school consolidation

Two notes from the side of the mountain in Ripton: •  The cross-country skiing is better than I ever remember up here. The regular installments of snow, and the cold temperatures, have let Barney Hodges, Mike Hussey and their team at Rikert, and Andy McIntosh and his fellow volunteers on the backcountry trails, produce tracks that are just sublime. Please come up and share them •  Ripton residents voted by a wide margin to try and run their own elementary school, and I think many of us would be grateful if our friends down in the valley would let us give it a try. It seems to me you could...
The Addison Central School District Central Office recently created a document on the financial impact of Ripton’s withdrawal for the rest of the towns in ACSD. It was shared by school board members on Front Porch Forum and it confirmed that “a potential Ripton withdrawal could result in a small savings in education spending per equalized pupil for the remaining towns in ACSD. Additionally, this scenario would recognize virtually zero discernable tax impact.” What struck me about the Central Office’s document was not that Ripton’s withdrawal would have virtually no impact on taxes in other...
In discussions with people in the Addison Central School District, I find, as an advocate of Ripton withdrawal from ACSD, that many people do not know why Ripton voted to withdraw from the District. Here is why I believe Ripton is seeking withdrawal: • It is best to have our own school right here in our town where our young children can be taught and cared for as an integral part of our community. That is why we built and paid for our town school. For 27 years after our school was built in 1989, we successfully educated our elementary children in Ripton, elected our own school board and voted...
I would like to share my perspective on Ripton’s withdrawal from the ACSD District. I have been actively following the ACSD school consolidation discussion and have attended every ACSD Board and facilities master plan committee meeting since late 2019. I will be voting “yes” to ratify Ripton’s town vote. From firsthand knowledge, I know that Ripton is not making this decision lightheartedly. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to personally meet several Ripton families and I can attest to the fact that their decision to withdraw from this district is what they believe will be best...
I live in Middlebury and feel a lot of sympathy with both Ripton and Weybridge as they face the likely closure of their elementary schools if they remain within the Addison Central School District. I’m interested that the two towns have voted differently on the question of leaving the supervisory union, and am curious as to why this happened. As I ponder my own vote on the question, one thing that concerns me is the impact of withdrawal on the property tax burden of low- and moderate-income residents in Ripton. Our state has a system of income-based school property taxes, but I believe that a...
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central School District board on Monday unanimously agreed to take another pause in its deliberations toward a facilities master plan that’s expected to recommend, among other things, the closure of up to three of the ACSD’s seven elementary schools. Plans now call for the board to revisit the facilities master planning process this August or September. The board had been poised to review the plan this spring en route to voting on school closures at the end of this academic year. James “Chip” Malcolm, a Middlebury representative to the ACSD board, said he and his...
On the issue of school consolidation, let’s forthrightly address at least one specious argument used by school officials, board members and others who suggest that the closing of small schools won’t harm those communities. The argument area school boards have put forward maintains three lines of thinking: first, that the cost of educating students in these small towns is excessive; second, that small schools are not able to offer the academic scope and quality of larger schools; third, that small communities aren’t diminished when their elementary school closes. Of that third line of thinking...
“If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the State, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little town of Ripton.” Shamelessly paraphrasing President Coolidge, these remarks could well speak to Ripton’s 163 to 107 vote on Jan. 12 to keep the town’s elementary school open by withdrawing from the Addison Central School District (ACSD). We are indeed a brave little town. One reporter, calling the day after the vote, fired off questions about the many difficulties and hurdles in our way...
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...
I assure readers that Ripton is taking correct action to remove itself from the Addison Central School District to take control and preserve their small town school. Costs for education can now come under their control to lower their town taxes. They can hire teachers that they can afford, not those with excessive demands for retirement and healthcare, while the voters have none. Better teachers focused on child needs without union restrictions. My one-room teachers gave me the education for college to be successful, Ripton can supply that too. Ripton can make decisions on how to spend for...

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Addison County Independent