School Committee News – November 19 Discussion of K-8 Space Needs and Options:

Middle Schools
The two middle schools are at capacity. Their enrollment will increase by at least 152 students by 2018-2019, and Dr. Ash is recommending that $40,000 should be included into the FY15 capital budget to hire an architect to study how well space is being utilized and to recommend possible re-designing internal space to create more educational spaces (moving internal walls, shifting closets, etc).

Elementary Schools
Presentation by Dr Ash, reporting the conclusions of a study on space needs done by Design Partnership.
This study showed the total number of general classrooms per school and the number of other educational classrooms (art, music, special ed), based upon the School Committee’s class size guidelines.

  • All ILP rooms are full at Fiske, and, according to Dr. Ash, Special Education rooms cannot be used for general education. Note for Hastings: This school year an extra classroom was acquired from the consolidation of our current 2nd grade going from 4 to 3 classrooms, and that new classroom is now Special Education.
  • The projected enrollment for next school year shows Estabrook with 4 empty classrooms and Fiske will be over capacity by 2 classrooms, and their space is predicted to get worse.
  • Fiske also has the largest population of 2-, 3-, and 4-year old children. Right now there is no method to fully predict the influx of students at Estabrook following its opening.
  • Note for Hastings: The capacity and projections for the next two years has Hastings needing the same number of classrooms it currently has.
  • 2014-2015 Options for Fiske:
    • Convert Fiske art and music rooms into general education classrooms.
    • Convert one of two Fiske art and music rooms into general education and increase the class size beyond recommended guidelines in one grade.
    • Increase class sizes in two grades at Fiske.
    • Redistrict some Fiske students to Estabrook for the fall of 2014.
    • Any of the above plus seeking funding for new modular or permanent spaces for Fiske in 2015.


  • A strong case was made that in 2 years or less, Estabrook’s extra classrooms will be filled, partly due to several multi-family homes and new construction.
  • Strong support was shown for Bridge Elementary, which has the largest student population and feels that the renovations have not helped their space needs.
  • All the schools have space issues, and that it is a system-wide issue that needs attention right now.
  • Why is it that Fiske and Harrington may not have been built large enough at the time?
  • Note for Hastings: The renovation/rebuild of Hastings will need much strategy given Lexington’s popularity and the predicted numbers in the years ahead in all the elementary schools.
  • Bottom line: the long term solution goes beyond moving some classrooms/kchildren around at Fiske.

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