The New Milford School Board overcame differences of opinion to reach an agreement on a new district contract. The board made the announcement during its recent meeting, which saw members reflect on the difficult process and praise those involved for their commitment to providing the best possible education for students in the district.
This breakthrough moment followed a lengthy period of negotiation in which the board faced the dual challenges of COVID-19 and significant budget cuts. Despite these hurdles, the board found common ground in their shared commitment to the students, their families, and the community.
In an impassioned statement, the Chair of the Negotiations Committee said, “There didn’t seem to be a whole lot we agreed on… but one thing we did agree on is the need to think outside the box and take unconventional methods to address some of our District’s problems. Of course, unique problems sometimes require unique solutions.”
Board members acknowledged the collaboration required to achieve this agreement, specifically crediting Superintendent Danielle Shanley for her valuable input, foresight, and guidance.
“I want to acknowledge the work and leadership of our superintendent, Danielle Shanley. Without her valuable input, foresight, and guidance, we would not have been able to address the true needs of the district,” the chair stated, emphasizing the superintendent’s instrumental role in the process.
The chair also thanked the Negotiation Committee members and the New Milford Education Association for their dedication, honesty, trust, and understanding throughout the negotiation process. The committee members’ countless hours of work and the Association’s advocacy for the needs of their organization were instrumental in the successful resolution of the contract.
Moreover, the board acknowledged Stephanie Kuchar, the business administrator, for her mastery in understanding the needs of the district and the costs associated. “Stephanie was just instrumental in getting this done. She has a complete and masterful understanding of the needs of our districts and what it costs,” the chair affirmed.
Board members emphasized that while this agreement did not resolve all budgetary issues, it marked a significant step away from the status quo and attempted to address long-standing issues. The chair underscored the agreement’s primary objective: to ensure a quality education for the district’s students.
The chair concluded by expressing gratitude for everyone involved, from those in the negotiation room to the broader community. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” they said, echoing a sentiment shared by all on the board.