HPTA State of the Schools

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The State of the Schools will air LIVE this week on Monday, January 12 at 7pm on HCAM. (Comcast channel 8; Verizon channel 30). Superintendent, Cathy MacLeod and Chair of the School Committee, Jon Graziano, will be answering questions pertaining to the Hopkinton Public Schools. You can attend in person at HCAM Studios (77 Main Street) or submit any questions that you may have before Monday at 12pm to stateoftheschools@hptaonline.com.
Helpful links:

 

203 Pond Street Purchase

On Tuesday, January 6, the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 to authorize the Town Manager to begin negotiations over 203 Pond Street with the landowner, exploring the Town’s options for exercising its right of first refusal on the notice of intent to sell and Town Meeting consideration. The property owner has received an offer to sell for $2 million, but the town has the right of first refusal, with 120 days to make a decision.  The Community Preservation Committee will consider recommending the use of CPA funds for part of the purchase. Several other groups have said they will try to obtain grant money for a portion of the purchase price. Read more:

203 Pond Street - Whitehall Woods Alliance
203 Pond Street – Whitehall Woods Alliance
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300th Anniversary Events

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Hopkinton’s 300th Anniversary is 2015! Please check out their Facebook page for more information about upcoming events at https://www.facebook.com/Hopkinton300.

Opening Ceremony
Fri Jan 23 @ 7:00pm
Hopkinton High School

Float Building Workshop
Sat Jan 24 @ 10:00am
Hopkinton Fire Department

Kid’s Ice Fishing Event & Family Fun Day
Sat Jan 31 @11:00am
Sandy Beach at Lake Maspenock

Tonight: Superintendent to Present Preliminary Budget

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Hopkinton Superintendent, Dr. Cathy MacLeod, is scheduled to present her preliminary 2015-16 budget at tonight’s School Committee Meeting. The meeting begins at 7:00pm in the Middle School Library. The public is welcome to attend in person or watch on HCAM-TV (Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30). Stay tuned for more information in the next eHop blog after the holidays.

For Your Reference:

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School Building Project Update

The Elementary School Building  Committee along with the design architect DRA, Inc. and project manager Compass held the first of three Community Workshops on November 22.  There were many Hopkinton citizens in attendance.  After an informative presentation on the project from DRA, those in attendance could attend one of the 3 breakout workshops which included: containers, content and currents.  A special fourth workshop was for the youngest Hopkinton citizens where children could design their vision for the new school building.  

DRA put together a high-level summary of the the ideas and concerns heard from the community at the forum (link to the presentation below).

The most prominent themes include:
- Plan for Growth / Flexibility / Adaptability
- Traffic Issues / School Safety
- Confirm Demographic / Enrollment Numbers
- Center School – Use / Preservation / Re-Use

Learn more about the community forum:

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Center School Community Workshop Sat 11/22 @ 9:00am

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The Elementary School Building Committee invites you to participate in a series of community workshops related to the Center Elementary School Feasibility Study. The first workshop will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at the Hopkinton Senior Center from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The Committee has selected Drummey Rosane Anderson, Inc. (“DRA”) to develop a Feasibility Study and Schematic Designs.  DRA has begun assessing the Center School site and other possible sites and will be meeting with school staff to conduct programming and educational planning meetings throughout the Fall.

The first public workshop will focus on gathering community input. The ESBC will hold subsequent community workshops to explore possible alternatives for the facilities plan, and will then shape specific recommendations for committee consideration.

The workshop schedule is:

Saturday, November 22: LISTENING: Gathering community input
TBD, January 2015: ALTERNATIVES: Understanding the options
TBD, March 2015: SHAPING RECOMMENDATIONS

The Center School Feasibility Study will evaluate a range of options and possibilities to address the operational and educational constraints of Center School.

WORKSHOP AGENDA

9:00 – 9:10 Informational Displays
9:10 – 9:15 Welcome
9:15 – 9:20 Overview
9:20 – 9:35 Work Shop Overview
9:35 – 10:15 Breakout Sessions
10:15 – 10:25 Re-Group / Re-Cap
10:25 – 10:30 Concluding Comments

At the first of three proposed workshops, the ESBC is seeking community attendance and participation. You are invited to join them, along with your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Students are encouraged to attend and participate in workshop activities.  In addition, children age three and above are welcome and will participate in age-appropriate activities to also provide input.

The ESBC has put together answers to several frequently asked questions regarding the school building project and the forums.

I’ve attended previous school committee meetings about our school system. Why do I need to attend this meeting?

Your knowledge, understanding, and input are welcome and needed in this process.    This is one of the key issues facing our community; there are many issues and options to explore.  We hope that you will choose to continue to participate in this process.  

I see there are three different community workshops being scheduled over the next two months.  Should I attend all three workshops?

Yes.  The focus of each workshop is different.  The purpose of the November 22 nd workshop will be to listen to citizens and obtain community input.  In January, the focus will be on taking information from the previous workshop and developing possible alternatives for consideration. Finally, the workshop in March will focus on the specific recommendations that may be proposed to the Elementary School Building Committee.  Workshops will build on each other.

What specific topic will be discussed at this first community workshop?  

Concurrent breakout sessions will collect community input on the topics of:

  • “Containers” – the physical facilities / sites
  • “Contents” – contemporary early childhood education programming
  • “Currents” –  Hopkinton’s trends, including demographics and enrollments
  • “Children/students” – focusing on the issues and needs of students

I have ideas about what’s important for our elementary school.  How can I share those ideas with DRA and the Elementary School Building Committee?

Attend the November 22nd community workshop!  If you are unable to attend in person, please send your comments to schoolproject@hopkintonma.gov. Information sent to the email will be collected and shared with DRA.

What will be done with the results of this workshop?

DRA will use community input to shape options and recommendations that they will present to the Elementary School Building Committee.

Has the Elementary School Building Committee made any decisions about the future of Center School?

The committee has made no decisions about Center School.  All options and ideas are being considered.

When will the Elementary School Building Committee act on DRA’s study recommendations?

The Elementary School Building Committee expects to have a decision on preferred solution by March/April 2015, which will involve review and approval by the Hopkinton School Committee, Hopkinton Board of Selectmen, and the Massachusetts School Building Authority. DRA would complete the schematic design for the preferred solution in July 2015 for approval by the Hopkinton School Committee, Hopkinton Board of Selectmen, and the Massachusetts School Building Authority.  The Design and Funding request would be presented for the Town Meeting vote by Fall of 2015.

Additional information:

Selectmen FY16 Budget Statement & Town Financial Projections

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Town budget season has begun. At their October 21 meeting, the Board of Selectmen approved the FY16 Budget Statement as recommended by the Town Manager. The budget statement calls for more directed spending on the core mission and frontline services, maintaining level funding for current municipal service operations while keeping costs as low as possible, and for strategic initiatives department heads should submit separate requests with proposals including the purpose, priority, performance measures, service outputs, and costs associated. Also on October 21, the town’s new Director of Finance, Chris Howell, presented the FY16 Financial Forecast.  Stayed tuned as budget season progresses and pay attention to opportunities for public input.

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FY16 School Budget Summaries to Date

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School budget season is in full swing. The various school departments have already begun presenting their preliminary budgets to the School Committee. There will be a public hearing on the budget on January 8, where you can give your feedback on the budget.

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Because Information Matters, a Civic League of Hopkinton, Massachusetts