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New Gorham Elementary School Project
Concept Design

May 19, 2008

Concept Design: How the new elementary school will affect the District and the delivery of the educational and attendant services in the District  

Discussions concerning a new elementary school in Gorham became more intensive in the 1990s and continued into the new millennium.  These discussions were precipitated, essentially, by four factors.  The first factor was the age, condition, and size of the present White Rock School. This building has limited space, as does the footprint of land that supports the School and itsí programs. Attendant to the limitations of the facility is the lack of access to town water, town sewer, and to three-phase power. The second factor, attendant to the articulated in the first one, was the number of portables required to serve the educational program, and the length of time that the School has needed to use them. The third factor was the need to significantly exceed the number of students that both the Village School and the Narragansett School need to
accommodate given the small size of the White Rock School. Village and Narragansett are the other elementary schools in Gorham.  The number of students at Village is over 250 more than the building was designed for, which has required the use of portables, while the student population at Narragansett is 125 more than that building was designed to accommodate, also requiring portables to support the educational program.   
The fourth factor that advanced these discussions was the decision made by the Gorham School Committee in April 2001 to reconfigure the three elementary schools from two schools of K-2 and one of 3-5 to three K-5 schools.  The rationale for that decision is as follows:
122109_94736_0.pngThe concept of neighborhood schools would strengthen.
122109_94736_0.pngTransitions for students from one school to another would be minimized in their K-12 journey to:  one elementary school (K-5); one middle school (6-8), a change that was enabled with the opening of the new middle school in 2003, and one high school (9-12).
122109_94736_0.pngEach school would be large enough to offer a comprehensive educational program, yet small enough to foster a strong sense of community.
122109_94736_0.pngThe schools would provide programs and services as designed, developed, and implemented by the District, thus enabling a consistency and congruence in the elementary schools, yet respect the nuances of each school to supplement and complement those core teaching and learning programs and instruction.
arrowFamilies and children would be able to develop and sustain mutually respectful relationships with the school community over an extended period of time.
arrowThree K-5 schools would advance flexibility for the delivery of the educational program and would relieve the overcrowding of the two schools that will remain in use, Village and Narragansett.
It was evident that a more systemic approach to curriculum, assessment, and instruction was required across the District and the new school will provide the flexibility and the capacity our elementary school facilities to advance and sustain that core work. During the past two years the New Elementary School Building Committee and the K-5 Transition Committee have dedicated many hours and resources that are intended to assure that this systemic approach will both enhance and expand the quality of our elementary school program. The design of the new School reflects the work of these two committees and the critical importance of  the juxtaposition of the educational program with a facility designed to support and advance that program.

Last Modified: Dec 22, 2009
The Gorham schools are committed to the belief that all of our students will find success in school