HARVARD — Having more electives and an intervention staff for grades six through eight are at the top of Bromfield School Principal Jim O’Shea’s wish list.
“Having (an intervention person) would help students on IEPs,” O’Shea said at the School Committee’s budget dinner meeting on Dec. 4. “It would also help those that are not quite on IEPs (individualized education programs).”
Even though there are a few things he would like to add to the upcoming year’s budget, O’Shea said he can’t complain.
“As far as needs and what we have at our disposal, we’re in pretty good shape,” he said.
Superintendent Thomas Jefferson said the Bromfield has been really good at staying within its budget over the past few years.
“One thing we have to keep in mind is we have not funded what we really needed to for quite some time, but we’ve done well,” Jefferson said. “We’ve already done the things that (other school systems) are just having the conversations about. User fees, we did that eight years ago. Having parents bring stuff in (for the class rooms), we did that eight years ago.”
As far as classes and where teachers will be placed, that was done from the ground up dependent on the number of students in each class, according to O’Shea.
“Some of it is pretty cut and dried,” he said. “If you have 110 students in (freshman English), chances are you’re going to have 110 students in (sophomore English). Electives are a little bit harder to pre-schedule. It’s a little bit of art and a little bit of science.”
Associate Principal Scott Hoffman said the number of classes and electives available for students gets tricky when the students are done with their required classes.
“Language is a bit harder because you never know how many students are going to double up,” he said. “In terms of class sizes I would like to see CP (college prep) classes a little smaller than the honor classes.”
School Committee member Keith Cheveralls asked O’Shea and Hoffman if they thought there were too many study halls available instead of classes to the students.
“There are more than we like, but then I think about the amount of homework the kids get,” Hoffman said. “Some of the students go across the street (to the Elementary School) to help and we have upper classmen going to the sixth and seventh (grade) language classes, building relationships with the younger students.”
School Committee member Patty Wenger asked if Bromfield School could consolidate its library staff with the public library to help with the budget.
“Times have changed, the economy has changed,” she said. “No one thought of sharing a (Department of Public Works director) before the current fiscal state.”
Jefferson said it’s a matter of accreditation and Wenger suggested someone should ask the questions.
“Are you asking if the green area could become a campus and the library becoming part of the campus?” O’Shea asked. “I think this is a conversation the School Committee, library trustees and selectmen should be having.”
Jefferson said he would be willing to have a group study the possibility of such a consolidation.