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Resignations, Consolidation of Milford Principals

Losing two out of three elementary school principals in the same year can be an indicator of a larger problem, but that is not the case in Milford although both Woodland and Brookside Elementary Schools lose their respective principals July 1.

"Somebody (said to) me," recalled School Superintendent, Robert Tremblay, "'Gee, you have two out of three elementary school principals leaving - I think you have a problem.' That's not the case, as it turns out." Addressing the School Committee at the April 26 meeting, Tremblay said Woodland Principal, Linda Ashley, is leaving to take a position in the Franklin schools and Kathleen Kay, Principal of Brookside has accepted a position in Medford, which is much closer to her home. "

Though their resignations will leave two positions vacant, Tremblay said only one will be posted for job seekers. The other will be filled through consolidation and the shifting of current personnel with Tremblay noting that the combining of positions had been discussed. "It's been put forward in the past budgets as a cost-consolidation effort," he said. Fueling the current decision is the proposed construction of a new Woodland School, which will set in motion a reconfiguration of grade levels throughout the district.

Currently, there are seven schools in the Milford school district, each with a dedicated principal. The construction of the new school and re-alignment of grade levels would leave Milford with the need for one less principal position. According to the Superintendent, the new configuration would be:

1. Shining Star Early Childhood Center Pre-Kindergarten

2. Memorial Elementary School Grades K-2

3. Brookside Elementary School Grades K-2

4. Woodland Elementary School Grades 3-5

5. Stacy Middle School Grades 6-8

6. Milford High School Grades 9-12

The variance between the current and proposed grade-level assignments involve Woodland and Stacy Schools. Woodland would add an additional grade-level (grade five) to its current grades three and four, while Stacy would add grades seven and eight. Stacy currently accommodates grades five through seven. The new configuration eliminates the need for Middle School East, which was built in 1918 and is in need of major renovation.

To offset the loss of both principals, Tremblay plans to move Middle School East Principal, Craig Consigli, to Woodland Elementary. "Craig Consigli knows well what the middle school needs are," he stated, "having worked with Stacy School, prior." Responsibility for both Middle School East and Stacy Middle school will fall to Nancy Angelini, currently Stacy Principal.

"This will be a substantial cost savings, the salary of one principal (in the 2013 budget and going forward)," Trembly declared. His plan calls for keeping the Middle School East administration intact as "the day-to-day operations site administrators." Committee Vice Chair, Robert Lanzetta said, although cost savings is important, the safety of students must remain the number one consideration. "One principal monitoring two schools? We really have to monitor that," he said. He added, "there's no doubt that Nancy (Angelini) is more than capable of handling that position" providing she receive all the support that she may need from the administration.

Board member Paul Mazzuchelli commended Tremblay for his "wise and effective planning. I know you put a lot of thought into this. We have finite resources from our taxpayers and it just shows that you're really becoming a master at the budget."

Newly-elected Committee member Scott Harrison inquired as to whether the parents of the students had been notified of the upcoming changes. Tremblay responded that letters had been sent home with students, from Ashley and that Kay would send similar letters in the near future. "She (was) waiting for her contract to be in hand," Tremblay noted, explaining the delay. "But, in the interest of holding the dam waters back, I want to get it out there, because people are talking about it. The Principal consolidation announcement, Tremblay said, would come from "my office, to the families, making clear what the plans are moving forward."




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