A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend
The Stowe and Elmore-Morristown School Boards have decided not to appeal Judge Mello’s recent Act 46 decision, which upholds the State Board of Education’s (BOE) order to merge the governance of our school districts. Merging governance will result in a merger of the Stowe and Elmore-Morristown Boards. The schools in both Districts will not merge and will remain in operation for at least the next four years.
While the governance structure will be changing, the most important elements of our education system - our commitment to quality and achievement for all of our students - will remain the same. We look forward to identifying and incorporating the additional educational opportunities that this merged governance structure will provide.
Passing the new LSUU budget is now critical to ensure smooth school operations for the 2019-2020 school year. The merged budget is simply a combination of the budgets that were previously voted on by residents during Town Meeting Day. The budget is available to review on the LSUU website. Please make sure to vote!
EMUU Board Brief
May 21, 2019
Please remember to attend the Lamoille South Unified Union Annual and Budget Information Meeting on Thursday, May 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the Stowe High School Auditorium. Voting for the FY20 LSUU budget will be on Tuesday, May 28, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Morristown and Elmore town offices.
Representatives from various community groups that utilize the Copley Running Track came to our meeting to discuss the maintenance and improvements needed. We discussed the history of the track and the extensive work that needs to be done to correctly address the continuing issues. A safe and well-maintained track is extremely important to the school and community and, although we didn’t come to a conclusion on how to fund the required work, we sincerely appreciate the support of the community as we continue to discuss options.
The bathrooms at PAML will be renovated this summer. The board accepted the bid proposal from Kingdom Construction to do the work.
We reviewed enrollment and class size information for both MES and the Elmore School and look forward to another successful 2019-2020 school year for all students.
LSSU’s E-Newsletter, including Board Briefs will be posted at https://www.lamoillesouthsu.org/blog.php the Thursday following each board meeting. You can read it there, or receive it directly by email by subscribing. More detailed information regarding Elmore-Morristown Unified Union School Board meetings can be found in our board minutes: https://www.morrisville.org/emuu-school-board.php
SSD Board Brief
May 20, 2019
Please vote for the merged district LSUU budget on Tuesday, May 28! Early voting has begun.
Important upcoming dates:
May 23, 6:00pm, SHS Auditorium: Merged LSUU Special Annual Meeting & Budget Informational Meeting
May 28, 5:30-6:30pm, SHS Auditorium: SHS Transcript and College Reporting
May 28, 8:00am-4:30pm, Town Clerk’s Office: Merged LSUU Budget Vote
On April 29, the court granted summary judgment to the State on our Act 46 challenge. Based on the advice of legal counsel and their analysis of Vermont Supreme Court case law, the SSD and EMUU School Boards will not appeal the decision. In moving forward, the SSD Board will now: 1. make decisions centered around normal school operations, and 2. take steps required by law for the merger of school governance that will occur on July 1, 2019, unless delayed by the legislature.
Normal School Operations—SHS Principal Search Process: With the appointment of Gretchen Muller as SHS Interim Principal, the Board capped off the process by looking back and reflecting on the hiring process. As a brief summary, the SHS Interim Principal search process was modeled to be the same as the SES Principal search process, except expedited. The faculty and staff (as well as one SHS alum) on the Principal Search Committee were: Dan Morrison, Don McDowell, Heather Hoffmann, Jennifer Childress, Jessica Spencer, Patricia Tomashot, Tegan Garon, and Laura Kalp. The interim search process was used in an effort to attract a different pool of candidates, hoping to reach those who may have less principal experience but have other qualifying experience that would be an asset.
The job was posted on SchoolSpring, and surveys went out to the community and school faculty to learn about their “hopes and dreams” for an ideal candidate (37 parents/community members, 24 faculty & staff filled out). Some of the feedback we heard included: develop a positive climate, listen well and be consistent in communication and actions, build connections with all students, engage and support faculty, engage parents, utilize teacher leadership team, and be visible. As we reviewed the “hopes and dreams” from the surveys, we were struck by how well Gretchen fits the criteria identified. We would like to thank the Principal Search Committee for working quickly and thoroughly to ensure SHS has a strong leader in place.
The Board will be evaluating feedback from Gretchen, the administration, and the faculty through the first half of the school year to ensure everyone feels supported through this transition. We are confident that Gretchen will be a successful leader at SHS. We look forward to supporting Gretchen and welcoming her to our community.
Moving Towards Merger—Merged Budget: The merged budget is simply a merger of the budgets (nothing added, nothing deleted) that passed on Town Meeting Day. The budget is available to review on the LSSU website, on the LSUU Board page. Please make sure to vote! Passing the budget is critical to ensuring smooth school operations for the upcoming school year.
New Fiscal Entity Being Developed: To be operational by July 1, we will open new bank accounts, apply for all federal and state IDs, change our municipal and state retirement, health insurance, dental insurance life insurance, etc. to make sure we can meet all payroll obligations. These changes need to be formally started on May 22, at which time we will be committed to our new entity as the LSUU merged board.
LSSU’s E-Newsletter, including Board Briefs will be posted at https://www.lamoillesouthsu.org/blog.php the Thursday following each board meeting. You can read it there, or receive it directly by email by subscribing. More detailed information regarding Stowe School Board meetings can be found in our board minutes: https://www.stoweschoolsvt.com/ssd-school-board.php
LSUU Board Brief
May 21, 2019
We met for our second time as a merged board. Our primary focus was to prepare for our budget presentation (May 23 at 6:00 pm in Stowe High School auditorium). In addition, some highlights of what we discussed include:
Act 46 Update and Merger Timeline - As of May 22, we can no longer tarry waiting for the legislature to decide on delay legislation. We are now moving forward toward unification, which will occur on July 1, 2019.
LSUU Board Retreat - The first board retreat for the LSUU board will be held on Tuesday, July 16. We will use this time to brainstorm, discuss and determine our priorities for the upcoming school year. We expect that our work for the year will focus on three priority areas: equity and quality; governance and policy; and facilities and capital needs.
Contracts and Offers of Employment - The board took action for the new entity to formally recognize all contracts and offers of employment previously provided by EMUU, LSSU and SSD for the 2019-2020 school year.
We will be updating our website and communications to reflect our changes in governance. Look for updates on the best ways to stay informed later this summer. In the meantime, watch for updates at https://www.lamoillesouthsu.org/blog.php. You can read information there, or receive it directly by email by subscribing. More detailed information regarding LSUU Board meetings can be found in LSUU board minutes: https://www.lamoillesouthsu.org/lsuu-board.php.