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January 28, 2014

Board to discuss track, tennis plans

WEST NEWBURY — The Pentucket Building and Ground’s subcommittee meets tonight to discuss two possible options for improving the track and tennis facilities on the regional district’s secondary school campus. The meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 6 p.m. in the superintendent’s conference room at the Pentucket Middle School.

In an update to the school board last week, Superintendent Jeff Mulqueen said an analysis of site development was completed and “two good plans” have emerged.

One option moves the tennis courts to a spot behind the middle school and creates an additional field where the current courts stand. A second option keeps the tennis courts in the front of the campus but moves them out of wetlands. Wetlands and subsoils may prove challenging for the project, Mulqueen said.

In other business, Mulqueen told the committee he is working with high school videography teacher, Stevin Bartholomew, to improve the district’s website, which Mulqueen feels does not represent the district’s “world class view.”

The school board was updated on planning process for five Innovation Schools at Pentucket.

The Innovation Schools initiative, first introduced by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2010, seeks to provide students ways to more meaningfully engage in a particular educational area of focus. The district’s five proposed Innovation Schools are the Design and Engineering Academy and the International Baccalaureate at the elementary school levels, and the Pentucket Arts Academy, the Safety and Public Service Academy and the Movement Science and Athletics Academy for middle and high school students. Teachers and community members are working together on the initial planning phase, which Mulqueen expects to be completed by the end of February.

After that he will be more able to answer specific questions about its implementation, but he stressed that the Innovation Schools are part of the regular public education system and will not require additional tuition.

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