Letter to the Editor

Hampstead Central School Needs More Space
Submitted By Erin McGuire 2-5-21

In any town with only one elementary school, the building must be well-rounded and able to accommodate all of the needs for the children who attend. Many towns have multiple schools and are able to spread out programs for children into several buildings, but Hampstead does not have that option.

For the past eight years, I have watched Hampstead Central School utilize space which was never designed to be, nor is it appropriate for, a classroom. Teachers and administrators have been creative in turningthese environments into inviting spaces for students, however the fact remains that these spaces are not conducive to learning.

Last March, before the shutdown occurred, I brought my youngest to have an evaluation for preschool beginning fall 2020. The evaluation was held in an old storage closet which had been transformed into an office. Despite the work put in by Central School staff to make the closet a warm environment for children, it was not enough space for an evaluation with three staff members, a young child, and two parents in attendance.

Our children shouldn’t be forced to have evaluations or services in small spaces such as repurposed closets.

This has been going on for years and, when we can no longer offer services to children due to lack of space, the town will be required to send students to other districts which can offer the services needed in appropriate spaces. This comes at a significant financial cost to the town, but more importantly, has an impact on people’s decisions to move to Hampstead, thus negatively impacting housing values.

Put yourself in the shoes of a young family that is looking to move to Hampstead - would you want to move here only to be told that your child needed to be sent someplace else?  I know I would not.

Thank you,

Erin McGuire, Hampstead Resident















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