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Superintendent Addresses ConVal Obligations To New Charter School

ConVal Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders wishes to provide the following statement regarding the charter school opening in Peterborough.

“We are pleased to welcome Lionheart Academy to the greater ConVal community this fall, and are committed to fulfilling our statutory obligations in support of students who will be attending.

“I am aware of some conversation among our stakeholders regarding ConVal’s responsibility to Lionheart and its students, and felt it important to outline those responsibilities in a clear and concise way.

“ConVal is responsible for providing transportation to students attending Lionheart who would otherwise attend Peterborough Elementary School. As a result, ConVal will provide transportation to Lionheart students residing in Peterborough or Sharon.

“Additionally, subject to space limitations, Lionheart students who reside outside of those two communities, in Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Greenfield, Francestown, Hancock and Temple, will be permitted to utilize existing stops on the Peterborough/Sharon bus network. This accommodation goes above and beyond our statutory obligations but is a step we believe will ultimately support students and families in the broader ConVal community. ConVal will not be expanding transportation services to accommodate additional bus routes to service the charter school.

“ConVal is also responsible for facilitating our district’s resident students’ special education needs, regardless of whether they attend one of our schools. We have been in regular communication with our colleagues at Lionheart in order to facilitate the learning needs of students in their special education program.

“Our core goal is supporting student learning, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Lionheart to ensure students have the resources they need to succeed. We look forward to a productive relationship with Lionheart and remain committed to fulfilling our responsibilities to all students in our district.”