school consolidation

ADDISON — An informational meeting on the revote that is a potential first step toward Addison’s withdrawal from the Addison Northwest School District has been confirmed for Addison Central School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Voting on whether to overturn Addison voters’ initial decision to stay in the ANWSD will be held on Oct. 5 at the Addison Town Clerk’s Office from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A July 13 vote to reject withdrawal went 122-106 against in 20% turnout, but that result was successfully petitioned for revote. The question on the Oct. 5 ballot will again be: “Shall the Town of Addison...

Lincoln children carry signs supporting the preservation of their school earlier this week. Photo by Sarah McClain
LINCOLN — By a margin of more than 3 to 1, Lincoln voted Tuesday to withdraw from the Mount Abraham Unified School District. The vote count was 525-172 in favor of the measure.  Turnout for Tuesday's vote was 62%, significantly higher than Town Meeting Day 2021 (38.9%) but lower than the 2020 presidential election (88%). The MAUSD now has 90 days to schedule votes in the district's four other member towns of Bristol, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro. Lincoln’s exit plan has to win a majority of votes in each of those towns before it can proceed to the Vermont Board of Education, which would...
BRISTOL — The ANWSD-MAUSD Merger Study Committee is not obligated to finish its work in time to warn a possible vote on Town Meeting Day, March, 1, 2022, and the committee made a point of repeating this fact several times during its second meeting on Tuesday night, Aug. 17. “March isn’t the definite end point,” educational consultant Tracy Wrend told the committee, which met in the Mount Abraham Union High School cafeteria. “It’s up to you decide.” The Merger Study Committee was formed in April by the boards of the Addison Northwest School District (serving Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton,...
BRISTOL — If the community-authored facilities proposals submitted to the Mount Abraham Unified School District board last month are any indication, the writing is on the wall for the district’s high school in Bristol. Mount Abraham Union High School currently educates students in grades 9-12 from the district’s five towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro. The 52-year-old building had required numerous repairs and renovations in recent years, at a cost of millions of dollars. Since 2014 the district has three times tried to persuade 5-Town residents to support...
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...

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