According to Windham Central Supervisory Union Superintendent Steven John, the school board conducted straw polls of the townspeople who attended two earlier meetings.
“Wardsboro has had two previous public meetings that were well attended re Act 46 options,” said John.
According to the superintendent, the straw polls at these meetings showed that the participants were not interested in joining with the five Leland & Gray union towns.
“They eliminated Leland & Gray. People didn’t want to lose choice for grades 7 to 12. They have no desire to get involved with that large union,” he said.
John said the straw poll participants also were not interested in closing the school. “They rejected the option of closing their school and going to choice for pre-K to grade 12, as it would not qualify for any tax incentives, small schools grants, and they would lose control over their educational costs.”
Instead, Wardsboro residents and the Act 46 committee have both, according to John, expressed the most interest in working with Dover to study the possibility of creating a side-by-side district.
“The public straw polls at these meetings (in Wardsboro) supported keeping their school pre-K-six and studying Act 46 with Dover, which is also a pre-K-six district, with choice for grades seven -12,” said John. “Dover has already voted to join in a study with Wardsboro,”
John also said that if Wardsboro decides to study the side-by-side option with Dover, it would only be the first step toward any decision to actually form such a merger. The decision to create such a district would be up to voters of both towns, John added.
Wardsboro school board members did not respond to requests to comment on this story. The May 24 meeting will be at the town hall, at 7 pm.