Chariho School Parents’ Forum

December 21, 2006

“Old Ashaway Elementary: The school that no one wants”

Filed under: Hopkinton — Editor @ 7:57 pm

The 1904 debate in today’s ProJo.

Superintendent Ricci was quoted as saying that the school “has no use for the building …. citing falling enrollment in the district, especially at the elementary level.” 

That “falling enrollment” will age to the middle and high school level.  And with the new private school in Richmond, enrollment may be even lower.  Something the building committee should keep in mind.



  1. So Mr. Ricci defines being a “good partner” as giving back $44,000 of our money that wasn’t needed?

    In my world, if I give my neighbor $10 to pick me up some groceries, and the groceries only come to $7, then my neighbor should return the $3 to me or they are a thief. How one becomes a “good partner” simply because they did not steal money is beyond me?

    The whole Ashaway School issue is irritating in light of the school departments’ $30 million bond proposal. How can they say they don’t want the building while also claiming they need more space? Does anyone really believe that it is cheaper building schools from scratch rather than refurbishing an existing building?

    I’m still not sure what exactly the RYSE program entails, but if Chariho does not want to move 5th and 6th grade back to their local schools, how about moving the RYSE program into the 1904 building?

    Your point about the diminishing enrollment at the elementary level moving up the chain is right on target.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 22, 2006 @ 12:29 am | Reply

  2. I wouldn’t call it stealing. The surplus is rolled over into the budget, thus reducing (theoretically) the amount requested for the next project. But there is the issue of earned interest when the money is in the bank. Chariho has in the past kept approx $2M in surplus. I think the towns will appreciate having that money work for them.

    The RYSE program actually serves several different functions. It’s a school for special needs and alternative learning. In the past, special-need students were sent to other schools (eg. Bradley). The cost of tuition was high. Chariho thought it could save money and provide better services at home. It’s only a few years old and rated at “moderate performing.” However, due to the low numbers of enrollees, outliers could skew these performance scores.

    Finally, you said, “if Chariho does not want to move 5th and 6th grade back.” Keep in mind they are our children. Chariho does what the parents want, not vice versa.

    Comment by cspf — December 22, 2006 @ 7:26 am | Reply

  3. How about taking money under false pretenses? Could we call it that? Certainly returning surplus money should not be how a “good partner” is defined? A good partner would be honest and look for every way possible to save the other partner’s resources…right?

    Unfortunately, Chariho’s administration has the bully pulpit for promoting their desires in regard to the organization of the school system and opponents/questioners do not. We can chat here all day, and few parents will be any the wiser.

    I’m not sure how the average person functions in our political environment? I talk to neighbors and they are so disengaged from the realities of town politics it amazes me that they would even express an opinion. It takes me about 2 minutes to convince them of my positions.

    Sadly, they are easily turned in any direction. Leading busy lives doesn’t give much time for detailed analysis of all the issues that we deal with in modern political life. With Chariho having a direct line to parents and with them advocates in the mainstream media, busy people can be easily duped into supporting bad decisions and policies.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 22, 2006 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

  4. Whether the town or the school gets the money, the taxpayers are still out. It’s not illegal but it does have value.

    I had a friend who was a VP for Ross Labs. He caught an accountant who was diverting receivables to his personal account and transferring to Ross the following day. Keeping that float in the bank produced a lot of interest income.

    I suppose it’s a matter of who you want to have your money.

    As far as the other point – it is sadly true. However, you have hit on the solution. Disseminate information and get people talking. The exact reason I started this website. I even print the web address on slips of paper and hand them out to interested people.

    Citizens can’t expect politicians to do what they want if the politicians don’t know what the constituents want them to do. If they don’t do it – hold them accountable.

    Comment by cspf — December 23, 2006 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  5. Oh yes! Make VERY sure you have a surplus! THEN, if the budget is voted down, you KEEP the surplus, and rollit into the “old” budget. Pretty slick way to keep the fat cats going, isn’t it?

    Comment by Georgies Mom — December 31, 2006 @ 8:05 am | Reply

  6. This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.

    Comment by My Home — August 17, 2007 @ 11:19 am | Reply

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