school closures

12/02/2019
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...
11/21/2019
VERGENNES — Some financial projections have changed in the Addison Northwest School District recently — in the district’s favor. For months, the ANWSD board and administrators anticipated that the district would need to cut $955,000 from next year’s budget in order to avoid incurring a tax penalty for exceeding the state-mandated per-pupil-spending threshold. Consequently the school district proposed closing Addison Central School (ACS) and Ferrisburgh Central School (FCS) next year, in order to save money, but on Nov. 5 voters in those two towns rejected the idea. Now, owing to a number of...
11/11/2019
Your editorial “Let small schools prove themselves” and the article written by Mr. Ross “Addison gears up for school closure fight” (both published in the Independent on Oct. 24) made me sick to my stomach, due to both the lack of investigative reporting on the issue and the false narrative that you chose to perpetuate of the school board as the villain. The school board is composed of ordinary people who care deeply about schools and education; they are our neighbors and we elected them to oversee the ANWSD (Addison Northwest School District). Neither of you took time to interview school...

ORGANIZERS OPPOSED TO closing Addison Central School put up this sign not far from the Addison Town Clerk’s Office on Tuesday. Voters overwhelmingly defeated elementary school closure proposals in Addison and Ferrisburgh. Independent photo/Steve James
11/07/2019
ADDISON & FERRISBURGH — On Tuesday voters in Addison and Ferrisburgh, by large margins, rejected the Addison Northwest School District’s proposal to close Addison Central School (ACS) and Ferrisburgh Central School (FCS) on June 30, 2020. In Addison the tally was 373 opposed and 123 in favor. In Ferrisburgh: 884 opposed–160 in favor. Voter turnout was 46 percent in Addison and 45 percent in Ferrisburgh. “Our towns have spoken through (this) vote — both strongly opposed to closing Addison’s and Ferrisburgh’s schools,” wrote Addison resident Ashley Paquette in an email on behalf of Addison’...
11/07/2019
Closing a town’s elementary school was as tough as predicted: In the town of Addison, voters on Tuesday rejected the Addison Northwest School District’s suggestion to voluntarily close its school by a three-to-one margin: 373 opposed to 123 in favor. Ferrisburgh voters rejected a similar recommendation by a five-to-one margin, 884 opposed and 160 in favor. No surprise in either instance. Town residents sent a clear message on several fronts: 1) they wanted to keep their schools open; 2) as a community, they wanted be in driver’s seat when it came to making the decision to keep their schools...
11/04/2019
ADDISON — In a letter mailed to town residents on Oct. 31, the Addison selectboard has outlined a number of questions and concerns about the Addison Northwest School District’s proposal to close Addison Central School next year. “We believe the school district is rushing us into voting to close our school before the town and residents have had an opportunity to weigh all the facts and participate in the decision-making about this issue,” the letter says. The ANWSD serves Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes and Waltham, and oversees four schools — Addison Central School (ACS), Ferrisburgh...
11/04/2019
We, the elected members of the Addison Northwest School District board, are parents, community members, and dedicated public servants. We are tasked with ensuring a rich and robust education for all district students in a way that is affordable to our communities and abides by local, state, and federal requirements. At times we are presented with challenging situations and we are grateful when the Addison Independent helps advance the difficult discussions. For years, we have discussed declining enrollment and rising costs during our public meetings. Some of these conversations have been...
11/04/2019
I recently received a mailer from the ANWSD with information for voters about the upcoming school closure vote on Nov. 5. From the text on the recent mailer sent to voters in the town of Ferrisburgh: “Savings to projected FY21 expenses by closing two buildings: at least $2 million (tax rates will decrease)”. This is not quite right. While the Education tax rate may slightly decrease with the closure of two schools, the municipal rate will rise, causing taxes overall to rise. If voters choose to close Ferrisburgh Central School, the town may purchase it for $1 plus any existing debt. The...
11/04/2019
I was disappointed by the somewhat inflammatory reporting on the ANWSD in the news section of the Oct. 24 Addison Independent. As a parent of two children in the school district, I’d like to thank our school board for their hard work in navigating these difficult choices. I’d like to respond to some of the charges in that article and propose an alternative. First, on the charge of taking undemocratic action, we voted the school board members in, and they are working within their limits and rules to make the best of a bad situation. The undemocratic behavior has actually been at the...
11/04/2019
What makes a school? That question, in various forms, has been asked by many of us over the past weeks. It calls into question our notions of education and the infrastructure in which education is provided. When I reflect on my children’s experiences at Ferrisburgh Central School, I think of the people. My daughter’s second-grade teacher who finally figured out that she had ADHD and wasn’t just a kid who couldn’t behave. Her third-grade teacher who pushed me outside my comfort zone in order to advocate for her placement in a combined 3/4 classroom. The emails and phone calls I received when...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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