Lincoln becomes own supervisory district after 18 months
LINCOLN, Vt. (WCAX) - After 18 months, the town of Lincoln is leaving its unified school district and going out on its own.
Lincoln school leaders withdrew from their district over concerns their school would be closed during a potential merger.
The Vermont State Board of Education recommended they become their own independent supervisory district, and the school board agreed.
So now they’re responsible for educating, financing and providing resources for all the Lincoln students, K-12, on their own.
The Lincoln Community School or LCS serves as a center point for the Addison County town that is home to roughly 1,300.
“It’s a special place. It just feels like community. It’s a place where we all come together,” said Christy Sumner of Lincoln.
Sumner, who’s lived in town for more than 50 years, said she’s thrilled the Lincoln School District will be operating on its own, a move which keeps LCS open.
“We’re a town that gets things done,” said Sumner.
The school board agreed. After 18 months, the State Board of Education, Vermont Education Secretary Dan French, and the board agreed that Lincoln would be best as its own supervisory district instead of joining an unwilling supervisory union.
“We’ve just been trying to adapt to the shifting situation with the State Board of Education to figure out the very best path forward and we’re really excited and confident,” Lincoln School Board Member Abby Reynolds said.
School board members Abby Reynolds and Mary Gemignani say they’re working with the community to determine the next steps for the seventh through 12th graders. Either they’d designate up to three high schools in other towns or families would have school choices for where they’d like to attend.
“We are working on all of those different options for transportation, different options for food service, we are working with the community on that,” said Gemignani.
There are 77 students in LCS, and 94 Lincoln students of middle and high school age, making it one of the smallest supervisory districts in the state.
State Board of Education Chair Jennifer Samuelson says a supervisory district is the preferred structure under Act 46. Despite the state preferring a supervisory district being made up of 900 or more students, Samuelson says the state came to the conclusion that Lincoln could succeed based on the board’s confidence and the district can also contract services where necessary.
“They’re going to be able to meet all of those, the supervisory union services that they’ll be able to provide all of those needs,” said Samuelson.
This comes after Ripton was designated to become a supervisory district like Lincoln. But the state didn’t see a bright future for the even smaller district and the town of Ripton voted to rejoin Addison Central School District after they accepted a carve-out in recent legislation allowing them to do so.
“Ripton was proceeding under the new version of the law which kind of gave them different options that are not available to Lincoln. But Lincoln. You know, as I read, the information that they submitted, they are bigger. You know, they seem to feel quite confident in their ability to district,” said Samuelson.
The Lincoln Supervisory District is required to be in full operation by next July.
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