Letter to the Editor

Supporting Hampstead Central School Renovations
Submitted By Lauryn Ciulla 2-5-21

In 2016 we moved to Hampstead from Windham, NH. We had suddenly become a one-income household, which scared me. I wanted to move to a less expensive home in a town that had all the great elements that brought us to Windham, including an excellent school system after a lot of searching, we landed in Hampstead.

Over the last five years, there has been little to make me regret this move, except for one major thing - the condition of Hampstead Central School (HCS). Over the years, I have watched the ratings for HCS drop as class sizes increased. When I moved here in 2016 the school was rated 17th and it is currently 77th in the state. I fear without the much-needed renovations and expansion to lower class sizes and bolster the academic environment, the school will continue to decline.

 I love the that we live in a community that comes together when a world-wide pandemic hits, and creates birthday car parades to make all of the kids feel special.  I love my neighborhood; my kids have become friends with many children on our street. I love that so many of my neighbors have become friends. I love that when my Kindergartener refused to go to HCS because he didn’t want to leave his preschool, within 30 seconds of being in the presence of his teacher, he couldn’t wait to go. I love that when a family is without water, the town rallies behind them. And when someone suffers an unimaginable loss, we all find a way to help. I love all of the friendships our family has made since living here.

Where I struggle in my love for Hampstead is the school. I hate the idea of my 5 and 3 year-old breathing in car exhaust since the Pre K and Kindergarten rooms abut the car pick-up/drop-off line. Children have needed to go to the nurse because their classroom reached 90 degrees and they overheated, since there is no AC in that space.

I want you to know that the thought of leaving this town makes me sad. I hate the idea of taking my son away from all his new friends. But I don’t know if I can put my children in a school with so many -in my opinion- health issues. I want them to be in a school that promotes education in the absolute best environment possible. Who doesn’t want to give their children the absolute best?

I know my motivation to get these warrant articles passed is self-serving. I have two kids, ages 5 and 3 who are directly affected by its passing. I understand that the thought of taxes increasing is tough for many of us, but I believe this is worth it. With the cost of Warrant Article 2 being a $25 a month increase in property taxes for a home valued at 400k, it appears to be a good investment. Not only for the parents like myself with kids in the school, but for all of us whose home values depend on the school district’s desirability to new residents. If we were in Windham now, we wouldn’t leave; and if we did, we likely wouldn’t pick Hampstead. We would miss out on some of the most amazing people, because of a school ignored.

If this doesn’t pass I will have to seriously consider moving, staying in town and sending them to private school is not something we can afford. We can however, examine our budget and find away to make that extra $25 a month work for our family, as its benefits are immeasurable. I hope that many of you will do the same, and then vote for article 2 to pass. I know it won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

Thank you,

Lauryn Ciulla, Hampstead Resident















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