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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Act 46 Study Committee Meeting Agenda and Minutes

ACT 46 STUDY COMMITTEE Representing the Brattleboro Town School District, Dummerston Town School District, Guilford Town School District, Putney Town School District and the Vernon Town School District


The Act 46 Study Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room.


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



IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August 24, 2017



Review Schedule / Calendar
Board of Education Meeting and Presentation
Unified Board Positions/Petitions
Informational Meetings
Communications and Mailings



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 – August 24, 2017 at 6-8 PM – WRCC Cusick Room

Brattleboro: Kim Price*, David Schoales**, Jill Stahl Tyler*, Spoon Agave*
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: Lyle Holiday – Superintendent, Frank Rucker – Business Manager
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 – July 18 Alice
- Review Study Committee process by Chair Alice
- Recognition of groups and/or individuals Alice
- Study Committee Work Session Alice
- Review School Board comments RE: Articles of Agreement
- Vote on sending Articles of Agreement to the VT State Board of Ed
- Review scheduled/calendar
- Future meetings, Discussions Alice
- Adjournment

Work Session Minutes:
Alice Laughlin called the work session to order at 6:07 pm and welcomed the public. She reviewed the process for review of feedback from school boards and from Donna Russo-Savage/VT AOE. Lyle Holiday shared that in the latest draft dated August 24, 2017, all of Donna Russo-Savage’s feedback have been incorporated and are underlined.

Alice opened the floor to public comment which included the following comments, concerns and/or questions:
Questions about the timeline for petitions, votes, etc.;

Concern that there was no exit clause, no vote on school closure, no local board, Australian ballot, no control on grade movement, loss of community connection/volunteers, no evidence of savings/educational equity/improvement of outcomes.

Alice requested feedback on the Articles of Agreement from the local boards. BUHS #6 had no comments per Ricky Davidson. Jill Stahl Tyler said that Brattleboro Town school board had no comments on the Articles but shared that their board felt it prudent to form an alternative governance subcommittee. Jill emphasized that this did not reflect a lack of confidence in the Articles of Agreement. Alice Revis shared that the Guilford school board was in favor of the Articles. Alice Laughlin said that the Putney school board was in favor of the Articles of Agreement as well. Amy Wall provided reviewed a list of suggestions from the Dummerston school board which included:

Page 2
Last full paragraph, second to last line – add … will lead ALL student…
This change was accepted by the Study Committee.

Page 3
First lines – specifically reference WSESU budget that is not currently voted on by the taxpayer.
The Study Committee agreed upon the following wording “… transparency and accountability with the voters able to approve all Unified District expenses.”

First full paragraph – reference increased opportunities
The Study Committee agreed upon the following “… custodial services including increase opportunities for…”

Last paragraph, last sentence – replace - The incentive funds to taxpayers and the Unified District will offset additional expenses that could be incurred as the result of unification.
The Study Committee discussed and agreed to this change.

Page 4
First paragraph – provide details on $300k SPED savings (breakdown)
The Study Committee took no action on this suggestion.

Article 1 – Keep Dummerston as necessary
The Study Committee took no action on this suggestion.

Page 7
Article 7 – Section D – Add vote by town on school closure and Grade 7-8 relocation to another site.
The Study Committee took no action on this suggestion.

Second paragraph, second to last line – delete because continued education equity is required.
The Study Committee discussed and changed the sentence to read “… will thoroughly review the
Unified District’s ability to…”

Page 10
Article 15 – fourth paragraph – add… Within the first year and ongoing, ….
The Study Committee agreed to this change.

Lyle Holiday led a review of the changes required by the VT AOE and shared that these changes were all underlined in the 8/24/17 draft. Most changes were small in nature. In Article 1, wording was added that specifically referenced the Vernon vote and its withdrawal from BUHS District #6. After discussion, the Study Committee agreed to simplify the last sentence in the first full paragraph of Article 1 on page 5 to: “On August 21, 2017, the Brattleboro Union High School Board voted per agreement.” Lyle will review this change with Donna Russo-Savage. Also, Lyle said that legal counsel Chris Leopold was confirming Article 8 re: Unified District Board make up since updated census data was available.

Lyle Holiday led a discussion of Advisable versus Necessary members for a Unified District. Brattleboro must be necessary since its size makes unification possible for all other member districts. Necessary districts are required to warn and hold a vote on unification. Advisable districts do not have to warn and hold a vote unless their school board complies or a % of voters petition for a vote on unification. With all necessary, one town district vote “no” defeats the proposed unification. After a failed initial vote, a petition can be filed for a revote in that town only. The revote applies only to the unification vote, not the board members who were voted on previously. Votes for the at large unified board positions are not commingled. The Town Clerks count and submit result to the VT AOE. The VT AOE reviews and reports the results.

On a motion made by Alice Revis seconded by Jill Stahl Tyler, the 8/24/17 draft report with Articles of Agreement with the discussed changes was approved unanimously.

Alice and Lyle shared that they met recently with the Town Clerks to discuss the timeline for a November 7 vote. The timeline with important dates is:

9/20/17 – meeting with the State Board of Education. Since Marlboro and Vernon are also presenting on this date, Alice and Lyle will contact Donna Russo-Savage to see if the location for the State Board’s meeting could be relocated to our area. Alice Laughlin and Amy Wall will be available to attend. Any other Study Committee members are welcome.
9/21/17 – Petitions for board seats are available and must be returned to Town Clerks by 10/2/17 at 5 pm
9/28-10/8/17 – Local school boards warn the upcoming vote on 11/7.
10/18/17 – early ballots are available from Town Clerks.
10/28-11/6/17 – Informational meetings must be held in each town. All meetings are from 6-8 pm and the initials of the Study Committee members who will attend are listed.
10/30/17 – Dummerston – AW, KN, IT, AR, AL, KP?, RD?
11/1/17 – Brattleboro – JST, KP, RD, KN, AW, AL
11/2/17 – Putney – AL, RG, RD, IT, KP, AW
11/6/17 – Guilford – BB, AR, JST, AW, AL, KP?
11/7/17 – Vote on formation of a unified district between Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford and Putney.

Alice led a discussion on getting the word out to voters in all four communities. Sources cited for communications included school newsletters, websites and Facebook pages; the Reformer, the Commons and the Digger; town newsletters and email lists; community Front Porch Forums. The following duties were assigned:

1. Alice Laughlin will write an article about the status of the Articles and 11/7/17 vote.
2. Alice Laughlin will email existing presentation to all Study Committee members.
3. Amy Wall will write an article about the available board positions, the requirements and timing.
4. Kim Price will review the videos and advise of any need for changes.
5. Lyle Holiday will request quote for production and mailing of an informational flyer.

The next work session will be on 9/13/17 at 6-8 pm at a location TBD. The primary agenda item will be review and editing of the existing presentation.

Alice opened the floor to the public who shared the following thoughts, ideas and/or concerns:
Need for Central Office support for the unified district’s first meeting;
Question about a new agreement between BUHS #6 and Vernon;
Questions about Vernon’s vote and when their separation from BUHS #6 would take place;
Concerns about Study Committee expenses and spending limits established by statute;
Question on why Vernon is not included in the Articles of Agreement.
On a motion made by Jill Stahl Tyler, seconded by Kim Price and so voted, the minutes of July 18 were accepted as written. Alice Revis abstained since she did not attend the July 18 work session.

On a motion made by Jill Stahl Tyler, seconded by Kim Price and so voted, the work session adjourned at 7:51 pm.

Recordings of all WSESU Act 46 work sessions are available on the BCTV website. Information referenced during work sessions is posted on the Act 46 Study Committee page on the WSESU website.


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