Westport Community Schools

The School Committee meeting on April 29, 2015 at 6 PM will be held in the High School Auditorium.

Events

No School - Patriot's Day
Date: 4/20/2015
No School - Spring Break
Date: 4/20/2015 4/24/2015
School Building Committee Meeting
Date: 4/27/2015, 6 PM 7 PM
Location: WHS Media Center
WMS Spring Concert @ WMS
Date: 4/28/2015, 4:30 PM 8:30 PM
WMS Spring Concert @ WMS
Date: 4/28/2015, 4:30 PM 8:30 PM

News

News from the Westport School Building Committee
“However any of us feel about how we got into this situation, we need now to move forward for the sake of our kids,” says Tracy Priestner, Vice Chair of the newly-formed Westport Schools Building Committee. Mrs. Priestner, a parent of two children in the Westport schools and a teacher in the Tiverton system believes that anyone who has actually visited the now ravaged Westport Middle School will agree.

In January, Westport received exciting news that its 2014 application for funding support had been accepted by the Massachusetts School Building Authority. With the establishment of the Building Committee, it is now moving into the “feasibility study” stage of that process. On May 5, Town Meeting will be asked to authorize an appropriation for that purpose in an amount not to exceed $700,000. In the end, the cost of the study will be considerably less than that, since 46% of each installment of whatever amount is actually expended will be returned to the town as a subsidy.

The problems with the Middle School building began in the summer of 2011 when dangerous levels of PCB carcinogens were found throughout the building. Efforts at removing or encapsulating the PCBs were attempted, but the School Committee decided this year that the building was no longer appropriate for use as an environment for teaching children. Among the continuing problems that led them to that decision were:

•Areas are blocked off due to continuing high levels of PCBs.
•The EPA would require action to address the remaining PCBs and the status quo at the school is not sustainable.
•Continuing the effort to remove all PCB Remediation Wastes throughout the building interior is physically and financially problematic.
•Many other physical plant problems exist at the school include leaking roofs, upstairs bathrooms leaking into downstairs classrooms when toilets are flushed, broken lockers with jagged edges causing frequent injuries, collapsing exterior walkways risk falls, and many system components have reached or exceeded their expected life systems.
•Remediation efforts have resulted in noise levels that are distracting from learning and, in the cafeteria, become intolerable.

In the fall, all seventh and eighth grade classes will be moved to Westport High, the sixth grade class will be moved to the Elementary School, and the second grade class will move to the Macomber Primary school where modular units will be installed to handle the additional student population. It is expected that the feasibility study will produce an objective and professional analysis of the current and future pupil population challenges in town and proposals as to how best to proceed with the school’s grade configuration going forward.

“For any of this to succeed,” said Dianne Baron, Chair of the Building Committee, “it is necessary for the town to attempt to reach a common understanding of the situation confronting us and some consensus as to how best to move forward.” “As a first step in that direction,” she added, “we hope that as many voters as possible will accept the invitation to visit the middle school for a tour, present their views at meetings of the Building Committee, and attend Town Meeting.”
Westport Community Schools
Welcome to the Westport Community Schools. Our school district offers a wonderful and diverse educational opportunity for all our students.

As many of you know, public school finance has faced unprecedented challenges in the past few years. In addition to funding challenges, Massachusetts has taken an aggressive approach to education reform. As such, expectations have never been higher while, at the same time, challenges have never been greater. In spite of all that has developed at the State level in the past few years, Westport Community Schools continues to maintain positive results for student growth and achievement. Our students shine not only in the classroom but on the stage, (through the arts, band, chorus), on the field and through extra-curricular activities.

Through their pre-kindergarten through grade twelve schooling, our students work to develop integrity, accountability, a strong work ethic, and multiple other qualities that help them become successful contributors to our society. Students in Westport are well poised for success upon completion of their education. The parents, teachers, staff, and community do a remarkable job of supporting our students and setting high expectations that translate in to student success for years to come.

Please regularly check out our website for updates and happenings. We are also on Facebook! Check us out when you get a chance.

Sincerely,
Ann Marie Dargon, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
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