A consultants’ report suggests that, due to declining enrollment, not all of Hull’s school facilities are being put to their best use. The solution? Some students should be relocated. But not all students agree.
The report, which was commissioned in 2019 and presented to the School Committee last year, examined student enrollment, building conditions, financial issues, and more and presented three different options.
Option 1, or the “Status Quo,” would keep the system as it is. Option 2 would convert Jacobs Elementary to a K-8 school and keep the high school for grades 9-12. Option 3 would turn the elementary school into a K-7 school and change the high school to grades 8-12.
In both the second and third options, the middle school would be repurposed, likely as a multiuse facility.
The School Committee voted on April 26 to study the issue, choosing to create a committee specifically for that purpose, instead of making an immediate decision.
Nadine Egan, an eighth-grader, thinks that moving the middle-schoolers to the elementary school “would make it harder for them in high school because middle school is a prep [for high school] for them.”
If Egan had to choose between Options 2 and 3, she would choose Option 2 – for all middle-schoolers to move to the elementary school. “I’m kind of in between,” she says. “I don’t really want them to move, but if they really have to, I would want them to move to the elementary school.”
Nolan Tiani, a senior and student body president at the high school, said he would choose Option 3, with the eighth-graders moving to the high school and the sixth- and seventh-graders going to the Jacobs.
“As a student, I think it would be better to keep three schools. But as a taxpayer, I would want to consolidate,” Tiani said.
He also said the shift to high school would be difficult without a designated middle school. “Middle school is really when you start to mature and become your own person,” he explained. “That would be tough going right from there to the high school.”
Bella Walsh, a fifth-grader, also believes that the middle school would be missed. “I don’t like the plan of the middle-schoolers going to the elementary school,” she said. “I don’t really think it’s fair to not have your whole year in middle school.”
She also expects that such an arrangement would not go over well with students. “[They] would be mad about it,” she said. “I don’t think they would think it’s fair.”
To read the report, go to https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20613144-hull-schools-report_main_20-05-12-1#document/p31