Help Black River Independent School Committee Keep Education Local and Sustainable

LUDLOW, VT – The overwhelmingly positive mandate to move the Ludlow and Mount Holly school districts to school choice and widened the educational opportunities for all children in the Okemo Valley.

Since then, the Black River Independent School Committee (BRISC) has planned to expand options for local students, while preserving nearly 200-years of education at Black River Academy, the home of Calvin Coolidge and the Presidents.

Our accomplishments and current tasks:

  • Formed a board – the Black River Independent School Committee (BRISC) – that brings together community members, parents and teachers from across our towns.

  • Reinstated the name “Black River Academy” and registered it as a non-profit with the state of Vermont.

  • Connected with Fletcher Farm and the Black River Academy Museum representatives about collaborating on curriculum offerings.

  • Commissioning a financial feasibility study and exploring funding options.

  • Crafting our mission statement and the core values of Black River Academy.

  • Seeking full approval from the Vermont Agency of Education and accreditation from the National Association of Independent Schools.

  • Plan to file for non-profit status with the IRS, early in the new year.

We Envision Black River Academy to:

  • Be built into the fabric of our communities and utilize our existing wealth of resources.

  • Preserve and build on the strengths of our current public high school.

  • Be accessible to all children living across our rural communities.

BRISC aims to offer a smooth transition for pupils and staff from the current high school. It is our goal to ensure children across our communities have easy access to transportation to the new independent Black River Academy, if they wish to enroll.

How you can help:

  • Join BRISC meetings, to make your voice heard and help us shape this new school.

  • Donate to help us raise $1,000 for an IRS nonprofit application and to build a website.

  • Spread the word: BRISC aims to preserve local education and take Black River Academy into a long and sustainable future.

“The Black River Independent School Committee knows that school choice and an independent school option in the Ludlow-Mount Holly School district are the best way to preserve local middle and high school education and offer our students the best educational options for their individual needs, said Uli Donohue, BRISC Chair. “We will continue to work to this end, as we believe it to be the most desirable way forward for our communities.”

She continued, “If a revote in Ludlow on the Act 46 merger between Ludlow and Mount Holly school districts results in a ‘no’ vote, there will be no school choice for middle and high school students who live in Mount Holly and Ludlow. Tuition would continue to be paid only to the public Black River Middle and High School, and would make the effort to open Black River Academy as an independent school impossible.”

BRISC’s next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Black River High School library.

Donate here or mail personal checks/money orders to:

PO Box 485, Ludlow, VT 05149.

BRISC members:

Uli Donohue – Chair

John Bannon – Co-Chair

Kristin Veysey – Secretary

Amanda Frank – Treasurer

Rai d’Honore

Kristen Garvey

Sherri Geimer

Craig Hutt Vater

Colin McKaig

Paul Orzechowski

Melissa Perrino

Marissa Selleck

Deb Tucker

Heather Tucker

Venissa White

Help us take Black River Academy to 200 years and beyond.