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MMMUSD-CESU School Board Updates

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Chittenden East Supervisory Union is composed of two school districts: Mount Mansfield Modified Union School District (MMMUSD) and Huntington School District. Representatives of each compose a CESU board.

Upcoming Meetings

6/6/19 MMMUSD Merger Vote Passes

At a warned special meeting on June 6, 2019, the voters of the Mt. Mansfield Modified Union School District (MMMUSD) accepted the PreK-4 Huntington School District as a full PreK-12 member.  The vote count was 450-Yes, 191-No and 1 abstention. Unification of the districts takes effect on July 1, 2019. At this time, the Chittenden East Supervisory Union will cease operations and the new Mt. Mansfield Unified Union School District (MMUUSD) will assume governance, administrative and operational responsibilities for all nine schools.  

The Mt. Mansfield school community warmly and enthusiastically welcomes the Huntington School District as full and highly valued partner in the new unified school system.   


5/17/19 MMU School Board meeting and Vote reminder

The MMMUSD school board will meet on Monday May 20th, 6:30 PM at Camels Hump Middle School.  
Once each year we take time to thank some of our extraordinary school volunteers.  At 6 o’clock school board members, recognized volunteers, and guests will gather for refreshments and conversation.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM with the Golden apple awards presentation.

After a brief recess, the board will hear any community comments and approve the tentative contract agreement with our teachers.  The annual Superintendent review will be in executive session, and the board will conduct an annual self-evaluation before receiving an update on the upcoming vote.

On Thursday June 6th beginning at 6 PM, voters from Jericho, Richmond, Underhill, Bolton, and Huntington will gather at Mount Mansfield Union High School to decide if MMMUSD will accept Huntington Elementary pursuant to Act 46.  Vermont state law requires that this vote be conducted as a town-meeting-style meeting facilitated by the MMMUSD moderator. After public comment, the moderator plans to call for a vote at 7:30 pm. For all interested in speaking at the meeting, a sign-up sheet will be available. An informational flyer will be mailed shortly.  

The MMMUSD Board has taken the formal position that a single school district is in the best interests of all students, staff and taxpayers.  Adopting the state’s preferred governance style promotes efficiency, makes budgets easier for all to understand and reduces administrative bookkeeping.  Maintaining two separate districts and the Supervisory Union results in an estimated $100,000 in additional administrative costs per year. 

The meeting will be held in the MMU Gym with additional overflow seating in the auditorium, where the meeting will be live streamed.  There is parking for 500 cars in the lots at MMU and additional overflow parking onsite as well. Check in will be with the town clerk from the town where you are registered to vote in the lobby on the way to the gym.  

Voters must be registered in one of the towns that makes up the MMMUSD and must be present at the time of the vote. Childcare will be available and MMCTV will be streaming the meeting live at https://livestream.com/mmctv/MmmuVoteJune6. If you have any mobility challenges that could prohibit your attendance, please contact MMU at 899-4690 for assistance.


5/3/19 School Board meeting in Huntington to include merger Q&A

The MMU school board will meet on Monday May 6th, 6:30 PM at Brewster Pierce Memorial School in Huntington.

We will begin by hearing from the Principal, our student representatives, and any community comments.  While the MMU board does not govern the Brewster Pierce School, we meet in all of our towns at least once each school year.  We appreciate Huntington’s hospitality as well as the Principal’s regular updates on the Huntington elementary school and students.

This meeting will include an unusual agenda item: A question and answer session on the June 6th merger vote at MMU at 6 PM.  The MMU board normally plans forums and other community engagement outside of board meetings. Since our board was already scheduled to meet in Huntington, we decided to use the opportunity to offer a Q&A.  Afterward, the board will discuss community outreach on the merger question that might include a mailing and another forum. The town-meeting-style vote in June will naturally include discussion of the question.

MMU uses a Policy Governance model where community outreach is intentionally designed to be outside of board meetings.  On Monday, the MMU board will be approving its’ Community Engagement Plan and receiving Community Engagement training. This is an opportunity to learn how the MMU board engages with the community.

