Westport Community Schools

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This is a place to share information and ideas as we work towards providing high quality public schools that educate all students to become passionate life long learners. Read the latest news here as we work with the Mass School Building Authority.
Please go to westportsbc.com for more information.
 

January 19th - Please come to our School Building Committee meeting on Thursday, February 16th at 6 PM in the Media center at Westport High School. You will hear about Westport attending the MSBA Board of Director's Meeting and about the Model School option.

 

January 3, 2017 - Members from the SBC will be meeting with the Facilities Assessment Committee at the MSBA on January 18th. Come to our SBC meeting later that night (6PM) to hear what happened.

 

December 19, 2016 - The SBC will host a joint meeting with the BOS and the School Committee on Wednesday, December 21st at 6 PM in the high school Media Center. Please come hear about the newest report which will be sent to the MSBA.

 

December 14, 2016 - The SBC will be meeting on December 14th at 6 PM in the high school media center. Please join us!

 

September 26, 2016 - Our next SBC meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 6 PM in the high school Media Center. Please join us!

 

September 15, 2016 - Please come to our next School Building Committee meeting on Wednesday, September 21st at 6:00 PM in the high school Media Center. Our architect, Jonathan Levi, will share possible options for a new school project. The SBC members are eager to hear your thoughts. Please check out the video of options so far: https://youtu.be/TR9n1jt2vn0

 

September 8, 2016 - Please come to our next School Building Committee meeting on Wednesday, September 14th at 6:30 PM in the high school auditorium. This meeting will follow our regularly scheduled School Committee meeting which will begin at 6 PM. At the SBC meeting, our architect, Jonathan Levi, will share possible options for a new school project. The SBC members are eager to hear your thoughts.

 

August 26, 2016 - As more information becomes available, the SBC will be narrowing the choices even more. Our next SBC meeting will be on September 7th at 6 PM in the high school Media Center. Please join us if you can! Check out the SBC website too: http://westportsbc.com/#home

 

July 25, 2016 - Please come to our next School Building Committee meeting on August 24, 2016 at 6:00 PM in the high school Media Center. Please see the article in the Herald News highlighting our work so far: http://www.heraldnews.com/news/20160724/sites-costs-for-new-westport-schools-determined

 

July 13, 2016 - The SBC has narrowed the project choices to five. On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, there will be a joint BOS and SC meeting so that the SBC may share the selections. The community is welcome to attend. The meeting will be held in the WHS Media Center at 6 PM.

 

June 30, 2016 - The next SBC meeting will be on Wednesday, July 13th at 6 PM in the WHS Media Center. On the agenda will be a continued conversation and vote to narrow down the school selection choices. Last night the committee was able to take about seven of the 20 options off the table. Your input is very helpful!

 

June 22, 2016 - Special thanks to all who came to see the architect's 18 different plans to address our school needs. The School Building Committee will meet again on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 to narrow down the choices. All are welcome to attend at 6 PM at WHS in the Media Center.

 

May 31, 2016 - There will be a very important meeting of the School Building Committee on Wednesday, June 22 at 6pm in the Media Center at the jr/sr high school. Our design team will present solutions and a vote will be taken to narrow the alternatives to the top 3 options. Please come and share your views. We need your input!!

 

May 2, 2016 - 

Dear Parents and Friends.

I am urging you to attend the Westport School Building Committee (WSBC) Public Forum + Informational Session this Thursday, May 5 from 6pm to 8pm at the Macomber Primary School. Members of the WSBC, architect Jonathan Levi,and project director Richard Marks will present and be available to answer your questions and take suggestions.

This past Saturday I attended the informative and hope-filled School Building Committee Visioning Session. Together with with David Stephen, educational consultant from New Vista Design and Jonathan Levi Architects, we learned more about the process to move forward on making thoughtful, deliberate decisions to provide an educational facility that will provide OUR CHILDREN with the proper 21st century learning environment. This new school needs to foster their imagination, explore their interests and curiosity, and incorporate flexible and adaptable space serve our ENTIRE town community for today and future generations. The journey to this goal is not easy and it takes the support of our community to move forward.
We need your input today and your continued support, including suggestions, attending meetings and spreading the word to family, friends and neighbors that the opportunity with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, our partners in making this dream possible must be seized now.


There are additional resources for you to review:

Westport School Building Committee website: http://westportsbc.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Westport-School-Building-Committe…/
Westport Community School/school building webpage:http://www.westportschools.org/apps/pages/index.jsp…
Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) website:http://www.massschoolbuildings.org/ (you can look up projects by town and monitor progress)


Please come Thursday night and see for yourself how exciting the possibilities are. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Jeff Fitton, President
WES MAC PTO


Important Dates:
Annual Westport Town Meeting - Tuesday, May 3rd at 7pm (Westport High School Auditorium)
Westport School Building Committee (WSBC) Public Forum + Informational Session - Thursday, May 5th 6pm to 8pm(Macomber School)
May WES MAC PTO Meeting - Tuesday, May 10th at 6:30pm (Westport Elementary School)

 

April 26, 2016 - Please come to the Macomber School on Thursday, May 5th from 6-8 PM to hear more about our School Building Project!

