For years, the towns of Orange, Bethany and Woodbrige have shared a middle and high school system in the Amity Regional School District.
Now, school officials in the three towns are looking into expanding that to include the elementary schools as students populations are projected to decline and space is expected to open up in the school buildings.
"The regional board at my suggestion had issued an RFT [Request for Proposals] for a consultant to help us take a long range view of the 7-12 system's projected enrollment decline," Brady said.
They got about six responses and were on verge of going with one of those consultants when Bethany First Selectman Derrylyn Gorski asked to include that town's elementary schools in the study, Brady said.
That led to the idea to explore a unified K-12 regional district, he said.
"I said I would talk to my board, and talk to the elementary districts and see if they want to be in included in the study," Brady said.
But expanding isn't as easy as it may seem, he said.
"We found out that the state has very strict guidelines on how regional districts can conduct studies on expansion," he said. "We decided that is is important to have all of the players -- selectmen, finance, everyone -- come to a meeting to hear firsthand from the state how the outcomes work because they have a lot to think about."
That meeting took place last week.
"It was very clarifying," Brady said of the meeting. "You come into a process doing this kind of study and what the state is requiring is very specific things."
Now, the towns must decide if they want to go forward with expanding the regionalized district to include the elementary grades, he said.
"The expansion of the student should be at the instigation of the three member towns," Brady said. "We will hold off until Feb. 1 [with the study] and if they conclude they want to be included, we will rework the RFP and reissue it.
"We will wait to hear if they are interested," he said. "We won't know until then."
At a recent joint meeting of the Woodbridge boards of selectmen and finance, members there voice support for the unified regional district.
"It's an idea whose time has come," one member said.