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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Act 46 Study Committee Meeting Agenda and Minutes


Representing the Brattleboro Town School District, Dummerston Town School District, Guilford Town School District, Putney Town School District and the Vernon Town School District http://www.wssu.k12.vt.us


The Act 46 Study Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at the Putney Central School.


I. CALL TO ORDER – 6:00 p.m. – Alice Laughlin, Committee Chair



IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – January 4, 2017



Discuss Options:
Merger Vote
Community Education and Outreach
Review Process and Compliance
Review Schedule



Note: In accordance with the following excerpt from WSESU Policy E-12 Electronic Communications Use and Retention

II. Use of E-Mail and Electronic Communications

The school board and administration will not use email as a substitute for discussion at board meetings, or for any business properly conducted at board meetings subject to the Vermont Open Meeting Law.


Brattleboro Town School District, Dummerston Town School District, Guilford Town School District, Putney Town School District and Vernon Town School District Act 46 Study Committee

Work Session Agenda, Minutes & Action Items – January 4, 2017 at 6:30-8 PM – Green Street School

Brattleboro: Kim Price*, David Schoales**, Jill Stahl Tyler*, Mark Truhan*
BUHS/ BAMS/WRCC: Ricky Davidson*, Ian Torrey* * denotes voting member,
Dummerston: Kristina Naylor** ***, Amy Wall* - Clerk ** denotes alternate voting member,
Guilford: Beth Bristol*, Alice Revis** *** denotes ex officio member
Putney: Richard Glejzer**, Alice Laughlin* - Chair
Vernon: Walter Breau*, Mike Hebert**

Also present
WSESU: Frank Rucker – Business Manager, Ron Stahley – Superintendent, Lyle Holiday – Curriculum & Assessment
Others: BCTV staff and members of the public listed on the public sign in sheet

Committee Guidelines
1. Work sessions will start and end on time.
2. Work sessions will last 2 hours unless decided otherwise by the Committee.
3. Members will give and receive with good intentions.
4. Members will follow “3 before me” as a guideline so all members have the opportunity to speak.
5. Members will conduct Committee business in front of the group.
6. Members will understand that silence on the part of another member does not imply agreement.
7. Members will site sources of evidence during discussion.
8. All members will be included in conversation and no side conversations will be conducted during the work session.
9. Members will stay on topic during discussions and will request the Clerk make note of additional topic(s) for future discussion.
10. Members will engage in the work at hand and administration will provide the space and support as needed to do so.

Agenda Items Led by
- Call to order Alice Laughlin
- Review, prioritize and establish desired outcomes for meeting Alice
- Review Study Committee member roles and public comments by Chair Alice
- Approve of minutes of previous work and info sessions – Dec 15 Alice
- Review Study Committee process by Chair Alice
- Recognition of groups and/or individuals Alice
- Study Committee Work Session Alice, Ron Stahley
- Review local board comments RE: Articles 7D, 8, 9 and 15
- Review Act 46 timing/financial constraints
- Discuss options: individual town revoting process and 5 town merger vote
- Review Act 46 timing/financial constraints
- Discuss expanded approach to community understanding re: Act 46 Alice
Compliance, small school sustainability, educational equity/opportunity
- Future meetings, Discussions Alice
- Adjournment

Work Session Minutes:
Chair Alice Laughlin called the work session to order at 6:40 pm and confirmed that a quorum was present. Alice proposed a change in the order of the agenda items which was acceptable to the Committee members. Alice asked the Dummerston members of the Committee if they knew if a petition for a revote on Vernon’s withdrawal from BUHS #6 was happening. Amy Wall and Kristina Naylor stated that they believed some Dummerston citizens might be circulating a petition but did not have information on its status.

On a motion made by Mark Truhan, seconded by Ricky Davidson and so voted, the minutes of the December 15th work session were accepted the following correction: Richard Glejzer was not present. Alice Laughlin, Ian Torrey and Richard Glejzer abstained from the vote since they were not present at the work session.

Alice welcomed the public present and opened the floor to their thoughts, concerns and/or ideas which included:
Request to add the list of additional people at the 12/1/16 meeting who did not sign in on the official sign in sheet
Amy Wall shared that this was reviewed at the 12/15 meeting and no action was taken by the Committee to add names of attendees who did not willingly sign in on the official public sign in sheet.
Request for accounting of expenditures from September 2015 to date;
Alice pointed out that this information had been made available previously and that additional expenses would be readily available as part of the WSESU budget. She will contact the Frank Rucker and the SU Finance Committee chair to request an accounting of Committee expenses to date.
Curiosity about next steps based on defeat of the 12/13/16 Vernon vote to withdraw from BUHS #6 since Dummerston was the only town to vote against Vernon’s release;
Concern about the small number of residents from Brattleboro (and surrounding towns) on such a significant matter.
Alice confirmed with Committee members that all local boards had reviewed the changes made to Articles 7D, 8, 9 and 15. That feedback is listed below.

