A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend
As we head into the new year, we are excited to draw upon the many successes of the first half of the year... and look forward to continuing to do great things.
Our students continue to excel individually in the classroom, on the courts and trails, and in the community. At the end of the fall season, 33 student athletes from across the district were chosen to be members of All-Star teams and two teams were state champions. Our faculty also continue to receive recognition for their dedication and professionalism. Both Karsten Weiss, PAML/PA Design and Technology Teacher, and Dalton Gomez, PA Science Teacher, were selected as co-winners of the Air Force Association’s (Green Mountain Chapter) Teacher of the Year. They will be formally recognized at an assembly later in the school year.
The board has been working hard to plan for the future of our schools with a focus on sustaining and growing quality, expanding opportunities for students and exploring options for the future of our school facilities. These board priorities were informed by community feedback at the forum last fall and via an online survey. Community voice remains an important component of the board’s planning. As the board finalizes a budget proposal with consideration to these priority needs and values, you and all members of the community are encouraged to attend. The board has a special meeting on Monday, January 13, at 5:30 pm at the Town Hall in Elmore and will meet again Monday, January 20, at 5:30 pm in the library at Morristown Elementary School.
As promised, we are focusing on leveraging opportunities for all students as an outcome of the unification process. One area where we have had great success is in our summer programs. As we look ahead to summer 2020, we are planning an expanded cooperative “camp” experience for elementary students from both SES and MES. We’ve seen great results in literacy and math for students who participated in the full-day, six-week program at MES last summer, and are excited about the possibility of providing this opportunity to more students from across our elementary schools. Families can expect more information as plans are finalized later in the spring.
Lamoille South Unified Union Board Brief
January 6, 2020
Three seats are open on the LSUU board: two for residents of Stowe (1 year term and 3 year term) and one for a resident of Morristown (3 year term). Petitions and Consent of Candidate forms are available from any town clerk or LSUU. The forms must be returned to a town clerk with petition signatures for the candidate’s town of residence no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 27. Board elections will be held on Town Meeting Day, March 3.
We reviewed and discussed the revised draft FY21 budget. The board continues to consider options to address priority needs to expand opportunities for all students and ensure high quality staffing.
The Statewide Healthcare Benefit for school employees has been finalized and will become effective on January 1, 2021. The draft budget has been revised to reflect this minor impact. We have also received a revised equalized pupil count from the Agency of Education, which is currently 1,635.72, a decrease of 8.81 from the previous year. A decrease in equalized pupils has the effect of increasing the homestead tax rate.
The draft $32,275,750 budget represents the following change in estimated homestead tax rates compared to the prior year: Elmore - a decrease of 2 cents, Morristown - an increase of 5.7 cents, and Stowe - an increase of 10.9 cents.
We will hold a Special Board Meeting to continue budget discussions on Monday, January 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Elmore Town Hall.
Best Educational Use of Facilities Study
An effective school facility is responsive to the changing programs of educational delivery, and consists of not only the physical structure and building systems but also furnishings, equipment and areas for outdoor learning. To help us identify the long and short term facilities needs across the district, we will be seeking services to provide a comprehensive assessment of our existing facilities and grounds.
The following policies were adopted by the board: Transportation, Title 1 Comparability, Tobacco Prohibition, Participation of Home Study Students in School Programs and Activities.
Tuition Rates for 2020-2021
Tuition rates for the upcoming school year must be submitted to the State by January 15. The approved tuition rates for the 2020-2021 school year are: $15,200 for Elementary (grades K-6) and $16,500 for Secondary (grades 7-12).
Financial Management Questionnaire
A financial management questionnaire must be completed annually outlining the internal financial controls for the district. The board reviewed and approved the information and the form will be kept on file in the district office.
LSUU’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 Lamoille South Unified Union School Board meetings can be found in our board minutes: https://www.lamoillesouthsu.org/lsuu-board.php