Important Updates 3/7/2017

page updated 3/7/2017

Click here to read the full 30-page Report & Articles of Agreement prepared by the Act 46 Elementary Study Committee for Dover, Marlboro and Wardsboro. 
At your town's polling places
March 7, 2017
10 am to 7 pm   
Public Information Forum Videos
-for videos of the public information meetings - scroll down this page
The final public information session was held on Feb. 27th.
Voters and others seeking information that will help them decide how to vote on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 on the Act 46 Articles of Agreement may ask a question by clicking HERE.
or contact any one of the committee members.   
See the bottom of this page for a letter to voters from the committee.    

This is a 17 page (PDF file, >18MB) of the slide presentation that is being used at the Public Information Meetings. During the meetings, various Committee Members talk about each and every line on each slide and answer all audience questions on each part in detail. CLICK HERE

Time to decide!

If you missed a meeting, watch it on BCTV online - here are the links to the videos of the Public Information Presentations by the Committee Members. Note - it takes a couple of days for the videos to be ready to post after each evening.

Marlboro  January 12, 2017  VIDEO  (no printed minutes)
Printed Questions and Answers from January 12, 2017 (anyone can view, no sign in required)
Dover  January 19, 2017  VIDEO  (no printed minutes)
Printed Questions and Answers from January 19, 2017 (anyone can view, no sign in required)
Wardsboro  January 23, 2017  VIDEO  (no printed minutes)
Printed Questions and Answers from January 23, 2017 (anyone can view, no sign in required)
Wardsboro  February 2, 2017  VIDEO  (no printed minutes)
Printed Questions and Answers from February 2, 2017 (anyone can view, no sign in required)
Marlboro February 13, 2017 VIDEO (no printed minutes)
Dover February 27, 2017 VIDEO ( no printed minutes)

Community Letter   (click here to read it or print it as pdf file)
Issued 2/15/2017
Dear Community Members,                         
            On March 7th, Town Meeting Day, there will be a ballot vote at your town's designated polling place, with the two articles asking whether to consolidate the three Districts into a single unified governance district and, if consolidated, who will serve as Directors representing your town on the new district board.
            Recommended Articles of Agreement, forming and governing the new proposed Unified District, were agreed upon by the Dover, Marlboro, and Wardsboro Act 46 Study Committee at its duly warned meeting of November 17, 2016. The Dover, Marlboro, and Wardsboro Act 46 Study Committee recommends that the Articles of Agreement be voted on by the electorates of each of the named school districts in order to create a Unified Union School District to be named the River Valleys Unified School District (RVUSD). The “Articles of Agreement” has received approval of the State Board of Education.
Voting “Yes” on the consolidation question means:
·        We will have one single board with representation based on census population: Dover - 3, Marlboro - 3, Wardsboro – 3
·        Day to day operation of our schools will not change. They will continue to provide a high quality education for our students.
·        All of our children will be eligible to participate in the elementary school choice program of the unified district and the existing secondary school choice program.
·        The unified district will have a school-based school board that will take care of individual school business until 2019 and it will also provide information to the Unified Union School District—RVUSD.
·        Consolidation will minimize fluctuating tax rates that result from year-to-year changes in a town’s student population. If the new district were to have a change of 10-15 students, it will have a much smaller effect on the larger district than on our current smaller districts.
·        The new district will have $261,328 in small school grants that Dover, Marlboro and Wardsboro currently receive continued as “merger grants.” Additionally, we will receive up to $150,000 to help with the organizational costs of the new district and we will receive decreasing annual tax breaks for four years starting with 8 cents.
·        The voters of the three districts will decide on Town Meeting Day 2017 whether to form this Unified District or not. If Dover and Wardsboro both approve the merger the unified district will be created.  Marlboro's positive vote would mean adding Marlboro to the unified district.
·        As this is a side by side governance consolidation, it is contingent upon the Leland & Grey vote.
·        In Marlboro, the 7 and 8 grade program will cease to exist and parents would have to choose a middle school for their child to enroll in with the cost paid by the new unified district.
A “No” vote means:
·        The proposed unified District will not replace the three district system currently in place.  It will not mean that consolidation goes away. Act 46 mandates consolidation by 2018 or the State Agency of Education has the authority to consolidate us with whichever district they choose in 2019.
·        A “no” vote may mean giving up our choice on how we consolidate governance.
·        With the Articles of Agreement that will be voted upon on Town Meeting Day, there are significant protections for each of our schools and towns against an unwanted school closure. This will most likely not be the case if we are joined to another district by the State Agency of Education.
·        A no vote in Marlboro is different than a no vote in the other towns.  Marlboro voters can, at any time before March 31 2018, re-vote to enter into the merger with Dover and Wardsboro.
Thank you, 
The Act 46 Study Committee
Dover: Richard Werner, Chairperson, Jonathan Vicary, Laura Sibilia, Randy Capitani
Wardsboro: Dwight Boerem, Vice Chair, Mike Murphy, Jill Dean
Marlboro: Celena Romo, Secretary, Lucy Gratwick, Dan MacArthur
Community Informational Meetings have been scheduled for February. Please come to one and ask your questions and we will answer them. The Articles of Agreement, can be found on the windhamcentralboard.org website or wcsu-committee.blogspot.com
Please mark your calendar: March 7th is Town Meeting Day and polling hours are 10AM to 7PM!