November Special Town Meeting
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Special Town Meeting will occur on Monday, November 4th, and the first two articles on the warrant relate to Needham's schools.  


Warrant Article 1 - To appropriate funds for modular classrooms at Mitchell Elementary School


Warrant Article 2 - To appropriate funds for a feasibility study for Hillside Elementary School


We urge you to read below for more information on these important warrant articles, and to contact Town Meeting Members from your precinct if you feel strongly about either of these issues.  Full text of the Special Town Meeting Warrant is available on the Town of Needham website.

10/29/13: In This Issue
Hillside Feasibility Study
Mitchell Modulars
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Hillside Feasibility Study

Under Warrant Article 2, Town Meeting is being asked to appropriate $650,000 for a feasibility study for the renovation/rebuilding of the Hillside Elementary School.  On October 22nd the Board of Selectmen voted to recommend that Town Meeting approve this article as written. 


This Feasibility Study is the next step in the process of partnering with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) on the Hillside project. At the time of this newsletter, Needham has not yet been invited to work with the MSBA and these funds will only be spent if the MSBA accepts Needham and the Hillside project into its program.


The MSBA has strict rules and required language for appropriation articles. Changes to the language in articles such as this may render Town Meeting actions invalid for purposes of partnering with the MSBA and delay or derail building projects.


Background information on plans to renovate and/or rebuild the Hillside and Mitchell Elementary Schools is available here.

Mitchell Modulars

Warrant Article 1 seeks to appropriate $2.73 million for the installation of four modular classrooms at Mitchell Elementary School for the 2014-2015 school year. At the October 15th School Committee Meeting, Mitchell Principal Dr. Mike Schwinden explained why these additional classrooms are needed and how they are proposed to be used.


From June 2005 to 2013, Mitchell experienced a 21% increase in enrollment necessitating the need for 3 additional classrooms for grades 1-5. This increased enrollment has created severe overcrowding and has directly impacted staff throughout the building, particularly special educators, guidance, literacy and math support, and fine and performing arts.  Under Dr. Schwinden's proposal, the 4 modular classrooms would be used for 4 sections of kindergarten and to bring the KASE program back on-site for Mitchell students.

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