For the past 3 months, Westport educators and town officials have wrestled with the closing of Coleytown Middle School, due to mold.
Last night, the Board of Education released this statement:
The Board of Education thanks everyone who came out to our board meeting on Monday night. We appreciate all of the comments that were shared on behalf of parents, students, teachers and members of our Westport school community. As a board, we truly appreciate the passion that we all have for educational excellence in our town.
We also appreciate the words of our first selectman, Jim Marpe, who made it quite clear that he and his administration are behind us all the way, supporting the Board’s decision, as well as supporting us in our long-term plans moving forward. We are fortunate to have such great support.
As a result of all the input the Board has received, including listening to those in attendance on Monday night, the input of our Community Advisory Committee, numerous public sessions and substantial email messages and conversations and the recommendation of the Dr. Palmer, superintendent of schools, the Board of Education deliberated and voted to have all 6th grade students attend school in Westport’s current elementary schools commencing with the 2019-20 academic year.
With this decision, we as a town are working to ensure a smooth transition for our teachers, administrators and, most importantly, our students.
The Board of Education also voted to form the “CMS Task Force” to explore options for returning Coleytown Middle School to service and to make recommendations to the Board of Education. The Board of Education will name the members of this task force in early January.
The Board of Education additionally affirmed its commitment to completing an academic and facility vision by the end of September 2019. This will be called the NextGenEd initiative and will start in January, 2019.
With these actions, the gears are in motion for Westport to continue to provide the high level of academic excellence now and for the foreseeable future.
Dr. Palmer will be following up with additional information regarding some of the details of the next steps.
The Board of Education thanks our fellow community members, the employees of our schools and town for their continued, valuable support and ideas. Westport is a town that places great value on the education of each and every child in our community and that is our focus as we move forward.
Mark Mathias, Chair
Jeannie Smith, Vice Chair
Elaine Whitney, Secretary