Freetown Elementary School

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Freetown Elementary School
Location
43 Bullock Road
Freetown, MA 02717

Information
Type Public Elementary school
Established 1949
Opened September 11, 1950
School district Freetown & Lakeville Public Schools
Principal Stacey Soto (2012-present)
Ms. Bethany Pineault (2011-2012)
Mr. Robert L. Frizelle (2005-11)
Mr. Donald Noack (????-2005)
Faculty 34.7 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades PreK - 4
Enrollment 542 (as of 2005-06)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 15.6[1]
Mascot Fred E. Scorch
Nickname Dragons
Information 508-763-5121
Website

Freetown Elementary School opened in 1950 and serves grammar school students from the town of Freetown, Massachusetts. It educates around 546 students in grades PK-4 as part of the Freetown & Lakeville Public Schools.[2]

As of the 2005-06 school year, the school had an enrollment of 542 students and 34.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 15.6. 96% of students are Caucasian.[1]

Academics[edit]

In the statewide Spring 2007 MCAS test for Grade 3 a total of 53 percent of students achieved proficiency in reading (an increase of 3 percent over the year before), with another 49 percent in need of improvement. A total of 56 percent were proficient in mathematics (up 14 percent from the year before) and 44 were found in need of improvement. For Grade 4, the test showed 44 percent were proficient in "English language arts" and 56 percent were in need of improvement mathematics results showed 40 percent proficient, 60 percent in need of improvement.[3]

Facilities[edit]

The Ted Just Memorial Field, a baseball field, was constructed on the front yard facing Bullock Road in memory of a fourth grade teacher who died in 1993.

Lack of parking spaces remains a problem at the school, especially for public meetings in the evening and during preschool drop-off and pick-up times. One of the school's parking lots is on Memorial Drive; a smaller one is on Bullock Road. Some parents have parked off of school property and crossed busy streets with their children when dropping them off or picking them up.[4]

History[edit]

The town operated between eight and one dozen small school districts throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and well into the 20th century. These schoolhouses were typically of one or two rooms, were heated by woodstoves, and featured outhouses as their only form of plumbing. As part of the town's post-war planning, it was decided to construct a centrally-located elementary school for all the town's students.

Israel T. Almy of Boston was selected as the architect, and the school was constructed from 1949 - 1950. The eight-room grammar school replaced all the town's schoolhouses when opened in 1950. It housed grades 1-8 until 1972, when grades 5-8 moved to the new George R. Austin Middle School (now the Freetown-Lakeville Middle School). Kindergarten and preschool programs have also been added, bringing the current grade span to PreK-4.[2]

Freetown Elementary School has always been known for its Turtle admiration. Throughout its history, Turtles have always been highly respected and almost worshiped by all Freetown Elementary students and staff. Freetown Elementary was once going to be renamed "Turtle Elementary", but it was never acted upon. To this day Freetown Elementary's biggest claim to fame is its passion for turtles.

The building has been extensively remodelled and expanded, most recently in 1999-2002, and prior to that in at least 1965. A new gymnasium was constructed in 1965, and replaced in 2002, leaving the original gymnasium/auditorium to function solely as an auditorium. As a result of this space, the school is now home to Freetown's town meetings.[5]

The $9.5 million expansion in 2002 added 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of space to the building, bringing it to a total of 105,000 square feet (9,800 m2). The new gymnasium has its own bathrooms and office space (with a private shower) for the school gym teacher, who previously operated out of a closet. The school library space was extended by 10 feet (3.0 m) and a skylight was installed in it. New windows and hallway tiles were installed, along with 32-inch (810 mm) television monitors hung from the ceilings of every classroom. Storage areas were converted into new, large music and art classrooms. A computer lab with 32 Imac computers was added to the library, and a science computer lab with 16 computers was also added as part of the renovations. The project was designed and built by architects Strekelodsky & Hoit of Hingham and AMG Construction of Stoughton.[6]

On 30 November 2009, the school's 2002 gymnasium was named after Tyler Trahan.[7]

2010 flood[edit]

One of the school's biggest incidents were on March 30, 2010. On this day, a flood emergency was issued. The entire district became in a state of emergency due to a flood of more than 2". This incident forced dismissal to be pushed back to 2:20 PM instead of the normal 3:15 PM. The busses became a little late than usual due to this incident. The school was used for shelter for kids who were not allowed to go off the bus due to the floods. The shelter is used also for homeless. The flood cancelled the March 31, 2010 school day and delayed MCAS testing for the area. The flood warning ended at 11:45 PM that night. The next day, though, a call was made to parents townwide, that school would be closed the rest of the week due to road damage due to floods. MCAS testing was depleted to 2 sessions and started on April 6 and April 7 ended the test.

