Jan 262015
 
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Superintendent's Corner

Hello to Everyone!

I hope you have enjoyed a little bit of a warm up over the past few days. We had a short week this week. Sadly, I had no scheduled school visits this week. I missed it! Gladly, I have two site visits scheduled for early next week.

On Tuesday, Jared Stanton (our Director of Business and Finance) and I attended the final of four Mass Association for Regional Schools (MARS) sessions on budgeting. It was very informative and provided us with tools as we develop our budget booklet. We hope this year’s recommended budget booklet will provide a comprehensive picture of budgeting and finance here in Groton-Dunstable.

As a continuation of my entry plan findings series, this Roundup reviews enrollment data. As a product of a partnership with NESDC (New England School Development Council), we had a historical enrollment review conducted. Fluctuations in enrollment occurred over the past ten years. We ranged from 2.3 percent increases to 5.1 percent decreases. Overall, our enrollment is down 10.9 percent from 10 years but our enrollment has gone up for the past two years. Of note, our 9-12 enrollment is at a ten year high with 102 more students than we had ten years ago. Our biggest drop is in grades K-4 with a ten year difference of 310 students since 2004-2005.

Groton-Dunstable Enrollment Trend

Groton-Dunstable Enrollment Trend

I was so excited to participate in a workshop led by Dr. Novak and Dr. Conway around our hiring procedures here in Groton-Dunstable. This workshop came out of a recent leadership activity in which groups of administrators reviewed a draft hiring guide and made suggestions for further review and revisions. A committee of administrators (including Mr. Myerson, Mrs. Mancini, and Mr. Mastrullo) met with us at Prescott to review a draft of the hiring guide and make revisions and recommendations. The intent of this procedural manual is to refine our processes for posting, interviewing, and offering positions to staff.

It was wonderful to meet with the Groton School’s Headmaster, Temba Maqubela, at Prescott this week. Mr. Maqubela and I discussed opportunities for partnership between our district and the Groton School such as shared guest speakers/visitors, global education efforts, and/or community engagement. He will be visiting the high school sometime soon. Although he has visited many public schools across the county, G-DRHS will be the first public school he will visit in Massachusetts. I am excited for him to see all of the amazing things we do here!

This week, I represented the district on the board of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative. This is our primary special education collaborative and it was good to hear their annual report which demonstrated that they are financially stable and their programs are strong. For me, the best part of the meeting was hearing from their students of the month who have overcome many obstacles to find success and support.

In this week’s Central Office Administrative team meeting we spent the whole 90 minutes reviewing the sections and components of the new budget booklet. This session was led by Jared Stanton who facilitated the newly developed 3 page checklist of responsibilities that outlines the tasks for the development of the budget booklet-based on state exemplars.

We had a very full School Leadership Team meeting. We discussed: Plickers training, formative assessment for administrators, hiring guide finalization, Universal Design for Learning theory, digital portfolios, budget planning, university partnerships, recycling, and other informational items.

Department Update — Curriculum and Instruction

Submitted by Dr. Katie Novak

Thanks to the Groton-Dunstable PD Committee, our professional development offerings this year are just fantastic! In addition to the multipart series, we currently have 32 staff members taking advantage of our PD book club, and our in-service extension opportunities. Up next? We will be offering an additional in-service course this spring, facilitated by Linda Jones, focused on the listening and speaking skills outlined in the new Massachusetts frameworks. Also, this spring and summer, we will be offering three graduate courses, right here at Prescott, through Fitchburg State, for all interested teachers. Topics include mathematics, Universal Design for Learning, and writing.


Jan 182015
 

Taylor 2, the outreach troupe of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, visited Groton this week, performing and teaching as dancers-in-residence at Groton School.Groton School

Taylor 2, the outreach troupe of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, visited Groton this week, performing and teaching as dancers-in-residence at Groton School.

Taylor 2, the outreach troupe of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, visited Groton this week—performing and teaching as dancers-in-residence at Groton School.
 