The meeting will end with an executive session to discuss a personnel issue.  The full agenda may be found here: https://outlook.live.com/mail/inbox/id/AQMkADAwATIwMTAwAC0wMABmYS0yMDU4LTAwAi0wMAoARgAAA%2BVQNN9363NMm3Hjg4MARKHQBwDgkdqLo67HS7X3fTqYSCOFAAACAQwAAADgkdqLo67HS7X3fTqYSCOFAAJhs%2BgHAAAA

On Thursday June 6th beginning at 6 PM, voters from Jericho, Richmond, Underhill, Bolton, and Huntington will gather at Mount Mansfield Union High School for a town-meeting-style vote to accept Huntington elementary into our school district.  This special meeting is being held pursuant to the State Board of Education November 2018 order and in compliance with 16 V.S.A. § 721 (a) and 17 V.S.A. § 2680.  The question we will vote on is “Shall the voters of the Mount Mansfield Modified Unified Union School District approve the addition of the Huntington School District as a part of the Mount Mansfield Modified Unified Union School District under the terms of the Vermont State Board of Education’s November 28, 2018 Final Report of Decisions and Order on Statewide School District Merger Decisions Pursuant to Act 46, Sections 8(b) and 10?


4/25/19 Save the Date -- Merger Vote June 6 at 6 PM at MMU

On Thursday June 6th beginning at 6 PM, voters from Jericho, Richmond, Underhill, Bolton, and Huntington will gather at Mount Mansfield Union High School for a town-meeting-style vote to accept Huntington elementary into our school district.  This special meeting is being held pursuant to the State Board of Education November 2018 order.

In the past, our merger votes have been held using Australian ballots.  This vote is being held under a different part of the law that requires a town-meeting-style vote.

The question we will vote on is “Shall the voters of the Mount Mansfield Modified Unified Union School District approve the addition of the Huntington School District as a part of the Mount Mansfield Modified Unified Union School District under the terms of the Vermont State Board of Education’s November 28, 2018 Final Report of Decisions and Order on Statewide School District Merger Decisions Pursuant to Act 46, Sections 8(b) and 10?”  Since the meeting is called for the purpose of voting to accept Huntington under the terms of the State Board Order, it is unlikely that any proposed amendment would be deemed germane if it were to alter the terms of the State Board Order.

Act 46 of 2015 was enacted to increase equity in educational opportunities, efficiency in operations, and transparency of school governance, among other goals.  In June of 2018, using legislated criteria, the Agency of Education called for the Huntington elementary school district to merge into the Mount Mansfield district.  In November 2018 the State Board of Education issued a statewide plan that also called for Huntington elementary to merge into MMU. This merger would reduce our three boards to one school board, our nine budgets to one budget, and increase flexibility and opportunity for students and staff.  On June 6th, MMU voters in Jericho, Richmond, Underhill, Bolton, and Huntington will together determine if we continue with divided governance or come together in unified governance.

If the merger is not approved, the MMU board will pursue dissolution of the Supervisory Union.  We will take steps to establish a single district governance structure to improve efficiency, lower costs and to better serve our students and the community.


4/12/19 School Board regular meeting and merger vote scheduling

The MMU school board will meet on Monday April 15th, 6:30 PM at Camels Hump Middle School.  

We will begin our meeting by hearing from the Richmond Elementary School Principal, our student representatives, and any community comments.  The board will approve the Superintendent evaluation process, Golden Apple Nominations, and 2019-20 school calendar. As we are a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Huntington School District, the board will enter executive session with our attorney to discuss the lawsuit and the State Board Order pursuant to Act 46.  It is proposed that the board warn a vote for May 23rd. If time allows, we will hear from committees, review the status of our Policy Governance monitoring reports, Approve an ongoing Community Engagement plan, and receive training from the Community Engagement committee.

