Black River Independent School Committee
Date/Time: 02/14/2019 @ 6:30pm
Location: Black River High School Middle School Library
I. Call to Order-Called to Order @ 6:39pm by John
Motion made by Suzy to pass new Agenda, 2nd by Melissa: Approved
II. Approval of Minutes
1. Press Release: Read aloud edited version Kristen drafted, 2 key points added
in regards to operating for grades 7-12 with State tuition dollars for Ludlow & Mt.
Holly kids, and clarifying that this is our first phase and the fundraising for the
Capital Campaign will be continuing efforts.
Reviewed list of press release submissions: Okemo Valley TV, Vermont Journal,
Chit Chat, Mt. Holly Newsflash, Front Porch Forum (Uli: groups have a limited
amount of posts but individuals can post as often as they want for no charge),
Chester Telegraph, & VPR.
John suggested incorporating an image; unanimously agreed to keep that in
mind for future releases.
Last update via Kristen’s email: potential to draft a Letter to Editor as well in the
future using other key points/language from Donation Request Letter
-Uli will reach out to Front Porch Forum with her individual account, as
well as submit it to other resources tomorrow morning.
2. Alternative Space Acquisition via Marissa &/or John-John: Nothing new to
report yet as far as contacts go, still working on outreach; However, has a google
doc drafted with a list of things to keep in mind for what we’d be looking for, ie:
kitchen/dining space, lab area, classroom space/size via class size, population
size, & various locations in town that would fulfill these needs; Village Campus
Model most likely.
Marissa: Reached out to Sue Chadwick at Fletcher Farms with inquiry for space
acquisition; Sue had to check in with the Board first but she did get back to
BRISC within 2 days and explained that unfortunately do not have the
space available due to heating limits and current use from the TRSU; however,
she did advocate for future collaboration with Black River Academy and would
love to expand their programs with us if possible. Mutual agreement that would
be a great opportunity.
3. LMHUUD 02/13/2019 Meeting via Marissa-LES had a fire marshal meeting
planned, but he had to reschedule; new date to be determined (fire marshal is
to assist LMHUUD board sort out what needs to be redone at the BR building);
-Meg Powden did send a letter to the Town Selectboard to officially accept or
deny Right of First Refusal, they have to postpone replying to the letter until
April as (explained later by Selectboard member that evening) it will be put forth
to the Town at the Town Meeting on March 4th.
-Follow Up: Discussion of Town Meeting approach for next week’s Agenda
-Cheryl Hammond explained to LMHUUD that a bid had gone out for surveying
to be completed for subdivision of BR from LES; legal rep to be used just for
posterity’s sake; board assumes line will be made ½ way through parking lot;
-Meg Powden contract approved for 2 years as opposed to 1 year to maintain
continuity of following through for closure.
1. Possible Partnership w/ Other Established Schools: Suzy explained that
through community member there appears to be interest from families in wider
vicinity (ie: Clarendon, Shrewsbury, etc) to send their children to BRA if it were
a satellite school for something such as Burr & Burton; no contact made with
BBA through this time but similar outreach included Compass School, who Uli
said they had suggested we transition into a satellite school; John pointed out
that BBA is closer to our preferred model than Compass School however, & that
we have our own really good niche here. John suggested we revisit completing
an official timeline since we know we can make this transpire; agreed that it is
definitely worth looking into; however, strongly agreed especially with our niche
here that better to have our own unique local school than create a conglomerate;
also the fact that our format allows for more Special Ed opportunities;
Another key note is that Long Trail School (outdoors focus) happened to tour BR last week; Long Trail, along with Green Mountain & Mill River, have offered to
provide transportation for students from this area.
Last aspect in regards to potentially collaborating with another school at all would
be that OMS would probably make the most sense; possible sub-committee.
Marissa: present current format & Uli’s OMS affiliation draft from last Spring
-Melissa will reach out in regards to talking w/ OMS Board
2. John was provided with a contact who could be a possible fundraiser to hire; question is if we’re at a point where we should hire one; we do have the Fundraiser Consultant Christine Graham (who is an advisor not an actual planner/solicitor) as a resource; might be worth it to reach out to contact and
discuss role. John: again, get to the point where we can transition with official
3. Intermediary Tier for Outreach/Donation Planning-John: Approach feels like it should definitely be face to face. Question is how many people: 50? 100? 150?
Marissa following up with outreach to Homestyle Hostel &/or Stemwinder’s to plan an event, ie: Meet & Greet. John suggested we create a sub-committee to create list of who is on intermediary tier, check in with Kristen for real estate/Mt.
contacts to narrow down list; also, recruit other members for sub-committee.
-Marissa to follow up with Kristen & Heather Tucker about creating a
sub-committee & finding possible contacts/liaisons to assist.
-Also follow up via email if it could be done w/ Google Docs since it can be
difficult to schedule a meeting date/time that works for everyone.
Possibilities include: Benson’s, DJ’s, Aubuchon owners, LaValley’s owners, etc (thinking local business families).
ALSO: another pile of donations mailed in to be deposited, response still going well from the community! Foundation is growing.
IV. Public Comment-N/A
V. Suggested Items for Next Meeting
Sub-Committee for Intermediary Tier Outreach Update
OVTV Interview Appointment
Town Meeting Discussion
OMS Board Outreach Update
VI. Adjournment-Adjourned @ 7:43pm by John