The six members of Taylor 2 worked directly with about 60 students—members of the School’s afternoon dance program and the cast of the winter musical, as well as others interested in dance. They provided professional-level guidance as well as inspiration.
 
In addition, they shared their artistry with the entire School during a Tuesday evening performance that included a piece reminiscent of classical ballet as well as one influenced by tango. “The residency provided a wonderful way for students to experience the power of a great dance performance and to have personal contact with the artists themselves,” said Arts Department Head Mary Ann Lanier.
 
Several Groton dancers said that the professional-level instruction motivated them to push themselves harder. “Our students gained a fuller appreciation for the expressive power and technical challenges of dance,” Lanier said. “They were asked to use all of their physical, emotional, and intellectual energies as they learned snippets of Paul Taylor’s choreography in dance workshops.

“Those who danced were inspired to strive for greater accomplishment,” she added. “Those who had not danced before were exposed to the beauty, power, and expressive possibilities of the art of dance.”

See photos from the dance residency on the Groton School’s multimedia page.

 
 
 

Dec 152014
 

The Groton-Dunstable Crusaders were bounced from the MIAA Division 3 Central hockey tournament by the Wachusett Mountaineers for the second consecutive year in March. Graduating from that squad were five key contributors: Josh Rabbit, Justin Cole, Derek March, Connor Maguire, and perhaps most importantly, goaltender Jason Robes.

“Robes was a four-year starter,” G-D head coach Phil Rowley said. “We have four goalies trying out. We’ll see who wins the job.”

The Crusaders had a strong 2013-14 campaign, finishing the regular season 16-4-1 (7-1 league) and winning 13 straight at one point. While inexperience between the pipes will be a concern, they’ll have plenty of veterans – and speed – amongst their skaters, with Pat Keating, Eric Niemoller, and Bradley Garside as captains, plus John Lagnan, Ryan Dodge, Chris Lattini, and Harry Perrault returning to the starting lineup. Cam Strong, Robert Hoare, and Mike Cole are also expected to make key contributions.

Rowley is in his third year coaching the Crusaders. He said his team has three big games to look forward to on their schedule: two against Shrewsbury (at Northstar Arena in Westborough on December 29 and at the Groton School on Februrary 11), and on January 21 at the Groton School when they look to get revenge against Wachusett. He also said that his team’s goals are simple:

“Be competitive and get better every time we hit the ice,” he said. The Crusaders will get their first chance to do that on December 13 against Leominster at Fitchburg State.

Over at the Groton School, the Zebras finished last season at 16-8-3 and defeated Westminster 3-2 in the NEPSAC quarterfinals before falling 2-1 to Dexter in the semis.

This season, head coach Bill Riley will have two offensive juggernauts that will hopefully power his team to another playoff berth: junior Mike Brown and senior Ace Cowans, who is committed to the University of Vermont.

Cowans was one of the NEPSAC’s leading scorers, with 25 goals and 31 assists, while Brown had 23 goals and 26 assists. Cowans will be one of three captains for Groton, along with Dorien Lewellyn and Jason Cahoon. Brown, Cowans, and Cahoon are all returning starters, as is Matt Winter.

Riley knows his team has the offense to compete, but wants to see improvement on defense. Overall, however, he says he has “a great group of hockey players [that are] extremely competitive.”

Groton’s season opener is Wednesday at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth, Maine.

Lawrence Academy head coach Robbie Barker did not return multiple requests for comment. The Spartans won their season opener Wednesday 4-2 over Milton.


Oct 152014
 

The Windsbach Boys Choir performs at Groton School October 28th, part of the Gammon Concert SeriesMila Pavin

The Windsbach Boys Choir performs at Groton School October 28th, part of the Gammon Concert Series

The Groton School’s Edward B. Gammons Concert Series hits a high note this month, when it hosts the Windsbacher Knabechor German Boys Choir. The internationally-known choir is on a world tour as part of Germany’s commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The choir will perform in St. John’s Chapel, a Gothic Revival masterpiece on Groton School’s campus and the perfect setting for the Windsbacher repertoire, which extends from Renaissance to contemporary music but specializes in sacred works. The concert is presented by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture on October 28 at 7 p.m.

