Somerville’s Winter Hill School to hold classes at Tufts after concrete falls in stairwell

SOMERVILLE, Mass — Classes for the Winter Hill Community Innovation School will take place at Tufts University starting next week. Classes will resume Thursday after the Pre K- 8 school was closed for the rest of the school year after concrete fell in a stairwell last week.

District leaders say a piece of concrete fell onto a stairwell while the school was closed, and now engineers need to review the whole building before students can return.

  • AIM Classrooms will move to the Edgerly Building, 8 Bonair Street, 1st Floor. Please see below for additional information.
  • Prekindergarten and Kindergarten will move to the Capuano Early Childhood Center, 150 Glen St. Please see below for additional information.
  • Grades 1-8 will move to Tufts University’s Olin Hall, 180 Packard Avenue, Medford (on the Somerville line). While this site is in Medford, DESE has granted SPS a waiver to host classes in this building for the remainder of this school year. Please see below for additional information.

Students in the AIM and Grades 1-8 classes will have transportation provided for them.

School officials first alerted parents and families to the falling concrete on Thursday. The school was closed Friday as officials inspected the building.

The sudden closure has left some families scrambling.

“So all the, while our children have been in this school, like concrete, could have fallen on their heads and nobody bothered to tell parents who knew it was unsafe,” said Cassie Walston, a mother of a 2nd-grade student.

“For some parents working, it’s too hard because they don’t have childcare, you know, don’t have a budget for this and the kids are very sad,” said Gandhy Aldana, a mother of a 3rd-grade student.

Some families that have students in the AIM program, designed for children with autism, believe the abrupt change in schedule will be too difficult for the students to handle.

“I worry about my son, he has multiple diagnoses that impact his ability to just exist at school,” said Walston.

For many of these students, consistency and routine is key, so parents worry whether their kids will even be able to finish the school year in a new location.

“This is going to impact more than just kids being able to go to school to get an education,” said Walston. “It’s going to impact every part of their lives, their health, family structures, having somewhere to live, parents can’t pay their rent if they can’t go to work.”

Until classes resume Thursday, the Somerville Parks and Recreation Department will have arts and crafts, movies, and games available for students at the Founders Memorial Skating Rink.

Students that don’t participate in the recreation program but are in need of meals Monday through Wednesday can pick up breakfast, lunch and snacks at the City Hall Annex at 50 Evergreen Avenue each day between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Somerville Public Schools provided the following schedule for families:

  • Monday, June 5th: Staff will pack materials from WHCIS that are needed for the school year. The City’s Inspectional Services Department has deemed the building safe for entry and use for staff, but the building cannot accommodate the full student population while the impacted stairwell is closed. Educators will also pack any student belongings that may be remaining in classrooms.
  • Tuesday, June 6th: Classroom materials will be moved to the new temporary locations. Educators will use this time for planning and set up of their new temporary classroom spaces.
  • Wednesday, June 7th: Educators will use this time to prepare and finalize their new temporary classroom spaces.
  • Thursday, June 8th: Classes resume in new temporary locations.

Additionally, a virtual information session will be held at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday night for families to ask questions. A link will be emailed out prior to the meeting.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW

Comments on this article