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Pelham~Windham News

Pelham~Windham News Volume 8 Number 19 November 26, 2010 14 Pages

Proposal Could Split Third Grade

Between Two Schools

by Barbara O’Brien This year and for many years past,

all third-grade classes have been at Windham Center School. That might change next year, however, as space constraints are causing school administrators to look for options. Due to increased student

enrollment at Center School, which currently houses students in grades three through five, the idea of moving half of the third-grade classes to Golden Brook, starting with the 2011-2012 school year, is being considered. There are six third-grade classes this year, with an average of 23 students per class. Under the proposed change, three of those classes would set up shop at Golden Brook, while the three remaining third grades would stay at Center School. Presently, Golden Brook is home to students in kindergarten through second grade. SAU #28 Business Administrator

Adam Steele said the proposal to split the third grades between two schools would buy some time for the school district in regard to space constraints. “It’s a short-term fix,” Steele said, “but it’s not without ramifications.” In coming up with this proposal,

school administrators have made considerations for school bus transportation, unified arts scheduling, lunch periods, classroom allocation, and transitional needs. At this point, the administration believes this move is the most cost-effective solution to the challenge of increased student enrollment at Center School. “It balances out the needs of Center and Golden Brook,” Steele said, adding that – in the short term, at least – it would eliminate the need for additional portable classrooms. According to Golden Brook

Principal Debra Armfield, the proposed move would impact students by requiring that the third graders who might be attending Golden Brook would be required to eat lunch in their classrooms. Also, all Unified Arts periods would be reduced from 45 to 40 minutes. The Art, Music, and Computer Lab would be lost and these teachers would be floating from classroom to classroom, taking their materials along with them on a portable cart. Storage areas would need to be found for these supplies when not in use. Two of the first-grade classes at Golden Brook would be moved into

an existing modular classroom, with these students being required to travel to the main building for lunch, physical education, library, special events, and bus dismissal at the end of each school day. Those working at Golden Brook,

such as the nurse, special education personnel, guidance, unified arts teachers, literacy success, and Title I program staff, as well as secretaries and custodians, would become responsible for meeting the needs of approximately 60 additional students, should the move actually take place. Additional library resources, those appropriate for third graders, would also be needed at Golden Brook School. Finally, there would be additional strain on what is described as “already limited parking.” “We’re out of capacity at all our

schools,” Armfield said. “If we’re going to keep our current class sizes, there’s isn’t much choice but to move some of the third grades to Golden Brook.” School Facilities Director Warren

Billings said another option would be to purchase or lease portable classrooms for use at Center School, but that would be expensive. School Board member Jeff Bostic

said he feels as if “we are dismantling our schools” by moving classes into other buildings. “It’s a horrible choice,” Billings said, “but under the circumstances, it’s the best choice” if the school district wants to stay with a zero-percent budget increase for the 2011-2012 school year. When asked about moving eighth-

grade students to the new Windham High School instead of moving the third graders to Golden Brook School, Principal Tom Murphy said that “it would be problematic due to the age span” of the students already attending the high school. Armfield said that responses from

parents, regarding splitting up the third grade, shows an overwhelming majority in opposition. According to Armfield, earlier this year, 55 parents were in favor, 153 were opposed, and five were still undecided. School Board Vice Chairman Ed

Gallagher said he wants the full School Board to see all the options that might be available, before a decision is reached … other than constructing a new building at the current time, he said.

Town Center Project Discussion

after Delay Request

by Lynne Ober Pelham Planning Director Jeff

Gowan told selectmen that he had a request from the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) to approve an extension to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) schedule for construction in Pelham Center. The proposed roundabout scheduled to begin in 2011 would be pushed back to early 2012, according to Gowan. Although the final design was being wrapped up, there were still some questions remaining and DOT wanted to have approval for a delay.

