The ABC voted to rescind their recommendation to the Region One Board for a Middle School sports program.
The schools with work outside of the shared services to create a program between Sharon, Salisbury, North Canaan and Cornwall for Middle School sports.Falls Village and Kent will not be part of the program, however the door will be open for them should they change their minds.The as yet unnamed committee will meet on February 26 at 6 pm in the Conference Room at the Central Office.This is the same night when the ABC has its regular meeting at 7 PM.
Just as a clarification and information – the Town of Canaan (Falls Village) Board of Education has yet to decide what it will be doing regarding this program. The ABC Committee, approved by a spilt vote, to recommend to the Regional School District Number One B of E FUNDING this program in the spending plan of the Regional School Services Center (RSSC). The RSSC includes the superintendent’s office, Pupil Services and the business office. If the Board had approved the recommendation, all elementary school districts would have been left no choice but to pay its share of the program whether they chose to be a part of it or not and/or regardless of participation. Given that the Regional School District Number One Board of Education did not approve the funding of this program recommendation, now the elementary school districts have chosen to operate under a cooperative arrangement granted by the statutes under Section 10-158a allowing those who chose to participate to share the costs among those school districts. This statute is a known provision of the law, which by the way, could have been employed from the beginning avoiding all the controversy about this matter and achieved the desired goal.
I would point out that the Canaan (FV) Board officially learned of this change in implementation of the program to a cooperative relationship, now in the hands of the local elementary school districts, at its February 4th meeting. Given that it would now not be forced into a program that it had some concerns about, but would have a choice over its participation, the Canaan (FV) Board decided at it February 4th meeting to discuss its options at a special meeting. That meeting is currently scheduled be held at Kellogg School on February 24th at 5:30 PM
There was NO vote at Thursday night’s ABC Committee meeting regarding this program and the program’s membership because the RSSC has NOTHING to do with the program. The program’s cost is not included in the RSSC spending plan and therefore the ABC Committee has no oversight. In the end the ABC Committee is governed by the Regional School District Number One of Board of Education and is strictly a recommending body with no budget and no power to act.
The program will be administered by the school districts that participate in it. Those school districts participating should be known prior to a meeting of a newly formed committee for that purpose prior to a 6 PM scheduled meeting of that committee on February 26th.
How can North Canaan support this plan? NC will have very large seventh and eighth grade classes next year.
NC consistently has 30 students participating each sports season. (Roughly 15 boys and 15 girls each season) NC has approximately 90 students involved annually and is, much like Kent, able to field solid school teams every season. This new plan forces NC’s students to ride a bus each day for over an hour round trip to play soccer, softball and baseball in Sharon Valley? That will be 6 to 7 hours a week on a bus when North Canaan has wonderful facilities right behind the school. While this new athletic plan seems to make sense for Falls Village, Cornwall and Sharon whose total enrollments are less than NC’s annual sports participation rate, (especially Sharon who gets to host practices and games in their town) it seems to be unfair to North Canaan. I fear North Canaan’s participation will drop significantly from its 90 students annually. The time restraints imposed in this tentative schedule supports less practice time and still gets students returned to to their home school after dinner time. North Canaan will be paying the bulk of the cost for this program and be hard pressed to take advantage of this programs positives. Why should 12 year olds from NC have to ride a bus for over an hour to kick or throw a ball around? Still not sure how the logistics would work to round up students from at least five different schools and get them to these away Berkshire League games for a CIAC 3:45 starting time? The athletic director will be hard pressed to get students from around the region to Sharon for a 4:00 practice! Questions and concerns abound as this plan is hastily thrown into local town budgets. The taxpayers and students of North Cannan deserve better.