Sport fees and school reorganization discussed in Berlin

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BERLIN – The Board of Education is looking at revenue and savings ideas, including fees to participate in sports and elementary school re-organization.

Pay-to-participate in middle and high school sports is one possibility discussed in recent months.

“We’re going to see what it’s worth, so to speak, based on students (who participate) versus what numbers could be charged,” said school board member Tim Oakes, a member of the resource subcommittee. “But the realization is that the ( potential revenue) is not that great.”

The topic was initially sent to the sub-committee in October to be researched and reviewed. Players already pay a fee to participate in  hockey.

Oakes said the committee will continue to evaluate the option, however the consensus is that there would not be immediate action.

Another savings idea being considered is the re-organization of the elementary schools. A study will be done this year.

 “We think it is something we definitely want to get done this spring if not by the end of the school year to at least get the information back,” Oakes said. “Not to say we’re going to take any action right now, but at least we’ll have that information at the ready.”

Elementary school reorganization was discussed last spring, including the closing or reconfiguration of Hubbard Elementary School, which has the fewest students. 

Overall school redistricting was discussed at a Board of Finance meeting in November. District Business Operations Director Eva Gallupe reported to the board that due to a shift in demographics future changes may be necessary. The district has had a decrease of over 400 students from 2008 to 2017.

“We’re trying to figure out a better way of doing things as well as ways to help save the town money,” Gallupe said.
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