Brattleboro school board looks to re-start community dialogue


BRATTLEBORO -- The way Brattleboro Town School Board Chairwoman Jill Stahl Tyler sees it, the board's initiative to engage more with the public is going to be a long-term project.

Last summer the board began talking about ways to include more community members in discussions about the future of education in Brattleboro.

The board held a well-attended community meeting on Jan. 22, and now Stahl Tyler said the Brattleboro Town School Board is going to plan the next community forum to build upon the ideas that were raised at the last meeting.

"This is something everyone on the board is interested in doing," Stahl Tyler said. "It is definitely moving forward."

The school board is scheduled to meet this Wednesday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m. at Early Education Services at 130 Birge St., and the board is expected to talk about the community forums and potentially set the date for the next meeting.

The nearly two-hour Jan. 22 meeting, which attracted about 50 people, was open-ended, and Stahl Tyler said the board wants to use that first meeting to plan for what she hopes will be series of dialogues about education.

The first meeting, she said, is expected to examine the ways the school board can bring more community members into the conversations, and also to try to find out what the public at large expects from the school board and schools.

The board also want to hold meetings on testing, addressing the needs of all learners, behavior in the classrooms and enrichment opportunities.

The board has set up a web site at to help distribute information on the process.

Stahl Tyler said she hopes the board will be able to schedule one more forum before the summer

"Clearly we are just beginning this process," said Stahl Tyler. "This is something the board has not done before and so I think we are all learning as we go. I think we saw at that meeting on January 22 that people do want to know what we do."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.


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