 

April 25, 2016 - You are cordially invited to join the Westport School Building Committee for a Visioning Session with David Stephen,
educational consultant from New Vista Design and Jonathan Levi Architects, our design firm this Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 8:30-3:00PM.

It will be held at Westport High School in the Media Center. We value your input and hope that you will join us! Together we will build educational success! A luncheon will be provided. Please RSVP to Karen Augusto at kaugusto@westportschools.org by Thursday, no later than noon.

 

April 5, 2016 - We are thrilled to share with you that the Designer Selection Panel at the MSBA interviewed the finalists for the Westport Middle School project today and selected Jonathan Levi Architects LLC as the firm having the requisite skills and experience for this project, particularly in light of their extensive experience in the design and construction of schools in Massachusetts. We look forward to partnering with Jonathan Levi.

 

Please come to our School Building Committee meeting on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 6 PM to hear more about our project.

 

March 22, 2016 - School Building Committee (SBC) Chair Dianne Baron, School Committee member Tony Viveiros, Owner's project Manager Dan Tavares and Superintendent Dr. Ann Dargon went to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) today for the Designer Selection Panel meeting. Three firms have been short-listed from a list of ten. They are Dore & Whittier Architects, Jonathan Levi Architects, and Tappe Associates. All three firms will make presentations at the MSBA in Boston on April 5th and then the 15 Selection Committee Members will vote. The firm with the most votes will be Westport's Schematic Designer Firm. Our Feasibility Study is well on its way.

 

Our next SBC meeting will be on Wednesday, April 6th at 6 PM in the High School Media Center. All are welcome to attend.

 

February 18, 2016 - Please note that the Meet and Greet with Dan Tavares has been rescheduled to March 2nd at 5 PM. Our SBC meeting will follow at 6 PM. We hope that you will come out to meet Dan and share your ideas regarding our Feasibility Study.

 

January 26, 2016 - The Community is cordially invited to meet our new OPM, Mr. Dan Tavares, on February 24th at 5 PM in the high school Media Center. Please come ask questions or share your ideas regarding our Feasibility Study. Our regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 PM that same evening.

 

January 11, 2016 - Several members of the School Building Committee went to Boston today with Dan Tavares (CGA) and Richard Marks (Daedelus) to meet with folks from the MSBA. We are pleased to share that the MSBA approved the hiring of our recommended OPM choice. Our next SBC meeting will take place on January 20th at 6 PM in the high school media center. All are welcome to attend.

 

November 19, 2015 - The next SBC meeting will take place on December 9, 2015 in the High School Media Center, at 6 PM. All are welcome to attend.

 

November 18, 2015 - The Westport School Building Committee is pleased to announce that it has selcted Daedalus and CGA as the Project Management Services company that will assist the Town of Westport with conducting its School Building Feasibility Study. Mr. Dan Tavares will serve as the lead Owner's Project Manager. He brings over 30 years experience to Westport. Mr. Tavares and Daedalus have worked on school construction in Fairhaven, Scituate, New Bedford, Harwich and most recently, Somerset Berkley Regional High School. The Westport School Building Committee expects to meet with members of the MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority) on January 11th for final contract approval. We look forward to beginning the Feasibility Study soon. For more information on the School Building Project, please visit: http://westportsbc.com/

 

October 30, 2015 - The full School Building Committee will be meeting on Thursday, November 5th at 6 PM in the high school Media Center. The purpose of the meeting is to hear from three bidders who would like to be the OPM for our Feasibility Study. All are welcome to attend.

 

August 25, 2015 - The SBC will meet on Thursday, September 17th at 6 PM in the high school media center. Please join us if you can!

 

August 6, 2015 - Stakeholders from Westport and the Westport Community Schools met with the Massachusetts School Building Authority today and we have been officially accepted into the Feasibility Phase of exploring school building options in Westport. We are grateful for this opportunity and appreciate all the community support we have received. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.

 

June 26, 2015 - The Westport School District will be on the August 6th MSBA Agenda to be formally accepted into the Feasibility Period.

 

June 18, 2015 - Several members from the SBC toured several new schools: Duxbury, East Bridgewater and Somerset-Berkley. It was great to hear from others what their experience was like as they built a new school. An update will be shared at the next SBC meeting which is on Tuesday, June 30th at 6 PM in the WHS Media Center. All are invited to attend.

 

May 18, 2015 - The next SBC meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 26th at 6 PM in the High School Media Center. On the agenda will be an update on the conference call today with the MSBA and a discussion on the upcoming Feasibility Study. All are welcome to attend.

