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ACT 46 Study Committee Meeting Agenda and Notes


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 Monday, October 23, 2017 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room.


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



IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – September 13 and September 20, 2017



Review Schedule / Calendar
Informational Meetings
Public Engagement:
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

WSESU Act 46 Study Committee
State Board of Education Meeting
September 20, 2017 – 1:00 PM – Library - Montpelier High School, Montpelier, VT

In attendance: Alice Laughlin, Amy Wall
WSESU staff: Lyle Holiday, Frank Rucker
Public present: Robert Woodworth, Mike Hebert

Members of the WSESU Act Study Committee and Central Office administration attended the State Board of Education meeting to present the Study Committee’s Report with Articles of Agreement dated September 11, 2017. The State Board and Secretary Holcombe commended the group on their work and the challenges faced. The State board commended the use of School Based Leadership councils and that more proposals such as this are needed by the State of Vermont. The Board also commended the group for their presentation which was informative, data based and focused on students.

The State Board of Education approved the WSESU report with Articles of Agreement unanimously.

For a recording of the State Board of Education meeting, please go to http://education.vermont.gov/state-board-councils/state-board

Respectfully submitted, Amy Wall – Committee Clerk

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 – September 13, 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 – August 24 Alice
- Review Study Committee process by Chair Alice
- Recognition of groups and/or individuals Alice
- Study Committee Work Session Alice
- Review scheduled/calendar
- Board of Education Meeting and Presentation
- Unified board positions/petitions
- Proportionality
- Informational meetings
-Communications and mailings
- Budget
- Future meetings, Discussions Alice
- Adjournment

Work Session Minutes:
Alice Laughlin called the work session to order at 6:07 pm and welcomed the public. Alice opened the floor to public comment which included the following comments, concerns and/or questions:


On a motion made by Ricky Davidson, seconded by Kim Price and so voted, the minutes of August 24, 2017 were approved as written. Beth Bristol abstained because she was not present for that meeting.

Alice confirmed that the Report with Articles of Agreement will be reviewed at the State Board of Education’s meeting on September 20, 2017 at 1 pm. An agenda for this meeting was distributed. Alice confirmed that she, Lyle Holiday, and Frank Rucker will attend. Amy Wall shared that she will attend. Jill Stahl Tyler and Ricky Davidson may also attend. Alice will request that Barb Nowakowski warn this meeting in case there is a quorum. If approved, the vote on unification would take place on November 7, 2017.

Alice and Lyle led a review of the previous presentation and the group suggested changes, additions and deletions to update for the SBE presentation on 9/20/17 including a review of strengths and challenges faced.

Lyle and Alice confirmed that petition information was provided to Town Clerks. Amy Wall provided a flyer on running for a seat on the Unified Board. Some changes were made per suggestions from the group. Amy will forward to Barb N. for distribution. Jill Stahl Tyler and Alice suggested posting this information on school websites/newsletters, Front Porch Forums, town websites, and town email lists.

Lyle Holiday stated that the final draft is dated September 11, 2017 and provided copies. She shared that legal counsel Chris Leopold confirmed proportionality requirements with the latest census data and no changes are needed to the Unified Board make up. The Study Committee will continue to exist if there is a reconsideration vote which could be in early December. Lyle confirmed that a reconsideration vote takes place only in a town that defeated the proposal.

Alice confirmed the following dates for informational meetings:
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?

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. Alice led a discussion of the information presented at these information sessions.

Frank Rucker shared that the SPED consolidation resulted in $300K savings in FY16 and $1M savings in FY17. He pointed out that more students were kept within WSESU buildings and that administration felt that delivery/coordination of services improved. Frank shared that approximately 20% of the educational tax rate pays for SPED. The remaining 80% pays for regular education services.

Alice provided information on the Study Committee’s budget and the future mailing to community residents. The mailing for the Vernon vote was $3300 to 9000 residents. To date and excluding Vernon expenses, the Study Committee has spent $23895 which includes pending legal fees. Lyle and Frank will seek guidance from AOE on spending limits. The group discussed the effectiveness of the mailing and the consensus was it was effective especially for older members of the community. In the event that the Study Committee had reached its statutory spending limit, the group discussed various options for funding any overage for the upcoming mailing including local boards and/or SU board that meets on October 4. On a motion made by Jill Stahl Tyler, seconded by Beth Bristol and so vote, the Study Committee requests that local boards approve up to for each board not to exceed $2000 and the exact amount to be committee based on final board support for the mailing of informational postcards. This mailing should occur around 10/25/17. Alice volunteered to draft wording with help from Richard Glejzer.

Alice opened the floor to the public who shared the following thoughts, ideas and/or concerns:


On a motion made by Beth Bristol, seconded by Kim Price and so voted, the work session adjourned at 7:41 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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