Present is Jeff Kubick, Peter Cronin, Leslie Lathrop, Alison Manugian, Jon Sjoberg, Stephanie Cronin, Jennifer McKenzie, Superintendent – Kristan Rodriguez, Asst. Superintendent – Katie Novak and Director of Business & Finance – Jared Stanton.
- Kristan Rodriguez presented a formal presentation for the television viewers as well as those that were able to attend the meeting tonight.
The needs assessment has identified five key findings that outline what our children currently NEED. Our past practices of cutting staff and curriculum has brought us to drop down to a level 2 school district as of 2012. Up until now many taxpayers were not aware that our school district had declined due to lack of proper funding.
Up until now, taxpayers have chose Groton & Dunstable to raise their families and educate their children in a level 1 school district. The quality of our school district will most definitely influence future home buyers, it will affect the value of our current homes and it has already affected the value of our children’s education.
There were a couple of concerned parents present.
- One parent commended the SC/Superintendent for their work however did not agree with all of the needs assessment. She was not in favor of foreign language in the elementary and was concerned with the estimated cost of the needs assessment. She expressed that she had not had a raise in many years; funding all the needs in FY17 is not affordable for her and may not be for others either. She prefers multiple overrides over the course of a few years.
Properly Designed & Executed Foreign Language Programs:
- Beginning foreign language instruction early sets the stage for students’ to develop advanced levels of proficiency in one or more languages.
- Younger learners still possess the capacity to develop near native-like pronunciation and intonation in a new language.
- It has been shown to enhance children’s cognitive development. Children who learn a foreign language beginning in early childhood demonstrate certain cognitive advantages over children who do not.
- Stephanie Cronin pointed out that addressing the key findings over a period of years is not an option for Dunstable because they would require several consecutive overrides which is not a realistic solution.
- Jeff Kubick pointed out that it could be a similar situation for Groton.
If we were to spread the key findings over the course of several years, not only will that further delay addressing the needs of our children but could also potentially result in some of the key findings not being able to be addressed due to failed consecutive overrides. Gambling with the needs of our children would be irresponsible.
- Another parent had noted that as a school teacher (Concord) she can appreciate all the details in the needs assessment and felt that funding the entire needs assessment was beneficial for the children and she would support it 100%. I have to agree with this parent/tax payer… our children have been neglected long enough we can not afford to put his off any further. There is no other word that would better describe putting this off than “neglect”. “DEFINITION OF NEGLECT – WEBSTER”
- We have not had an override (other than a debt exclusion) in Groton for over a decade. We as a community need to find a way to fund our NEEDS in FY17. Fire, Schools, and Police should be at the top of that priority list as all three are crucial in maintaining the quality and value of our town.
Meeting adjourned – 9:05pm