Ipswich’s Super School

Bill Waiswilos and Owen Barnes


The Ipswich School Committee had discussed the possibility of making a new elementary school in place of both Doyon and Winthrop schools. The five possible sites for the school consist of Bialek Park, Doyon School, Mile Lane, Town Hall, and Winthrop School. There are various benefits and drawbacks for each of the proposed sites. The two most popular sites for building the new school are at Winthrop or Bialek park. Finding the most fitting site has proved to be a challenging task.

With the recent vote of 5-1, with one member being absent, the question of building a new school passed. A second decision was made shortly after that vote; the committee voted to get rid of the current Doyon location, because they want to remain a walking friendly location. This leaves two locations for the new school, Bialek Park on Linebrook Road and the current location of Winthrop Elementary school. When listening to the Ipswich resident’s opinions, the committee recognized that having the school in a central location is important to the townspeople. This is to make it more convenient for students who walk to school.  Ipswich residents also voiced their opinion on the Bialek Park location. The people felt as if the park was an important part of Ipswich’s history. This ruled out Bialek Park as a candidate. They also raised concerns of safety for the children because of railroad tracks being so close to Bialek Park. This narrowed the potential locations for the new school down to Winthrop.

The argument for building one central elementary school was hard to defend. The supporters argued it would cut down on heat costs and make Ipswich’s carbon footprint smaller. The overall cost of the new school would amount to twenty-five million dollars. However, it was argued that if the new school was made, it would save money in itself. They hope that creating learning centers would minimize the losses from creating larger classes. The supporters believe that modern classrooms support modern learning.

There seems to be an even bigger argument for people that do not want to see the new school. They believe that creating larger classrooms will take away from the learning. They are also worried of what will happen to traffic if 775 students are all being driven to the same location. It’s difficult to determine if they will be able to maintain traffic because the plan is only in its first stages. This is because with the central location of the school if someone lives within 1.5 miles of the school the children have to walk. Also, if the plan passes, they hope to complete outlines for dealing with rush hour traffic, safe routes for walkers and bikers, possible parking locations, and dealing with problems that weather can bring about.

The new school for elementary students has caused a hullabaloo in the community. There has been extensive discussions and meetings regarding this decision. When discussing the topic with an elementary teacher at one of the schools she said “Everyone knows smaller classrooms with less amounts of kids is better for their education, for the school committee to even consider making 30-40 student classes is ridiculous.” The new school may have its cost efficient benefits, but the learning experience in being in a smaller person class is priceless.