Act 46 of 2015 was enacted to increase equity in educational opportunities, efficiency in operations, and transparency of school governance, among other goals.  In June of 2018, using legislated criteria, the Agency of Education called for the Huntington elementary school district to merge into the Mount Mansfield district.  In November 2018 the State Board of Education issued a statewide plan that also called for Huntington elementary to merge into MMU. This merger would reduce our three boards to one school board, our nine budgets to one budget, and increase flexibility and opportunity for students and staff.  In the State Board order, MMU was “invited” to “accept” Huntington elementary. This means that MMU voters in Jericho, Richmond, Underhill, Bolton, and Huntington will together determine if we continue with divided governance or come together in unified governance. If approved by the board, a vote is expected in May or June that would be effective July 1 of this year.

If the merger is not approved, the MMU board will pursue dissolution of the Supervisory Union.  We will take steps to establish a single district governance structure to improve efficiency, lower costs and to better serve our students and the community.

Link to meeting agenda: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1li0llg42MwXyevyLlcNNAmKFR6iAJebxVLT9pvP6zEQ/edit?usp=sharing

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and Chittenden East Supervisory Union Governing Board conventionally have joint meetings, generally the first and/or third Mondays of each month. We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent to manage the district and allow the board to focus on goals and community engagement.  MMMUSD includes Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel’s Hump Middle, Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), Underhill Central, and Underhill I.D. schools. CESU includes Special Education, Transportation, Central Office, and other services for both MMMUSD and the Huntington elementary school. The Brewster Pierce Memorial School Board (Huntington) meets separately.


 3/14/19  Thank You and MMU School Board Meeting in Richmond

Thank you for your support -- the Mount Mansfield school district budget passed 1,913 to 738. Joining our board are Thomas Cheney and Chuck Lacey. Angelike Contis was elected for one-year of an unexpired three-year term. Beth Racine, Chip (John) Noonan, and Cindy Preston were all re-elected. The board wishes to thank Susan Lillich and Kurt Muller for their valuable contributions to our schools and many years on our school boards.

The next school board meeting is Monday March 18th, 6:30 PM at Camels Hump Middle School. The meeting will begin by electing officers, determining the makeup of committees, approving board meeting and work calendars, and other routine post-election business. We will hear from the CHMS Principal, our student representatives, committees, receive updates on our Unified Governance efforts and changes at the Bolton Potholes, and approve the Superintendent evaluation process. The full agenda is available HERE 

Our April 1 meeting will be a Policy Governance refresher for the board.

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and Chittenden East Supervisory Union Governing Board conventionally have joint meetings, generally the first and/or third Mondays of each month. We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent to manage the district and allow the board to focus on goals and community engagement. MMMUSD includes Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel's Hump Middle, Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), Underhill Central, and Underhill I.D. schools. CESU includes Special Education, Transportation, and Central Office services.


  2-1-19

The MMMUSD-CESU School Board will meet on Monday February 4th, 6:30 PM at Browns River Middle School. 

A pre-meeting tour of the Underhill ID building will be offered at 6 PM. Starting at 6:30 in the middle school, we will hear reports from the UID principal, students, any community comments, and updates from committees.  The community engagement committee will present the first draft of our ongoing community engagement plan for feedback from the full board, and we will break up into small groups for Policy Governance work.

Informational meetings for the proposed 2019-20 school budget will be held on Thursday February 21st, 6 PM also at Browns River Middle School, and Thursday February 28th, 6 PM at Mount Mansfield Union High School.  The budget will be presented as an Australian Ballot question on Tuesday March 5th as part of Town Meeting Day voting. The tax implications of school budget votes are generally not determined until the Legislative session ends in May or June.  At the time this report is being prepared we anticipate our budget will result in a slight decrease in the district property tax rate, prior to the Common Level of Appraisal unique to each town.

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and Chittenden East Supervisory Union Governing Board conventionally have joint meetings, generally the first and/or third Mondays of each month. We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent to manage the district and allow the board to focus on goals and community engagement.  MMMUSD includes Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel’s Hump Middle, Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), Underhill Central, and Underhill I.D. schools. CESU includes Special Education, Transportation, Central Office, and other services for both MMMUSD and the Huntington elementary school. The Brewster Pierce Memorial School Board (Huntington) meets separately.


