Time to pay it forward

Dear Editor,

I am the current chair of the Mountain Views Supervisory Union (MVSU) School Board. I am also a Woodstock resident, a parent of three children who graduated from our schools, a grandparent of a PreK student at WES, and an educator who taught for 39 years in the school district. At the vote for the new school at town meeting on March 5, 2024, I will be voting “Yes.”

The School Board appreciates the supportive and complimentary statements we have heard about our teachers and staff. We sincerely thank the many people who asked great questions about the new school and we have attempted to answer all questions honestly and clearly. We are convinced the best and most practical option is a new school building and we are committed to securing the funding.

For eight years, countless hours by many school board members, administrators, teachers, staff, students and the public have reviewed and refined the design. We are design and permit ready with a strong expectation of opening the doors in the fall of 2026.

After attending many meetings across our school community, most agree that a new building is necessary. Yes, a new building will be a significant investment, but it is well worth making.

Its time has now come. We are asking the taxpayers to contribute their share to help fund a building that can stand the test of time and last for 70-plus years. It will have a capacity for up to 600 students. It will be a modern building with the latest technology in air quality, heating, and lighting. It will provide teachers and students right-sized classrooms for today’s educational practices.

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Let’s provide our children and grandchildren a place to learn and improve our world. It’s time to move forward and get it done.


Keri Bristow, Mountain Views School District Board Chair

One comment on “Time to pay it forward

  1. There is a reason that the state has put a moratorium on funding school construction and that is overcapacity in the face of declining enrollment. This proposal would increase capacity of WUHS to 750.
    To quote from a recent letter from Pamela Fraser, former WCUUSD School Board member; parent, and WUHS Class of 2023:
    “The enrollment trajectory at Woodstock Union over recent decades and forecasts on the impact of decreased birthrates on school-age populations can help answer this. Enrollment in FY2001 dropped from 721 students, to 663 in FY2004, to 511 in Oct 2020 (the peak of the Covid “bump”), to 486 in Oct 2021, and is now 452 in January 2024. Applying a U.S. Department of Education projection of an 11.2% drop in Vermont statewide enrollment between 2021 and 2030 (reported in nesdec.org), enrollment would be down to 432 by 2030.”
    The new school proposal assumes increased enrollment in the face of the above projections, which would supposedly offset a certain amount of education tax, and those savings would be applied to paying off the school bond. These kind of assumptions then become a lie if they do not magically occur. As a result we will be paying even more in education taxes whether its because of lower than hoped for enrollment or the lack of offset to the bond payments from unrealized tax savings from hoped for high enrollment.
    This is a boondoggle based on fairy tale assumptions. “Build it and they will come”, only works in the movies.

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