Many of the parents of Region 12 have had their say.

On Oct. 16, they turned out 175 strong to vote on options they want the region's Long Range Planning Committee to focus on regarding the school district's declining enrollment.

"Goal number three in the planning is looking at declining enrollment and declining facilities," Superintendent of Schools Pat Cosentino said. "The Board of Education and the three towns' first selectmen all have the same mantra, `We have to do something.' "

Through "hard conversations" and brainstorming, people were able to explain their points of view at the October meeting, she said.

Five options were chosen for closer examination.

Those ranged from building a new pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school and keeping the Shepaug Valley Middle/High School, to placing grades K-2 at Roxbury's Booth Free School and grades 3-5 at Bridgewater's Burnham School.

That latter option would mean Washington Primary School and Shepaug Valley Middle/High School remaining as they are.

Consolidating all students on the Shepaug campus and closing all three elementary schools is also under consideration.

Student population has been on the decline in Region 12.

By 2020, it is projected there would be 639 students in the three-town school system, about 300 less than the 2010-11 school year enrollment.

The next meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at Shepaug Valley High School.

Option research groups will then be formed and the next steps will be planned.; 860-355-7322