A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend
As you know, the State Board of Education (SBE) made a preliminary decision to merge the districts of Stowe and Elmore-Morristown. First, I want to make it clear that if this merger does need to occur it will result in governance changes but not day-to-day operational changes. A change in governance does not equate to a change in school operations.
The SBE’s preliminary decision to merge SSD and EMUU is in direct contrast to the recommendations of our own local school boards. The EMUU and SSD boards are working collectively to provide supplemental information to the SBE in support of the current structure, which we believe meets the goals of Act 46. This supplemental information will be sent to the SBE next week in advance of the SBE’s November 15 meeting. The SBE will be considering supplemental information until they deliver their final statewide plan on or before November 30. The supplemental information provided by our boards will address misperceptions of the SBE and ask that the SBE make a decision that is fully compliant with the process outlined in law.
There will be a joint meeting of the LSSU Boards tonight to further discuss the SBE’s decision and LSSU’s next steps. The meeting will be held at 6pm at Morristown Elementary School.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on the important work that each of our schools is doing on inclusion and equality. Our elementary schools are including multicultural examples into instruction, curriculum, and celebrations as well as highlighting acts of student kindness. Peoples Academy Middle Level has implemented an anti-bias education program, fostered multicultural connections, is celebrating and promoting service to others, and have created a gay-straight alliance. Stowe Middle School will be implementing a hazing, harassment and bullying awareness and prevention instruction over the next two weeks and sixth graders are focusing on social issues, such as racism, that our leaders are facing. And at the High School level both of our schools are including equity and inclusion into their instruction and promoting multicultural connections.
At a time when hate crimes are on the rise across this country it is critically important that we teach and model kindness, inclusion and respect for all.
EMUU Board Brief
November 6, 2018
The board received an update on our Foreign Language program from PAML Spanish teacher Cristiana Franklin and three eighth grade Spanish I students. K-12 foreign language is new to our district, and we are pleased to see the program thriving and the students enthusiastic. The students shared a slideshow with highlights, including books Spanish I students wrote and read to their younger peers at MES.
Board members discussed at length the State Board of Education’s (SBE) provisional decision to merge the districts of Elmore-Morristown and Stowe effective July 1, 2019. The report we submitted requested that the SBE allow us to remain separate districts under the LSSU umbrella, operating as we do currently, and working cooperatively to achieve the best outcomes for all students. This preliminary decision is unexpected and leaves us with a short window for response before the SBE issues their final state plan by November 30. We will work with our Stowe partners to submit a supplemental letter highlighting key points we feel the SBE overlooked.
Under the SBE’s recommendation the newly-formed supervisory district would be governed by a combined board of Elmore, Morristown and Stowe members and would have one operating budget that would be passed by the combined electorate of the three towns.
We are holding a special meeting of all three boards (EMUU, LSSU, SSD) on Thursday, November 8, at 6:00pm in the MES Library. We welcome all questions, feedback, and community input.
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 at https://www.lamoillesouthsu.org/blog.php. 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
November 1, 2018
The board welcomed everyone to our special board meeting and provided a brief overview of the current developments regarding Act 46 as it pertains to the districts of LSSU.
Community members shared questions and concerns about the preliminary decision by the State Board of Education (SBE) to merge the Stowe and Elmore-Morristown districts effective July 1, 2019. Answers to questions will become clearer in the coming weeks and we are seeking legal counsel to advise on options for moving forward.
Board members expressed their appreciation for the community’s support of its schools
SSD Board Brief
November 5, 2018
Building principals provided the board with updates on the recent activities at their schools and Tracy Wrend reported on recent graffiti found on a table in a classroom at Stowe Middle/High School. She reiterated that LSSU condemns all acts of hatred, anti semitism, bigotry, racism and intolerance of any kind and shared that the schools are redoubling efforts to ensure our schools are welcoming and safe for all.
David Jaqua presented the board with the Capital Project Committee’s Findings Report. The board is extremely appreciative of the thoughtful and thorough work of the committee and will be researching the impact of moving forward with a bond vote in March given the preliminary Act 46 determination by the State Board of Education.
We continued discussions on the State Board of Education’s preliminary decision to merge the Stowe and Elmore-Morristown districts and will be working with our EMUU partners to submit a supplemental letter to the SBE requesting reconsideration. The combined boards will meet at a Special meeting on Thursday, November 8, beginning at 6:00pm at Morristown Elementary School.
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 directly by email by subscribing at https://www.lamoillesouthsu.org/blog.php. More detailed information regarding Stowe School Board meetings can be found in our board minutes: https://www.stoweschoolsvt.com/ssd-school-board.php