I’m writing in response to Dawn Griswold’s Jan. 14 letter to the editor in the Addison Independent. While I appreciate her willingness to engage with the 5-town community regarding the current proposal for the repurposing or closure of Beeman Elementary School, Lincoln Community School and Robinson Elementary School, I was troubled by her presentation of the proposal. Like so many families, my wife and I have spent many evenings engaged in the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) board meetings and community engagement discussions.
We have witnessed many questions and concerns...
BRISTOL — After a special meeting of the Mount Abraham Unified School District board last week, it appears unlikely that Superintendent Patrick Reen’s long-range facilities plan, which includes consolidating elementary schools and merging with a neighboring school district, will get an up-or-down vote this month.
“I am coming to you tonight to recommend that, in the interest of working together as a group and continuing to really understand the decision in front of us and to allow us time to further study what we are faced with, we take action tonight that gives us the time we need,” said...
Dear 5 Town Community Members,
Over the last several weeks we have received numerous emails and communications from community members. First, thank you for taking the time to provide your thoughts on our current dilemma. It is encouraging to receive these letters as it points to strong community involvement, which is to our benefit. There have been some common themes shared in your emails and we have some responses to provide below which we hope are helpful. Please remember that we are always open to alternative constructive thoughts and ideas as we assess the current proposal and the...
I attended the Dec. 22 MAUSD board meeting, save 30 minutes of the five-hour meeting when I hopped off to put my children to bed, and I left the meeting feeling frustrated. While I appreciate the financial gravity of the situation our district faces and understand that we have some hard decisions in front of us, this is not a process to push through hastily. Clearly, this is one of the largest decisions facing our five towns in generations. Ensuring that there is a measured process for community engagement around the proposal that the Superintendent put forth on Dec. 8, and for the iterations...
I am writing as a citizen and former Robinson School Board member to express my concern about the school reconfiguration proposal recently floated by Superintendent Reen. I know that much study and deliberation has gone into the reconfiguration concept that Patrick put forth. Without a doubt the financial challenges we face are severe given the decline in school population across the district and the state, and the punitive cost-control measures that the legislature has created make things even worse. I also realize that this is meant to be a starting point and trigger for discussion.
BRISTOL — A second party in the Mount Abraham Unified School District has filed a formal request under Vermont’s public records law for data, documents and other information related to Superintendent Patrick Reen’s Dec. 7 proposal to consolidate the district’s elementary schools.
Timothy Lueders-Dumont, Karen Lueders and James Dumont of Lincoln have asked for information Reen shared only with the MAUSD school board behind closed doors.
“On Dec. 22 during an Executive Session of the MAUSD School Board, financial information that related to (Reen’s proposal) was apparently revealed to school...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District is seeking legal advice to determine if Superintendent Patrick Reen’s long-range facilities plan is allowed by the district’s articles of agreement.
Phase One of the plan, which Reen unveiled on Dec. 7, includes “repurposing” elementary schools in three of the district’s five towns — Lincoln, New Haven and Starksboro. The students from those towns would attend school in Bristol or Monkton.
Critics of the plan have questioned Reen’s assertion that the board has the authority to consolidate schools. So have some school board members.
Since May I have volunteered as a community member to the MAUSD Facilities Feasibility Study Sub-Committee. The subcommittee was comprised of administrative staff, including the superintendent, school board members and members of the community. The purpose of the subcommittee was to help think financially and creatively about ways to preserve our local schools, if possible, and re-configure them consistent with our Core Values if that was not possible. (I definitely did not join to be embroiled in the controversy we now are facing!)
The board prescribed the subcommittee’s mission to respond...
LINCOLN — The town of Lincoln says it may pursue legal action against the Mount Abraham Unified School District, which is now weighing the possibility of discontinuing elementary education at the Lincoln Community School.
At a special meeting Friday night the Lincoln selectboard voted unanimously to hire an attorney to represent the town “in our legal case against the school district.”
At issue is MAUSD Superintendent Patrick Reen’s recent proposal to consolidate the district’s five elementary schools into two — Bristol Elementary and Monkton Central. If that plan is approved by the school...
BRISTOL — This fall, as a subcommittee of the Mount Abraham Unified School District board discussed which school-closure and other cost-saving options it should recommend to Superintendent Patrick Reen, Starksboro resident Herb Olson showed up to meeting after meeting, expressing the same concern.
In September Olson told the MAUSD Facilities Feasibility Study Subcommittee (FFSS) he thought there was a lack of financial information in their proceedings.
In October he asked about projected savings for closing elementary schools and suggested the committee needed to work with cost information,...