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Thank You For Your Support and Updated Information

posted Dec 18, 2015, 10:30 AM by Moriah Tyrrell

Dear fellow parents,


Thank you to all who attended the meeting at the Thompson School on Wednesday, and to those of you who have visited our website and added your names to our contact and volunteer list.  It is very encouraging to see so many people willing to get involved in making a difference in our schools and community.  


It seems like a lot has happened since the meeting on Wednesday night, and we wanted to take a minute to highlight some specifics for you.

  • The enrollment growth is not isolated to Thompson, and thus we feel we need to broaden our scope.  East Arlington, specifically the Thompson and Hardy Schools, will see the largest growth in the district, and so we want to include Hardy in our discussions.  An addition at the Thompson School can also help solve the space issues that Hardy will be facing within the next few years.  

  • Please visit our updated website that now represents this broader scope. http://bit.ly/arlington-overcrowding.  Please pass this website onto your friends and neighbors.  The website will be constantly changing to provide updated information, dates of meetings, and information about what needs to be done.

  • We now have a facebook discussion group:  Arlington School Enrollment Community Group.  This will be one forum for broader and open discussions.  We ask that you post comments, suggestions, and information to it, while maintaining our mission of moving forward and not looking back. The discussions will be moderated, in hopes of keeping the tone positive and productive.

  • The updated McKibbens data is in- these are total enrollment numbers.  As you can see, the numbers in East Arlington rise, and then stay constant.  They do not drop off.   


Hardy School


2015-

2016

2016-2017

2017-

2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-

2021

2021-

2022

2022-

2023

2023-2024

2024-

2025

Old

422

461

479

494

505

504

495

488

481

472

New

413

445

457

479

494

496

498

497

495

490

Thompson School



2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

2021-2022

2022-2023

2023-2024

2024-2025

Old

433

463

492

489

502

496

481

467

453

442

New

425

448

482

483

494

500

500

497

493

488


  • At the School Committee meeting last night, they voted to support the recommendation of Dr. Bodie to add a permanent addition to the Thompson School with a goal of having the addition completed by 9/1/17.  The specifics (size of the expansion, 5 or 6 classrooms, multi-purpose room, etc.) are to be worked out through a design process involving all stakeholders. Dr. Bodie's recommendation also includes a plan to locate two modular classrooms at Thompson, if the space and plan for expansion allows, during the 2016-17 school year.  The next phase of this will be for it to go before the Task Force, and then Finance Committees to secure the wording on the Article for the Special Town Meeting on January 25th.  This is a very positive sign, but a lot can change, and our group will continue to stay engaged until a final decision is made.

  • While our East Arlington focus so far as been on the Elementary Schools, we believe we need to broaden our focus to include the growth at the Middle School level as well.  We are interested to know why using the Gibbs School as an East Arlington Middle School seems to have taken a back burner.  We are also curious about why purchasing 20 portable classrooms for the Ottoson Schools seems more cost-effective than opening the Gibbs School.  If anyone has any specific expertise in this area, please let us know so that we can move forward with this push as well.  Using the Gibbs School seems to be the quickest way to take pressure off the Ottoson School.  We are also interested in a possible collaboration with the Arlington Center for the Arts in regards to space.  Could ACA space be included in the Thompson expansion project?  Or could the Gibbs School be shared by ACA and a smaller Middle School?


Things continue to move at a rapid pace, and it’s crucial that we maintain a wide vision, and rally people to attend the meetings in support for our schools.  The next Task Force meeting is this Tuesday, December 22nd at 7pm at Town Hall.  In order to make sure we are a cohesive group at this meeting, please meet in the lobby of Town Hall at 6:30pm.  We will use that time to give updates and then all head into the Lyons Meeting Room together.  If you know you can attend this meeting, or any others, please sign up on the Sign-Up Genius form here or on our website.  

https://sites.google.com/site/thompsonovercrowding/how-to-participate/sign-up-to-attend-town-task-force-meetings

This enables us to know how many people to expect, and to rally people at the last minute if our attendance looks low.  


For those of you who have volunteered in a specific area, we thank you, and will be in touch within in the next week or two. We will definitely use your expertise, but with the holiday break coming, we know time is tight. We will reach out to you soon, and we really thank you for be willing to assist in this cause.


Thank you again for taking the time to come to our meeting Wednesday and for adding your contact information to our website. This is going to take a village.

Sincerely, the E. Arlington Enrollment Steering Committee Group


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