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Pelham~Windham News

Salem School Board: Pelham Students Could Attend SHS

by S. Aaron Shamshoyan Pelham High School students could find their way to Salem in the near future. Dr. Henry LaBranche, Superintendent of Pelham and Windham schools inquired if the board would be interested in accepting Pelham students. “The Pelham School district has been having difficulties with its high school for some years now,” said Salem Superintendent of schools Michael Delahanty. LaBranche sought a meeting with the board to discuss the option. LaBranche, former Superintendent in Salem Schools, has taken the roll of interim Superintendent for Pelham-Windham. Attempts for a joint effort between Pelham and Windham for a high school option were turned down, and Windham built their own high school over recent years. Talk of a replacement

Pelham~Windham NewsHosts Successful Child Safety Event Collins Dentistry

Volume 9 Number 12 September 30, 2011 20 Pages

Superintendent has also brought discussion of a split between the two districts. School Board member

Patricia Corbett was in favor of a discussion with the Pelham Superintendent. “I think it’s worth listening, she said. Member Robert Bryant also favored the idea saying, “They send their kids here for the voc.” Board Member Bernard Campbell inquired as to the number of students that would be attending, to which Delahanty responded saying between 750 and 800. Chairman Peter Morgan took a census of the board, and recommended that Delahanty have the discussion with LaBranche, along with board members Pamela Berry and Patricia Corbett. Prior to Windham’s high

school facility operation, about 700 students from the district attended Salem High School.

Special School Meeting Set for October 4

by Barbara O’Brien The intention of Windham’s Special School District Meeting, slated for Tuesday, October 4, is to reduce the amount of money appropriated for the construction of an addition to Golden Brook School by approximately $300,000. The purpose of the additional space is to house the school district’s public kindergarten program. This past March, voters

approved a warrant article allocating $2.9 million to build a seven-classroom addition to Golden Brook. At the time, it was expected that 75 percent of that amount would be supplied by state building aid, with no more than $900,000 needing to be raised by local taxes. Subsequently, however, due to budget constraints at the state level, state assistance was reduced to $1 million. As a result of the reduction in state aid, local school officials set out to find ways to cut costs, without impacting the overall integrity of the project. After reviewing the project with the architectural firm, approximately $300,000 in expenses was removed, lowering the total cost of the addition to something less than $2.6 million. School board members said that the new proposal includes the exact same footprint for the building as was deigned when the warrant article called for $2.9 million. The new proposal still includes seven classrooms of the same size originally included in the design. Late last month, school district administrators, based on the advice of Attorney Gordon Graham, decided to hold a Special School District Meeting to officially reduce the anticipated cost of the kindergarten structure. If the amount were not lowered by ballot, the 2011 Tax Rate would be based on the original amount of $2.9 million passed by voters last spring. In addition to adding to the local 2011 tax burden by staying with the $2.9 million appropriation, delaying a new vote on the issue until next March’s annual meeting would also postpone the anticipated opening of the new kindergarten addition; an occasion expected to take place next August, just in time for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. If nothing is done about building an addition to house kindergarten students prior to the end of the current school year, the $1 million in state aid will vanish as of

June 30, 2012. It would also necessitate students staying in leased portable classrooms; an expense that would become the responsibility of local taxpayers comes next September. A public hearing on the issue

was conducted at Windham High School on September 20. Only 14 residents attended the session. Three of these residents came to the microphone to speak and all supported keeping the appropriation at the original $2.9 million, rather than lowering it the proposed $300,000.

According to SAU 28 Superintendent Henry LaBranche, if the new warrant article should fail to gain sufficient voter approval, the amount of money to be raised for the project would stay at the originally approved $2.9 million. “It will go back to the original intent,” LaBranche said. This one issue is the only subject that can be raised for discussion at the upcoming Special School District Meeting, he explained. The Special School District Meeting will be conducted under the rules of the original form of town meeting, which were abandoned in Windham when SB-2 was adopted several years ago. All discussion on the issue will take place on October 4 and the final vote will be taken that evening. Voters can choose to conduct a secret ballot on the issue if such a request is made by five registered voters. LaBranche also explained

that voters cannot increase the amount of money to be appropriated through the new warrant article ($2.6 million), but they could lower that amount, if so inclined. According to information

provided by the Windham School Board, there would be a one-time only assessment for a kindergarten addition. On a home assessed for $350,000, local taxes would increase by $210 for the original $2.9 million, while they would go up by $148 for the revised $2.6 million version. This is a difference of $62 in tax assessment related to the $300,000 difference in cost between the original warrant article and the one to be voted upon on October 4. The upcoming Special School District Meeting will take place in the auditorium at Windham High School and will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4. All registered voters are urged to attend and participate in the meeting.

