Jamaica to vote on whether to leave Leland & Gray Union


JAMAICA — Residents will vote Tuesday on whether or not to withdraw from the Leland and Gray Union Middle/High School District #34 in order to pursue options that would allow school choice after elementary school.

On July 12, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., residents are asked to go to the Jamaica Town Office to cast their ballot for the matter that was made in response to Act 46, the education law mandating district consolidation statewide.

Of those surveyed in Jamaica, 60 percent of the respondents wanted the board to look at one of three options which focus on joining districts offering school choice after elementary school.

The board also voted to join a study committee looking at the formation of a pre-k through 12th grade district with member districts of the Leland & Gray Union. Newfane, Townshend, Brookline, Townshend, Jamaica and Windham currently send their kids to Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School, and are part of the Windham Central Supervisory Union. Consolidating those districts into one would keep them all within the WCSU.

The vote for Jamaica to join the Leland & Gray study occurred after a meeting on May 17, where Act 46 Exploratory Committee members recommended entering a study committee based on the results of the survey.

Looking at districts hoping to preserve school choice, one option would be Jamaica studying a merger with Wardsboro and Dover. Both districts also are in the WCSU. Consolidation studies with districts near Manchester, which are in the Flood Brook Union School District, could be pursued. And Jamaica could also join Stratton, another district in the supervisory union, which is in talks with Winhall and Searsburg about potential merger studies. Winhall is in the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union and Searsburg is part of the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union.

The other towns in the Windham Central Supervisory Union would have to approve of Jamaica's withdrawal in a vote later on.

Maddi Shaw can be reached at 802-254 2311 ext 275.


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