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Central One

State fight brewing over school plan?

Ely proposes single principal, schools object

December 18, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — The School Committee and Superintendent Eric Ely butted heads over his proposal to completely change the dual-administrative structure that's literally being built into the new $72 million middle/high school.

The project's plans call for separate administrative, guidance, nursing and similar offices in wings with separate entrances for each of the two schools — the middle, for grades 6-8, and the high, grades 9-12. But Ely wants to have all staff in both schools answer to one principal and one vice-principal or "dean of instruction," while having separate assistant principals or "deans of students" handling the building management and disciplinary concerns for each wing.

To complicate things, the committee is demanding explanations from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Ely said the change isn't for financial reasons, noting the "cost difference is negligible" compared to the current system. Instead, he said he believes the state is essentially demanding the change for accountability reasons.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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