Teachers to Vote Thursday on Silver Hill Charter School Renewal

Flyer distributed in support of Silver Hill charter renewal. Click above for larger image.

Flyer distributed in support of Silver Hill charter renewal. Click above for larger image.

Haverhill teachers will decide Thursday whether to renew the charter of the city-owned Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter Elementary School.

The teachers’ vote is required by the school’s own charter and state law, according to Haverhill Education Association President Lisa R. Begley. Renewals take place every five years and the Haverhill School Committee must also approve the extension. Unlike other charter schools, Begley said, much of the staff at the city school are members of the union.

“All the teachers, ESP’s and secretarial staff at Silver Hill are a part of the Haverhill Education Association,” Begley told WHAV. “As such I need to support them as well as the HEA members at all of our schools. We have provided the teachers at Silver Hill time within our building representative meetings to share their desire to remain a charter.”

There are 580 students enrolled at Silver Hill. Begley said she checked with legal counsel to verify teachers across the city have the right to vote.

Although the union opposed last fall’s ballot question which would have lifted a cap on the number of private charter schools across the state, Begley said, the opposition does not extend to the city-owned schools.

In advance of the formal vote later this week, Begley said, “teachers at Silver Hill took their own vote and the vast majority of teachers voted to remain a Horace Mann Charter School.” Teachers there created flyers in support of the renewal vote.

The literature notes, among other things, ending the charter would mean redistributing children in grades kindergarten through five back into other neighborhood schools and end free, all-day kindergarten. An increase in class sizes at all elementary and middle schools might also result.

Silver Hill supporters also note the school, while open to students across the city, remains primarily a neighborhood school with 74 percent of fifth graders moving on to Consentino School. The school also saw a 91 percent increase in the numbers of Latino families applying to send students there.

Any changes to the charter would take effect during the 2018-2019 school year.

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5 Comments

  1. SlipperCity said:

    Chairman is right…. There IS NO FREE LUNCH. All programs are paid for through the taxes we pay as citizens, for which we pay dearly. Someone always pays, so PLEASE, let’s not utter the word — FREE —!

  2. themiastories said:

    If Siver Hi staff decides to become an Innovation Academy, a students currently remain at the school – 73% from neighborhood and 5% in speciaprograms- All students remain. Free All-Day Kindergarten remains. The change is there is no lottery to enter, it is based on district ines which are yet to be determined.

    Ms.Begley is misinformed even though she was in attendance this evening at the SHHMCS Board Meeting that included a special presentation by Principal Shepherd and Chair of the BOT Giman.

  3. ChairmanoftheBoard said:

    So a union will vote to protect its members first – and the children are just an afterthought.

    Typical Haverhill foolishness. And please stop calling daycare “free” – its not – nothing is “free” unless you’re a “freeloader”.

    • Kim Lawson said:

      The article is referring to free all-day Kindergarten, not “daycare”. Silver Hill is the only school in Haverhill that offers free all day K. All other schools offer all-day for a fee which is determined on a scale based on household income.

      • ChairmanoftheBoard said:

        Kindergarten is not free – nothing is. Someone is paying for it – always. It’s amazing that grown adults actually buy into this concept of “free” – when in all reality, the taxpayers are PAYING for it so it can be free to certain individuals.

        My family struggled with the cost of kindergarten as we both worked as well. But we also realized that if you want to have children there is a cost involved right from the start – and that others are under no obligation to give us a free ride.

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