What is a regional planning board?
The purpose of the regional planning board is to assess whether or not to regionalize the elementary districts of Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield. A regional planning committee determines: What do we do first? Who do we contact? What is a regional agreement? What are the implications: financial, educational, legal? How do we develop an agreement? How long will this take? A regional planning board has several responsibilities, including:
Study the fiscal and educational advisability of establishing a Regional School District;
Determine the region’s organization, operation and control;
Examine the construction, maintenance and operation of a school or schools to meet the needs of the District, assess the educational soundness and estimate the construction and operating costs;
Develop a Long-Range Education and Structural Plan;
Request a Reorganization Needs Conference with DESE;
Submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Selectmen of the respective Towns.
Form the regional planning board (see members below);
Board determines whether pursuing regionalization is feasible;
If feasible, the following would occur:
Develop a long term plan, draft a regional agreement, communicate with DESE;
Communicate the draft plan to the public and seek input and make changes if necessary;
DESE review and DESE approval would be needed;
Voters determine whether to approve the regional agreement by ballot.
Authority to develop a regional planning board:
Any town either by a majority vote of its board of selectman and a majority vote of the school committee or by vote in town meeting duly called therefore, may create a special unpaid committee to be known as a regional school district planning committee, to consist of three members, including one member of the school committee, to be appointed by the moderator. The Town Moderator should inform the superintendent with names of the three individuals appointed to serve on the Regional School District Planning Committee.