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Goffstown board sticks with decision to switch library with classroom

GOFFSTOWN — The school board this week affirmed its earlier decision to switch the portable classrooms and the library at Maple Avenue Elementary School, despite a request from some parents to reconsider.

The board took no action on the matter at its meeting on Monday, May 20, meaning the vote earlier this month to make the switch stands.

The board had voted to approve a plan submitted by administrators, including Principal Suzanne Psyzka, to move fourth-grade classes from the portable to the library space inside the main building. The books and book racks now in the library will be moved to the portable.

The new arrangement, which will take effect in September, was recommended by Psyzka because of concerns about security.

At the May 20 meeting, parent Elizabeth Dubrulle tried to get the board to reverse its decision. In an email she circulated prior to the meeting, Dubrulle explained her position.

“I understand Suzanne’s concerns about the portables, but in my opinion she’s overreacting,” Dubrulle wrote in her email. “In her effort to avoid one terrible but extremely unlikely outcome, she’s introduced several unpleasant and likely outcomes in its place.”

Specifically, Dubrulle complained that moving the books in the library to the portable would make access to them difficult, effectively closing off the library to students. Students would only have access to the books by ordering them in advance.

“There’s no way my grade-schooler could possibly know what she wanted to order from the library without looking at the books,” Dubrulle said. “At her age, she needs to browse so she can pursue any topic that catches her interest.”

Moving the fourth-grade classes to the library space inside would also lead to larger class sizes, Dubrulle argued. “The plan calls for the creation of one giant fourth-grade classroom with 30-plus kids in it and two teachers,” she wrote in her email. “If my math is correct, then all the other fourth-grade classes will also end up being bigger to accommodate the overflow.”

Psyzka told the school board that school staff would work around the issue of accessibility by bringing selected volumes of books into the main building on a regular rotation.

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