Staff at NRPC told Gowan that

this would be the only schedule slippage and that they were willing to meet with selectmen to discuss issues. One such issue was whether the town wanted to appraise the strips of land acquired by DOT during the acquisition process. During discussion, Town Administrator Tom Gaydos pointed out that the state could take this land under the eminent domain process. Because of that, Gaydos didn’t see any reason for the town to have an appraisal, which could delay the process more—as much as three years. However, Gaydos also expressed concern that the funding for the project remained available, and mentioned that some projects died because funding was cut. Gowan replied that the project was “active” and that money was

currently being expended toward this project, and noted that it was usually inactive projects that had funding cut. Gaydos was still concerned because he didn’t understand why the delay had been requested. He also had some concerns about utilities and how moving the utilities were covered. The state had not planned to move any utilities with the I-93 widening process and this had caused an issue in Windham, according to Gaydos. The former fire chief had met with the state, claims Gowan. After that meeting, the understanding was that the state would pay for the utility pole and everything leading to that pole, but the town would be responsible for the wiring from the pole to town buildings. After discussion, selectmen decided this needed to be resolved. Selectman Bill McDevitt suggested that selectmen should have a meeting to discuss issues. He also asked if selectmen had the right to release land to the DOT, but Gaydos said that the eminent domain process would allow that. After more discussion, there

was board consensus to develop a list of questions and set up a conference call to discuss the questions. However, Selectman Ed Gleason said he felt that a face- to-face meeting was a better idea. Gowan will set up the meeting for selectmen.

ACS Relay For Life of Pelham Receives Special Recognition

submitted by American Cancer Society The American Cancer Society’s New England Division held its annual Relay For Life Leadership Summit on September 20 and 21 in Springfield, MA. The 2010 Relay For Life of Pelham was recognized for being the Top Fundraising New Community Relay in New England, as well as having the Most Survivors at a New Relay in New England. The Relay For Life of Pelham 2010 raised an incredible $180,609 and recognized 62 cancer survivors. Sara-Jean Caira and Marianne Caira, volunteers with the Relay For Life of Pelham, were present to accept the award. “I am honored to be a part of this uplifting community event,” said Sara-Jean Caira. “I have made a personal commitment to help raise awareness and funds to support the fight against cancer. Seeing the survivors, caregivers, families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and other members of our community participate gives me the confidence that one day we will defeat this disease.” The American Cancer Society Relay

For Life of Pelham is seeking volunteers – walkers, cancer survivors, caregivers, community leaders, and anyone wanting to make a difference – to organize and recruit fundraising teams, garner community support, coordinate logistics, seek refreshments and prizes, plan entertainment, and lend a hand to ensure the success of the 2011 event, scheduled for June 4-5, 2011, at Harris Family Track and Field. Volunteer committee meetings will be held on the first Monday of the each month at the Pelham High School Library at 6 p.m. to begin the planning process for the

Sara-Jean Caira, volunteer with the Relay For Life of Pelham, is pictured with the American Cancer Society’s Ashley Haseltine, Community Executive, Development and Relay For Life of Pelham volunteer Marianne Caira. Te 2011 Relay For Life event is scheduled for June 4-5, 2011, at Harris Family Track and Field. To learn more about how to form a team or be a volunteer to help plan the event, contact Sara-Jean Caira at 894-6534 or

Relay For Life event, which supports the American Cancer Society’s mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against the disease. Relay For Life events are held

overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park, or other gathering area with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites during Relay. Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups – people from all walks of life – all aimed at celebrating the lives of those who have had cancer, remembering those lost, and fighting back against the disease. “Relay For Life is all about our community uniting with the American Cancer Society and supporting its efforts

to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” said Ashley Haseltine, Community Executive, Development for the American Cancer Society. “Volunteers and participants who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event are making a commitment to let Pelham know that cancer can be defeated.” If you would like to join the Relay For Life in Pelham as a team participant or volunteer, call the American Cancer Society at 472- 8899, or visit www. PelhamNH. The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from

cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227- 2345, or visit

Cub Scout Packs Join Forces to Collect for the Pelham Food Pantry

submitted by Kim Masson It was a beautiful Saturday seeing Cub Scouts from Pack 25

and Pack 610 working together to accept donations for the Pelham Food Pantry. Boys and Leaders were at Hannaford Plaza from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. taking shifts all day long. The boys were very excited to be helping out in the community and it was good to see our community come together to help out our fellow neighbors. Not only did the boys have a chance to work on their requirements—they were also able to learn the importance of giving. Many items were collected throughout the day, and then transported to the Food Pantry for unloading and stocking of shelves by the Pelham Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Thanks to everyone that could help out during this event.




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