The school board for Windham and Raymond will decide Wednesday night whether to move forward with any of six cost-saving proposals, which include closing a school and redistricting.

The Regional School Unit 14 board is considering a recommendation to close Jordan Small Middle School in Raymond or the Manchester School in Windham. School officials say a closure could save the district an estimated $600,000 to $800,000 over the next five years.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Windham Town Hall.

A new report from the district’s Short-Term Facilities Use Advisory Committee outlines six proposals, including closing the Jordan Small or Manchester schools.

The report says 199 students attend Jordan Small, in grades 5 through 8. The school’s capacity is 348 students.

The Manchester School has 419 students in grades 4 and 5 and is over capacity by 36 students. Manchester is being considered for closure because it is the smallest school in Windham.

Mike Duffy, vice chairman of the school board, said closing Manchester would affect students in kindergarten through grade 8. He said some of those students would be redistricted to Raymond schools.

“I personally don’t like the option of moving the kids,” Duffy said. “I just don’t think it’s the best option. I think there are other ways of achieving the results we need without inconveniencing the students.”

If the board recommends closing Jordan Small, students in grades 5 and 6 could be sent to Raymond Elementary School, which would have to be renovated. Students in grades 7 and 8 would be bused to Windham Middle School, which would need modular classrooms.

If the board decides to move ahead with the proposal to close a school, workshops would be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Raymond Elementary School and at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Manchester School. The school board is expected to take a final vote Dec. 15. The closing of a school would need voters’ approval.

Superintendent Sandy Prince is encouraging the public to weigh in on the recommendations.

In the spring, the school board applied to the Maine Department of Education for funding for construction of a new middle school, with the condition that the Jordan Small school and Windham Middle School be closed.

Prince said the district should know by next year where it stands on the state’s priority list.

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]