Sarah Buckingham

Friends of the West River Trail make plans for natural, historical conservation

Work is about to begin to restore the former Newfane depot for use as a railroad museum.

The Friends of The West River Trail (FWRT) learned more about this project, and others, when the group held its annual meeting at the former South Londonderry depot last month.

Laura Wallingford-Bacon, president of the Windham County Historical Society in Newfane, said her organization purchased the 1880 building for $42,000 from the children of Fannie and Bill Mantel last fall. It had been in the Mantel family for around 50 years. The railroad went out of business in the 1930s.

The purchase price includes historical artifacts in the station. The historical society plans to restore the building and incorporate a collection of artifacts from the West River Railroad that currently resides at the county history museum.

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Town Meeting voters to get final say on decision to close Westminster West School

At the Westminster Community Schools Board meeting on Jan. 6, the budget subcommittee presented two versions of a budget for fiscal year 2016. One continues funding the Westminster West School and one does not. The school board elected to present, at the Westminster Town Meeting in March, the version...

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Six area colleges to continue coordinated internship program

The Vermont Department of Labor has renewed its support of the Windham Higher Education Cooperative's (WHEC) internship program for a second year. WHEC was formed by six area schools - Community College of Vermont, Marlboro College, Union Institute & University, World Learning/SIT, Vermont Technical College, and Landmark College -

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Alleged open meeting law violations cloud decision to close Westminster West School

The Westminster School Board's budget committee canceled its Nov. 4 meeting after receiving a six-page complaint accusing the board of violating Vermont's open meeting law. The complaint was filed by Westminster resident and retired family court magistrate Patricia Whalen. In the complaint, Whalen states: “It is my claim that the Budget Committee of the Westminster School Board and the Westminster School Board have both violated the open meeting law since at least July 1, 2014.” Whalen says the board has...

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Newbrook Elementary hopes to reduce energy costs with new heating system

A special meeting on Oct. 23 at NewBrook Elementary School saw a record turnout, as Newfane and Brookline voters overwhelmingly approved a two-part energy proposal for the school. One article asked for permission to enter into a solar net-metering credit purchase agreement - in which a solar developer or investor is chosen to finance, install, operate, maintain, and assume all liability for a photovoltaic system on NewBrook Elementary School property, providing discounted electricity for the school. In the second article,

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Westminster West School to close in fall 2015

The Windham Northeast Supervisory Union Board's budget subcommittee unanimously agreed to remove the Westminster West School from the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget. At an Oct. 7 meeting, the three-person subcommittee discussed student population and staffing projections. “It became clear the population of the school would be so small that it would be impractical to operate it and do it right,” says committee member Dan Axtell. Although the WNESU board has taken no formal action, as three of the five...

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Not teaching to the test

David Holzapfel's fifth- and sixth-grade classroom feels more like a small liberal arts college than it does a public elementary school. The multi-age, multi-subject classrooms at Marlboro Elementary School embrace an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to education, influenced by the nearby Marlboro College. Holzapfel says teachers there are given the freedom to teach the things that excite them: “That's where learning becomes infectious for kids and that's really what we want,” he says. In this way, Holzapfel is being celebrated...

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