Early Education Classes Added, Bourne High School Classes Reduced

The Bourne School committee meeting June 11 was packed with teachers and interested union leaders attending to hear an anticipated recommendation in a reduction of staff at the high school.PATRICIA PEAL/ENTERPRISE - The Bourne School committee meeting June 11 was packed with teachers and interested union leaders attending to hear an anticipated recommendation in a reduction of staff at the high school.

At least two teaching positions are slated to be cut from Bourne High School next year. 

The two planned cuts were announced during the June 11 meeting of the Bourne School Committee. 

The media center at the Bourne Middle School was crowded with teachers anticipating the information that one English teacher and one physical education teacher would be reduced from the high school staff for the next school year.

Steven M. Lamarche, superintendent of Bourne Public Schools spelled out the student numbers that are precipitating the change. “We are in the same position we were in last year and if the students are not in the seats I have to be proactive and make this recommendation,” Mr. Lamarche said.

A total of 42 percent of the Bourne Middle School eighth graders are not choosing Bourne High School for their high school experience. Currently there are 192 eighth graders at the middle school. Of those student, 112 are headed to Bourne High School, 53 will attend Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School (with 20 more on a waiting list), 21 will attend Sturgis Charter Public School, and seven will head toward other private alternatives.

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The school committee did not vote on the reduction last week. Mr. Lamarche was giving the official 20-day notice to satisfy union requirements. Mr. Lamarche told the group that he has already notified the two individuals who will be affected by this decision and that they are eligible to bump into other positions in the district.

Committee member Matthew B. Stuck asked the superintendent why these positions were the ones slated for reduction. Mr. Lamarche explained that other departments had already lost staff due to normal attrition and these were the next departments to be affected.

Following the reduction topic, however, was a vote to increase the number of preschool and kindergarten classes at the two elementary schools. There is enough interest in pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten education at both elementary schools to add classes at each. The recommendation from Susan B. Quick, assistant superintendent of Bourne Public Schools was to add a pre-kindergarten class and a full-day kindergarten class at the Bournedale Elementary School and a full-day kindergarten class at Peebles.

Fifty-three families were not able to sign up their children for the programs on registration night because the programs filled to capacity very quickly; they are on a waiting list.

Space has already been figured out at each school to accommodate the increase to the early childhood education program and the vote was unanimous to increase classrooms, increase part-time staff to full time, and to add one new staff member. The increase remains budget neutral since the programs pay for themselves with a $3,500 tuition. Vice chairman Heather A.M. DiPaola encouraged Ms. Quick to “get on the phone tomorrow” and notify the families on the waiting list.

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