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Hudson - Litchfield News

12 - May 21, 2010

Learning in Litchfield

by Elaine F. Cutler, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, SAU 27

At this time, the Litchfield School Board remains

very concerned about the impending budget for the 2011-2012 school year. Although this seems like a long way off, the NH Legislature is required to complete its work by June 30, unless a special session is called. This is truly a critical time for the school district. Three separate Adequacy Aid bills have been introduced that would delay the loss of state education funds to Litchfield and prevent 40

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It appears that Adequacy Aid is headed for the Committee of Conference, where compromise will be attempted. If changes do not occur, the District will face a $2 million decrease, which is 33 percent of what the District currently receives in state funding. This is a huge decrease in revenue for a school district that has a $20M budget. Faced with such a deficit will result in fewer services at every level of education in the district. The Board will be asking the community for its priorities and will gather information from many sources, with services to children the highest priority. However, it is anticipated that every department will

experience reductions. It is not too late to contact your NH state representatives, senator, and Governor Lynch to voice your concerns about such a drastic reduction for our community, especially at a time when new monies must be identified at the state level in order to fund the Adequacy Aid formula. Changing the focus to our youngest community members, I would like to share an update about the playground at Griffin Memorial School (GMS). After many attempts at trying to salvage parts of the playground, it was determined that all existing structures, with the exception of the swings, must be removed. A very passionate playground committee has been established with a goal of having some equipment in place by the time that school starts in the fall. The goal is $10,000. As we all know, many younger children use that playground after school and on weekends when games are being played at the adjoining fields. Most people will say it is the playground that is most utilized in Litchfield. If you would like to make a donation, or be a part of the team that will make this happen, please contact: Litchfield School District, Attn: GMS Playground, c/o Rebecca Feely, 63 Century Lane, Litchfield, NH 03052.

Elaine F. Cutler, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, SAU 27

Mark your calendar for a fundraising dinner at GMS on June 12. More details will follow at a later date. The Litchfield School Board takes great pride in

our schools and welcomes your comments and suggestions. You may contact any Board member or professional staff member using the directory available at www.litchfieldsd.org.

Playground Closed- continued from front page

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McLean, making her vows as a Sister of Mercy of Alma, taking the name Sister Miriam. Recently, on May 1, St. Kathryn Church hosted parishioner Janet Eppolito’s First Profession of Vows as a Sister of the Presentation of Mary. Equally as impressive is that three men and two women are currently contemplating religious vocations. “The qualities of these young men and women, their zeal and faithfulness, their enthusiasm and determination in the midst of a time when the Church really needs committed, authentic priests and religious, bring me great hope,” Father Gary said. Father Gary is also committed to regular visits

with men in formation at the seminaries and has, on a number of occasions, hosted gatherings of seminarians for fellowship and “… to hopefully witness to the joy that I have found as a priest,” he said. He continued, “If these men experience in their vocations half of the joy and blessings I have in these past 25 years—they will be richly blest.” It seems most fitting to this occasion that Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed this the Year for Priests to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, the Cure’ of Ars and Patron Saint of parish priests. Ad Multos Annos, Father Gary!

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Option 4 – Remove all existing structures and replace with new ones. Cost estimates as follows: Same size unit installed by vendor -– $51,500; vendor- supervised community volunteer install – $44,000; smaller unit installed – $36,430; smaller unit installed by community volunteers, supervised by vendors – $30,410. The committee has planned a series of fundraisers between now and the end of the school year, and has set the ambitious (but achievable) goal of raising between $10,000 to $15,000, with hopes that some of the surplus school budget funds (monies that were allotted, but eventually went unused), which are typically turned back over to the town, could instead be used to help supplement the fundraising and grant writing efforts. “The money would be used toward a project that is critical for the healthy growth and development of the elementary students, and a very wise investment in our children’s future,” said Playground Committee member Kathleen Follis, during a presentation recently to the Litchfield School Committee. “To support the GMS goal of a peaceful playground, enough active play options need to be available to students at recess when there are at times over 100 children playing outside at once. The playground at GMS is used approximately 25 hours a week by the students of GMS and 40 hours a week by the children of the town.”

While volunteers have been out and about in recent weeks seeking donations from area businesses, a series of fundraisers are also planned to take place next month.

On June 12, a

community spaghetti supper will be held at the Griffin Memorial School. The event will feature many raffle prizes, and all are encouraged to leave the oven off for a night and enjoy an end-of-the- school-year dinner. All monies raised will go to the playground fund. Then, on June 17, get ready for the GMS Spring Into Action event. Litchfield kids will take ownership of their playground and get into the action themselves when they participate in wellness activities while raising money for the

playground improvements. Family and friends will have the opportunity to sponsor the children as they participate in a fitness challenge as a means to encourage active involvement. Once again, all proceeds raised through this activity will go to the playground fund. “The students at GMS and the children of

Litchfield have been without a playground all spring,” said Follis. “It is our goal to have the playground open again and ready for use for the start of the 2010-2011 school year.” Of course, donations are gladly accepted at any time—not just during these planned activities. For anyone wishing to help create an active and vital playground for the youth of Litchfield, all personal and business tax-deductible donations can be made out to the Litchfield school department (just write ‘GMS playground’ in the memo section of your personal check), and send to: GMS Playground Committee, C/O Rebecca Feely, 63 Century Lane, Litchfield NH 03052.

Father Gary- continued from front page

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