Dear Fellow Cornwall Community Members,
As many of you are already aware, the passage of Act 46 has compelled communities to create unified school districts. While the Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) has spent the past six years looking at school governance and district consolidation (many of you participated in the RED study committee groups); Act 46 has in effect pushed the fast forward button and is requiring us to act quickly in order to both achieve the greatest benefits, as well as avoid penalties. In August of 2015, the boards of ACSU came together to form the ACSU Charter Committee. That committee worked to create the Articles of Agreement for our proposed unified school district.
The Articles were approved by the State Board of Education on December 15, 2015. Now it is up to the voters in each town to decide whether or not to approve the Articles. The proposed Articles create a unified Addison Central School District (ACSD), which would be formed by Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury ID#4 (Mary Hogan), Ripton, Sailsbury, Shoreham, Weybridge, and Union District #3 (Middlebury Union Middle and High Schools). Should the voters in all 7 towns approve the new district, it will begin operations on July 1, 2017 and all existing school property, debt, fund balances, and contractual obligations would transfer from the current school districts to the new unified ACSD.
It is also up to the voters to elect a 13-member board of directors to oversee the new district. There would be seven members from Middlebury and one from each of the rural towns—each of these board members would be elected at-large by the voters of all towns. On March 1, 2016 voters in all 7 towns will vote to both approve the Articles, and to elect members of the new board of directors. In order for the unified district to be formed, the vote must pass in each of the 7 towns. Each school’s local school board will continue to exist for the first year of the new district so that the new unified school board has time to do the work necessary to prepare for the 2017-18 school year. Local boards will phase out after the first year.
The voters of Cornwall face an important decision and we want to make sure you are as well informed as possible. Thus far, we have scheduled the following opportunities for you to hear more about Act 46 and the unified district:
- Tea and Conversation with the principal (Jen Kravitz) at Cornwall school from 4-5 on Wednesday, January 20
- Act 46 informational meeting at Cornwall School 6:30pm on Wednesday, January 27th
- Friends Of Cornwall School meeting at Cornwall school 8am Tuesday, February 2nd
Please feel free to contact myself (462-3671), Peter Conlon (462-3134), Maureen Deppman (462-2122), Cindy Peet (462-2731), Kristi Tolgyesi (462-3037) or Gabe Hamilton (462-3889) if you have any questions.
Thank you for your dedication to Cornwall School!!