Hopedale Declines to Regionalize with Mendon-Upton School District
By Melissa Madden Staff Reporter · January 24, 2011
In a lengthy 24-page report, which was discussed at the January 10 Mendon Upton Regional School District meeting, Hopedale outlined the reasons why they do not wish to regionalize with the local district. Chairman of the Mendon Upton Regional School Committee, Don Morin, who led the meeting because Superintendent Antonio Fernandes is on vacation, said Hopedale had initially approached Mendon-Upton to discuss regionalization. After several months of discussion and meetings, Hopedale has decided that regionalization at this time is not a good fit. However Hopedale is still interested in sharing some educational costs with the Mendon-Upton School district. Morin explained the two districts are currently sharing some costs and will continue to do so in the future.
Continuing with the theme of discussing costs, Nipmuc Principal Joan Scribner said there is a lot of fundraising going on at the high school for the athletic programs. In past years, most fundraising went for the extras such as jackets and warm ups but now it's being used for essentials like paying a coach's salary. Parents in the district have stepped up and are driving the students to the various sporting events instead of paying for busses.
Last year the cost to participate on a school team was $150 per sport with a $500 family cap. This year sports are completely self-funded, so the minimum cost per sport is $300 with no family cap. Indoor Track has been impacted most by the new fee schedule. Last year there were 31 boys and 27 girls participating; this year the entire boys and girls team is composed of 27 students.
Looking forward to the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, Morin said he does not expect any relief for the sports program. He stated, even though every aspect of the budget will be reviewed carefully, once you lose something it's very difficult to bring it back. Sports are one of the things been deleted from the budget and will likely continue to be self-funded in the near future.
Miscoe Principal Roseanne Kurposka echoed Scribners remarks and noted that there is a lot of fundraising going on at Miscoe as well. She noted that students are most upset about the decrease in after-school activities.
School Committee member Heather Applegate asked the principals if all the fundraising was disruptive during the school day. Both Scribner and Kurposka explained the fundraising goes on during after school hours and every fundraiser must be approved by the administration. They both noted students need to get creative as there is so much fundraising taking place and have a plan and they have risen to the challenge.
The next School Committee meeting will be January 24.