Flamingos are Back in Hopkinton

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They’re back! Under the cover of darkness eHop will once again be herding a flock of 24 friendly flamingos around town. To join in on the fun, send a flock to a friend! Visit our website shop to order or simply email Tara Sanda and she can help you out at tarasanda@educatehopkinton.com.

What are we fundraising for?

We’re glad you asked. Educate Hopkinton’s greatest charge is to get more people to attend Town Meeting and vote on how our tax dollars are spent. In recent years our flock earned us two banners that were hung on Town Hall and the Middle School Tennis Courts, yard signs, a donation to Hopkinton’s Tax Relief Fund and sponsorship of one Veterans Breakfast at the Senior Center.

This year we hope to provide Hopkinton with:

  • More public outreach to raise awareness about Town Meeting and our “Know Your Vote” show.
  • A greater donation to the Tax Relief Fund
  • More sponsorships for the Veteran’s Breakfasts at the Senior Center

So have a little fun, send a flock to a friend and support some good causes!

Click here to Flock a Friend!

All Six Ballot Questions Pass, Graziano and Bertschmann reelected, Hanson wins Parks & Recreation

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Congratulations to all the participants in the May 18 town election and thank you for your willingness to volunteer for our town. This year 1,810 voters participated, which is down 16% from last May’s Town Election. All six ballot questions passed. Jon Graziano and Jean Bertschmann were reelected to the School Committee. Laura Hanson was elected to the Parks & Recreation Commission, and Connor Degan was elected to the Hopkinton Housing Authority. All other races were uncontested.

After the election, at the May 19 Board of Selectmen meeting Ben Palleiko was unanimously elected Chair and John Coutinho was unanimously elected Vice-Chair. At the May 28 School Committee meeting, Ellen Scordino was elected Chair (4-1) and Lori Nickerson was elected Vice-Chair (5-0).

SCHOOL COMMITTEE, For 3 years, Vote for 2 – CONTESTED RACE

  • Jean Bertschmann 1,092
  • Jonathan Graziano 1,099
  • Brian Karp 841

PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION, Unexpired term to 2017, Vote for 1 – CONTESTED RACE

  • Robert McGuire 756
  • Laura Hanson 785

HOPKINTON HOUSING AUTHORITY, For 5 years, Vote for 1 – Write-In Candidate

  • Connor Degan 50
  • Darlene Hayes 42

Ballot Questions

Question 1: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to construct a new Department of Public Works headquarters facility?

  • Yes 1,049
  • No 675

Question 2: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order fund engineering designs and construction services related to making roof repairs at the Hopkins and High Schools?

  • Yes 1,198
  • No 550

Question 3: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to acquire a fee interest in a parcel of land located at 135 Hayden Rowe Street and shown as parcel U23-28-0 on the Assessors Map?

  • Yes 1,124
  • No 584

Question 4: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to acquire a fee interest in a parcel of land located at 147 Hayden Rowe Street and shown as parcels U23-32-0, U23-33-0 and U23-35-A on the Assessors Map?

  • Yes 939
  • No 757

Question 5: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to acquire a fee interest in a portion ofthe parcel of land located at 15 Claflin Avenue and shown as parcel U16-14-0 on the Assessors Map?

  • Yes 920
  • No 757

Question 6: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to acquire a fee interest in a portion of the parcel of land located at 102 Fruit Street and shown as parcel RG-5-0 on the Assessors Map as shown on a plan?

  • Yes 958
  • No 746

Continue reading All Six Ballot Questions Pass, Graziano and Bertschmann reelected, Hanson wins Parks & Recreation

Hopkinton Middle School 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative

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A message from Hopkinton Middle School:

“We are excited to move forward in the 2015-2016 school year with a 1:1 (1 student, 1 device) digital learning initiative at Hopkinton Middle School. As you may know, during the current school year, our grade 8 math and science teachers have been utilizing Chromebooks in their classrooms. In the past two years, our school and district have invested heavily in Google Apps for Education products. This year, six of our educators attended a Google Apps for Education Summit. These teachers, in addition to our grade 8 math and science teachers, have become exceptional resources as we prepare our staff for the 1:1 digital learning initiative. Throughout this year, we have learned how Google Apps for Education can enhance staff and student learning, and we believe that the Chromebook is the device that best meets our needs as a learning community.

