ConVal School Board produces list of budget cuts

ConVal School Board

ConVal School Board COURTESY PHOTO


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 02-19-2024 1:01 PM

Modified: 02-19-2024 1:12 PM

As ConVal School District voters prepare to vote on a warrant article that would give the School Board the power to consolidate the district’s eight elementary schools into four, the district has released a complete list of the budget cuts affecting ConVal, Great Brook, South Meadow Middle School and the SAU in the past 10 years.

Superintendent Kimberley Rizzo-Saunders read a partial list of cuts at a public community forum on Feb. 8. School Board Chair Dick Dunning said at the Dec. 19 meeting that “we keep having to cut middle and high schools because of the cost of running these small schools.”

If approved by two-thirds of the district’s voters, Article 10 on the ConVal warrant would alter the district’s 1967 Articles of Agreement to state that ConVal would be required to maintain elementary schools in Peterborough, Antrim, Hancock and Greenfield, potentially eliminating the elementary schools in Temple, Dublin, Francestown and Bennington in 2025-2026.

If the four smallest schools close, students in those towns would have the choice of attending one of the next two closest schools.

Two school board members, Bill Bryk of Antrim and Tom Kirlin of Francestown, voted against the warrant article. Both have stated they feel that closing schools would have a significant negative impact on the towns slated for reconfiguration. Groups of concerned residents from all four towns at risk of losing schools have created committees exploring the possibilities of withdrawing from the ConVal School District in order to save their town elementary schools.

As of January 2024, Francestown Elementary school had 42 students enrolled, Temple Elementary School had 38 students, Pierce Elementary School in Bennington had 60 students and Dublin Consolidated School had 55 students.

According to a study by Prismatic Consulting, which was hired by the School Board to assess the equity of the education offered in ConVal’s 11 schools, schools in the district are operating at 40% of capacity. The complete study is available at

According to information provided by the district, budget cuts to ConVal and the middle schools have resulted in fewer total classes offered, less-frequent offering of core classes, more classes being offered only online, fewer clubs and teams and cuts to support, specialist and primary staff in reading, special education, administration, counseling, foreign languages, technology support and STEM education.

ConVal cuts

A list of programs and positions cut over the past 10 years, according to the ConVal School Board:

-- Building construction (corner of a house) prior to 2016.

-- Business — one position eliminated.

-- Introduction Computer Technology.

 – Health and Wellness — two positions eliminated.

-- Science — one position eliminated.

-- World Languages — one position eliminated.

-- School psychologists – one position eliminated.

-- Internship/ELO support specialists -one position eliminated.

-- Administrative assistants -one position eliminated.

-- Early Childhood Education CTE program.

-- French program.

-- Exercise physiology.

-- AP classes offered on rotation.

-- Fifth block.

-- Film Writing Club.

-- Chemistry Club.

Budget cuts to ConVal middle schools

-- Full-time writing coach.

-- Full-time special education administrative assistant

-- World Language program.

-- Eight Classroom teachers.

-- Reading specialist.

-- Bee Keeping Club.

-- Greenhouse Program.

-- Greenhouse Para.

-- Swimpower (specialized programming to meet specific student need).

-- EHP field trips.

-- Newspaper.

-- Radio Club.

-- Environment Club.

-- Classroom libraries.

-- iPads.

-- Special education teacher.

-- Math specialist.

-- Physical education teacher.

-- Technology integrationist (one half-time position).

-- General Education paraprofessional.

-- Computer labs.

-- Gymnastics.

-- Librarian (one half-time position).

Cuts to ConVal elementary schools

-- Arts enrichment.

-- Math tutor.

-- Reading tutor.

-- Technology integration specialist.

-- Reading/writing coach.

-- Math coach.

-- Band class- Dublin.

-- Half-time administrative assistant.

-- Special educator.

Cuts to School Administrative District (SAU)

-- Administrative assistant professional development.

-- Administrative assistant data management.

-- Front office receptionist.

-- Special education part-time administrative assistant.

-- Technology director.