1-24-19

The MMMUSD-CESU School Board will meet on Monday January 7th, 6:30 PM at Mount Mansfield Union High School.  

An important agenda item will be approving budgets for town meeting day vote.  The tax implications of school budget votes are generally not determined until the end of the Legislative session in May or June.  At this time, we anticipate our budget will result in a slight decrease in property taxes, prior to the Common Level of Appraisal unique to each town.

The board will also hear from committees, students, and the Principal who will lead a tour of the high school auditorium and art wing.  Needed renovations of these facilities have been anticipated for some time and we expect to undertake this project in the next few years.  Our consent agenda includes appointment of Jennifer Cote as Underhill Central School Principal and Benjamin White as Director of Curriculum and Innovation.  A search for the next principal of Richmond Elementary School will begin soon.

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and our communities have strongly supported unified governance.  A single board and budget is the best way to efficiently meet the educational needs of all our students. We have become more confident as we have improved educational delivery and found financial efficiencies since the merger vote in 2014.  In 2015, Act 46 was signed into law at Smilie Elementary School in Bolton sending a clear message to Vermont school districts: to best serve students and taxpayers, school governance must change. Huntington has maintained a separate elementary school board, which requires we have a Supervisory Union board, numerous SU budgets, and significant accounting.  We hoped the voters of Huntington would choose to merge with us. We would support any choice Huntington determined was best for their students that allowed MMMUSD to become a supervisory district. Huntington has not sought a willing partner. Instead, they have resisted any change. In response to the state board of education order that they merge with MMMUSD, the Huntington School District has sued MMMUSD (and the state board and agency of education) to remain in the Modified Union Structure.  The merger issues and this lawsuit will continue to take time and money and distract the board and administration from the education of our students.

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and Chittenden East Supervisory Union Governing Board conventionally have joint meetings, generally the first and/or third Mondays of each month. We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent to manage the district and allow the board to focus on goals and community engagement.  MMMUSD includes Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel’s Hump Middle, Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), Underhill Central, and Underhill I.D. schools. CESU includes Special Education, Transportation, Central Office, and other services for both MMMUSD and the Huntington elementary school. The Brewster Pierce Memorial School Board (Huntington) meets separately.


1-5-19

The MMMUSD-CESU School Board will meet on Monday January 7th, 6:30 PM at Mount Mansfield Union High School.  

An important agenda item will be approving budgets for town meeting day vote.  The tax implications of school budget votes are generally not determined until the end of the Legislative session in May or June.  At this time we anticipate our budget will result in a slight decrease in property taxes, prior to the Common Level of Appraisal unique to each town.

The board will also hear from committees, students, and the Principal who will lead a tour of the high school auditorium and art wing.  Needed renovations of these facilities have been anticipated for some time and we expect to undertake this project in the next few years.  Our consent agenda includes appointment of Jennifer Cote as Underhill Central School Principal and Benjamin White as Director of Curriculum and Innovation.  A search for the next principal of Richmond Elementary School will begin soon.

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and our communities have strongly supported unified governance.  A single board and budget is the best way to efficiently meet the educational needs of all our students. We have become more confident as we have improved educational delivery and found financial efficiencies since the merger vote in 2014.  In 2015, Act 46 was signed into law at Smilie Elementary School in Bolton sending a clear message to Vermont school districts: to best serve students and taxpayers, school governance must change. Huntington has maintained a separate elementary school board, which requires we have a Supervisory Union board, numerous SU budgets, and significant accounting.  We hoped the voters of Huntington would choose to merge with us. We would support any choice Huntington determined was best for their students that allowed MMMUSD to become a supervisory district. Huntington has not sought a willing partner. Instead, they have resisted any change. In response to the state board of education order that they merge with MMMUSD, the Huntington School District has sued MMMUSD (and the state board and agency of education) to remain in the Modified Union Structure.  The merger issues and this lawsuit will continue to take time and money and distract the board and administration from the education of our students.

