Schools to discuss sharing a name

HUDSON – Sometimes one name can be better than two.

That’s the thinking of Hudson school administrators as they consider merging Dr. H.O. Smith and Library Street schools under the umbrella of one name.

The schools would still function separately in many ways, and students and parents won’t have to worry about changes in learning, said School Superintendent Randy Bell.

The five grades that comprise the two schools wouldn’t be placed in one building, either, he said.

Instead, a consolidation in name would give school officials many bureaucratic advantages, Bell said. Dealing with one school instead of two in state reporting and grant requests will make things easier, he said.

“There are certain advantages to calling them a single school for state reporting purposes. The state Department of Education suggested we consider it,” Bell said.

Also, dealing with the paperwork of one school as opposed to two schools would be easier for grants and other matters, he said.

A public hearing on the idea will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

The School Board will discussthe proposal and weigh all public input, Bell said.

If the town supports the idea, the change will have to be made with the state by mid-August, Bell said.

If it takes time to review the idea, the district can submit a proposal next year, he said.

Bell said Dr. H.O. Smith would probably be the name that survives, but that needs to be determined.

The two schools sit about 200 yards apart. Library Street School, which has a mailing address of 22 Library St., houses kindergarten through grade 2. Dr. H.O. Smith School, on 33 School St., has grades 3-5.

They share school bus routes. They also have the same principal, Scott Baker, so administratively, the two schools are already aligned.

“I don’t see a lot of downside to it,” Bell said.

“Sometimes perception means a lot, but if people are concerned, they can speak at the hearing.”