school consolidation

10/22/2020
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central School District’s Facilities Committee has hired a consultant to study potential busing schedules that could serve a network of three or four elementary schools, instead of the current seven. The consultant is Tim Ammon, from the Maryland-based company Decision Support Group. Busing has emerged as one of the tough nuts to crack as ACSD explores elementary school closures and consolidations in the wake of declining student enrollment and rising education costs. The company TruexCullins recently presented ACSD officials with five school consolidation options,...
10/22/2020
These last few months of responding to the coronavirus have shown how resilient Vermonters are and how able to react quickly in an emergency. We have come together across parties and sectors to take care of one another. We have assured that people have food and places they can turn to for help. We have responded well to a crisis and continue to work on supporting those who are living on the margins. Our awareness of terrible inequities has grown and our ability to think of new solutions to old problems is growing stronger. We are learning to listen to one another across cultural and...
10/01/2020
An open letter to parents of the ACSD Community: First of all, I feel you. You have every right to be frustrated and concerned — having to expend emotional energy on the facilities master plan/school consolidation issue yet again, even though we are in the middle of a pandemic and are already saddled with 1) trying to feel safe sending our masked children off to school, 2) trying to understand the expectations and technical details of their remote learning platforms, 3) navigating childcare or lack thereof, and 4) otherwise attempting domestic and professional normalcy with the threat of...
09/03/2020
On July 26 I sent a note to each ACSD board member asking each to find a way to receive input from constituents more successfully than the present and to respond to me. It’s a lengthy note, but the gist is important and in essence it is similar to the publisher of this paper’s editorial of a year ago, Aug. 30, 2019, which says, “the district benefits greatly from having seven vibrant, small towns with thriving schools. The ACSD needs to make sure it weaves that consideration into its discussion — and provide ample room and attention for individual towns to express their desires.” None of...
08/27/2020
VERGENNES — Scenarios prepared for the Addison Northwest School District board by district Director of Finance & Operations Elizabeth Jennings show more than $1 million in savings for ANWSD if it consolidates into two buildings in the 2021-2022 school year, but almost no up-front or long-term savings for a three-building option.  Jennings’ scenarios, which she is careful to say “are all based on estimates” and are “not literal or exact,” suggest the ANSWD won’t generate any further impactful savings after five years with the two-building option, versus the current four-building...
08/27/2020
$17 million. That’s a big number. A number of this magnitude deserves extensive review and analysis. Certainly it warrants second opinions and further investigation. I believe that’s what the ACSD board was on their way to doing when the TruexCullins Elementary School report came in, along with looking at the other legs of the stool and making decisions on the future of education in our community.  You know what happened next. We’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and there is mounting pressure to make cuts and push through closures in anticipation of the education funding shortfall in...
08/20/2020
MIDDLEBURY — Downsizing from seven to three elementary schools could save Addison Central School District taxpayers an estimated $3.3 million in year one, and $41.5 million over 10 years. Downsizing to four elementary schools would reduce costs by around $33 million over a decade. That’s according to ACSD administrators and a consultant that assessed the Middlebury-area’s education infrastructure. Those estimates were among several new pieces of information reviewed by the ACSD Facilities Committee as it coordinates a master plan for the district’s myriad school buildings. The ACSD includes...
08/20/2020
RIPTON — A Ripton man is spearheading an online citizens petition aimed at convincing the Addison Central School District board to suspend its work on a facilities master plan — which will likely include recommendations on elementary school closures — until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The petition had garnered more than 559 signatures as the Independent went to press on Wednesday. “In the current situation, the education of our students necessitates all the energy and resources the district has available,” reads the petition, which is attributed to the “ACSD VT Citizen’s Alliance.” “This...

RUTH BERNSTEIN AND her daughter
08/06/2020
SHOREHAM — Shoreham residents are joining a chorus of Ripton and Weybridge voices expressing concern their local elementary school could become a casualty of consolidations plans being explored by the Addison Central School District (ACSD) Board. The board is working on a facilities master plan to guide it in future decisions about which school buildings to improve, and which to vacate, as the district confronts declining enrollment and rising education expenses. The financial picture figures to get worse due to a COVID-19 pandemic that has stemmed revenues to Vermont’s Education Fund. ACSD...
07/23/2020
Editor’s note: On June 24, the Shoreham selectboard sent a letter to the directors of the Addison Central School District, that followed up on an Aug. 29, 2019, letter to the school board committee that would ultimately make recommendations that could result in closing Shoreham Elementary School. Here are the two letters: 24 June 2020 This is an open letter to the School Directors of the Addison Central School District. At the end of August 2019, the selectboard of the town of Shoreham sent the enclosed letter to the Addison Central School District Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee....

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100