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Floods delay opening of Brandon-area schools

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Posted on August 30, 2011 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



Update (9/1/11):

BRANDON — Schoolchildren in Brandon, Leicester, Whiting and Goshen, as well as in the rest of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union, got three extra days of summer vacation courtesy of Tropical Storm Irene.

After a flurry of meetings, officials from RNeSU and the town of Brandon on Tuesday decided to postpone the beginning of the school year until Tuesday, Sept. 6, in the wake of Sunday’s epic flooding.

Schools in the Addison Central, Addison Northeast and Addison Northwest supervisory unions opened as scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

RNeSU Superintendent John Castle on Monday said he was inclined to open school in the district as scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 31, but fast-changing road conditions made him reconsider. For instance, on Tuesday morning he received reports that water from Otter Creek was cascading over the Leicester-Whiting Road.

“There are transportation issues to consider today that didn’t exist yesterday,” Castle said Tuesday morning. “The Otter Creek is still rising.”

The creek flows from south the north, so even though it has been receding in towns like Proctor and Pittsford, water was rising in Leicester, Whiting and points north on Tuesday.

Among the schools that opening late are Otter Valley Union High School, Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon, Leicester Central School and Whiting Elementary School. RNeSU also serves students in Sudbury, Pittsford, Chittenden and Mendon.

Castle said students in Chittenden’s Barstow Memorial School would not be able to get to school until at least Friday, and some students in Mendon were stranded for an undetermined amount of time due to the washout of Route 4.

Castle and RNeSU Transportation Coordinator Becky Congdon met with town officials on Monday and again Tuesday morning before making the decision.

Brandon selectboard chairman Richard Baker said delaying the opening of the school year was the right decision.

“We do not have the resources to even think about fixing outlying roads right now,” he said, adding that getting Route 7 open through downtown Brandon was the top priority. He said if the school year ends up being three days too short, accommodations can be made.

“The Legislature can lower the number of required school days in a heartbeat, given the circumstances,” Baker said.

Lee Kahrs is at news@brandonreporter.com.

 


BRANDON — After a flurry of meetings, officials from the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union and the town of Brandon decided to postpone the beginning of the RNeSU school year until Tuesday, Sept. 6, in the wake of Sunday’s epic flooding.

RNeSU Superintendent John Castle on Monday was inclined to open school in the district as scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 31, but ever-changing road conditions made him reconsider. For instance, there was no water from Otter Creek over the Leicester-Whiting Road as of Monday night, but by 11:30 a.m. Tuesday the road was closed.

“There are transportation issues to consider today that didn’t exist yesterday,” Castle said Tuesday morning. “The Otter Creek is still rising.”

The creek flows from south the north, so even though it has been receding in towns like Proctor and Pittsford, water was rising in Leicester, Whiting and points north on Tuesday.

The schools that will be starting the school year late include Otter Valley Union High School, Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon, Leicester Central School and Whiting Elementary School.

Administrators at Addison Central, Addison Northeast and Addison Northwest supervisory unions all said they planned to open schools as scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

RNeSU is comprised of schools and students in Leicester, Whiting, Sudbury, Goshen, Brandon, Pittsford, Barstow and Mendon.

Castle said students in Barstow would not be able to get to school until at least Friday, and some students in Mendon are stranded due to the washout of Route 4.

Castle and RNeSU Transportation Coordinator Becky Congdon met with town officials on Monday and again Tuesday morning before making the decision.

Brandon selectboard chairman Richard Baker said it’s the right decision.

“We do not have the resources to even think about fixing outlying roads right now,” he said, adding that getting Route 7 open through downtown Brandon was the top priority. He added that if the school year ends up being three days too short, accommodations can be made.

“The Legislature can lower the number of required school days in a heartbeat, given the circumstances,” Baker said.

Lee Kahrs is at news@brandonreporter.com.

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