TOWNSHEND -- Five public-informational meetings will be held in advance of a vote on forming a new, unified school district in five Windham County towns.

The Oct. 8 vote, via Australian Ballot, will determine whether a single school board should oversee education in Brookline, Jamaica, Newfane, Townshend and Windham.

Advocates believe the move would save money and boost educational opportunities. Also, a top priority of the new district -- tentatively called Windham Central Education District -- would be the possible construction of a new elementary school that would serve Jamaica and Townshend.

Windham school officials last year pulled out of a study group examining the possibilities of a new district. However, officials say the town must vote on the matter nonetheless.

The Oct. 8 ballot also will include candidates for a new Windham Central Education District board.

All informational meetings will begin at 7 p.m.:

-- Sept. 9 at the Townshend Elementary School. A Townshend School Board meeting will precede the informational session.

-- Sept. 12 at Jamaica Elementary.

-- Sept. 17 at Windham Elementary.

-- Sept. 24 at NewBrook Elementary. This session is for Newfane and Brookline residents.

-- Oct. 1: Regional informational meeting tentatively scheduled in the main gymnasium at Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School in Townshend.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.