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and Chittenden East Supervisory Union Governing Board conventionally have joint meetings, generally the first and/or third Mondays of each month. We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent to manage the district and allow the board to focus on goals and community engagement.  MMMUSD includes Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel’s Hump Middle, Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), Underhill Central, and Underhill I.D. schools. CESU includes Special Education, Transportation, Central Office, and other services for both MMMUSD and the Huntington elementary school. The Brewster Pierce Memorial School Board (Huntington) meets separately.


11/6/18

MOUNT MANSFIELD MODIFIED UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD VOTES YES ON REPURPOSING OF UNDERHILL ID ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

       RICHMOND, VT  November 6, 2018.  The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School District (MMMUSD) School Board approved a motion directing Superintendent, John R. Alberghini to reassign kindergarten through fourth grade students from the Underhill ID Elementary School (UID) to the Jericho Elementary School (JES) and the Underhill Central School (UCS) beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.
      The decision comes following a comprehensive district study detailing expanded student opportunities and operational efficiencies offered by repurposing the school. The study was commissioned in the Fall 2017 by the MMMUSD School Board in response to concerns of declining enrollment and underutilized space.  The combined enrollment for the schools has fallen by 38% since 1990.
       Under the new reconfiguration, students from Jericho will attend JES and Underhill students UCS.  MMMUSD does offer school choice so that families can select any school in the district limited to building capacity.  The plan will not result in a reduction in the number of classroom teachers or an increase in average class sizes. Students will have greater access to guidance counselors, nurses, and librarians.  While this change reduces overall costs, increased student opportunity and education quality are the ultimate goals.
       The redistribution of students to the two elementary schools allows for a repurposing of the UID school building by moving Central Office to the site. The district’s north end pre-K providers will also be housed at UID, which features an open floor plan ideal for play-based early education. The repurposed space could open the door for expanded opportunities for children birth to age three, seniors, and recreation programming in the area.
       Superintendent Alberghini and the board recognize the significant change for some students, families, and staff and commit to engaging stakeholders in determining the best transition activities. “This is an exciting opportunity for our communities to come together and create the best possible educational environment for our students,” Board Chair, Andrew Pond said.

 


10/11/18

UID Forum, Decision, and School Board meeting

On Wednesday October 17th, 6 PM at MMU the school board will hold the fourth Community Information Meeting on the North End Study.  Please join us for extended questions and answers. A decision on repurposing the UID building for the 2019-20 school year will be made at the school board meeting on Monday November 5th, 6:30 PM also at Mount Mansfield Union High School.  The study document, FAQs, presentations, forum meeting minutes, videos, and more are available online at https://www.cesuvt.org/school-board/north-end-capacity-report

Repurposing UID School -- Fact Sheet
The School Board is considering repurposing the Underhill Incorporated District (UID) school building beginning beginning with the 2019-20 school year.  All elementary students from Jericho would attend Jericho Elementary School (JES) and elementary students from Underhill would attend Underhill Central School (UCS).  Current UID students could attend either school using our existing school choice process. Class sizes would not change, and teachers at UID would be offered positions at JES or UCS.

  • JES, UCS, UID combined enrollment has dropped 38% from 697 in 1990 to 429 today.

  • JES and UCS would only be at 70% capacity after UID students are enrolled

  • JES and UCS currently have 10 available classrooms for additional K-4 students

  • Operating one school in each town would

    • Increase ability to balance students' social, emotional, and learning needs

    • Increase consistency in both class sizes and services for at-risk students

    • Increase school-level and grade-level collaboration

    • Increase availability of guidance, nurse, and librarian while reducing overall costs

    • Decrease travel time for staff working at multiple buildings

    • Decrease administrative costs

    • Allow for additional tenants at UID such as birth-3 providers

    • Save the district $400,000 annually

    • Save an additional $57,000 in rent if the central office relocates to UID

  • Repurposing UID is preferable to UCS because

    • Underhill would have an elementary school in Underhill

    • UID has an open classroom design that is suboptimal for K-4 education

    • The UID building location is desirable for other uses such as the school district central office, senior programming, and birth-3 providers

  • The UID building would be available for other future educational use

The school board will have a regular meeting on Monday October 15th, 6:30 PM at Camels Hump Middle School.  The oath of office will be given to a recently appointed representative, we will hear a report from our student representatives, and the Superintendent will present student assessment information.  After community comments, the board will break up into small groups for policy governance work, and then review results from the board self-evaluation survey, and discuss the Superintendent evaluation process.  Full agendas are available online at https://www.cesuvt.org/school-board/mmmusd.


