Dear Members of the Community,

In preparation for the upcoming School Board and Budget Information Meeting, the Board considered it necessary to inform you about the current state of things.

As you well remember, the school budget did not pass at Town Meeting in March this year and is pending a revote which was scheduled to be held on April 18, 2020. According to the Secretary of State’s message from April 1, 2020, however, all budget revotes need to be postponed until the Governor’s Orders are lifted. At this time, even Australian ballot votes are deemed too hazardous as they require ballot processing and counting and put voters and election workers at too much risk of exposure to this very contagious virus. In light of that, the School Board will cancel the April 18 revote.

In terms of the school budget, on March 16, 2020, the Board approved a new budget proposal in the amount of $408,591. This budget is based on a faculty structure that was approved by our Superintendent, Bill Anton, and eliminates the need to hire a replacement for Sally Newton, the current K-3 teacher who will be retiring at the end of this school year. This model had been discussed by the Board and especially by our previous Board Chair Carolyn Partridge over the course of several months and was finally agreed to by our current teaching principal, Mickey Parker-Jennings. Together with our para-educator, Sara Wunderle, Mr. P-J. will be instructing all grade levels with support services from the WCSU. In monetary terms, this budget will bring the education spending below the penalty threshold and reduce the education tax rate from $2.63 per hundred dollars of value to $1.73. The Board believes that this is a responsible budget that will meet the needs of Windham’s students at a cost that taxpayers can afford.

More information about this new budget proposal will be provided in our meeting on Monday, April 13, 2020, in the specially scheduled Budget Information Meeting at 5 pm that follows the regular Board Meeting at 4 pm. These meetings will be held via an online platform called Zoom and are open and accessible to the public. To participate in Zoom meetings, one has to download the application from Zoom.us. The installation is free of charge. Due to the necessity of increased security, the Superintendent asks that all members of the public contact the Board Chair, Antje Ruppert (antje@sover.net), to request the password for the meeting. Bill Anton will also have a waiting room setup to double-check participants during the meetings. Unfortunately, these types of virtual meetings are prone to hacks and need to be safeguarded.

Please feel free to reach out to the School Board if you have any questions regarding the upcoming meetings, the budget, or any other school related issues. You can reach us by email or phone:

Antje Ruppert – antje@sover.net – 874 4759

Beth McDonald – 219woodburn@gmail.com – 874 – 4015

Russel Cumming – rpcumming@snet.net – 874 – 7011

With best regards,

Windham School Board