Black River Independent School Committee gaining momentum

LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow-based Black River Independent School Committee recently became recognized as an official tax-exempt organization, gaining 501(c)(3) status through the IRS. The group is currently in the process of completing the application to submit to the Vermont Board of Education to establish Black River Academy, an independent school serving grades 7-12 in Ludlow and Mount Holly and beyond.

The group has been hard at work developing a mission and vision for the school as well as a business plan and preliminary budget. BRISC will apply for a grant in May through the Vermont Community Foundation. The grant is for “nonprofit capacity building” and would be used to fund the strategic planning needed to get the school off the ground.

In addition to funding, the group needs input from the community. BRISC will host a series of pop-up informational events beginning in late May. The informal events will encourage students, parents, and community members to engage in conversations with committee members about what they envision for the new school.

“In the midst of an educational sea change, we have an opportunity to create a brand new school that’s innovative, nimble, efficient and engaging,” says Black River High School English teacher, Colin McKaig. “We can re-imagine and re-configure long-held educational structures, and build a welcoming and inclusive community school that’s tailored to our students’ needs and desires. This is the time to rise.”

If you would like more information or would like to get involved with BRISC, please contact Uli Donohue, Chair, or John Bannon, Co-Chair, at blackriveracademy@gmail.com. The committee also has a Facebook page @blackriveracademy. Donations can be made through the group’s GoFundMe page via their website, www.blackriveracademy.org. Meetings are held weekly on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the BRHS library. All are welcome to attend.