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John Collins poses with UMass Lowell mascot, Rowdy, at the Child Safety Fair by Karen Plumley

In its sixth year, the Annual Child Safety

Fair at Collins Dentistry for Children in Pelham took place on Saturday, September 24, and saw a record crowd. According to John Collins, husband of Dr. Nilfa Collins and host of the event, there were nearly 250 guests throughout the duration of the fair, which started at 10 a.m. and continued until 2 p.m. “This gets bigger every year. This time around we added a special guest, a balloon twisting clown and magician, which the children really like. Back to visit the kids again are Allie Gator of the Lowell Spinners and Rowdy, the UMass- Lowell team mascot,” Collins said. Additionally, the Pelham Police and

Windham Fire Departments were present with emergency vehicles for young guests to check out. There was also a bouncy house, and free refreshments including hot dogs and drinks were served. Dr. Collins was also offering dental tooth impressions throughout the day. But the biggest attraction, of course,

was DNA LifePrint. Endorsed by John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted,

Aidan Flanagan, 17 months, of Andover, MA, dons a fire hat and enjoys the fair at Collins Dentistry for Children on Saturday morning.

the DNA LifePrint program presents vital identification tools to parents of children recommended by the FBI and the Department of Justice. The DNA LifePrint group was available at the Safety Fair, providing this important free service to the Pelham community thanks to the generosity of Collins Dentistry for Children.

Kids were in line with their parents in order to receive the biometric fingerprinting and a DNA Identification Kit. According to the documentation, biometrics is the latest technology available today for obtaining fingerprints. Kids attending the fair were able to get a 10-digit fingerprint profile, a high-resolution digital photograph, a child safety journal, and a home DNA Identification Kit, all for free. “There is no data basing of information. Parents are given the photo, fingerprints, and kit right there. God forbid anything happens to a young child, and parents can simply hand over all this information to the police, increasing their chances of a quicker

recovery,” explained Collins. Collins Dentistry for Children is a pediatric dental practice accepting patients from ages one through college. For more information, call them at 635- 1176. To learn about DNA LifePrint, visit their Website at

Kids flock to the police emergency vehicle for some free Frisbees at Collins Dentistry for Children during Saturday’s Child Safety Fair. From left: Macy Delaney, 12; Tomas Hebert, 10; Hunter Delaney, 10; all from Windham.

Pack 610’s September Family Outing Pack 610 begins their journey into the maze.

submitted by Lucy Wilkerson On September 24 Cub Scout Pack 610 opened the 2012 Cub Scout season with a Trip to Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton. The word Marco, followed by Polo echoed in the Medieval Maze Quest, the Summer Olympic Game and Extreme Animals Corn Maze as the boys, their families and Den Leaders tried to keep tabs on each other as they wandered down dead end paths and meandered in loops trying to find all the clues in the A-Mazeing scavenger hunt. It was soon discovered that some of the boys were little human GPS systems while others were as befuddled as leaders and families. Our first outing provided a great venue to visit and get acquainted with our new scouts and their families. Beside the three mazes, the lovely hill top farm offered the boys the opportunity to greet the friendly local residents; the chickens, ducks, peacock and bunnies. The warmth of the day found the goats, sheep, pigs and cows lounging in the cool shade of their pens. They occasionally would raise their heads to glance over at the young faces, but pony’s and donkey were much more sociable. Their loud greetings to passersby caused squeals of delight. Beech Hill’s one- mile nature walk offered an abundance of salamanders to study, while the sand pile filled with dump trucks kept younger siblings entertained. What better way to end our pack

Pack 610’s Andrew Haley & Kevin Williams Finding Teir Way out of the Corn Maze at Beech Hill Farms.

event than with ice cream. Luckily the farm offered a mouth-watering variety of 76 homemade ice cream flavors and a plentiful “make your own sundae” bar. As the afternoon slipped into evening our families and their chirping scouts said goodbye, glanced back at the farm with its blushing trees and headed home. For more information about Cub Scouting in Pelham visit www.pack610. com. Pack 610 has several openings still available for grades one through five. To have an A-mazeing time of your own, visit

Pack 610’s Parker Cote

October is


Photos by Lucy Wilkerson

Staff photos by Karen Plumley

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