Letter to the editor: Patience needed as MAUSD future plans evolve

As the authors of an MAUSD facilities planning alternative proposal, we wanted to share some thoughts on recent letters expressing concern about the possibility of closing the Mt. Abe high school.

First, we understand the shock and emotional pain. It is the same visceral reaction we had on learning last December that the Superintendent’s Office was recommending closing Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro. I am sure residents of Lincoln and New Haven had a similar reaction. The proposal to close elementary schools still looms as a very real and awful possibility for residents and parents, as well as elementary school faculty and staff.

Second, most Five Town residents do not want to close any school at any level. In fact, our proposal envisions a staged incremental process, identifying potential cost savings in the short and middle term allowing all schools to stay open. High school choice for our students would be considered only as a last resort, and only if necessary to meet certain financial targets set by the Superintendent’s Office and the school board for fiscal year 2026.

Third, new information at the state and federal levels suggest that our district may have significant new resources available, which were not known when the superintendent’s recommendation was made, or when alternative proposals were submitted. As we learned from Caleb Elder’s piece in the Addison Independent on June 3, rather than jumping ahead with drastic decisions that may not be needed, we should be deliberative and wait to consider emerging opportunities.

We encourage all Five Town residents to stay involved, learn more about the process and the issues, and encourage district leaders to listen to everyone in the community.

Herb Olson

Nancy Cornell


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