This event, like all performances in Groton’s Edward B. Gammons Concert Series, is free.

Please plan to attend the rest of the Gammons Concert Series too. These concerts take place in the Edward B. Gammons Recital Hall, in Groton’s Schoolhouse, 282 Farmers Row, Groton.

November 9, 2014, 4 p.m. — International concert flutist Robert Stallman with Victor Romanul, violin; Dimitri Murrath, viola; and Emmanuel Feldman, cello, in an all-Mozart program

January 8, 2015, 7 p.m. — Trio Viento, the unexpectedly beautiful combination of oboe (Nancy Dimmock), French horn (Sheffra Spiridopoulos), and piano (Rebecca Plummer)

February 5, 2015, 7 p.m. — Groton School’s music faculty — composers, recording artists, soloists, and members of Boston’s professional ensembles

April 13, 2015, 7 p.m.— Scaramouche: All Women Percussion, which connects people through an exhilarating performance of music and theatrics that celebrates the freedom of self-expression

Because of ongoing construction, to reach the Gammons Recital Hall, please enter through the north (athletic) gate and park near the Athletic Center, then follow signs.

Groton School is a diverse and intimate community devoted to inspiring lives of character, learning, leadership, and service. Groton School, recognized as one of America’s top boarding schools, prepares students in grades 8-12 for the “active work of life.”


May 062014
 

Jonathan Klein, President of the Groton School board of trusteesGroton School

Jonathan Klein, President of the Groton School board of trustees

The Groton School board of trustees unanimously elected Jonathan Klein as its new board president on April 25th. He will succeed James H. Higgins III, who has served as board president for nine years. Klein is the co-founder and CEO of Getty Images and has been a board member since 2006.

“I am humbled, proud, and feel extraordinarily privileged to become the board president of a school that has changed so many lives, including the lives of my own children,” Klein said. “I am particularly fortunate to be taking on this position at a time when Groton is in such great health and to have the opportunity to work with our spectacular new headmaster, Temba Maqubela, and also with the very dedicated and visionary members of the Groton board. I look forward to building on Groton’s many strengths while also assisting with forward-thinking initiatives in the years ahead.”

Klein lives in New York with his wife Deborah, He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and spent much of his life in England. He received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge. His son Alex, a 2008 Groton graduate, studied at Yale and Cambridge; his son Adam, a 2011 Groton graduate, is a junior at Yale; and his son Max is a current Groton student.

Higgins, the outgoing president, explained that the time was right for a change in leadership. “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as president,” he said. “The best time to move on is when the School is flourishing and looking to new horizons, when its leadership is strong and self-confident, and when a successor of obvious depth of talent and universal support is available and ready to take over.”

Higgins will remain on the board for another year to ensure a smooth transition — a gesture the new president values. “I have served under Jamie Higgins’ leadership for many years and know that his are very big shoes to fill, so I am particularly grateful for the example he has set and also for his willingness to help me through the transition,” Klein said. “Jamie has ably shepherded the school through an innovative strategic plan, a massive economic downturn, the hiring and on-boarding of a new headmaster, and a variety of other challenges. I hope to follow his model of collaboration and continue his open-mindedness to new ideas and healthy debate.”

Klein also serves on the boards of the Committee to Protect Journalists and Grassroot Soccer and is the chair of the board of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. He will take over the governance of a school that enjoys a position of solid strength, with a healthy endowment, a 2014-15 admittance rate of approximately 12 percent, and an exciting renovation underway on its 1899 Schoolhouse.

Headmaster Temba Maqubela thanked Higgins on behalf of the global Groton School family, for leaving the School “on firm footing for his successor. As we renovate the Schoolhouse, we owe a deep sense of gratitude to Jamie, who ensured that this dream to enhance teaching of STEM subjects in our iconic Schoolhouse was well underway,” he said. “I am thrilled that Jonathan Klein is ready to propel us to even greater heights.”

