Communities and Consequences

Communities and Consequences
A video presentation produced by Jay Childs and presented by Peter Francese 

The Newfound Area School District (NASD), comprised of the communities of Alexandria, Bristol, Bridgewater, Danbury, Hebron, Groton, and New Hampton have noted a steady decline in our student population over the past several years. This has failed to abate, and is in fact, continuing at the rate of 30 to 50 students PER YEAR. The official October, 2013 enrollment number reported to the NH Dept of Education shows a total of 1,207 students, down significantly from last year’s number which was reported as 1,268. This has implications for us all. There are many possible reasons for this decline. At the October 15, 2013 School Board meeting, the Board requested that a recent documentary film be posted to our website for the communities’ residents to review. This 4-time Telly Award-winning local documentary “Communities and Consequences” deals with a few of the implications of what the topic means in general to our local economy and specifically to our residential environment. The Board encourages all to review the 55 minute video, which provides you with some background and further understanding of the issues and concerns surrounding student population decline throughout the State of New Hampshire. Please take the time to view this at your convenience by clicking on the URL link 
http://www.jbccom.com/2012/04/communities-consequences-4-time-telly-award-winning-film/
or by viewing via the Town of Bristol’s internet media site at www.townofbristolnh.org. CATV-24 will also be airing the documentary on a scheduled basis as well. To view the schedule go to http://www.townofbristolnh.org/index.html and click on TV Schedule.  Declining student enrollment is a state-wide issue; we hope this stimulates conversations and an understanding of the impacts forecasted by the presenter. 

Your School Board voted to present its constituency with the data to ensure you are able to come to your own conclusion. We ask you take the time to view the video. 

Some of the theories as to why there is a decline in student population in today’s schools involve such things as: the lack of affordable workforce housing, an increase in home school enrollment, increase in Charter School interest and enrollment, parents waiting longer to have children, having fewer children or having no children at all, and younger adults simply moving out of state. In summary, numerous factors contribute to the net result: an adverse impact on the funding available to meet requirements associated with offering a free and appropriate public education. The point of providing you with the OPTION of viewing this production is to allow YOU to decide what YOU believe might be contributing to this continuing statewide trend.  For more on "What is Workforce Housing"? Click on the following link for more information: 
http://www.londonderrynh.org/Pages/LondonderryNH_BComm/Planning/work.pdf

The Newfound Area School Board does not advocate any specific position or stance on this topic. We suggest no solutions on the subject – as we don’t know what those may be -- our intent is simply to inform our constituency and to do so on a strictly voluntary basis via a documentary that seems to address major reasons, and which articulates its overall impact on our entire community, not just our schools. We believe a better informed public will make better decisions on topics brought before them.

Vincent Paul Migliore 
Bridgewater 
NASD School Board Member