HANOVER — Hull could become the ninth area community to join the South Shore Regional Vocational Technical High School region, joining Abington, Cohasset, Hanover, Hanson, Norwell, Rockland, Scituate and Whitman.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends the process take a year or longer, according to Superintendent-Director Dr. Thomas Hickey. The process would culminate in a revised regional agreement that would come before all eight town meetings, plus the town of Hull.
Hickey also told the district School Committee on Wednesday, April 20, that the addition would have little effect on the number of students accepted from current member towns.
“If Hull were to be factored into the formula … I think that might translate into five seats out of a given freshman class of 170,” he said. “That number changes slightly depending on enrollments, but, if it were happening right now, that’s what it would be.”
Hull has 64 eighth-graders, compared to 183 in Whitman and 143 in Hanson as of Oct. 1 this year. Whitman’s total grade 9-12 enrollment at SSVT is 137, and Hanson’s total grade 9-12 enrollment is 80.
He and Chariman Robert Molla had met with Hull’s Finance Committee on April 4, explaining the process involved in the town’s joining the district.
“The Finance Committee down there was overwhelmingly there to support joining South Shore Regional School District,” Molla said. “In the very near future they’re going to put their planning committee together and we have to put a planning committee together as well.”
Molla added that, while lengthy, it’s a process SSVT had undergone before.
“We’ll be able to help our communities out by spreading spending over nine towns instead of eight towns,” he said.
Hull’s Town Meeting on the second week in May will consider an article on whether or not to support creation of a planning committee, Hickey said. If that happens, the School Committee will vote on the same question as an agenda item.
“The formation of a planning committee merely brings us to the end of a beginning, which is we’ve got two parties that want to talk about the possibility,” Hickey said. “These votes are not entrance into to the district. It is the first of many steps.”
“I think Hull is really going to push for it,” Molla said. “They’re going to get it on their agenda as fast as they can. If they should have a special Town Meeting in the fall, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Hickey also reported that Scituate’s April 14 Town Meeting supported the SSVT fiscal 2017 budget, with six communities — including Whitman and Hanson — convening town meetings on Monday, May 2. Abington’s Town Meeting is held in June.