10/1/18

          Steven Madden, Camels Hump Middle School Librarian Recognized as UVM Outstanding Teacher

Mr. Steve Madden is the epitome of an outstanding teacher.  His devotion to students learning across all areas of their lives is evident in Mr. Madden’s daily actions.  Whether establishing a literary culture across the building, riding a mountain bike, jamming after school or inventing in “makers’ space” Mr. Madden’s child centered approach and his love of learning inspires students and colleagues.  Throughout Camels Hump Middle School Mr. Madden has had a profound impact. Steve’s expertise in children’s literature and technology and his work advancing our understanding of implicit bias, poverty, and trauma makes Camels Hump Middle School a better place.


9-27-18

School Board meeting in Jericho

The school board will meet on Monday October 1st, 6:30 PM at Browns River Middle School.  

We will first appoint a school director from Jericho (to fill a vacancy) and hear from our student representatives before engaging in a discussion with two state Senators.  The board will also hear from the Principal and tour BRMS including the boiler, and then break up into groups to work on policy governance reports. The Superintendent will characterize the implementation sequence of the proposals contained in the North End Capacity Report, and we will receive updates from committees.

Future board meetings include October 15th at Camels Hump Middle School and November 5th at Mount Mansfield Union High School.  We will make a decision about repurposing the UID school building for the 2019-20 school year at one of these meetings. The study document, FAQs, presentations, forum meeting minutes, videos and more are available online at https://www.cesuvt.org/school-board/north-end-capacity-report


9-14-18

School Board Underhill; Re-Purposing forum Jericho
The first school board meeting of the school year is Monday September 17th, 6:30 PM at the Underhill Central School.  We will begin with a brief report from the school principal, and the Superintendent will present district-wide assessment information.  After public comment, the board will discuss a timeline for potential action on the north end study, and then break off into groups to for Policy Governance work.  We will discuss our role in the State Board of Education statewide plan under Act 46, which we hope will merge the Huntington elementary school district into the MMMUSD.

Please join the Mount Mansfield Modified School Board for our third informational meeting about the proposed re-purposing of the Underhill ID School and what that could mean for all elementary school students from Jericho and Underhill. The meeting will be on Monday, September 24 from 6:00-7:30 pm at the Jericho Elementary School (childcare will be provided). Superintendent, John Alberghini, will be sharing the capacity study that was done for the elementary schools in the north end (JES, UID, UCS) and proposed changes for the district.

The full study and proposal can be found here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Dp3AEayCw25uG40fSee00KGX4S8ex3rpEvLANXfjdBw/edit.

Proposed changes would be for the school year beginning fall 2019, If you have immediate questions, please check out the FAQs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L9E45iay4gW1hOiN3wgxTw21USbASpxhB7IjhZFdHZs/edit.

If you are not able to attend, please reach out to your local school board member or John Alberghini to share your thoughts.

The board will also meet October 1, 2018 at Browns River Middle School, and likely October 15th at Camels Hump Middle School.

The Mount Mansfield Modified Union School Board and Chittenden East Supervisory Union Governing Board conventionally have joint meetings, generally the first and/or third Mondays of each month. We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent to manage the district and allow the board to focus on goals and community engagement.  MMMUSD includes Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel’s Hump Middle, Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), Underhill Central, and Underhill I.D. schools. CESU includes Special Education, Transportation, and Central Office for both MMMUSD and the Huntington elementary school. The Brewster Pierce Memorial School Board (Huntington) meets separately.