It's Clarksburg's turn to weigh in on cross-border school merger plan

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CLARKSBURG — Residents of Clarksburg will close the month with a vote that could take them to an educational frontier.

At 6:30 p.m. July 31, townspeople will decide whether to join neighboring Stamford, Vt., in backing a plan to combine their small elementary schools. Residents of the Vermont town voted 58-29 on Monday to support a merger.

On Wednesday, the Clarksburg Select Board set the July 31 date for a special town meeting at the Clarksburg School.

"We'll see where it goes," said Ron Boucher, a Select Board member and acting town administrator.

As in Stamford this week, Clarksburg residents will approve or reject a plan to use the Stamford School to provide prekindergarten through Grade 2 classes for both schools.

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The Clarksburg School would house Grades 3 through 8 under the plan, which would need later approvals from both states and from the federal government.

The proposal is believed to be the first cross-border school merger attempted by the states. The schools are located about 4 miles from each other on Route 8.

Boucher said he notified Superintendent John Franzoni and School Committee Chairwoman Laura Wood on Thursday about the coming special town meeting and asked them to prepare language for the warrant article by July 17, in time to satisfy the required public notice period.

He also asked the school officials to gather background information on the proposal to share with residents at the July 31 meeting.

If combined, the plan calls for the schools to be part of the North Berkshire School Union, to which Clarksburg already belongs.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-496-6214.


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