According to Higgins, Klein is more than ready. “In addition to his obvious passion for Groton and commitment to its values and mission, he is a person of extraordinary insight and farsightedness,” the outgoing president said. “Jonathan has a deep appreciation for what makes Groton unique, an intuitive sense of collegial inclusion and transparency, and an infectious zest for the future. He is the ideal person to lead the board into the next chapter of Groton’s history.”


Apr 292014
 

Groton School Schoolhouse beam signing kicks of renovation

Groton School Schoolhouse beam signing kicks of renovation

The Groton School community left an indelible mark on the ongoing renovation of the iconic Schoolhouse—and on Groton history last Friday.

At about 8 a.m., a bright white, 14-foot beam—one of the first that will go into the Schoolhouse’s new addition—was in place near St.John’s Chapel, on Groton’s Circle. When the morning Chapel service ended, students poured out and walked over to sign the beam before heading to classes. With red and black Sharpies in hand, they put their names on a project that is preparing the Schoolhouse for the next century.

Friday evening, faculty, staff, trustees, and honored guests gathered to sign the same beam outside the Headmaster’s House, then headed to a special dinner. Speaking at the event were Board of Trustees President James H. Higgins, New Facilities Committee Chairman and trustee Franz Colloredo-Mansfeld, Headmaster Temba Maqubela, and trustee and early advocate of the project Jennifer Sandell. The Grotones, a girls a cappella group, performed at the celebration.

The ceremonial beam-signings heralded the Schoolhouse project, which is revitalizing the structure and expanding it with an addition dedicated to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. Construction began in mid-March and is expected to be complete by fall 2015.

See more photos from the beam-signing ceremonies on our multimedia page.


Apr 072014
 

Strong pitching by Jack Harlan helped Lawrence Academy beat Groton School 5-3Briana Bozkurt

Strong pitching by Jack Harlan helped Lawrence Academy beat Groton School 5-3

The Lawrence Academy baseball team used timely hitting and a big day from sophomore pitcher Jack Harlan to defeat the Groton School, 5-3, in their the schools’ first “crosstown” game of the season.

Harlan went the distance, surrendering just five hits and one walk while striking out ten. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate, delivering the biggest hit of the day, a two-run triple in the bottom of the fifth that put Lawrence up 5-2.

“This is hopefully the way it goes for him,” Lawrence head coach Chris Margraf said. “He had a good year for us last year, he was our no. 2 guy, he threw 40 innings and had an ERA under 2. That’s why schools like BC, Duke, and Dartmouth are very interested in him.”

Groton looked to set the pace in the first inning both in the field and at the plate. They strung together three consecutive base runners with two outs in the top of the first to score the first run of the game when junior catcher Ejaaz Jiu (1-for-2, 2 RBI, 1 SB) singled home Joe Gentile (1-for-3, 1 R, 1 SB). In the bottom half, junior pitcher Johnny Lamont needed just ten pitches to record three outs. The first two runners reached base, but were erased on a fielder’s choice and a failed stolen base attempt.

That would be as easy as it would get for Lamont, as the Lawrence batters worked his pitch count into the twenties in each of his next four innings. He would end up going five innings, allowing six hits and five walks while striking out eight on 103 pitches.

“It’s early in the year,” Groton head coach Glenn DiSarcina said. “Johnny struggled with his control in the middle innings, and they capitalized on pitches that were up in the zone.”

Harlan’s day went in the opposite direction from Lamont. He threw 29 of his 102 pitches in the first inning, but settled down and didn’t throw more than seventeen in any other inning the rest of the way, including two innings of single-digit pitches.

Lawrence Academy catcher Cam St. Amand at batBriana Bozkurt

Lawrence Academy catcher Cam St. Amand at bat

Groton would extend its lead to 2-0 in the top of the third thanks to picture-perfect small ball. Two infield singles and two sacrifice hits and a sacrifice bunt allowed Ward Betts to score on a sacrifice fly by Jiu.

