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Schools Notebook: Town overwhelmingly supports school expansion projects

by | Feb 12, 2020 | Education

Town overwhelmingly supports school expansion projects

The three school expansion projects put before Hopkinton voters were overwhelmingly approved by a small turnout of voters at the Feb. 3 special election, which was required because the funds surpassed the limits of Proposition 2 1/2.

Only 954 voters turned out to cast ballots at Hopkinton Middle School’s Brown Gym (less than 8 percent of the town’s registered voters). The results released by town clerk Connor Degan were unofficial, as his office had not certified them before the Independent’s editorial deadline.

The first question addressed whether to exempt $4.5 million to “construct, reconstruct, renovate, alter and improve Hopkinton High School,” with plans to add classrooms to the rear of the building. The results were 725 voting yes, and 229 voting no.

The second questions concerned allocating $2 million for the purchase and installation of modular classrooms at Elmwood School, and 727 voted yes while 227 voted no.

The third question addressed a $3 million allocation for the purchase and installation of modular classrooms at Hopkins School, and 730 voted yes while 224 voted no.

The questions were approved at Special Town Meeting in December, where they required a two-third majority to advance to the election stage.

“We’re very thankful that the town has supported at both the Special Town Meeting and the special election in funding these classrooms,” School Committee chair Meena Bharath said at the Feb. 4 Select Board meeting.

Select Board member John Coutinho expressed concern that the long-term plan to replace Elmwood School with a new building might be put in jeopardy by these “band-aid” fixes, as the state recently denied Hopkinton’s request to be put in the queue for funding for a new school. However, superintendent Carol Cavanaugh said these additions had to be done.

“The reality is [the state] could look at it that way, but going into next year we have to have enough places to put children,” she said.

HHS students win writing awards

Four Hopkinton High School students were recognized for their compositions in the 2020 Massachusetts Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition.

Junior Mia Carboni won a gold key in the poetry category for her composition titled “Dos Anaranjados” (Spanish for “Two Oranges”). Sophomore Kevin Gu won two awards: a silver medal in poetry for his piece titled “Naive,” and an honorable mention for his short story, “Coke Black Road.” Seniors Camryn McDonald and Sara Weissinger received honorable mention in the critical essay category. McDonald’s piece was titled “Self-Conception and Consequences in Bluest Eye.” Weissinger’s essay was called “Conformity and Roles in American Society.”

Gold Key and Silver Key winners will be recognized at a regional ceremony on March 14 at Tufts University, where the Massachusetts Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Gold Key exhibition will be held from March 14-22.

TEC internship info sessions

Registration for The Education Cooperative’s summer 2020 Internship and Career Exploration Program is open. Applications will be accepted through April, with internship placements distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The program, open to students who have completed at least two years of high school as of summer 2020, is for individuals looking for an opportunity to explore a career while considering their post-secondary education options. Students are required to complete 60 hours of work over four consecutive weeks during the summer.

Interested students and families are invited to attend an information session over the next three months in various Metrowest locations.

The Education Cooperative is a Massachusetts educational collaborative and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that serves 15 area towns, including Hopkinton.

For more information, visit tec-coop.org and follow the link to “internships” or email Emily Manz at emanz@tec-coop.org.

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