Parents unhappy with North Warren School board

CHESTERTOWN - Irked and angry parents confronted the North Warren School board Monday at a packed public meeting despite the board's announcement that they'd be modifying plans in response to public concerns.

North Warren parents grilled the school board in December, objecting to the elimination of the elementary principal post and morphing the junior high school into a middle school, as well as the lack of notification of these pending changes to the public.

The crowd was larger at Monday's school board meeting, and the anger was evident in the 90-minute discussion of complaints from the public.

High School Principal Theresa Andrew announced the school board had modified the reorganizational plan, and decided not to relocate sixth graders to new rooms alongside junior high students, but keep them in their present wing.

Some parents had objected to the sixth graders intermingling freely with the more mature, older children.

The sixth graders' classrooms will remain in their current location, but curriculum will change to incorporate upgraded courses and new offerings like introductory Spanish and French, Andrew said.

But the board's concession to concerns of consolidation didn't quell the anger.

Parents continued their objections to the elimination of the elementary principal post, which Susan Bulmer now holds.

One parent questioned the board over the decision to consolidate the elementary and high school positions into one post, to be undertaken by Theresa Andrew.

"It's sad to see Susan Bulmer go," the parent said. "Not only will the elementary program suffer, but the high school students will suffer too."

Former town council member Ann Murphy asked how two busy, full-time administrative posts could be combined in one, without adverse effects to education.

Andrew replied, "I am sorry to see Susan Bulmer go. Do I want this job? No, but I will do it to the best of my ability."

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