After two quiet innings, the Lawrence offense got going in the bottom of the third and tied the game at 2 with an RBI single by Sean Winthrop, plating Jake Cassidy; and a groundout off the bat of Rocco Daigneault that scored Luke Benoit.

“We’re a very young team,” Margraf said. “The bats are usually the last to come, so we focus more on teamwork and work ethic.”

Ward Betts slides home against Lawrence AcademyBriana Bozkurt


Mar 152014
 

Dear Editor,

Mr. Pease’s recent letter to regarding the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) issue is timely given the recent financial management review update that was completed by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s, Division of Local Services. The report, which is available on the town’s website, recommends pursuing with the tax exempt entities in town a formula that address the expense incurred in the provision of municipal services and would be a predictable source of revenue (Item 8 on page 11. — Ed.). This recommendation was also made in the DLS report that was conducted in 2004 and laid the basis for the work of the Blue Ribbon Governance Committee which led to the town adopting the charter in 2008.

It would be inaccurate to assume this issue has not been pursued, but absent the underlying legislative support for PILOT formulas the best we are left with are ‘gentlemen’s agreements.” Our former State Representative, Bob Hargraves, can tell some interesting stories about the time he filed legislation to compel private schools to continue paying the property tax on residences they purchased for faculty housing or noneducational purposes. The bill was actually gaining some traction until the larger colleges in the Boston area became aware of it and killed it through intense lobbying (an informal agreement was reached with the Groton School who continue to pay amounts equal to the assessed property tax on residences they acquire). It would be nice if current legislation was more productive, but it is more than likely the same interests will view any such legislation as being akin to the ‘camels nose getting under the tent’ and will oppose it vociferously.

This does not mean the PILOT issue is a lost cause however, and the Selectmen are following up on the DLS recommendation and approaching the private institutions in town that benefit from municipal services. School services for the dependents of faculty staff are a major component of town services provided to some private institutions and it must be addressed, particularly in light of the financial crisis our school district is in. Current PILOT payments by those institutions do not cover this expense. There are also ways to approach this issue with some of the other tax exempt entities and some good examples exist where municipal light departments agree to pay a percentage of their revenues to their towns. Of course those revenues can be impacted by the current volatility of the energy market, but it is a good starting point for a conversation.

The PILOT issue is indeed a timely one and one that is being pursued currently. At its core it is a matter of fairness and good public policy given the fiscal dynamics which face Groton.

Sincerely,

Peter S. Cunningham
Selectman


Mar 132014
 

Dear Editor,

Times are changing, and Groton must adapt or die.

Groton faces a few significant challenges, and the greatest is school funding. Groton must increase funding to the G-DRSD and decrease its municipal budget. The total dollars available are based on the amount of money Groton will receive over the year. Most of this is property tax. Some of it is car taxes and dog taxes. And some of the money comes from gifts or PILOTs, payments in lieu of taxes, from nonprofit organizations.

Groton is a community. If the town thrives, all members benefit, including our educational institutions, our religious institutions, and our scientific institutions.

The Town of Groton is in partnership with GELD and MIT and Grotonwood, Groton School, and Lawrence Academy, etc. The town provides services, and these organizations try to compensate us in a reasonable manner.
GELD is an incredible partner. Beyond all of their service to the town, even a reduced PILOT payment in FY13 was still more than 40% of its land assessment, and their projection for FY14 is at 83%.

MIT is already beyond the 25% level with their payments — clearly a good neighbor, a good partner.

Even under the strain of increased health care costs to its clients, Seven Hills contributes 20%. As a policy, the people of Groton should certainly not ask this facility to contribute more.

The Groton School gives the Town of Groton the most of any nonprofit organization — $100,000 per year. This is 6% of its assessment. Lawrence Academy and Grotonwood Baptist Camp also pay around that 6% number. Should they pay more? It doesn’t seem reasonable to demand 25% from these locations. Is there a more appropriate number than 6%?

We would have an answer if Groton had a defined policy on this matter. We need a defined policy, because times are changing.

