Committee Offers 3 Options For Coleytown

The future of Coleytown Middle School became a bit clearer this morning.

The school was closed in September, due to mold. Since then, 6th and 7th graders have attended Bedford Middle School; 8th graders are at Staples High.

Meeting today, the Community Advisory Committee whittled 9 options for the future down to 3.

The CAC sent these recommendations to the Board of Education tonight (7:30 p.m., Staples High School cafeteria):

  • All elementary schools become K-6, with the addition of flex space and/or portables, until CMS is reopened or new space is found. All 7th and 8th graders attend Bedford Middle School.
  • Find a rental location to house the 6th graders, and keep all elementary schools K-5. All 7th and 8th graders attend Bedford Middle School.
  • Find a rental location to house Coleytown Middle School.

One more parent feedback session is set for this Thursday (December 6, 7:30 p.m., location to be determined).

Coleytown Middle School is currently closed.

Meanwhile, here are links to documents posted online by the Westport school district today:

14 responses to “Committee Offers 3 Options For Coleytown

  1. Has anyone considered sending some kids to Weston, Wilton and Fairfield for a year or two?

    • There would be complete uproar in forcing parents to consider sending their prized children to the “lesser” FFC districts.

  2. Michael Brennecke

    I don’t understand how that school can exist for 50 years and suddenly be uninhabitable?

  3. Interesting that the first 2 options require renting space, when it is my understanding that there is no space available in Westport that can accommodate so many students. Makes me wonder why those were proposed as 1 & 2. ‘Interesting’ proces to say the least. Should be an interesting BOE meeting tonight.

  4. Why not house students grades 7 – 8 at BMS, house students grades 1-6 at the four elementary schools, and rent a space for all Kindergarteners in Westport?

    • 1. Redistrict the town.
      2. Grades 6-8 go to Bedford and one of the elementary buildings.
      3. Grades 1-5 use the remaining elementary schools.
      4. preK and K, using rented spaces, go to the Early Learning format proposed by Tina Mannarino.
      5. A reconstructed/new building is built on the CMS site.
      6. The Early Learning Center (preK/K) moves into that building.

  5. David J. Loffredo

    I’m glad I’m not trying to sell a Westport house for the next 3-5 years until this mess is resolved. I’ve heard that private school applications are way up.

  6. I believe those involved in the research and decision have done an outstanding job evaluating many options and in communicating their process clearly and frequently. The real shame is that the issue was apparently left to fester for too long, and I trust there will be an investigation to determine what happended as this will cost the town dearly.
    One long-term option should be to evaluate making Bedford large enough for all 6-8 students moving forward. I believe 2/3-3/4 of Staples freshman come from BMS anyway so CMS is relatively small. Having one MS would save $$ long-term with fewer administrators and only one facility to care for. Building a new CMS or having an extensive remodel just isn’t worth the $$ for such a small number of students given the situation. I realize some will argue CMS serves a purpose, it’s easier to drive to if you live in North Wepo, etc., but an objective view with a fiscal eye would center on a singular BMS for the future.

    • David J. Loffredo

      According to official enrollment on the Board of Ed website – in 2016/7 (most recent year), BMS had 857 kids and CMS had 513. So BMS is 62.5% of the total. Maybe still a solid idea, however 1370 middle schoolers under one roof seems like a lot.

      • Staples has close to 2,000 kids. It’s doable and financially prudent. $$ not the only consideration of course but the town should not be wed to rebuilding CMS just because it’s been that way forever. Perhaps this bad situation can turned into a long-term strategic move that strengthens the schools and $$ longer-term.

        • Elizabeth Williams

          Shaping our educational programming by the simple criteria of being doable and financially prudent is misguided. 1300+ kids in a building designed for 800 significantly changes the program we offer here. I don’t think anyone is wedded to two schools because of tradition. A well-thought out balance of great faculty and best educational practices drive the property value in town. Cramming kids into a school because the building that they fit into has been long neglected and suddenly uninhabitable, then deciding to dump the organizational structure of the program for every 10-14 year old kid in town next year because it would be cheap and convenient doesn’t support a great school district.

          I know a lot of parents would be happy to put their kid in any surrounding school that could fit the kid into a calm, productive learning environment. That is not what any of the CMS kids have this year. How do you rip your kid at the edge of puberty, in those awful years of adolescence away from their friends and teachers and plant him where he knows no one? Why do the tax dollars you pay into the system not support your family? It’s one more example of the unwinding of our values as a country.

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