thinking about what the town really needs and on how best to fulfill those needs with the resources we have.

After the holidays we can dig into the numbers a little deeper.  I am thankful that the Board of Education posts its minutes.  I invite you to join the conversation and ask that you be respectful of other people’s opinions and of the Board of Education members who work very hard trying to make sure our kids have the best education.  I don’t delete comments, but reserve the right to edit them for inappropriate language.

 

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