January 9, 2019
Dear Parents and Students,
First, I want to extend a heartfelt apology to Newbury families that they had to read about a possible merger with West Geauga in the media instead of directly from our administration.
My intention was to communicate this news with you through a letter that was to be brought home with students, but I did not execute that plan. For that, I offer a sincere apology.
I also want to reiterate the Board is voting on a resolution to enter into a territory transfer with West Geauga for the 2020-2021 school year, but they will have a full discussion on the resolution at their meeting on January 14, as well as an opportunity for community input.
If you have not seen or heard about the press release, following is a summary of the news release:
After studying the issues of declining enrollment and its financial and educational impact for many years, the Board of Education will vote on a resolution to merge with West Geauga Schools effective the 2020-2021 school year at our January 14 Board of Education meeting.
The Board had been considering both the West Geauga School District and the Berkshire School District and met with their leadership for many months as the options were analyzed. This was a difficult decision because both districts have much to offer. We thank the Berkshire Schools for engaging in discussions with us, and appreciate their transparency along with their commitment to quality education for all families.
West Geauga has been recommended for a number of factors, but the most important consideration was the breadth and quality of student programs from AP and college prep classes, to clubs and sports that enhance character and build life-long skills.
The Newbury Schools worked diligently for many years to remain independent but had reached a critical point once our student enrollment neared 300. It was no longer economically feasible to run such a small district and afford the students a wide range of educational opportunities. This recommendation was ultimately made to ensure that our children have access to the classes and programs that will best prepare them for future success.
If the Newbury and West Geauga school boards pass their resolutions, the Geauga County Educational Service Center will consider the resolution to propose the transfer of school territory. This would take place in July of 2019.
Everyone understands that this is indeed a bittersweet moment for our staff, parents and families and will continue to communicate transition plans as they are made. We are all dedicated to making this process as smooth as possible for our students and our staff.
Again, I apologize for the late communication, and am determined to better communicate with our families as this process continues.
Jacqueline A. Hoynes