Windham to fight forced school merger

This article by Susan Smallheer originally appeared Oct. 18 in the Brattleboro Reformer.

WINDHAM — The tiny town of Windham is fighting the state Board of Education’s decision this week to force a merger with other Windham County schools in the West River valley.

Rep. Carolyn Partridge, D-Windham, chairwoman of the Windham School Board, said the board would hold a special meeting next Monday afternoon to chart its course, which likely will include closing the tiny Windham School, selling the building to the town, and tuitioning its students.

Wikimedia Commons/Jared and Corin

Windham, Vermont Elementary School

The Windham School currently has 16 students and two teachers, Partridge said, in the K-6 school.

Patridge said there are tentative plans to hold a special town meeting in late November to make those recommendations final.

She said the town was opposed to the forced merger the Vermont Board of Education approved this week, which would force Windham to join the West River Modified Union Education District, commonly called the “MUED” district, which includes the towns of Townshend, Newfane, Jamaica and Brookline.

Partridge said there are also plans to study opening an independent school in the current Windham School building.

“The staff are all on board,” she said. “Not much would change.”

Objections to the forced merger with West River Valley towns center on geography: driving the students involves steep and windy mountain roads, and winter only makes the roads worse, Partridge said.

Read full article at the Brattleboro Reformer.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Jared and Corin