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HomeNewsArchivesGood Hope Parents Worry School Merger Favors Country Day Staff

Good Hope Parents Worry School Merger Favors Country Day Staff

While details of the merger between the Good Hope School and the Country Day School are still sketchy, it appears the bulk of the job loss will be felt by the faculty and staff of the Good Hope School.

In a letter distributed to Country Day parents and signed by Bill Sinfield, head of the school, and Gerry Groner, chair of the school’s board, it states that the new combined school will utilize Country Day’s campus and “the contracts of all Country Day faculty, administration and support staff will be honored.”

“Every effort will be made to fill open positions with appropriately qualified Good Hope employees,” it continued.

The letter stated that the board of the new Good Hope Country Day School will contain members of both institutions.

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It also stated that Sinfield will remain the head of the new school.

The board of the Good Hope School held a meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the merger with concerned parents.

Before the meeting began, several parents fumed about the nature of the merger, with one deeming it “a hostile takeover.”

Speaking on behalf of the Good Hope School’s board, Tarah Graham-Hodge told the parents that the school had made several adjustments since the closure of Hovensa to stay open, including cutting operating expenses, increasing fundraising and “asking teachers to do a whole lot more with less.”

“The one thing we did not anticipate in the 2013-2014 school year was the decline in the number of student contracts that we received,” she said.

Graham-Hodge said this forced the board to “make some financially responsible decisions” and they felt the merger would provide students with the best educational opportunity possible.

Graham-Hodge said the board did not want to sacrifice the “spirit” and “history” of the Good Hope School, assuring those in attendance, “We’re taking the best of both schools.”

The floor was then opened for questions and one mother said she understood the need for a merger but felt Good Hope “was getting shafted” in terms of retaining faculty.

She said that she had a strong relationship with the faculty and staff of Good Hope and trusted them because “they know my expectations.”

Before a reply could be offered, the board expelled the media from the meeting, with one member telling the journalists present that they needed to “create a safe environment for their parents.”

A message left with Sinfield for comment on the merger was not immediately returned.

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While details of the merger between the Good Hope School and the Country Day School are still sketchy, it appears the bulk of the job loss will be felt by the faculty and staff of the Good Hope School.

In a letter distributed to Country Day parents and signed by Bill Sinfield, head of the school, and Gerry Groner, chair of the school’s board, it states that the new combined school will utilize Country Day’s campus and “the contracts of all Country Day faculty, administration and support staff will be honored.”

“Every effort will be made to fill open positions with appropriately qualified Good Hope employees,” it continued.

The letter stated that the board of the new Good Hope Country Day School will contain members of both institutions.

It also stated that Sinfield will remain the head of the new school.

The board of the Good Hope School held a meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the merger with concerned parents.

Before the meeting began, several parents fumed about the nature of the merger, with one deeming it “a hostile takeover.”

Speaking on behalf of the Good Hope School’s board, Tarah Graham-Hodge told the parents that the school had made several adjustments since the closure of Hovensa to stay open, including cutting operating expenses, increasing fundraising and “asking teachers to do a whole lot more with less.”

“The one thing we did not anticipate in the 2013-2014 school year was the decline in the number of student contracts that we received,” she said.

Graham-Hodge said this forced the board to “make some financially responsible decisions” and they felt the merger would provide students with the best educational opportunity possible.

Graham-Hodge said the board did not want to sacrifice the “spirit” and “history” of the Good Hope School, assuring those in attendance, “We’re taking the best of both schools.”

The floor was then opened for questions and one mother said she understood the need for a merger but felt Good Hope “was getting shafted” in terms of retaining faculty.

She said that she had a strong relationship with the faculty and staff of Good Hope and trusted them because “they know my expectations.”

Before a reply could be offered, the board expelled the media from the meeting, with one member telling the journalists present that they needed to “create a safe environment for their parents.”

A message left with Sinfield for comment on the merger was not immediately returned.