image description

Community Forum Set for Clarksburg/Stamford School Merger Study

Staff ReportsPrint Story | Email Story
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Residents in Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt., are encouraged to attend Tuesday's public forum on merging the two towns' school districts. 
 
The forum will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at Clarksburg Elementary School. 
 
Representatives from Public Consulting Group of Boston will be on hand to walk attendees through the timeline for the feasibility study on creating an interstate school district.
 
"We encourage people from both towns to attend this meeting because it is their first opportunity to meet with Public Consulting Group and to hear more about the study being conducted," said Kimberly Roberts-Morandi, a member of the Interstate Merger Committee. "It also is an opportunity to ask questions about the process."
 
PCG was jointly hired by officials in both towns on the recommendation of the merger committee in late December. The consultants have been contracted to review the potential benefits and challenges of merging the districts in terms of academics, finances and physical structures; how the governance of such a district might be constituted; how it could impact the North Berkshire School Union; and the legislative and congressional process for implementing an interstate school district. 
 
Tuesday's meeting will be the first of a number of planned forums and meetings with stakeholders in the process, from community members to teachers. Those attending the first public forum will be asked to sign up for focus groups to take place in February with the PCG team.
 
Following the presentation, there will be time to ask questions about the feasibility process. 
 
The merger discussion is being largely driven by Vermont's Act 46, which seeks to combine school districts to streamline governance and purchasing power. Stamford, however, is geographically and culturally isolated and rejected the state's push for it to partner with a school 25 miles away. 
 
Clarksburg and Stamford are separated by an arbitrary state line but share not only geographical proximity but also strong familial, cultural and academic ties. There are relatives on both sides of the border and most people in Stamford work in Massachusetts, as well as do their shopping and banking. Stamford and Clarksburg also largely send their secondary students to the same high schools in Massachusetts. 
 
Officials in both towns are hoping a merger will strengthen the two school districts academically and financially and provide opportunities for programming growth. There are no plans to close either school but to rather see how each might be better utilized. 
 
The work is being funded by matching grants of $25,000 from each state and a $30,000 grant to Clarksburg through Massachusetts' Community Compact program. Some of the funds have already been expended on legal fees. 
 
PCG is expected to have a report ready by spring.

Tags: Clarksburg School,   interstate ,   stamford school,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Clarksburg School Preparing for Reopening Scenarios

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The new security doors can be seen in the school lobby. The doors are one of several updates at the school, including a public address system and an accessible bathroom. 
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Principal Tara Barnes is working on a "nice puzzle challenge" in figuring how students will be situated within the elementary school come fall to comply with public health guidelines for the pandemic.
 
The state guidelines, so far, are requiring social distancing as well as masking for students in Grades 2 and up. Schools will also require a separated space for children who may be showing symptoms of COVID-19.
 
"I feel from most of our classrooms, about 15 students is the max of what we're able to get in there," she told the School Committee on Thursday. Further guidance from the state in regard to desks and dividers could mean a few more, but, she said, "I don't want at any point to compromise the safety of students or staff when I'm looking at these spaces."
 
Barnes said she's reviewing the use of "overflow" spaces such as the gym and rethinking uses of non-classroom areas and how that might affect special education teaching and splitting up classes to keep the numbers down. 
View Full Story

More Clarksburg Stories