On December 7, 2016

Lakes Region – News Briefs

Castleton grads mark career accomplishments
CASTLETON—At its fall convocation, Castleton University President David Wolk recognized Vermont State Game Warden Jenna Reed as the school’s Outstanding Young Alumna for 2016. The state’s only female game warden, she graduated in 2010 with a degree in environmental science, then joined the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and completed training at the Vermont Police Academy. In addition to her game warden duties, she also teaches defense tactics at the academy.
Bylaws to expand, consolidate districts
PAWLET—Pawlet’s Planning Commission is considering amendments to the Pawlet Unified Bylaws. The proposed amendments would expand the industrial district along West Pawlet’s western border and the New York State line, adding several parcels to commercial districts in West Pawlet and Pawlet Village. The amendments consolidate the river corridor protection areas with flood hazard area regulations area segments into one section of the Unified Bylaws. The new flood hazard area and river corridor regulation section aligns with the latest river corridor mapping performed by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The bylaws were originally adopted in 1978 and amended in 2013. For more information visit pawlet.vt.gov/2016/ and click on the link, “Pawlet Unified Bylaws Draft 2016 10 25 16, Map Of Proposed Zoning Districts And Vermont River Corridors.”
Raising the future
CASTLETON—At Castleton Village School, students in Mr. DeMatties’ seventh grade class enriched their unit on ratios by assembling models of various vehicles.
Castleton Village School’s Matthew Finnegan, Ella Kuehn and Tori Hathaway joined students from Fair Haven Union High and Rutland High at a Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) conference at Lake Morey, Nov. 9.
Castleton Village school shared a Veterans’ Day celebration with local American Legion members and invited all veterans to a spaghetti dinner. Over 130 people took part.
ARSU Act 46: another hurdle is confronted
ARSU Act 46 deliberations are underway. The study committee meets after the Castleton/Hubbardton forum, the final town forum in a series of meetings already taking place. How to elect school board members is one of the topics that each town will have in front of it. Board selection can be either proportional or hybrid at large. Hybrid at large is more difficult to understand; the entire district population votes on members, but each member is assigned to a community. The ballot would indicate the candidate’s town, and state how long the term would be.
The new board may have as many as 18 members, to allow for work being performed in subcommittee groups.
David Carrabino moved for each town to have three members on the 18-member board, with voting at large. Rick Wilson seconded the motion and the study committee passed it.
A board would lose one-third of its members each year. It would elect a board clerk and treasurer by Australian ballot at its first meeting. It would also decide when to have its annual meeting. An employee cannot be a board member.
Board members would first be elected March 3, 2017. Candidates would file with their town’s town clerk; signatures must be from the town in which they reside.
The new board would be completely operational by July 1, 2018. It would have power to change school boundaries.
The board is to assign West Haven’s 30 students to the elementary school in the unified union that best fits each student’s needs. West Haven’s forum has yet to discuss this idea. In the plan’s current language, parents do not have school choice, but Superintendent Ron Ryan has said he believes a board would acquiesce with a parent request.
Not yet determined is whether and to what extent there is school choice throughout the district, and what to do if more students want to attend a particular school than the school’s capacity. If agreement is not reached in time for a March vote, it is possible to hold a vote in April or May.
Final exam dates pose dilemma
CASTLETON—Exams at Castleton University are scheduled for the week of Dec. 19-23, too late in the month for some students to travel for family holiday celebrations, some 20 students told the administration Nov. 30. Senior Rebekah Robichaud said students have asked for a compromise.
Dean of Advancement Jeff Weld admitted that the schedule may “create some hardship.” He encourages students who need to leave campus before any of their scheduled finals to “speak with professors directly” to find an acceptable solution.
School exam dates are chosen by a calendar committee years in advance. The school plans future exam days as late in the semester as Dec. 22.

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