Just a few years ago, in response to an appeal by the members of the Winthrop School Board, residents voted to raise their taxes to pay for an expansion of the Winthrop Middle School.

Because of declining enrollment, however, we now have space in the new addition that will not be used unless the Board of Education reverses the decision it made in July. The board rejected, 3-1, a motion I made to transfer the fifth grade from the elementary school to the middle school.

As a result, when students and teachers arrive at Winthrop Middle School later this month, the corridors in new addition will be closed off and what is probably among the three best classrooms in our system will not be used.

Meanwhile, at the elementary school, the top floor of the old high school is being closed off to save money on energy expenses. Combined with changing to an all-day kindergarten program, fewer classrooms will be available. I do not believe that squeezing the elementary students into fewer rooms has an educational advantage for either students or teachers.

I would encourage members of the Winthrop community to learn more about this issue by attending tonight’s Winthrop School Board meeting or by contacting the members of the Board of Education, school administrators and town councilors. School Board member contact information can be seen at www.winthropschools.org.; and town councilor information at www.winthropmaine.org.

Joe Pietroski, member

Winthrop Board of Education

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