Norwich superintendent proposes big changes for school district
Posted: Feb 08, 2018 10:03 PM EST
Updated: Feb 08, 2018 10:55 PM EST
By Roger Susanin
By Kaitlyn Naples
NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -
The leader of the Norwich school district dropped a bombshell that could impact hundreds of families by the fall.
Almost no one saw it coming.
On Thursday night, Norwich's Superintendent of Schools Abby Dolliver unveiled a proposal that could completely transform district schools.
"We are in very challenging fiscal times and we have to make some dramatic changes in the way we do business," Dolliver said.
Dolliver says the district desperately needs to trim $800,000 from its budget and her proposal would accomplish that goal by completely reorganizing nearly every single elementary school.
Here is how it would work. Right now, there are seven kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary schools in the district.
The plan would change that and create three separate K-2 schools and three 3-5 schools. The Veterans' Memorial, Stanton, and Mahan schools would become K-2 facilities, while the Wequonnoc, Huntington, and Uncas schools would serve students in 3rd through fifth grade. The Moriarty school would remain a K-5 school.
The proposal would also set up three sister schools. The Veterans' Memorial and Wequonnoc schools would partner up. Stanton and Huntington would be sister schools, and the Mahan and Uncas schools would form another pairing.
Dolliver knows parents will have concerns.
"It's always scary because people react, its emotional parents want their kids in a certain school staff want to stay where they are," Dolliver said.
Board of Education Chair Yvete Jacaruso heard the proposal Thursday night and said she is concerned about all of the students and teachers who would change schools, but she also understands the difficult times call for dramatic action.
"Yes a little surprised but we have to do what we have to do to make it work, with the numbers we have," Jacaruso said.
The Board of Education will vote on this proposal next month and city leaders would also have to sign off on it, but if it is approved, it will go into effect this fall.
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