6 - February 17, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News Spruce Pond Athletic Field Goes to Ballot as Amended
by Barbara O’Brien Windham voters who attended the town
deliberative session on February 11 decided that if Article 16 fails to generate enough support on Election Day, Article 17 would be null and void. Both warrant articles pertain to the development of the proposed Spruce Pond athletic field. Article 16 asks that voters accept the donation by H and B Homes, Corporation of a 22.86-acre parcel of land located at the intersection of Rockingham and Northland Roads. This parcel is intended to be used for town recreational use, and was included as part of the planning board approval process in October of 2007. Article 17 was submitted to the town warrant
by citizen petition and authored by Windham Recreation Committee Chairman and former selectman Dennis Senibaldi. The petition asks that voters approve up to $250,000 to fund the cost of engineering, design plans and construction costs associated with a recreational sports field usable for, but not limited to, soccer, lacrosse and football (Phase I). The money would also be used for the initial preparation work associated with the final phase (Phase II), namely the construction of a
baseball field. Senibaldi said taxpayers would not be asked for additional money to build the baseball field.
According to Senibaldi, a total of $260,000
worth of materials and construction donations have previously been given to the Town of Windham to complete the preliminary site preparations for this project.
During the deliberative session, Senibaldi commented that “the town has exploded in size” during recent years and many more sports are now offered, than previously. “We just don’t have the space for them all, anymore,” he said. Senibaldi emphasized that the new field, if constructed, would be available to all sports. In addition to the 350 by 240-foot athletic field, plans also include building a 60-space parking area. In response to questions from residents as to why plans don’t include putting in an artificial turf field, Senibaldi replied that the cost, estimated at $650,000, would be prohibitive. As for maintenance costs of a grass field, as proposed, Senibaldi estimated the annual price tag would range from $4,000 to $7,000. Senibaldi said he is fully aware “that the economy is in the tank.” Senibaldi said he empathizes with those who
Lease/Purchase of Portable Classrooms Moves to Ballot
by Barbara O’Brien With three out of four of the Windham
School District’s public schools over- capacity, voters attending the February 10 deliberative session decided to send a warrant article authorizing the lease/ purchase of portable classrooms to the ballot. No amendments were made to the original proposal. The article is being unanimously recommended by school board members. Although the warrant article (#3) doesn’t specify a 10-classroom portable, that is the intention of school officials. According to Interim Superintendent Henry LaBranche, Windham schools are presently about 21 classrooms under what is needed. The only school currently not said to be over- capacity is Windham High School, which opened to students in September of 2009. According to school board member Jeff Bostic, this lack of sufficient space impacts students with diverse needs, resulting in an approximate 10 percent increase in the need for special education services. “There is a decreased quality of education,” Bostic added. Other negative effects of over-crowding include limited offerings in the areas of art and music, which now float from room to room “on a cart,” and larger than recommended class sizes, particularly among students in the lower grades. School board member Stephanie
Wimmer emphasized that portable classrooms are not to be considered as a solution for over-crowding in Windham schools, but “as a temporary remediation of the problem.” It was also pointed out that acquiring portable classrooms is part of the school district’s master plan. Also during the meeting, it was clarified that, although the portables would be placed on the grounds of Windham Middle School, it is likely that Middle School students will not inhabit them. It is more likely that fifth graders from Windham Center School will be housed in these facilities.
Article 3, which includes the money
for a five-year lease/purchase agreement of portable classrooms in the amount of $2,172,539, also includes $179,208 to hire two additional teachers (salaries and benefits) for one year for Golden Brook School. When questioned as to why the teacher positions weren’t included in the operating budget, LaBranche replied that without the portable classrooms there wouldn’t be any place to put the two additional teachers.
