Gill-Montague Regional Schools

No more Great Falls pre-k

TURNERS FALLS — There will no longer be a preschool classroom in the shared Turners Falls High School/Great Falls Middle School building, an end to a two-year experiment.

Former interim Superintendent Nadine Ekstrom moved the preschool classroom from the elementary school into the middle school in 2012, saying the move would give high school students without their own transportation the opportunity to work in the classroom.

Gill-Montague Regional School District Superintendent Michael Sullivan brought the reversal to a recent School Committee meeting, saying the classroom is taking up ground floor space needed by the special education program, separates the young students from the art and physical education available to their peers at the elementary school, and restricts them to a tiny outdoor playground.

The middle school nurse also leaves before the end of the pre-k school day, he said, and the administrators aren’t trained for any pre-k discipline issues.

The class will join the other two preschool classes in the Hillcrest Elementary School. Sullivan said the middle school life skills class will move to the former pre-k and the new health class to begin in the fall will take the old life skills room.

Sullivan said high school students should be able to continue interning in the classroom, using a school van for transport if necessary.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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