LSSU E-Newsletter October 18, 2018

A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend

UVM Outstanding Teacher Award
I am pleased to share that LSSU teachers Rosemarie West and Jeff Dacales were recently honored with the UVM Outstanding Teacher Award. Rosemarie West has served the Morristown Elementary School community for many years in many capacities. A dedicated and thoughtful teacher, Rosemarie serves as a role model for her peers and is always seeking new ways to provide exceptional opportunities for all students. Jeff Dacales has been a primary grades teacher at Stowe Elementary School for the past 22 years, teaching Kindergarten for 13 of those years, and has served on numerous school and district committees.  Highly regarded by colleagues, students, parents and administrators, Jeff is known for his genuine compassion and caring for others. Please join me in congratulating both Rosemarie and Jeff.

Capital Campaigns
After months of studying the needs of the Stowe School District, the Capital Project Committee has concluded that the Stowe Elementary and Middle School buildings are in substantial need of improvement and expansion. Both school buildings are overcrowded and fail to meet students’ current educational needs. After taking the considerable needs of the buildings into account, the Capital Project Committee is recommending renovations to the existing building spaces, adding additional instructional space to the Middle School and moving the fifth grade to the expanded Middle School. The committee held a public engagement meeting on Tuesday, October 16, and will hold a second public meeting to hear feedback from the community next Tuesday, October 23, from 6:30-8:00pm in the gym at SES. The committee will explain the identified needs, conceptual designs and rough costs, and the learning benefits of the proposed improvements. Building tours will be offered. These meetings will be an opportunity for people to comment upon and influence investment priorities and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

The EMUU board is also analyzing the capital needs of the Elmore-Morristown school facilities. As in Stowe, the school buildings in Elmore and Morristown do not meet current standards and are in desperate need of renovation and expansion. Some of the classrooms are too small and in certain cases do not have appropriate ventilation or lighting.  At Peoples Academy there is not enough space for school-wide gatherings, physical education or proper musical instruction. The board will be reviewing these needs and determining the best solutions over the next couple of months.

Thank you. As always, if anyone has any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to be in touch at [email protected].

Best,
Tracy

 

EMUU Board Brief
October 16, 2018

David Bickford, EMUU board member, was appointed as school board liaison to the Elmore and Morristown selectboards. David will be attending selectboard meetings in both towns, at least quarterly, to stay abreast of current events and issues and keep local government informed of relevant happenings in the school district. School board members will continue to be present at community events. Please find us and share your comments and concerns. As always, you can find our contact information on the school website.

We reviewed information school board members obtained from open houses regarding the best time to hold our annual meeting. The annual meeting is also an informational meeting presenting our operating budget and other school issues prior to voting. By law, we are required to hold our informational meeting no more than ten days before we vote on the school budget. We are trying to find a time that is more accessible, but still within the confines of the law. The feedback we received indicated that the Monday before town meeting might be a good solution. We continue to seek input and will be discussing this again at a meeting in December.

We reviewed SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) data. This is the newest standardized test administered to our students, and is used to identify areas of strengths and areas for growth. The board noted growth in student performance over time and areas of student achievement that were comparable to or better than statewide averages.  Overall, the board is pleased with the trends in student performance as measured by the SBAC.

Finally, we continue to discuss our capital improvement projects. We are working on an enhanced communications plan to provide the community with information on the needs of the district and the best plan for meeting those needs. We are lacking adequate classroom space at the elementary school.  We don’t have room for middle and high school students to participate in age-appropriate physical education or music activities.  Our current space cannot accommodate all-school meetings and activities. We are working to develop a plan that meets the educational needs of students and is respectful to taxpayers. Stay tuned for much more on this in the near future.

Regular meetings of the EMUU School Board are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. in the Morristown Elementary School library. Meetings are open to the public.

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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
October 15, 2018

With school well underway, the Board heard about and discussed the progress of various initiatives.

Act 46 Update
The State Board of Education’s (SBE) meetings are ongoing, and the SBE has formally agreed on criteria to be used for evaluation of the Agency of Education’s (AOE) recommendations. The final determination by the SBE is due on November 30, and we will continue to monitor progress of our Alternative Governance application until then.

Capital Project Committee Update
After months of studying the needs of the Stowe School District, the Capital Project Committee has concluded that the Stowe Elementary and Middle School buildings are in substantial need of improvement and expansion. The committee invites the community of Stowe to a public engagement meeting on October 23 at 6:30-8:00pm in the gym at SES. We encourage all community members to attend and learn about the facility needs of our schools.

Stowe-Morrisville Coalition Update
The school board and administration are represented in the Stowe-Morrisville Coalition, and we will be working to help the Coalition achieve its goals of providing diversity education and training, engaging our communities, and determining how to best measure growth and change.

SBAC Results
2018 SBAC results for Stowe were presented. For almost every grade level, average Stowe student performance was above or comparable to statewide averages. The board will review the SBAC data, along with other test data and indicators of academic progress, throughout the year. The SBAC data will be used by the administration as one indicator to determine areas of strength, as well as to identify areas that require additional support.

Subscribe
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