Exploring Independence, a group of community members who are “interested in learning more about the potential and process of creating a local, independent elementary school,” is hosting an informal gathering on Thursday, February 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Warren Library.

The group said that the transition from a public to an independent school system has recently been on the minds of many families at Warren Elementary School and in the Washington West Supervisory Union as a whole.

They have seen demand for a school that is focused on “individuality, innovation and collaborative local control” and invite anyone who wants to participate in “dialogue about ideas, hopes and opinions regarding the current climate surrounding our schools.”

Recently, the group hosted a public forum with a panel of individuals involved in the process of applying for independence in towns outside of The Valley. About 70 community members from within and without The Valley attended and posed questions to the panelists for nearly three hours.

This event is open and free to the public — including those outside of Warren and who do not currently have school-age children. Refreshments will be served and children are welcome.

For more information visit www.exploringindependence.org or follow the group’s Facebook page Exploring Independence.