Wed, Dec 21, 2011 10:20 AM
Saturday, Dec. 17 was Proctor's first chance to learn more about
the current state of education in town and help shape the
investigation into the options for the future of the high school.
Due to reduced numbers in enrollment and increasing school budgets,
the town decided to hire Raymond, J. Proulx, Ed.D to investigate
whether it was in the best interest of the community to continue to
keep Proctor Junior-Senior high school open and what options they
had either choice.
The number of students has declined in the last six years from a
total of 348 in 2006 to 320 in 2011. 287 are projected for 2017.
Conversely, the projected budget is higher despite the decreasing
enrollment. The total budget in 2008 for 337 students was
$4,900,307. The projected budget in 2012 for 315 students is
$4,904,495 according to the paperwork handed out at the community
forum. A decline of 22 students with an increased cost of
Throughout the forum, Proulx took questions from the community. One
was why the forum was not advertised more to the town so more
people could weigh in on the options. Another common concern was
how much investigative interviewing has Proulx done.
Proulx addressed the first concern by explaining that this forum
was considered a focus form, whose purpose was to get a
cross-section of the community. Therefore, he had sent letters out
to a random sample of the population and a notice in the parent
emails included information about the forum.
Next Proulx explained aspects of his investigation and the number
of people he had interviewed. To date Proulx had interviewed a
total of 78 people, 29 were staff at the school and 11 were
students, leaving 38 members of the community. Many expressed they
didn't feel enough community members were interviewed to get a good
enough understanding about the different views about the high
school. Proulx said he was open to doing more interviews before he
gave his final recommendations.
After some debating, time came for Proulx to address the options
the community currently has and encouraged feedback. Community
members expressed the advantages and challenges of each. Please
note: the advantages and challenges were giving by community
members, not Proulx.
Option #1: Sustain Proctor Jr/Sr. high school as it.
Suggested advantages included:
• Small class sizes means more personalized
• All students can participate in extra
curricular activities, there are no try outs so therefore everyone
makes the team
• The school is the center of the community
• The music program is exceptional
• Proctor funds help support the school
Suggested challenges included
• Budget cuts cause the loss of certain programs
such as home economics, shop and more
• School need to communicate better with the
community. Not many new families know much about the school or even
what is inside the school. The community needs to be able to know
what the high school offers and doesn't offer
• Attracting tuition students. The school needs
to recruit or find a niche to attract students from other
• Is the town willing to pay higher taxes in
order to maintain the quality of education they are
• Need to attract more business to Proctor to
help support the school.
• Technology of the school is extremely outdated
and would need upgrading if school stays open
Option #2: Tuition students grades 7-12 to a designated school. A
designated school does not mean open choice. The town would decided
on which area high school their children would attend.
• That designated high school has to take you,
you cannot be denied attending that school
• Diversity of the student body. Proctor students
will have opportunity to meet new friends
• More programs offered that Proctor was unable
to provide due to budget cuts
• No official say on the school board (no
• Travel time to and from the school and
transportation options. Will the designated high school provide
transportation or will Proctor be responsible
• Loss of community feel
• Loss of control - the designated school can set
the tuition to whatever they want
• No school choice
• What will the old high school building be
• The effect on property values if there is no
Option #3: Secondary School Choice for grades 7-12 or grades
• Parents and students can select a high school
that best suits their needs. If the student is gifted in drama or
music maybe a particular high school has excellent programs in
those areas. They can choose small, medium or large student
• The building of the high school could then be
used for K-8 and the other school could be used for business space
to bring in more companies to the town
• Transportation would be a parental issue. No
• The fracture of the current Proctor student
body. Since each student has choice the kids could end up scattered
throughout the area
Option #4: Partner with another area school(s) for delivery of
Proctor could partner with another school to keep many of the
programs in jeopardy, keep jobs for the teachers, more sports and
academics could be offered and there would be a sense of stability
to the student body. Students won't constantly be wondering where
they might be going to school next year.
Option #5: Consolidation of School Districts
Option #6: Other options….one suggested was that Proctor itself
become a designated school for other communities.
Raymond Proulx is continuing his study and investigation into all
these options and there will be another forum open to the public
soon where anyone can express their opinions. When the time comes
Proulx will help narrow down the options by giving the advantages
and challenges of each.