When questioned as to how much class
sizes would be lowered if the portable classrooms are obtained, LaBranche said that there would most likely be only one less student per class, but that as a result of the acquisition it would become possible to restore the media center at Center School to its original purpose, while giving more flexibility of space at Golden Brook and Windham Middle School, as well. Also included in this warrant article is approximately $600,000 to build two new athletic fields on the plateau behind Windham Middle School. One of these fields is intended to replace the field at Golden Brook being lost due to the construction of a seven-room kindergarten addition. Former selectman and school board member Galen Stearns commented that the warrant article calls for a total expenditure of $3.2 million. “That’s actually the amount that we’re voting on,” Stearns said. Dr. LaBranche and SAU 28 Business Administrator Adam Steel agreed with Stearns’ statement. Steel said that the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) informed him that this was the proper wording for the warrant article, even though it appears to be somewhat confusing to residents. Windham registered voters will have
their say on whether or not to enter into a lease/purchase agreement for portable classrooms, to build two new athletic fields, and to hire two new elementary school teachers during balloting on Tuesday, March 13.
by Diane Chubb
Due to a higher than expected number of students requiring out of district placement, the Pelham School District is facing a cost overrun of $430,000 in the 2011 budget. Voters are being asked to approve this funding to cover the deficit budget in School District Warrant Article 10. At the School Deliberative Session on February 8,
Pelham School Board members discussed the need to approve the monies to cover the deficit. All acknowledged the difficulty in budgeting for special needs students. The budget is prepared based on the known number of students, with a small allowance for unforeseen circumstances. This past year, there were six additional students who required out of district services. On average, sending a student for out of district services costs, on average, $35,000 per student. There were five such students this past year who were not included in the original budgeting. In addition, there is a student who requires residential care, at a cost of $150,000. Under federal and state law, school districts must
provide services to all students in the least restrictive environment, which at times, can include a different setting than what the local school district can provide. Enacted in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that governs how states and agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to special needs children from birth to age 18.
In 2004, Congress clarified the intended outcome for
each special needs student, namely, students must be provided a Free Appropriate Public Education. Under IDEA 2004, 1) Special education and related services should be designed to meet the unique learning needs of eligible children with disabilities, preschool through age 21; and 2) Students with disabilities should be prepared for further education, employment and
are struggling financially as the result of the poor economy, but also commented that the new athletic field “is not a want.” “It is definitely a need,” he stated. Selectman Bruce Breton said, “The more I hear, the more I realize how much it’s needed.” Selectman Roger Hohenberger said there are other items on the town’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that rose above the ranking for the Spruce Pond Athletic Field. “I just don’t support [the field] this year,” Hohenberger commented. “It will throw the CIP out by a $250,000 spike.” School board member Stephanie Wimmer asked
how Spruce Pond fits in with the town’s Recreation Master Plan. Town Athletic Coordinator Cheryl Haas said the Recreation Master Plan is currently in draft form, but does call for two additional athletic fields to be constructed during 2012. The master plan does not specify this particular field, however, Haas added. Senibaldi said, if approved by voters, construction would begin this spring and the field would be ready for use this coming summer. “This is a lot of money at this point in time,” Wimmer said. School board member Michelle Farrell said she believes it is “premature” to build the athletic field at Spruce Pond at this point.
Senibaldi said that the town and the school district have “separate and distinct needs.” “We need field on both sides,” Senibaldi said, adding that Windham High School Athletic Director Bill Raycraft agrees with his opinion. Haas said that she has a good working relationship with Raycraft and that they have both made a commitment to work together even more, in the future, to coordinate plans between the school and the town. Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia said she does support the project conceptually, but also shares the financial concerns expressed by others, especially in light of significant expenditures proposed during the school district deliberative session the previous night. “I don’t see how I can justify this expenditure at this time, because of the tax impact,” DiFruscia said.
If the warrant article for $250,000 is approved
by voters on Tuesday, March 13, the tax impact would be 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation or a $42 increase in taxes on a home assessed for $350,000. Proposals being put forth by the Windham School District, if all approved by voters next month, would result in more than a $700 tax increase on a home assessed at $350,000.
Warrant Article Would Fund Special Ed Deficit
New Hampshire has similar laws that support IDEA and IDEA 2004.
