From many previous emails, you will remember that last year a Workgroup on Collaboration was formed by both Boards of Education. This group brought forward recommendations that included a potential creation of a new district to be posed to the voters in the fall. The Workgroup Recommendations were presented to the Boards of Education and the community on June 19, 2021.
At this time there appears to be disagreement on the specific state statutes on the process. This is all healthy and expected in a unique set of work that looks at a municipal district (Litchfield) and a regional district (Region 6) with a long history. There is a reason why this question has not gotten to the voters in nearly 70 years - it just isn't simple.
This entire process has given me time to take stock in the great work and compromise created by the Workgroup and its members. All of this was accomplished during an international pandemic and under extremely challenging circumstances. The work has also afforded me the perspective that this true conversation is too long in the making, it actually predates the birth of many, and its outcome is too important to the students, towns, staff, and community, to have issues over crossed i's or dotted t's. This is not the work of one, or a Workgroup, or a Board, but belongs to the towns and the future.
Therefore, during the week of August 16th, at the next regular meetings of the Boards of Education, I will be making the following recommendations:
1) The work on a merger, creation of a new district, should be paused at this time so that the Towns, the Districts, and the State Department of Education formulate the best plan to move forward.
2) This pause means no recommendation, at this time, for a public hearing or a referendum.
In closing, the collaboration between the two districts is stronger than ever and is essential for our students and sustainability. There is a blueprint for the future. I remain hopeful that the blueprint is finalized and it will someday be brought to the voters.
Keep living forward. The journey continues.