Northborough’s school enrollment increases by over 80 students


Northborough’s Lincoln Street School 67 Lincoln Street in Northborough. A new study group is looking at the configuration of all of Northborough’s elementary schools. (Photo/Jesse Kucewicz)
Northborough’s Lincoln Street School 67 Lincoln Street in Northborough. Enrollment in Northborough schools has increased. (Photo/Jesse Kucewicz)

NORTHBOROUGH – Enrollment in Northborough Public Schools has increased, according to a presentation to the Northborough School Committee Sept. 7. 

This year, there were 1,641 students welcomed on Aug. 31, which is up from district projections.

Superintendent Greg Martineau noted the real estate market.

“We’re finding that younger families are moving in with school-aged children, which is exciting,” he said.

Further, Northborough Public Schools was about 20 students above the New England School Development Council’s enrollment projections.

According to Martineau, at the end of the school year in June, there were 1,555 kindergarten through eighth grade students in Northborough Public Schools. 

“As a result, we did see some increased class sizes in particular grade levels,” Martineau said. 

Specifically, sections of first and fourth grade were added. According to information provided in the School Committee’s packet, there are 175 first graders enrolled in all of Northborough’s schools and 181 fourth graders. 

The positions for those two sections were not funded, according to Martineau. He said they worked with the finance department and Director of Finance Rebecca Pellegrino to see where the funds could be found to make sure that class sizes fell within the range laid out in the district’s class size policy.

The policy was revised in 2016 and calls for a target class size range of 16 to 20 students for kindergarten through second grade and between 16 to 22 students for third through fifth. 

“We continue to monitor the budget very closely,” Martineau said. 

Martineau connected the increased enrollment to busing and transportation. He said that because of the district’s class size and redistricting policy the enrollment created a burden.

School Committee member Erin Tagliaferri noted that many grades at every school were capped.

“Peaslee is busting at the seams. There is not any room left in there,” she said.

She asked whether there were schools that had space to add classrooms. 

Martineau said there was space in the schools that could be used as classroom space though it wasn’t ideal.

“We would have to start thinking about art on a cart, music in classrooms – not the type of programming we want to provide our students,” Martineau said. “That is our next option.” 

He said there were a couple of schools that had a classroom or two where additional sections could be added.

“Again, if this trend continues, we will be tight in terms of space,” Martineau said. 

This enrollment development comes as Northborough has been discussing the configuration of its elementary schools. 

In results presented to the School Committee in June, a survey indicated that 80% of Northborough families, faculty, staff and community members preferred to keep the town’s neighborhood school model over an alternative that would divide schools by grade level. 


Northborough schools releases school configuration report

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