Wed, Feb 15, 2012 01:38 PM
Since 1889 Proctor has supported a high school, but today
Proctor wrestles with the question of whether or not the town can
financially provide a quality secondary education for its students
while enrollments decline and town businesses diminish.
To help sort out their options, Proctor School Board hired Prof.
Raymond J. Proulx, Ed.D. to put together a few proposals the town
After many months of research and interviews, Thursday evening,
February 8, Dr. Proulx discussed his findings and outlined
his proposals with the community. His findings were handed out in
an 80-page report. Proulx emphasized that when reading through the
report that one must think about the students first and ask whether
they are getting the quality education that they deserve.
In his executive overview Dr. Proulx stated that his study reveals
that "The status quo is not an option that will enable Proctor High
School to attain the level of quality, equity and efficiency in the
educational system that is desired… Proctor needs to be coupled
with transformation of educational opportunities for students,
delivery systems, access and use of technology and attracting
Proulx's research led him to give the town four options to consider
which are summarized below.
Option 1: Proctor and West Rutland form a unified union school
district/regional education district (RED).
If this option was to be chosen it could take at least two years to
implement. The Proctor Elementary School, High School and the West
Rutland PK-12 would all remain open but with changes in curriculum
at each of the secondary school levels. They would continue to
provide extracurricular activities at both school sites with
restructuring of what was offered and where. No new school
construction or renovations would be needed at either site and this
option would reduce school board expenses by $19,370. Some of the
potential effects would be transportation costs and time for
students on busses, the student body may be more diverse, the
number of extracurricular offerings would expand and there would be
only one school board.
Option 2: Joint contract school district.
This is where two or more schools districts may enter into a
contract similar to a corporate agreement for operating one or more
schools. Members from local school districts are elected to the
Joint Contract Board and sit on the governance board. The Joint
Board employs teachers, staff, sets programs and curriculum, sets
budget and policies and more. This option offers greater
opportunities and flexibility in what is sustained at the local
school district level.
Option 3: Allow secondary school choice and realign Pre-K through
grade 6 students within one or two Proctor facilities.
With this option Proctor would provide full choice for all
secondary students (7-12) or it could designate another school such
as Rutland High School, Otter Valley or Mill River to receive all
secondary students. School choice would enable students and parents
to select any public or approved independent high school they want
to attend. Proctor must pay the allowable tuition rate established
by the receiving school regardless if it is higher or lower than
the average Vermont tuition rate. If a student still wants school
choice even with a designated high school chosen then Proctor would
be obligated to pay the average tuition rate for high school, or
the actual tuition charged by the receiving school. Proctor is not
responsible for paying any costs related to students who choose to
attend secular schools.
Option 4: Designate all secondary students from Proctor to attend
Rutland City Middle and High School (or other designated
Option 4 has four alternatives altering the designated school and
the tuition cost per pupil. The other three designated school
options are Otter Valley High School, Mill River Union High School
and West Rutland High School. Rutland City's tuition rate is
$12,200, Otter Valley is $11,900, Mill River is $13, 011 and West
Rutland's is $12,500.
This option would require a vote of the community to authorize the
closing of the Proctor High School. Some of the assumptions in this
option are that transportation would be provided for Proctor's
secondary students, no new school construction will be needed in
Rutland, built in expenses for keeping the high school facility
heated and protected and Rutland would have to add staff to
accommodate Proctor's secondary pupils. Potential effects include
no vote on the Rutland school board, parent and community
engagement in secondary school would be more distant, the student
body would be more diverse, the number of extracurricular offerings
would be greater but the competition would be more intense, Rutland
offers four to six AP courses, and a designated school would allow
all Proctor secondary pupils to stay in one location.
Dr. Proulx emphasized many times throughout his forum that he
doesn't favor any of these options more than the other and that is
it up to the Proctor community and the School Board to continue to
discuss them in the time to come.
Whether it is keeping the school as is, joining with another school
or offering school choice Proctor is tasked to clearly define what
the quality, equity and efficiency of education is best for the
students and for the town.
For a copy of Dr Proulx's report detailing his findings call the
Rutland Central Supervisory Union at 775-4342. Attend school board
meetings to keep informed and to express your opinions. The next
school board meeting is Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the elementary