One of the biggest challenges for a school district with the current method of budget preparation is anticipating the needs of students over a year in advance. Budgets are prepared during the summer for the school year that starts over a year from when the budgeted is prepared. Accurate information regarding the number of students who will require special education services, especially those that require tuitioning, is not always available. Students with special needs are not identified by the district until the child is three years old, and eligible for placement in the federally-mandated preschool program. Some students are not identified until a later age, and there are always people who are moving into the district. Further, special education costs are highly variable. The needs of most students is usually met within the district. However, there are some situations which require the student to be sent to a different facility. Determining in advance which students will need to be tuitioned out is difficult.
During the Deliberative Session, resident Bill Scanzani asked whether the lack of space was a consideration in sending special needs students to other facilities. Dr. Henry LaBranch, Acting Superintendent, admitted that if the district had additional space to provide services in-house, there could be a cost savings. “We would not be able to meet the needs of every students, but yes, we could keep more of these student in district and save money.” School Board members pointed out that if this warrant article fails, it will be on the ballot every year until it passes. “We have to cover this deficit,” said Board Chair Rob Hardy. The School Board requests that anyone with questions about the warrant article contact the school board members at email@example.com
NH High School Film Festival Submissions Due
submitted by NH Department of Cultural Resources The New Hampshire Film & Television Office is now accepting submissions for the 2012 New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival. All submissions must be postmarked on or before March 31, or arrive at the Film & Television Office at 19 Pillsbury Street in
All Dental Services Including Orthodontics Care & Implants in One Convenient Office!
Why Choose COLUMBUS DENTAL
CARE For Your Orthodontic Needs? Well, because
Columbus Dental Care is your One-Stop-Practice,
and we already see you for your routine cleanings and checkups anyway ….right?
Also, all restorative, sealants, whitening and prosthetic treatments are available here at our state-of-the-art facility. LESS REFERRALS – MORE CONVENIENCE * X-rays and Models taken here. * Extractions performed here in our office. * Dr. Dori can evaluate Orthodontic concerns, recommend solutions, and take corrective action.
* Dr. Joe can replace missing teeth after braces with implants. * Appliances made with our Orthodontic Laboratory. * Emergency Care * Familiarity with our office and dedicated team.
All your dental care! One Office.... Call now for your personal consultation! COLUMBUS DENTAL CARE,
DISCOVER A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF DENTAL CARING BROOK PLAZA • 30 LOWELL ROAD HUDSON • NH
Concord by 4 p.m. on that date. Now it its fifth year, the New Hampshire High School Short Film
Festival fosters interest in filmmaking and rewards future members of the industry for their craft. The Festival is open to students currently enrolled in grades 9-12 at New Hampshire public or private high schools. Submissions do not have to have been created as part of a school project.
A panel of judges made up of New Hampshire film industry professionals will review all submissions and then select films to be shown at the Festival itself, which takes place at New Hampshire Technical Institute’s Sweeney Hall Auditorium in Concord on June 16, beginning at noon. Winning films will be screened on New Hampshire Day and Night at the New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth in October and at the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival in Concord in November.
Rules and guidelines, film submission forms and other information about the New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival can be found online at www.nhstudentfilm.com
. The New Hampshire Film and Television Office, as part of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources, works to expand business activity and employment throughout the state by acting as a liaison between the film industry and an established network of government agencies, the state’s film industry workforce and local property owners. For more information about film and television production in New Hampshire, call 271-2220 or visit www.nh.gov/film
PROPANE & OIL CO., INC. “Keeping New Hampshire Warm”
• Senior Discount • Automatic Delivery
• Will Call Customers Welcome • 24 Hour Emergency Service • Pre-Buy & Budget Plans
Speak to one of our own local Employees... 24 Hours a day, Everyday Local People Who Care!
“KEEPING NEW HAMPSHIRE WARM SINCE 1969” 1-800-498-4328 www.Fullers.com
12 Tracy Lane, Hudson
Combined Over 30 Years of Experience
CareCredit as a payment option.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16