RIPTON — The Vermont State Board of Education (VSBE) has asked the town of Ripton and the Addison Central School District Board to re-engage in conversations to keep Ripton within the ACSD. And the board served notice that if those talks don’t bear fruit, the small town isn’t likely to be granted its wish to become an independent school district until July 1, 2023.
Addison Central Superintendent Peter Burrows described that as the consensus position taken by the VSBE at its Wednesday meeting, a position taken as the Addison Independent went to press. The Independent will provide a more...
RIPTON — With the town of Ripton essentially home-free in its bid to separate from the Addison Central School District (see vote story), the tiny town now faces the huge task of finding an entity that could help it secure special education, transportation, central office and other crucial services for its students.
The newly elected Ripton School Board has been counting on the town being paired with a supervisory union in the region that could provide the aforementioned services. But officials recently received discouraging news from two sources that could make their quest even harder:
MIDDLEBURY — Ripton’s quest for independence from the Addison Central School District (ACSD) hinges on an Aug. 31 Australian ballot vote in six communities, where residents will be asked to support a financial separation agreement that essentially calls for Ripton to take over the approximately $150,000 in debt remaining on a solar energy project installed at its local school back in 2013.
The ACSD board on Monday unanimously approved terms for Ripton’s financial exit agreement, which will be decided by voters in the communities of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Salisbury, Shoreham and...
FROM LEFT: MOLLY Witters, Joanna Doria, Steve Cash
RIPTON — Just 69 Ripton voters cast ballots on June 30 in the suspense-free election of its first local school board in five years.
The ballot featured three candidates — each one running unopposed for terms ranging in length from one to three years. When all the tallies had been counted, it was Joanna Doria receiving 62 votes for a three-year term, Steve Cash reaping 58 for a two-year stint, and Molly Witters receiving 62 for one year on the new panel.
Some voters threw their votes to folks not appearing on the ballot. They included:
• Tracey Harrington (3 votes), Charles Billings (2), and...
RIPTON — Residents of the newly minted, independent school district of Ripton will go to the polls on June 30 to form a new local school board that faces some major tasks. Those include developing a budget to cover K-12 expenses and affiliating with a nearby supervisory union to receive support services.
“It finally feels like our efforts can shift from a more defensive stance, where we are constantly threatened with the closure of our school, to a pro-active one where we can begin envisioning and developing the next iteration of our school,” said Molly Witters.
She is a member of a Ripton...
RIPTON — The Vermont State Board of Education (SBE) on Wednesday approved, by an 8-0 vote, Ripton’s request to withdraw from the Addison Central School District.
The panel, by an identical vote, also agreed to the Addison Central School District’s request that it remain a school district and not revert to a supervisory union in wake of Ripton’s departure.
The SBE’s decision means Ripton can move forward with re-forming a local school board to take on much of the heavy lifting that will be required for the community to become an independent district, serving its younger kids at Ripton...
RIPTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
RIPTON — Ripton’s bid to withdraw from the Addison Central School District will again take center stage before the Vermont State Board of Education (SBE) next Wednesday, May 19.
Officials and attorneys representing Ripton have already delivered an initial round of testimony to the SBE, back on April 21, in an attempt to convince the panel that the community should get permission to leave the seven-town ACSD and become its own independent school district.
Ripton leaders see independence as a path toward maintaining its local elementary school — tentatively targeted for closure by the ACSD —...
My name is Hannah Osborne and I was a student at Ripton Elementary School (R.E.S.) from Kindergarten through 6th grade. As ACSD continues to move toward closing several of its elementary schools, I am compelled to urge the ACSD Board to strongly consider what will be lost with the closing of our small schools. I am saddened to think of the imbalance of values that have led us to believe this would be the best option.
I have temporarily relocated from Vermont to North Carolina to pursue a doctorate in audiology at East Carolina University. This relocation process has given me an opportunity to...
I read out the following letter during the public comment period at the ACSD School Board meeting on Feb. 10 in Cornwall.
My wife and I, and our three year old son moved to Ripton about a year and a half ago. We were fortunate enough to be able to build a small house and in the process transform our construction costs into revenue for carpenters, well drillers, and a few other trades people. This is the type of story that Vermont and this district needs more of, not because of who I am or who my family is, but because of the small economic engine we represent.
Standing on our property the...
In response to the letter of Jan. 6 (Invest in educators, not buildings) I am unable to contain my frustration at the blinkered and money-minded attitudes that led to the drive toward school consolidation. The writer's statement that she has “sincere respect” for communities outside of Middlebury is followed by her elitist assumption that our small school communities care more about our buildings than for the quality of our children’s education.
She is right that we are all biased by our experiences, and I am glad that she found her children’s experience at Mary Hogan to be positive. But Mary...