April 24, 2017

Letter from the Hartford School Board Chairman


Dear Hartford Residents,

I am writing you to thank you for your support for the needs of our school community and to update you on some recent developments.

First, as I am sure you all are aware, the issue of the School Board’s decision not to participate in the Hartford Committee on Racial Inequality has been an issue of much discussion.  The School Board agreed at its reorganization meeting, on 3/8/17, to revisit that decision.  Accordingly, the issue of the School Board’s participation on the Hartford Committee on Racial Inequality will be reviewed at our next meeting on 3/22/17. In addition, The School Board has agreed to discuss whether or not the Superintendent should issue a report regarding the District’s policies and practices with respect to racially motivated harassment and bullying.  

Second, with regard to the Parking Lot Bond the Superintendent is already moving forward with that project.  As that work begins to get underway, the District will simultaneously apply for grants with the Vermont Agency of Transportation which could possibly help to cover a significant portion of the planning and construction costs.

As anyone who attended the bond hearings (or who watched them on CATV) knows, the process for selecting the project/construction manager for the project was questioned by a number of citizens.  The Board sought legal opinions clarifying the public bidding process for construction projects from multiple attorneys.  Their opinion was that, 

 “Vermont law generally requires that school districts engage in a public bidding process for construction projects exceeding a cost of $15,000, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 559.  The statutory bidding requirements, however, do not apply to contracts for professional services, including architectural and engineering service contracts.  Services of a construction manager may also be considered as professional services, unless the construction manager is also serving as the constructor, as that term is defined in State Board of Education rules, namely, where the contractor receives a guaranteed price for the labor and materials for a school construction project.” 

I can assure you, that the Superintendent will comply, in all respects, with the statutory obligations around the public bidding process. 

Lastly, Hartford is a very special place and it is what we all bring to the effort that makes it so. For this reason, I would like to thank Lori Dickerson for her service as Chair of the Board for the last two years.  I would also like to thank Paula Nulty for her service as Board Clerk. Congratulations to Peter Merrill and Michelle Boleski! 

Thank you again for your support,

Kevin “Coach” Christie

Chair, Hartford School Board 

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream."

Martin Luther King, Jr.