An Act 46 party of three: Dover, Marlboro and Wardsboro to study options

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DOVER — A study committee is being assembled to review options around mergers for Dover, Marlboro and Wardsboro school districts as the education law Act 46 requires district consolidation statewide.

"Dover and Marlboro have voted to join the study of three towns," said Windham Central Supervisory Union Superintendent Steven John. "Wardsboro, as a board, has not had a quorum to vote."

The schools all offer choice for high school and are within the same supervisory union. The three boards are planning to meet June 6 at 7 p.m. at Marlboro Elementary School. The goal is to determine what representation on the committee will look like.

Wardsboro is expected to have one fewer member on the committee, John said, because the make-up is based on per-equalized pupil counts.

"Marlboro and Dover have a similar amount of students," he said. "They all have to appoint at least one school board member to a study committee."

The district to be proposed likely will be pre-k through sixth grade, according to John. But it could be pre-k to eighth grade since Marlboro offers those grades plus seventh and eighth.

When drafting articles of agreement, which the towns would vote on after getting approved by the Vermont Board of Education, districts will have to decide whether they want to be "advisable" or "necessary" to the merger.

"Dover and Wardsboro are determined to be necessary members of that vote," John said. "But Marlboro might find it wise to be advisable."

Once the committee is formed, John said he can apply for an Act 46 study grant. And after the state's Agency of Education approves it, a consultant can be hired to assist with the study.

"They hope to get that all done before I leave office here at the end of June," said John, who is retiring then. "That's why we're pushing everything along."

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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