Fifth grade at DCS next year?

  • Dublin Consolidated may once again have a fifth grade class in the 2017-18 school year after not having one more more than a year.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, January 05, 2017 6:43AM

Fifth grade at Dublin Consolidated School could return for 2017-18 school year after more than a year hiatus, according to school officials. 

DCS has been without a fifth grade class since February of last year, as all parents had requested their children be moved to South Meadow School in Peterborough, according to Kim Saunders, ConVal superintendent.

Dublin Consolidated School is the only school in the ConVal School District to have an option for fifth grade. All other fifth-grade students currently attend South Meadow School or Great Brook School in Antrim based on their location within the district. 

There are a number of students expected to attend fifth grade at DCS in the upcoming school year, she said.

“We have received some requests for DCS students to attend SMS, but we have not received requests from all parents,” said Saunders. “We are moving forward under the assumption that there will be a fifth grade class at DCS next year.”

Saunders said there are currently 11 fourth-graders at DCS that will become fifth graders in 2017-18 and that some of those children’s parents have filled out the appropriate documentation to have their children moved to SMS. 

Currently, the process for moving a student from one school to another within the district involves the parent filling out the appropriate documentation.

A group of parents is coming together to do their part to ensure that fifth grade remains an option at DCS. The group, led by Karen Niemela, Corey Boyd, and Alan Edelkind, is an informational committee with a goal of presenting the town’s recommendation to the ConVal School Board. For more information email dcsfifthgrade@gmail.com. 

“We have a small school and a great staff,” said Niemela. “There are a lot of benefits to having a small school atmosphere; teachers are able to better nurture the students.”

Dublin’s Select Board has also shown concern with the current absence of a fifth-grade class at DCS, sending a letter to the district on Dec. 19. 

“We are concerned about the lack of communication between ConVal School District and this board regarding [the absence of fifth grade at DCS],” read the letter. “In fact, there was NO communication about your decision to move the fifth graders to SMS. The decision was made without any input from the Board of Selectmen.”

Both Niemela – who met with the Select Board on Dec. 12 – and selectmen have concerns that the ConVal School Board would vote to permanently eliminate fifth grade at DCS.

Both Saunders and Dublin School Board representative Bernd Foecking said that to their knowledge, there is no board vote scheduled to be taken at this point in time. 

“I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what is taking place,” said Foecking, who said he plans on meeting with the Select Board to discuss the matter. “There is no imminent decision taking place at a board meeting to my knowledge.”