Archive - Dec 7, 2009
VERGENNES — When Addison Northwest Supervisory Union school board members sit down this month and look at second or third preliminary drafts for 2010-2011 school budgets, ANwSU Superintendent Tom O’Brien said they should be prepared to make some tough decisions.
O’Brien said in an interview last week a number of factors could work against voter approval of even modest ANwSU budgets this winter, including declining enrollments in three of its four schools, a projected 2.2-cent increase in the statewide school tax, and the continuing economic slump.
WEYBRIDGE — Weybridge and Ripton education leaders are joining a growing statewide conversation about declining student enrollment and how to maintain vibrant local schools in the face of graying demographics.
Weybridge Elementary School currently serves around 70 students this year, a number thankfully bolstered by 10 new enrollees who joined the ranks this fall, noted school board Chairman Steve Reigle. But that number could decline to a total of around 30 students by the 2012-2013 academic year, officials said.
BRISTOL — Bristol voters this week will consider the second of two large bond votes in recent months when they take to the polls Tuesday to weigh a $750,000 bond to fund Holley Hall repairs and renovations.
The vote comes after voters on Aug. 25 agreed 142 to 87 to move forward with a $1.5 million stormwater system upgrade.
The Holley Hall improvements would focus on making the building more handicap accessible, fixing structural and wiring problems, adding insulation and reorganizing the basement town offices.
MIDDLEBURY — Organizers of a new Addison County Dental Center that will serve low-income clients shared some good news and some bad news on Monday.
The good news is boosters have reached a $25,000 local fund-raising mark that will trigger a grant of another $5,000 through the United Way of Addison County, money that will help make the center a reality.
BRISTOL — Imagine a high school curriculum that takes a science lesson out of the lab and into nearby fields and forests, or an art class that requires students to take photos in their communities rather than in a classroom studio. Consider a physics unit that does away with textbooks in favor of rebuilding a car’s engine, or a music lesson that requires a student to build an instrument in addition to playing one.
Last week, area and state legislators sent a letter to Gov. James Douglas recommending that the state set aside up to $1 million of the $8.67 million federal economic stimulus money to help Addison County businesses affected by the closing of the Champlain Bridge. The initiative was spearheaded by Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin, D-Putney, and House Speaker Hap Smith, D-Morristown, and though it had the support of most Addison County legislators, the proposal was laden with political overtones.