Principal Change[edit]

In the 2011-2012 school year, Robert Frizelle announced his retirement. Bethany Pineault of the Intermediate School is taking his place. Frizelle's final day was December 22, 2011.

Budget-related actions[edit]

Tight financing for the school has sometimes caused problems, led to disputes and even changed the color of the principal's hair.

The annual Parent Teacher Organization fund-raiser pays for various programs, including transportation for field trips, special in-class programs and visiting performing-arts groups. In the 2006-2007 school year, the PTO donated $4,500 for a new school driveway. In October 2007, Principal Robert Frizelle offered to change his hair color every day for a week if the fund-raiser gathered in more than $18,000 (fund-raising had been down, with only $13,000 gathered the year before). Parents and children sold magazines, small gifts and wrapping paper in the 2007 campaign, and they met the fund-raising goal. Frizelle began his hair coloring with red, in honor of the Boston Red Sox. (He used spray-on colors sold for Halloween.)[8]

Budget constraints forced the closing of the school library in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 achool years. The library was reopened in the fall of 2007.[9]

The school was forced to repay $42,000 in November 2007 to the Town, with a further $5,000 in dispute.[10]

2008 – present budget cut[edit]

In 2008, Freetown took a vote to show if Freetown should have a second budget cut. The NO Side won but a failing of overriding the cut forced the cut to Freetown to start after a full year without a budget cut. The science lab was once again shut down and the computer lab teacher was replaced. The library remains open. Classrooms were flooded with children except for about 10% of all classrooms. Mrs. Hiller once again comes back to Kindergarten. Several teachers were cut from the budget and Mrs. Fournier left second grade and moved to first grade. The closed classrooms have dark lights and all desks are hanged up. Mrs. Givens has left the Chapter 1 room. Prior to around 2005, a teacher named Mrs. Johnson had a room in the Chapter 1 Room. After 2005, Mrs. Johnson left the room, from 2005 to late-2007, the room was empty but from 2007–2008, Mrs. Givens moved to that room. Mrs. Givens has been cut. The year's cut ended June 24, 2009. The cut returned September 2.[citation needed]

Events[edit]

The school has a chorus that performs in an annual Winter Holiday Concert in December. Each November, the school has an annual Food Drive that helps needy families in Freetown.[3]

Story telling festival[edit]

The school has an annual story-telling festival in which third- and fourth-grade students tell folk tales and legends from around the world while dressed in costumes and using props. The fourth annual Student Storytelling Festival took place in June 2006.[11]

Special education program[edit]

In 2007 a new special education class at Freetown Elementary was established which is intended to attract students from other schools.[12]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Freetown Elementary School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 6, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Freetown Elementary School", Great Schools, accessed 05 December 2007
  3. ^ a b [1]"Dear Parents" message on the home page of the Freetown Elementary School Web site, accessed December 7, 2007
  4. ^ "Parking a problem at Freetown Elementary School", Kim Ledoux, Standard-Times, October 18, 2007
  5. ^ "Warrant For The Special Town Meeting - Monday, October 27, 2003 - Freetown Elementary School Auditorium", Town of Freetown, Massachusetts
  6. ^ Rapoza, Kenneth, "Freetown Residents View Primary School Upgrades" article, The Boston Globe, May 16, 2002
  7. ^ "Freetown Elementary school gymnasium to be named for Tyler Trahan". 
  8. ^ [2] Ledoux, Kim, "Color me a good sport; Freetown principal dyes hair to reward kids", news article, New Bedford Standard-Times, October 25, 2007, accessed December 7, 2007
  9. ^ [3] Ledoux, Kim, "Freetown elementary sets open house date", news article, New Bedford Standard-Times, September 26, 2007, accessed December 7, 2007
  10. ^ "Freetown school to repay $42K", The Herald News, November 19, 2007
  11. ^ "Students in fine form for storytelling festival" Brian Fraga, Standard-Times, June 1, 2006, accessed December 4, 2007
  12. ^ "Freetown voters take on deficit", Kim Ledoux, Standard-Times, December 04, 2007

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°45′43.54″N 71°00′53.16″W / 41.7620944°N 71.0147667°W / 41.7620944; -71.0147667