Bow plans to transition Dunbarton students
BOW — School officials have agreed on the SAU 67 district budget and have been working to ensure Dunbarton students have a smooth transition into Bow schools.
In September, about 90 Dunbarton students will begin their education in Bow middle and high schools. The exact number of Dunbarton students will not be finalized until late January after parents of sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders file their intent with Bow by Jan. 10, said Bow Superintendent Dean Cascadden. So far, those "rising students" include 38 sixth-graders entering grade 7, 24 seventh-graders entering grade 8, and 27 eighth-graders transitioning into high school. Dunbarton voted in March to end its 40-year AREA — Authorized Regional Enrollment Area — agreement with Goffstown and join the Bow School District.
"That's the only ones we've budgeted for. Now the ninth-, tenth- and eleventh-grade students can choose to complete their schooling at Goffstown High School," he said. "By state law, they can petition to the superintendents in Bow and Goffstown through Best Interest of the Child."
Recently, Dunbarton and Bow voters agreed on a SAU 67 budget of about $860,000, with Bow paying about $722,000 or 84 percent; and Dunbarton's share about $133,000, or 16 percent. The budget includes an SAU superintendent, a special education director, three support staff members, the business manager moving to an assistant superintendent position, and a new curriculum director for all students, of which 80 percent will be paid by the SAU and 20 percent by the high school. Revenues of $4,340 bring the budget to $865,249.
The tuition costs for Dunbarton will be $9,952 per middle school student, and $11,811 for high schoolers. The tuition is based on a formula-driven calculation developed through the AREA agreement.
"Budgeting for students are done in both the Bow and Dunbarton school districts. Dunbarton will be working on their budget through January, and that's the budget numbers Dunbarton will be working with. Bow will be dealing with the capacity and what we have to do for budgeting for teachers," said Cascadden.
The budget was prepared per state law, assessed property values of both communities and the number of students, he said.
"It's been very interesting for me because I've always done Bow budgets and now it's different because I have three entities to prepare for," said Cascadden. "It's been an interesting process, but it's been good. In any big process it takes a lot of work and if we missed anything we'll be able to work through it. Now, it's about getting the information out to parents."
Several meetings with parents and opportunities for students to learn more about their new schools, teachers and classmates have been scheduled from January through the fall.
A parent information night will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, for sixth- through eighth-graders at Dunbarton Elementary School. The meeting will address curriculum and ways to help students transition socially into the Bow schools. An eighth-grade parents night is Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Bow High School. Events continue through the summer, with an educational fair for families at Bow Memorial School on April 15; a second information night for Dunbarton parents on May 7 at Bow Memorial School; and an ice cream social for all students on Aug. 20.
For sixth-graders, a Pen Pal letter writing program is planned between Dunbarton Elementary School and Bow Memorial School students, and they will meet their pen pals during shadow day on April 16. Also, a New England College Team Building Day will take place in the spring. Dunbarton sixth-graders are also invited to join their Bow peers on Greek Day on May 22.
For seventh-graders, Dunbarton students will visit for a half day on April 10. In the spring, a panel discussion at Mountain View Middle School will take place after students visit Bow Memorial School. In June, a Move Up Day is planned when Dunbarton students will join Bow Memorial School students. A team-building hike is planned in the fall.
On Jan. 23, Colleen DesRuisseaux, Bow High School's director of guidance, and Bow Memorial School's grade 7 and 8 counselor, Kate Estefan, will visit Mountain View Middle School students in Goffstown to provide information for their high school course selections.
An open house for incoming ninth-graders will take place in August at Bow High School.
For more information on events, the AREA agreement and the transition, visit www.bownet.org.