 

May 8, 2015 - Thank you to all the Town Meeting Voters who came out and voted to support our school district. There will be a School Building Committee meeting on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 6 PM in the WHS Media Center. All are welcome to attend.

 

May 2, 2015 - Letter to the Editor written by Melissa Pacheco, School Committee member

http://somerset.wickedlocal.com/article/20150501/OPINION/150439388

 

April 30, 2015 - Letter to the Editor written by a parent supporter

http://somerset.wickedlocal.com/article/20150430/OPINION/150439520/0/SEARCH

 

April 27, 2015 - The SBC welcomes Craig Dutra to the committee. Mr. Dutra was recently appointed the BOS Chair. Mr. Vieira has agreed to stay on the committee with us.

 

April 15, 2015 - Letter to the Editor from Dr. Dargon

http://westport.wickedlocal.com/article/20150425/OPINION/150427357

 

April 22, 2015 - Letter to the Editor from the SBC: http://www.eastbayri.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/letter-700000-study-moving-beyond-middle-school-mess/

 

April 17, 2015 - Middle School Report (2013)

See the link to the right: CGKV Report

 

April 15, 2015 - The next SBC meeting will take place on Monday, April 27th at 6 PM in the Media Center at WHS. All are welcome to attend. The focus of the meeting will be to prepare for Town Meeting and Article 6, which addresses the request for funding a Feasibility Study.

 

April 8, 2015 - “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. For that reason, the building committee is inviting all interested Westporters to take a tour of the school on the evening of Monday, April 13 at 5:30 pm. The public is also urged to come and air their views at the meeting of the building committee that will be held there the same day at 6:00 p.m.

 

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.”

 
 

March 24, 2015 - The SBC met tonight. Members were sworn in by Marlene Sampson, our Town Clerk. They also elected a chair and a vice chair. Congratulations to Dianne Baron and Tracy Priestner on their appointments! Our next meeting is on April 7th at 6 PM in the high school media center. All are welcome to attend.

 

March 12, 2015 - The School Building Committee held its first meeting. Attached below you will find a list of those members. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 24th at 6 PM in the high school media center. The approved minutes from the March 12th meeting are also attached below.

 

February 22, 2015: Feasibility studies are a tool to be used by school districts wanting to investigate the advantages and/or disadvantages of reorganization options. Each feasibility study must contain specified performance items, conclusions and/or recommendations for each performance item of the study, and a final conclusion and/or recommendation on the reorganization options for the districts involved in the study. Please read the attached document, "What is a Feasibility Study?" for more information.

 

February 21, 2015: Special thanks to all who volunteered to sit on our School Building Committee. We  will hold our first meeting on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 5 PM. Attached is a document of what we are working on during this Eligibility Period.

 

January 20, 2015:  The Westport Community School District is seeking residents with architecture, engineering, or construction experience, particularly the construction of public buildings, to be members of a School Building Committee for a proposed rebuild of an existing school or a new school to replace the soon to be closed Westport Middle School. On January 14th, the Massachusetts School Building Authority invited the district into this eligibility period, a first step in receiving state money to help pay for school projects. The next step is forming a building committee, with members’ names to be submitted to the authority. Participation on this Building Committee will likely be monthly meetings for a two to three year commitment as milestones are reached. Please email your interest and qualifications to Dr. Ann Dargon, Superintendent at: adargon@westportschools.org  by February 1st. Thank you for your consideration.

 

January 14, 2015: From the MSBA website: MSBA Invites Westport Middle School into Eligibility Period

 

State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Chairman of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”), and MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy announced today that the MSBA Board of Directors voted to invite Westport Middle School into the MSBA’s Eligibility Period. During the 270-day Eligibility Period, the MSBA will work with Westport to determine the District’s financial and community readiness to enter the Capital Pipeline.

 

“I’m delighted that the Board has voted Westport Middle School into the Eligibility Period,” said Treasurer Grossman. “We look forward to working collaboratively with Westport officials to develop the best solution to meet the Town’s educational needs in a fiscally responsible manner.”

 

The next step is for the district to complete preliminary requirements pertaining to local approval and formation of a local school building committee. Upon timely and successful completion of the Eligibility Period requirements, the district becomes eligible for an invitation into the Feasibility Study phase of the Capital Pipeline, subject to a vote of the Board of Directors.

 

“The Eligibility Period is a critical step in the MSBA’s process of evaluating potential work on Westport Middle School,” stated Executive Director McCarthy. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the district as it enters the Eligibility Period.”

 

The MSBA partners with Massachusetts communities to support the design and construction of educationally-appropriate, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective public school facilities. Since its 2004 inception, the Authority has made over 1,485 site visits to more than 250 school districts as part of its due diligence process and has made over $11.1 billion in reimbursements for school construction projects.