The Sandwich School Committee last night, June 26, voted to divide the town’s elementary school grades between the Forestdale and Oak Ridge schools—sending students in pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade to Forestdale and grades 3 through to 6 to Oak Ridge—once the Henry T. Wing School is closed next June.
Tensions ran high in the Sandwich High School media center as the school committee took a role call vote on the issue.
The vote came down to a tie breaker by committee chairman Travis Andrade.
“This is the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my time on the committee and I do not take it lightly,” he said. “I was left with one question. What is the cost of doing nothing?”
For Mr. Andrade, it came down to data that demonstrated students not showing improvement in their MCAS scores until 6th grade, with no improvement at the lower levels. “Where’s the flaw?” he asked. “My belief is the system is flawed.”
Mr. Andrade cast the final vote on the subject, tipping the vote in favor of Sandwich superintendent C. Richard Canfield’s proposed preK-2, 3-6 format.
With the conclusion of the vote, several parents who had attended the meeting quickly left. One parent shouted, “One person for the whole town!” as he left the room.