This is our elementary school. There are 21 students enrolled here. We have two fabulous, dedicated teachers, plus part- time art, music and phys ed instructors, a cook, and a part- time janitor. According to two recent rounds of NECAP testing scores, the students are high performing. This photo was taken on a Saturday, but even so, there was stuff going on–a group of kids and parents were sledding on the slopes behind the building. All kinds of wonderful things happen here every day of the week. If it’s anything I’ve learned over the last year, it’s been that our school is fantastic and worth fighting for.
The school normally bustles with activity. But it could all go very quiet shortly after March 2, 2012. About 6 days from now.
That’s the date a majority on our School Board (Helen Martin and Matthew Smith) have actually voted to freeze all Guildhall financial disbursements, unless the disputed tuition for Board member Matthew Smith’s own child to go to a New Hampshire school is guaranteed. (See minutes of Guildhall School Board meeting, Feb 20, 2012. The minutes are available–they are public information– in hard copy at the Essex-Caledonia Supervisory Union, phone number 695-3373. Or call or email me and I can fax you a copy)
The vote to freeze all spending stems from Board member Matthew Smith’s vote in August of last year to tuition his 5th grade child to an out-of-district school, in spite of the fact that our students, in accordance with the will of the Guildhall electorate, may only be tuitioned out starting in the 6th grade. Over the years, Guildhall parents, if they felt another school was in their child’s best interests, have either had to pay the tuition themselves, or move. The matter is now in litigation. At the February 20 meeting, the Board chair reported that School District attorney Barbara Blackman has advised the School District against paying the disputed tuition until the Court reaches a decision, and said that to pay now would “compound” the Board’s legal problems on conflict of interest grounds. The Martin/Smith majority reacted to her advice by passing the motion to freeze all disbursements by March 2. That course of action would certainly, in about two weeks or less, grind school operations to a halt.
I often use this blog to express my opinions. But there’s no need for any opinion or commentary here. The facts speak for themselves.