The elementary schools are supposed to hold 3,325 students, but they have 4,197. Moreover, the town will be required by state law to offer kindergarten starting in 1973, but there’s no place for a kindergarten. Meanwhile, Beacon Village is under construction. More children.
Wildwood Elementary School: A reading specialist works in a slot barely big enough to contain a desk. A speech therapist and guidance councilor share a narrow storage area near the cafeteria. Music instruction happens in the shower room and the medical room is actually the male teachers’ room. The locker room in the basement is the library. And one class is held onstage in the auditorium.
Meadowbrook Elementary School: The speech therapist uses a storage room. So do the guidance councilors. The library is onstage. Music is in the storage basement.
Memorial Elementary School: There is no art room, no music room, no library, no speech therapist, no health room, no space for teachers’ aides and no teachers’ workroom. No storage area for audio-visual equipment. No office for the assistant principal. The speech therapist uses the locker room. The perceptual tutor uses a hallway or a closet, whichever is available. The school has annexed one of the Saint Margaret’s buildings for 10 fifth-grade classrooms. There’s no gym or cafeteria. The students eat at their desks.
Union School: The town’s oldest active school building. It has an absentee principal whose office is actually inside the Center School down the street. There is no gym.
Pine Glen: The tutor for disturbed children uses a shower room.
Center School: This is the original high school. It currently houses the fifth and sixth graders, 382 children. But the library holds about eight students — uncomfortably. The shower room is being converted to a classroom.
Adding insult to injury, school vandalism is out of control. While class was in session, someone hurled rocks through the windows at the music area of Francis Wyman Junior High School. Meanwhile, the high school has broken light fixtures, holes cut into chainlink fences with bolt cutters, and trashed chairs and curtains in the auditorium.