The Keene Elementary Restructuring Project has been five years in the making - and from the beginning it has been about life safety and cost savings.
Why is it about life safety?
The focus of the Elementary Restructuring Project is to ensure that the facilities plan brought forward ensure that Keene's elementary school facilities meet life safety codes, have adequate space to carry on existing educational programs, be equitable in class size and opportunity, and have space designed to accommodate future enrollment bubbles. For a full list of all life safety upgrades, that are necessary in each building, please see the 2012 Findings and Recommendations publication available for view below.
Why is it about cost?
The Keene School District is facing serious funding challenges. While per-student expenditures are in line with NH averages at Keene High School and just slightly above average at Keene Middle School, over the past ten years Keene's elementary school costs have been 24-40% higher than state averages - and now our community is not guaranteed adequate state funding.
How can we solve funding issues moving into the future?
At a special meeting on November 19, 2012, the Keene Board of Education voted 5-4 to pursue the restructuring of Keene's elementary schools. The District would be restructured, so that Jonathan Daniels would close as an elementary school, but re-open as a Pre-School and Administrative Office, while the four remaining elementary schools: Franklin, Fuller, Symonds and Wheelock, would continue to educate Kindergarten through 5th grade.
The goal is to maintain the educational programming we value most, while reducing operating costs by an estimated $570,000 per year after the cost of the bond.