The purpose of our 1:1 program is to help our students learn and continuously grow as independent, confident, resilient, and thoughtful individuals willing to explore new ideas, reflect on progress, and challenge themselves. Hopkinton Middle School’s goals for a 1:1 initiative are focused on enhancing curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Our curricular goals center on developing personalized learning experiences and providing equitable learning opportunities that promote student ownership of their learning. Technology in the classroom allows teachers to develop timely and targeted instruction that supports individualized student learning. Through assessments that utilize technology, the teacher and the student receive immediate and frequent feedback on the student’s progress toward the learning goals. Our leadership team has been meeting throughout the year developing our 1:1 roll-out plan.”

For more information:

Vote Monday on Six Ballot Questions, School Committee and Parks & Rec

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All Hopkinton precincts vote at the Middle School. Polls are open 7:00am-8:00pm on Monday, May 18. There are contested races for School Committee and Parks & Recreation, as well as six debt-exclusion ballot questions.  Please read the following articles for information about each contested race and ballot question.

School Committee Candidate Q & A

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Educate Hopkinton posed the following ten questions to our School Committee Candidates and we are posting their responses here exactly as submitted. We thank them for their time and for their commitment to Hopkinton. Educate Hopkinton as an organization does not specifically endorse any of the candidates, click to read our policy for more info. In addition we recommend voters watch the Women’s Club Meet the Candidates Night, which is available on the HCAM YouTube Channel.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE, For 3 years, Vote for 2


QUESTION 1: Describe how your background and career skills will translate to the role of a School Committee member?

Jean B Bertschmann: I have six years of experience on the School Committee, and 18 years of direct experience volunteering in the schools and across the town. I have a deep understanding of how our schools function, top to bottom. I have developed strong, productive working relationships with staff, teachers, administrators, and other town boards and committees. My broad based institutional knowledge and history are important assets to the Committee, particularly with the pending Charter review. In my previous professional career as the manager of the paralegal staff at a major Boston law firm, and as the parent of four children, I have developed excellent communications and time management skills, which are critical to balancing the perspectives of different constituents, as well as the multiple and varied responsibilities of School Committee members.

Jonathan E Graziano: Currently I work for Liberty Mutual Insurance and am responsible for Continuous Improvement. I believe that the skills I use every day in my job translate very well to my role on the School Committee. I am charged in my profession to question the status quo and look for new and more effective ways to operate. I believe I have brought that mentality to the committee in my three years, asking critical questions about how we can do better and whether or not current programs and practices are still as effective. If reelected I will continue to use these skills to advance the district.

Brian J Karp: As a manager, I am able to identify process improvement opportunities, make changes as needed, and deliver results. I am an excellent listener and can speak to various groups of people. I am very analytical and an excellent problem solver. Continue reading School Committee Candidate Q & A

Question 1: DPW Facility

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Question 1: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to be exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to construct a new Department of Public Works headquarters facility?

Voters at Town Meeting voted to borrow $14.1 million to construct a new DPW headquarters facility to be located at 83 Wood Street, but for the project to go forward, the voters must also pass a debt exclusion at the ballot under proposition 2 1/2 to authorize a temporary increase in the Town’s levy limit to cover the cost of borrowing for this facility.

  • A “yes” vote would approve the funds and the project could proceed.
  • A “no” vote would mean that the Town could not borrow the funds to proceed with the project without a future affirmative ballot vote within 90 days.

If the question passes, it is estimated to cost the average household $157 per year for the life of the loan.  Unlike operating budget overrides, debt exclusions do not cause a permanent increase in the tax base and do not affect the base upon which succeeding years’ tax levy is collected.

The DPW is responsible for:

  • 125 miles of roads
  • 65 miles of water mains
  • 35 miles of sewer
  • 666 hydrants
  • 18 acres of cemeteries
  • 14 acres of parks and fields
  • Maintenance of DPW fleet, valued at $3.9 million
  • on-call for emergencies 24 hours a day

According to the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) and the DPW, the existing facility:

  • is inadequate and in need of repairs
  • has insufficient space to house modern DPW equipment
  • has an inadequate fuel facility to serve town vehicles
  • lacks storage areas that impact the Town’s ability to protect their multi-million dollar fleet,  allowing equipment to deteriorate more quickly than if protected from the elements.

Following the approval of $250,000 at the 2013 Annual Town Meeting to prepare preliminary design and cost estimates, the PBC and DPW evaluated 8 different site layouts and building arrangements before determining the Wood Street site and the proposed design best fit their needs.

If approved, the new 41,000 square foot facility would have trade shops, wash bays and places for vehicle maintenance and storage as well as work space for DPW employees.  It would also include a fuel facility that would service DPW trucks as well as police, fire and other town vehicles.

Because Information Matters, a Civic League of Hopkinton, Massachusetts