1) In 2011, the city of Boston asked organizations to voluntarily agree to a PILOT at 25% of assessed value. Boston University President Robert A. Brown understood the partnership between the city and the organization, stating “My primary goal in life is to make Boston University a better institution, but it can only be a better institution if the city thrives.” If the president of Boston University recognizes this inherent partnership, we must assume that our esteemed academic and scientific organizations recognize it as well.

2) In 2013, both the MA House (H2642) and MA Senate (S1308) proposed a limit to the exemption for those organizations covered under Clause 3 of Section 5. (A call to the State House for status indicated that The Joint Committee on Revenue should be reporting on this next week.) This bill, if allowed to proceed and passed, would allow the Town of Groton to collect up to 25% of the assessed amount! Of course, the people of Groton would be able to make specific exclusions — and this is where a defined policy matters.

You see, these organizations are good partners, and raw money cannot determine this. They donate funds to specific projects through out the town. They provide day care services, summer camps, community gatherings, and even tennis courts. They increase our prestige, which helps Groton attract new residents. They are good neighbors, and many of us would love to live next to them.

Right now, the tax payers of the town are being asked to pay more and more of their income to support our schools, our infrastructure, and our safety. This leaves less for ourselves, less for our kids. We do this because we participate in the Groton community. These nonprofit organizations are parts of this community, and they do benefit the town. Groton must thrive for them to fulfill their goals.

The Board of Selectmen must work with the nonprofit partners to develop a PILOT policy. This policy cannot be based simply on numbers. It must also be based on qualitative values. If we get wrapped up in the quantity, we can lose sight of the benefits and non-monetary contributions these organizations give to our town.

The Board of Selectmen must form a special commission to determine Groton’s policy on PILOT. This commission must involve our nonprofit partners, members of the public, and appropriate critical thinkers from the Groton Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen.

If elected in May, I will champion such a commission, and make sure that the result is a reasonable and effective policy. We must allow Groton and its nonprofit partners to thrive by working together for a better tomorrow.

Respectfully,

Barry A. Pease
Candidate for Board of Selectman, Town of Groton.
Barry@PeaseForGroton.com


Feb 262014
 

With both the Town of Groton and the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District looking for ways to avoid dramatically increasing taxes or putting a Proposition 2 1/2 Override on an election ballot, Payments In Lieu of Taxes from Groton’s nonprofits are getting a hard look from town officials seeking more income. Groton’s nonprofits, if they were taxable, would contribute $3,080,931.03 to the town’s general fund. Anticipated PILOT payments for Fiscal Year 2014, which ends June 30, 2014, are $216,230.70, about 7% of theoretical tax payments, according to reports The Groton Line received from Patricia Dufresne, Groton’s Town Accountant, and Rena Swezey, the town’s Principal Assessor.

The small group of nonprofit entities that own property in Groton is exempt from paying property taxes, the main funding mechanism for both town services and the schools. Although they are not required to, all give the town an annual gift, a payment for the services they receive. In almost all cases, the gifts are a small fraction of the amount of cash the town and schools would receive from property taxes. The payments go into the town’s general fund, from which the schools are paid an assessment. There is no direct link between PILOT payments and the school district.

Groton School is the largest of the nonprofits, both in the amount of property it owns and in the gift — Groton School officials refuse to call it a PILOT — that it gives the town each year. Groton School owns property in town assessed at $93,317,600. If the school paid taxes on the real estate and buildings, it would pay $1,621,859.89 per year. The school gives the town $100,000 per year as part of a 20-year commitment to the town. That works out to about 1.7% of what would be the school’s tax payment, if the town were allowed to collect taxes from the school.

Lawrence Academy is in second place as far as the amount of property the prep school owns: $36,715,400 is the assessed value. Lawrence Academy also makes the second largest payment to the town and schools. Instead of a $638,113 tax payment, Lawrence makes a PILOT of around $40,000 each year, just over 6% of a theoretical tax payment.

Among schools in Groton, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, comes in third. The university owns property assessed at $2,628,900 that would generate a tax payment of $45,690.28 if it were taxable. MIT’s PILOT for the current fiscal year should be $12,730.00, 2.8% of a theoretical tax payment.

