The Vision for a Merged School District
A unified school district that promotes excellence in educational outcomes and cultural experiences for every student by maintaining and expanding access to innovative, high quality programs while serving as wise stewards of community resources.
Northfield and Williamstown School Merger and Essential Questions
Why are we discussing a school district merger?
Answer- In 2015, the Vermont State Legislature passed Act 46, a law meant to encourage small school districts to consider merging to create a more sustainable statewide education system. As defined by the law, separately the Northfield and Williamstown school districts are below the student population requirements.
Why Williamstown and Northfield?
Answer- Northfield and Williamstown are similar in that they both operate pre-k through grade 12 schools, which is the preferred structure under the law. Our communities share a commitment to maintaining our community-based high schools, while offering a high-quality education to our students. Our school districts have already experienced success and cost savings by “merging” administrative positions such as curriculum coordinator and business manager.
What would a merged district look like?
Answer- All schools will remain open. There are no plans to consolidate or close any of the schools. Northfield and Williamstown would share a superintendent and administrative staff such as special services director, food service director, technology specialist, and so forth.
What are some advantages to school district merger?
Answer- Coordination at the high school level could mean more elective options for students and fewer costly “singleton” classes with only a few students. Elementary- and Middle-School coordination would allow teachers better opportunities for professional development and a larger pool of data for instructional improvement. Consolidating the Superintendent's Office leads to significant cost savings in personnel, and makes economies of scale possible in purchasing and vendor contracts.
Are there challenges to consider?
Answer- Our schools are the heart of our communities. Any merged district would need to be able to continue to reflect community culture. Both Williamstown and Northfield want to maintain strong involvement from parents and townspeople. There is the potential for, but no guarantee of property tax savings as a result of merging.
What would be the Supervisory Union Structure?
Answer- A merged Northfield-Williamstown school district would share a superintendent and respective administrative positions with the PreK-8 schools in Orange and Washington. Educational Advantages: a broader pool of elementary and middle-school teachers and students to share professional development, data, and best practices. `
Keep your eye out for informational forums coming in April and plan to attend and remember:
Voting on the Merger- May 2, 2017 at Northfield High School Lobby