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Ansonia-Derby School Regionalization committee grills consultant candidates for 4 hours

September 25, 2018

DERBY-For four hours behind closed doors the 10-member Ansonia-Derby School Regionalization Study committee grilled four candidates seeking to become their consultant.

“I would say that we are were optimistic with the four proposals we heard,” said Jim Gildea, president of the Derby Board of Education and a co-chairman with John Izzo of the study committee.

Gildea further believes “ we will be able to select the consultant that will be the best match for our districts and are excited that we are moving the ball forward.”

At this point Gildea has declined to release the names of the four applicants citing a provision in the Freedom of Information which allows them to withhold the information until the contract is executed or negotiations have ended. He anticipates one of the candidates will be selected to serve as the committee’s consultant and announced at their 7 p.m. Oct. 22 meeting in Ansonia High School.

Monday night’s meeting conducted almost entirely in executive session ended at about 11 p.m.

“We had a productive session with four very good applicants,” said Izzo, who also serves on the Ansonia Board of Education. “However no decision has been made.”

The committee has 60 days to make a choice.

.The committee, which will sit for at least two years, has been meeting since June. They are looking for a consultant with experience developing and performing evaluations like crafting a single school district from separate entities. It must have a professional staff that can meet the project deadlines.

Among the more important aspects are creating a detailed five-year educational and budget plan which projects enrollment, staffing needs, transportation requirements and special education mandates.

The consultant also is responsible for assisting the committee in determining the pros and cons of establishing a regional school district, the buildings that will be used and the size and representation of a regional school board. They also must recommend a process and procedure to negotiate new union contracts.

The study committee is working with a $168,000 state grant. Their budget includes $37,500 or $10 per student in each district; $69,500 for professional delivery of services; $30,000 for architectural services and faculty programming and $31,000 for administration and public involvement, which includes the costs to conduct a referendum vote in both Ansonia and Derby.

Voters in both cities must approve regionalization before the two school districts are combined. However that process is at least two years away.

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