LETTER: Phillipston, Templeton schools

Published: 7/4/2019 12:52:45 PM
Our schools need fixing

More than a year ago Superintendent Casavant asked the school committee to OK an advisory committee he wished to form to study how are district ran. We OK’d it but I personally wondered why it was needed?

He put it together with people from both towns and began holding meetings – every two weeks! That in itself was very unusual because all subcommittees generally meet monthly. After a number of meetings, Phillipston’s Administrative Assistant and one of our Selectmen who were on the committee quit going. I went to see what was going on. It seemed to be an infomercial to sell the Superintendent’s plan for reorganizing the district. He basically wanted to turn Phillipston grade school into a babysitting service for children ages 3-5 and send all our first through fifth grade students to the new Templeton Elementary school. I got hold of 3 or 4 copies of the minutes of these meetings. What do you know, there was no list of who was at meeting and no one signed the minutes! A spook committee!

After we complained about these irregularities, a meeting of people from both towns was held in the auditorium. The meeting was advertised on “Facebook” — how tacky. People from both towns showed up to complain about his plan. Nobody was buying it.

At the next School Committee meeting, we voted to stick with the original plan, which called for the fifth grade coming back to PMES when the new elementary school opened in Templeton. That’s where things stood when Phillipston voted at town meeting this May to approve the school budget and the override. At that meeting, Casavant told us, “I have no intention of closing this school.” A few days later he told people at Templeton town meeting that he would recommend closing Phillipston to balance the budget.

Then later he convinced the school committee to go along with his original plan to put pre-school and kindergarten in Phillipston and grades one through five in Templeton.

Phillipston is up in arms! I can’t imagine the teachers are very thrilled, either. We don’t like to be lied to or double-crossed. We will not stand for our grade school (used as such since 1948) – and added onto twice, at the urging of the school committee) to be turned into a glorified babysitting service.

There is a serious movement on to recall our three school committee people and we are serious, in our belief, that the Superintendent – the most divisive superintendent we’ve ever had – should be removed.

Daniel Sanden


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