Groton - Fifth-graders at Catherine Kolnaski Magnet Elementary School will move to the Claude Chester School for the next year, the interim superintendent said Wednesday.
Randall Collins said the decision was made at a special school board meeting Tuesday as a way to alleviate overcrowding.
To make room for the Kolnaski fifth-graders, Claude Chester's Intensive Behavioral Support (IBS) program will be temporarily relocated to the Charles Barnum School. The Early Childhood Assessment Team (ECAT), based at Charles Barnum, will move its operation to S.B. Butler.
"That will give us the space we need to move Catherine Kolnaski's fifth grade to Claude Chester for one year," Collins said.
The Kolnaski school currently is 27 students over its intended capacity of 460, Collins said. He said about 60 students will move on to middle school at the end of this school year.
That change, combined with the plan to send the current fourth-graders to Claude Chester for fifth grade, would offset the anticipated arrival of about 90 new students at Catherine Kolnaski, Collins said.
"We would still be over capacity at Kolnaski," Collins said. "But we would have enough rooms available to reduce class sizes in the remaining grades."
Balancing the population in the district's two middle schools - West Side and Cutler - is also an unsettled issue, Collins said. He said most people know, based on where they live, what school their child will attend. The goal, he said, is to have the entire population of a given elementary school matriculate to one middle school.
"The possibility exists that Claude Chester might have to send some students to West Side and some to Cutler," he said. "But we won't know that until we have better data."
In other business, Collins announced Tuesday that Fitch High School Assistant Principal Sean McKenna will become the district's interim assistant superintendent.
"He's really quite perfect for the position," Collins said. "He has a lot of curriculum and professional development experience. And he lives in Groton."
McKenna, who taught at Waterford High School when Collins was superintendent there, will begin work in the central office June 25.