Article 7 Section D
1. Guilford – Ok, no feedback
2. Putney – appreciated move of this wording from Appendix to body of Articles.
3. Brattleboro – Ok, no feedback
4. BUHS – Ok, no feedback
5. Dummerston – questions on how the factors would be weighted, procedural details, will transportation time be a factor, who/what/when/how will information be solicited from a community.
Ricky Davidson suggested that Dummerston’s feedback be added to the Appendix. Richard Glejzer suggested the following wording to be inserted on page 7 in the new (italicized paragraph): “… to another location, if applicable. After consulting with community stakeholders, the Unified Board will…”. The Committee agreed to this additional wording. Alice suggested that any motion to approve change(s) be made after review of all feedback on all Articles and the members agreed by consensus.

Articles 8 and 9
1. Guilford – Ok, no feedback
2. Putney – Ok, liked 3 at large members but advantage of the direct vote by each Town far outweighed this.
3. Brattleboro – Ok, no feedback
4. BUHS – Ok, no feedback
5. Dummerston – Ok, no feedback.0
Article 15
1. Guilford – Ok, no feedback
2. Putney – Ok, no feedback.
3. Brattleboro – Ok, no feedback
4. BUHS – Ok, no feedback
5. Dummerston – Ok, no feedback.
Based on the suggestions from the Dummerston board, Ron Stahley suggested that the wording of the second paragraph on page be changed to read “Leadership Councils shall include one staff member nominated by the respective School’s staff and appointed by….”. The Committee members agreed that that was the intent.

Alice opened the floor to their thoughts, concerns and/or ideas on Articles 7D, 8, 9 and 15 which included:
Request to add a town vote regarding school closure and grade movement;
Questions about the nomination of Leadership Council members at Town Meeting;
Request that Leadership Councils have direct role in performance review of Superintendent;
Opinion that directly voted members are legal representatives of their respective town;
Clarification on which towns are part of the Report with Articles and concerns about possible legal action by Vernon;
Ron Stahley will confirm with legal counsel the process by which Leadership Council members are nominated at Town Meeting and how nominations will take place if a merger vote takes place after Town Meeting.

On a motion made by Ricky Davidson, seconded by Alice Revis, and so voted unanimously, the committee approved the changes discussed to Articles 7 Section D, 8, 9 and 15.

Alice Laughlin and Ron Stahley provided an updated calendar based on statutory requirements of two separate events. The first is the Dummerston revote on Vernon’s withdrawal from BUHS #6 and the second is a unification vote by the towns. The deadline for a petition to be filed with the Dummerston Town Clerk is 1/12/17. If a petition is filed and has enough signatures, then a revote on Vernon’s withdrawal from BUHS #6 by Dummerston would take place on 2/21/17. A vote on unification by Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford and Putney could take place on April 11th at the earliest. Ron shared that Town Clerks have reviewed these dates and do not see any major obstacles. Alice confirmed that there will not be a unification vote at Town Meeting this year or election of unified board members.

Alice opened the floor to their thoughts, concerns and/or ideas on the timing of various events:
Questions about the need for a revote in each town – not just Dummerston;
Ron shared that any town can hold a revote if it is requested within the proper time frame by petition.
Clarification that the earliest a vote could happen re: unification and election of board members is on 4/11/17;
Confirmation that petitions for board member positions are due March 6 if a vote is held on 4/11/17;
Question on the drafting of the Article for the Dummerston revote on Vernon’s withdrawal.
Alice Laughlin asked Jill Stahl Tyler to share information she has gathered for production of an informational video. Jill Stahl Tyler stated that she has received two quotes totaling $500 and $5-10k, respectively. The video would include a 2-3-minute introduction that describes the law and an additional 10-15 5 minute videos on specific topics such as Leadership councils, Vernon, etc. She contacted the VT AOE’s legal counsel Donna Russo-Savage on how to handle this expense since grant funds cannot be used. She confirmed that this expense would need to come from the WSESU budget. The Committee discussed the need for a motion and did not see the need to do so. Ron Stahley pointed out that an agreement to use WSESU funds, particularly for $500, already exists. If it was for $5-10k, then it would be a different situation. Richard Glejzer suggested that the video should have a wider distribution including links on school newsletters and in social media venues such as Facebook.

Alice Laughlin opened the floor to the public for thoughts, concerns and ideas on the creation of an informational video:
Support for a video especially if it could be ready by Town Meeting
Gratitude for the Study Committee’s work.
Three Committee members offered to work on the video – Alice Laughlin, Jill Stahl Tyler and Amy Wall.

A work session is planned for 1/17/17 from 6-8 pm at Putney Central School. A second tentative date of 1/25/17 from 6-8 pm at Guilford School was planned.

Alice Laughlin opened the floor to the public for thoughts, concerns and ideas before adjournment:
Clarification on nomination of Leadership Council members if the merger vote is in April;
Concern that legal counsel Chris Leopold also provides legal services to the State Board of Education.
On a motion made by Alice Revis, seconded by Mark Truhan and so voted unanimously, the work session was adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Amy Wall – Committee Clerk


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