During the Shelburne Community School (SCS) Board’s regular Feb. 17 meeting, a handful of community members voiced their support for the $11.2 million bond. The article is slated to be voted on by Australian ballot at Town Meeting, March 3.
Eric Brunvand, a teacher on Holden House, kicked off the public comment portion of the meeting, thanking the board and SCS administrators Allan Miller and Pati Beaumont for pursuing the bond. Katie Kennedy also thanked school commissioners and staff for the push for the bond, noting she feels the renovations will underscore the school’s reputation as a place of caring and high educational standards. Other parents, such as Alice Brown and Demi Simons expressed support as well. Recently letters voicing support as well as opposition have filled the pages of the Shelburne News. The bond is slated to address renovation needs for the 50-year-old building.
Miller and Beaumont gave a rundown of a program highlighting SCS leadership. Members meet for up to two hours every Thursday afternoon after school. The group is responsible for providing feedback and advice to Miller and Beaumont. Topics range from discipline to curriculum to scheduling. Among the highlights of the group’s work was common planning time for teachers. “There’s a lot of excitement about the future of education,” Miller said. Beaumont and Miller also praised the committee’s structure, with Beaumont noting, “When 12 people get together to talk, it’s more interesting than when two people talk.”
SCS Board Chair Dave Connery also updated fellow school commissioners about a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant from the state. According to Connery, the grant totals $50,000. Because the grant application was due at the end of the week of Feb. 16, Connery explained that the paperwork was submitted with the understanding that it could also be withdrawn if problems arose.
Connery said the idea for the playground has grown from the installation of new equipment to considerations about a path and trees at the site. Board member Russ Caffry called the grant, “serious money,” but appeared supportive. In addition, questions arose over what would happen to the 99-year Snelling Park lease should the school close or move before it expires. There are over four decades left on the lease, according to SCS officials.
Connery told school commissioners an attorney was looking at paperwork concerning the grant application and lease agreement. A decision on the matter is expected by mid-March.
Pettinelli & Associates’s bid of $101,154 for a metal/plastic structure was accepted by the board during its Jan. 13 meeting over four other out-of-state companies. The structure will replace the existing one at Snelling Park.