Another year, another inflammatory editorial from the Addison Independent. In the Jan. 16 edition, Angelo Lynn accuses the Addison Northwest School District (ANSWD) board of violating “every tenet of the democratic process.” How, you might ask did these board members (who Lynn has previously accused of “acting like kings”) act in such an anti-democratic fashion? By responding to a group of citizens who, in objection to the board’s preferred policy, decided to challenge the authority of the board itself.
As the spouse of an ANWSD board member, an educator and a parent of two children at...
VERGENNES — Opponents of school closure in the Addison Northwest School District suffered two defeats at Monday night’s board meeting.
First, the board rejected, on legal grounds, a pair of petitions seeking a vote to amend the ANWSD’s articles of unification, which would have prevented school closure or reconfiguration without permission of the voters residing in the school’s town.
Then the board adopted a fiscal year 2021 budget proposal that would close Addison Central School for use as an elementary school and repurpose it for alternative education.
The petitions were...
VERGENNES — On Town Meeting Day, when Addison Northwest School District voters go to the polls, they’ll have four school board seats to fill — one in Addison, two in Ferrisburgh and one in Vergennes.
A fifth seat, in Panton, will be appointed by that town’s selectboard.
Two ANWSD board incumbents have decided not to run.
Addison representative George Lawrence and Ferrisburgh representative Laurie Gutowski told the Independent that they won’t seek another term on the board.
At least three district residents will be running to fill their respective seats.
Ferrisburgh resident Chris Kayhart has...
The decision by the Addison Northwest School District board to reject two petitions seeking to amend the district’s articles of unification, and its decision to close Addison Central School for use as an elementary school and repurpose it for alternative education, points out a damning flaw in district’s new rules of governance: those rules deny residents a voice in governing those local schools. Under the district’s new rules, even if a supermajority of a town’s residents vote to keep a school open, the district board is not compelled to listen.
From a strictly legal standpoint, that...
We hear you. We don’t care. We’re doing what we want anyway.
That’s the message I heard loud and clear at the ANWSD (Addison Northwest School District) board meeting Monday night. The board seemingly refused to warn a vote on petitions to change the articles of agreement to let the towns vote on whether or not they want their schools to close.
To be clear, the board under legal advice, decided to ignore a petition representing 7% of all registered voters in the district and in their words, “save the electorate from themselves.” In five short minutes, the board decided they didn’t want to let...
According to the Dec. 9 issue of the Addison Independent, residents of Addison, Panton, Vergennes, Waltham and Ferrisburgh are being asked to sign a petition to change the Addison Northwest School District (ANWSD) articles of agreement to read “school reconfiguration or closure must be approved by the majority of the voters in the towns affected by the reconfiguration or closure.” As an example of this change, only the voters in Addison would have the final voice in whether or not to close Addison Central School forever.
I urge voters to consider very carefully whether to attach your name to...
VERGENNES — Faced with rising costs that would result in a tax penalty imposed by the state if nothing is done, the Addison Northwest School District board on Monday discussed three budget options for next year. One would make no substantial changes in the configuration of the three elementary and one high school (“Do Nothing”), one would repurpose Addison Central School and send Addison kids to another building, and one would make cuts to the “Do Nothing” budget.
At the Dec. 9 meeting the board ended by asking if a fourth path might be possible — a hybrid of two existing proposals.
VERGENNES — The Rural School Alliance, which seeks to prevent the closure or reconfiguration of any Addison Northwest School District school without voter approval, has begun circulating petitions throughout the district, with clarified language and a new deadline.
“We’ve updated the petitions to make the wording clearer and to bring it more in line with the petitions other Vermont school districts are using to achieve similar goals,” said Addison resident and RSA member Caetlin Harwood.
The RSA is calling for a district-wide vote on Town Meeting Day and plans to collect signatures from at...
VERGENNES — Less than a month after voters in Addison and Ferrisburgh defeated a proposal by the Addison Northwest School District to close Addison Central School (ACS) and Ferrisburgh Central School (FCS), a citizens group has launched a campaign to amend the ANWSD articles of agreement in a manner that would give district residents more power in deciding the fate of their local schools.
“It’s time to re-evaluate how we want to be making decisions regarding our children,” said Addison resident Caetlin Harwood, who is a member of the Rural School Alliance, or RSA. “Making these amendments...
VERGENNES — Elizabeth Jennings, the Director of Finance and Operations for the Addison Northwest School District, showed up to the Nov. 18 ANWSD board meeting armed with a handful of budget-related documents — hot off the presses.
“This was literally finished today,” she told the board as she passed out sheets of paper. “It’s in draft form, so basically if you find a typo or anything, please forgive me, because it was a little bit on the rush.”
The documents were printed last-minute in part because some of the information contained in them was received last-minute.
Three days before, at a...