A committee is scheduled to meet later this month to discuss the future of Teresa C. Hamlin School in Randolph, now that enrollment has dropped to just 44 students.

The reduced number followed the departure of the school’s combined second- and third-grade class teacher, which forced the superintendent of the Gardiner-area district to transfer those students to other schools in the district.

“This leaves us with 44 students at the school,” Superintendent Patrica Hopkins said.

Now an ad hoc committee of the School Administrative District 11 board has been created to consider the school’s future. It is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Randolph elementary school to start its work.

Hopkins said the meeting is open to the public, but no public participation is scheduled.

She said district officials are pulling together information for the committee to consider, including enrollment data for the district and the steps required to close a school.


“What’s the future of the school? Do we continue to operate it? If we close the school, what does that look like?” Hopkins said. “We don’t want to be short-sighted about this.”

She said she has heard all kinds of rumors about the fate of the school, but she confirmed no decisions have been made.

Randolph resident Donna Porter, 71, said she hopes the school can stay open.

“I had grandkids who went through there,” Porter said. “It’s a nice, sweet school.”

The retired museum educator at Fort Western said she understands that people need to think about budgets and taxes, but she hopes that they will think of the quality of education delivered to students. She likes to see small classes for younger children. Children can get lost in larger classrooms, she said.

This is not the first time district officials have discussed the possible closure of Hamlin. With a capacity of 155, it’s the smallest school in the district, which is made up of Gardiner, West Gardiner, Pittston and Randolph.


Hopkins said a committee was assessing space needs for the district in 2010, her first year as superintendent there. In 2011, enrollment at the school was 120.

A committee also met during the 2013-14 school year to consider reconfiguring the district. Part of those considerations was closing the Randolph elementary school, but it has remained open. With the transfer of the combined second and third grades, 44 students remain at the school, in kindergarten, first grade and a combined third-through-fifth-grade class. Twenty-one staff members are listed for the school; none is a principal.

The majority of students are from Randolph, Hopkins said.

The procedure for closing a school is spelled out by the state Department of Education. The requirements include completing a cost analysis report and other paperwork. If a school district pursues that route, voter approval is required.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632


Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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