The unified board met on September 6th, 2016, in the Essex High School library. Draft minutes are posted here. Highlights of the meeting include:
-Three representatives of Vermont’s Department of Health attended the meeting to gauge board and administration interest in conducting a Health Impact Assessment around the transportation plan for the new district. The assessment would be conducted at no cost to our towns and could provide valuable insights into possible positive and negative consequences of the likely changes to transportation, helping the district to make good decisions around busing. The board agreed to have the Department of Health conduct the assessment and engage with the community around transportation.
-Mark Drapa, chair of the Westford School Board, gave a detailed presentation to the board about the ongoing discussions in Westford about the future ownership and access to the parcels of land surrounding the Westford School. Westford voters are scheduled to vote in October about transferring ownership of certain adjoining lands to the Town of Westford, to formalize the traditional arrangements of use and maintenance. Board and administration members raised a number of questions around future use of the lands by students and teachers.
-The board had its first reading of mandatory policies on Transportation and Class Size. The Policy Committee is asked to revise the policies to remove references to Supervisory Unions, and the administration is asked to present to the board for review all the procedures that they will develop in future to flesh out the details of how these important policies will work.
More details on these aspects of the meeting, and much more (including documents reviewed at the meeting), can be found in the minutes (linked above). The board will next convene on September 20th.