ACSD

02/13/2020
Dear ACSD Friends and Neighbors, About 18 months ago I volunteered to join the Steering Committee for the Addison Central School District Facilities Master Planning Process — the committee formed to help the school board engage the public about the challenges facing our district, and the choices the board must make about investment in our schools. This committee includes a variety of folks representing different perspectives in the district: a few members from the board and district administration, faculty and staff, community members and parents, and a few high school students. At our first...
02/10/2020
I worked as a teacher and principal at the Ripton Elementary School for 20 years beginning in the first fall the “new” school was opened. When Ripton no longer tuitioned students to Mary Hogan, and for the next 18 years, our student population averaged 65. We never had 80 students. Today the student population is 55 (five are tuition students from Hancock and Granville). The business manager at the ACSD Central Office sent me this information: “The tuition number does fluctuate as students come and go, but at the start of the school year, we had 11 students at MUMS, five at Ripton, 19 at MUHS...
02/03/2020
On its website, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns describes town meeting as “direct democracy practiced in its purest form. It is the key to town government, as voters assemble to discuss issues, debate budgets, air grievances, elect officers, and determine the town and school district business for the coming year.” That direct democracy is one of the things I have valued about our state for many years. Even our highest elected officials are frequently available for direct conversation, as Rep. Peter Welch demonstrated in his recent visit the Bee’s Wrap factory in Middlebury. At the Jan...
02/03/2020
I attended the Jan. 27 ACSD Facilities Master Plan meeting at the MUHS auditorium. I was truly disappointed with the turnout. I expected the room to be standing room only with concerned taxpayers from the seven affected communities. If there was 30-40% occupancy, I would be surprised. As I expected, the presentation was mostly a scare tactic. Our student population is declining. This is the taxpayers’ fault? Do not blame the Vermont Legislature and local officials who blatantly discourage any commercial or business growth in the state, which would encourage our young people to seek jobs in...
02/03/2020
To the Addison Central School District School Board, Superintendent Burrows, editor of the Addison Independent and fellow residents of ACSD, Since I last wrote to the Addison Independent in May 2019, it seems that the emotions surrounding changes and decisions facing our school community have intensified, yet we still seem to be far from reaching any conclusions or definitive course of action. Our district faces many challenges: We must put taxation issues aside and engage with the future of ACSD. The first problem is that, financially speaking, we cannot continue as we are. We have a limited...

MORE THAN 150 Middlebury-area residents turned out at their local high school on Monday to learn about the repair needs for the Addison Central School District’s seven elementary schools. An architect revealed the buildings need a combined $17.4 million in fixes just to take care of deferred maintenance issues. Independent photo/John Flowers
01/30/2020
MIDDLEBURY — A commissioned architect on Monday gave Addison Central School District officials a lot of food for thought as they decide how to deploy taxpayers’ limited resources in tackling aging school buildings serving an ever-decreasing number of students. The estimated price tag for catching up on four decades of deferred maintenance to the ACSD’s seven elementary schools — which essentially involved bringing them up to building, handicap-access and safety codes — is $17.4 million. Moreover, the two architects from TruexCullins told district officials — and a crowd of more than 150...
01/30/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury-area voters on March 3 will be asked to approve $39,507,837 in public education spending for the 2020-2021 school year, a budget that reflects a 3.74-percent increase that would essentially allow the Addison Central School District to maintain current programming for children in pre-K through grade 12. If approved by voters in the ACSD-member towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge, the budget would result in education spending of $18,885.85 per equalized pupil, which would represent a 7.76% increase. The ACSD includes...
01/30/2020
This open letter to the Addison Central School District Board of Education was also submitted to the Addison Independent Democracy is difficult to maintain. We must be vigilant at times like these when the seams of our democracy are unraveling. Citizens United, gerrymandering, shrinking attendance at Town Meeting, and voter suppression are all taking a toll. Of course, voter suppression is not relevant to Vermont; or, in some odd sense, is it? I was deeply disappointed to read in the Addison Independent that the Addison Central School District (ACSD) Board has not elected to warn two citizen...
01/30/2020
First, Middlebury voters should reject the proposed Addison Central School District (ACSD) budget with a “no” vote on Town Meeting Day. Ramifications of this budget include cutting one full-time classroom teacher at Mary Hogan. Justification for this staffing reduction at our small and socio-economically diverse elementary school is flawed and it cannot be allowed so long as ACSD maintains six other outlying, less efficiently operated, micro schools. ACSD must cut buildings before the critical staffing that will impact the educational experience for our students. There is an anonymous online...
01/23/2020
MDDLEBURY — The Addison Central School District board on Tuesday unanimously rejected two citizens’ petitions — based on a lawyer’s advice — that sought to give each of the seven ACSD-member towns more of a say in the election of their educational leaders and in the potential closure of their respective elementary schools. Tuesday’s vote, after approximately 30 minutes of debate, comes around a week after the Addison Northwest School District board declined a similar petition effort that would have prevented a school closure or reconfiguration without permission of voters in the town in which...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100