Barrington is actively recruiting up to 10 students – one in each grade except fourth- and fifth-grades – to attend its highly regarded schools. At a cost of almost $12,800 each for tuition.
“We never had seats before,” said Superintendent Robert McIntyre before the annual budget hearing hosted by the Committee on Appropriations at the middle school on Wednesday evening.
“It’s something new," he said. "We’re trying it to see if it will attract students.”
The proposed $44.6 million dollar school budget shows an actual revenue line item of almost $127,000 for tuition for out-of-district students. It’s a line item that could come up short if the district does not find 10 students to fill the seats.
McIntyre said he isn’t overly concerned. Neither is the School Committee.
“We’ve always had way more requests (than 10) each year in the past,” he said.
“The School Committee said it is confident it can fill the seats,” said Kathy Cadigan, chair of the Committee on Appropriations. “We thought the line item should be set lower.”
McIntyre said during the budget hearing that the criteria for admission to the schools is still being designed. He said the administration will look for the “best fits.”
The superintendent was responding to a question from parent Joel Hellmann: “How will we be assured that we get students that will only cost $12,800?”
McIntyre said the tuition was set at a level to attract students.
“We didn’t want to go too high,” he said. It could be adjusted in future years.
McIntyre stressed that no matter what, only one out-of-district student will be admitted to each grade, even if the number of out-of-district students comes up short.
He said that anyone interested in one of the seats should contact him, Assistant Superintendent Mike Messore or Finance Director Ron Tarro.