Mascenic to stop transporting students for off-campus learning

  • Superintendent Ruthann Goguen at a school board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/22/2017 11:14:14 PM

Transportation for Mascenic Regional High School students going to Milford will cease when school resumes in two weeks.

The busing expenses, which are already over-budget, were a large part of the discussion of nontraditional courses at the Feb. 21 school board meeting.

The board decided at its Sept. 6 meeting to stop the buses at the end of the term, intending for the service to end at the end of the semester in January. Principal John Barth thought that students would be allowed to use buses to finish their current classes, including yearlong ones that go into June.

Most affected are three culinary students needing to go to Milford High School. Two are sophomores without drivers licenses. Another is a junior, and is nearing the end of the two-year program.

“September 6 was about a week into the school year, very early,” School Board Chair Jeff Salmonson said. “They had plenty of advance notice.”

Students in other out-of-the-classroom programs, such as building and firefighting, already drive themselves.

The budget for the current year allocated $41,000 to bus students, but roughly $45,000 is already spent. If they were to bus until the end of the year, it would cost an estimated $28,000 more.

The board voted 3 to 2 to stop it at the end of the week. The vote was straight down town lines, with New Ipswich representatives Salmonson, Rachel Anderson and Earl Somero voting to stop busing, and Greenville representatives Tara Sousa and Steve Spratt

“I am not in favor of going over budget but I’m not in favor of pulling the rug out from under a kid six months into a nine month program,” Sousa said.

Barth suggested the students and their parents might find alternative transport. He also said the guidance department would work with them to place them in a way to earn culinary credit, such as the baking class or partnering with a local business.

After the busing debate, the guidance department presented its 2017-18 program of studies at the meeting.

There were some minor changes to both the introductory and course listing portions, and some new classes noted.

A writing-heavy Business Communications class is being pitched for this coming year, and the math department will test Land Surveying and Computer Programming to begin in 2018 as electives.

A World History Class is replacing Western Civilization, and the music department is splitting Guitar and Piano into two classes, which are combined right now.

The English department is adding honors-level classes for freshmen and juniors.

Brandon Latham can be reached at blatham@ledgertranscript.com.




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