The Seven Hills Foundation operates an extended care facility and a pediatric center in Groton, with assessments of $3,939,900. If taxed, the properties would generate $68,475.46. Seven Hills makes a PILOT of $15,000 per year.

The Groton Electric Light Department is an exception to the general PILOT rule of underpayments in comparison to tax assessments. The utility usually pays the town $30,000 per year, close to the $35,886 it would pay if it was taxed on its $2M worth of real estate. Last year, the utility cut its PILOT payment to the town in half, to $15,000, but it also made a $100,000 gift to the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District for new computers and technology in the classrooms. That gift is not shown in the PILOT calculations from the town because it didn’t go into the town’s general fund; instead it went directly to the school district.

There are a number of other caveats and exceptions to the numbers that show up on the spreadsheets. The nonprofits unquestionably contribute to the quality of life in Groton by preserving open space and attracting educated, affluent faculty and staff to enrich the community. Occasional special purpose gifts fall outside of the framework of PILOT. The Groton School just made a donation of $25,000 toward the new fire station for the purchase of fitness room equipment, Fire Chief Joe Bosselait reported. Last summer, Grotonwoods camp paid $10,000 to the town for maintenance of the Lost Lake dam.

On the debit side of the ledger, the school district paid $11,000 to Groton School for ice time for the district’s hockey teams this year, according to Jay Prager, chair of the Groton Finance Committee.

Members of the school district administration and school committee have mentioned in meetings that upward of 15 elementary and middle school students who live on the Groton School and Lawrence Academy campuses are attending Groton-Dunstable Regional schools. Because they live in houses that do not pay property taxes, the kids’ education is essentially unfunded because the private schools’ PILOTs go into the town’s general fund, and are not applied directly to tuition costs. The school district administration and school committee members have, so far, been unable to come up either with an exact number of students who live in the various non-profit’s campus housing or a per-pupil cost of what it costs to educate elementary and middle school students.

The PILOT issue is not local to Groton. In 2012, then Boston Mayor Menino asked the city’s institutions to voluntarily pay 25 percent of what they would be required to pay in taxes were they not tax-exempt. The appeal boosted the amount the city received significantly, according to published reports.

FY 2014 Valuations FY 2014 Tax Rate Taxes that would be assessed FY2012 PILOT FY2013 PILOT FY2014 Projected Receipts
Groton Electric Light $ 2,064,800.00 $ 17.38 $ 35,886.22 $ 30,000.00 $ 15,000.00 $ 30,000.00
Groton Housing Authority $ 3,828,900.00 $ 17.38 $ 66,546.28 $ 4,537.68 $ 4,553.64 $ 4,553.64
Groton School $ 93,317,600.00 $ 17.38 $ 1,621,859.89 $ 100,000.00 $ 100,000.00 $ 100,000.00
Groton Wood Baptist Camp $ 11,758,300.00 $ 17.38 $ 204,359.25 $ 13,549.66 $ 13,549.66 $ 13,549.66
Lawrence Academy $ 36,715,400.00 $ 17.38 $ 638,113.65 $ 39,973.70 $ 40,397.40 $ 40,397.40
MIT $ 2,628,900.00 $ 17.38 $ 45,690.28 $ 12,420.00 $ 12,730.00 $ 12,730.00
Seven Hills $ 3,939,900.00 $ 17.38 $ 68,475.46 $ 15,000.00 $ 15,000.00 $ 15,000.00
TOTAL $ 3,080,931.03 $ 215,481.04 $ 191,230.70 $ 216,230.70

Want to do your own numbers crunching?

You can see the PILOT Budget document provided by the town here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-Gm8RLxE71BajE2UGZJUFdJeDZHX09KcW5aMFFOWGpMWWJN/edit?usp=sharing

And the assessed value of the tax-exempt properties, provided by the town assessor’s office: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-Gm8RLxE71BcnhQWGNkME9SamFmaFZzU01CeFFUS0xlZ2xZ/edit?usp=sharing