LSUU E-Newsletter June 4, 2020

A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend

Addressing Racial Injustice 
Recent acts of police violence against people of color have again highlighted the urgency of countering racism and promoting social justice. Systemic racism is entrenched in our society and the education system is no exception. For many years our faculty, staff, and administrators have made great efforts to fight racism in our community and work to reduce inequity in our school system. But our work is far from done. In fact, in many ways, it has just started. 

As educators it is our job to make sure every single one of our students feels safe, welcome, and included when they come to school. With the pandemic upending our ability to teach in the classroom, it is more critical than ever that we do everything we can to ensure our students have the support and resources they need to thrive, regardless of who they are. LSUU is committed to fighting systemic racism and creating a welcoming, just, and equal education system that recognizes and honors the differences in all of our students. A large part of that commitment lies in analyzing our own biases and listening and learning from people of color. Understanding their experiences, learning from them and vetting our work with those whose lives are directly impacted by racism is a critical part of eradicating systemic racism in our education system. This work will not be easy and will require conversations that may at times be uncomfortable and challenging. But I have no doubt that our LSUU community can rise to this challenge. The wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and community members of color depends on it. 

School Next Year 
We are beginning to have in-depth discussions around what school will look like next year. At this point, there are many unknowns. Unfortunately, only one thing is certain and that is that school will be different than it has in the past. We are analyzing many different models and practices that will help ensure both the safety of our students, faculty, and staff and the preservation of our high-quality education system. While no decisions have been made, specifically we are looking at such things as a hybrid model which integrates both in-person and distance learning, additional handwashing stations, temperature checks for students upon arrival, and restrictions on gathering sizes inside the school buildings. 

We will be spending much of the next three months finalizing the details around this and determining what school will look like next year. We will keep you updated as decisions are made and can assure you that all of our decisions around this difficult challenge will be made based upon science, data, and what we know to be best for our students. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we dig into this work. 

Grounds Reopening - Playgrounds Closed
Based on guidance from the State of Vermont, Lamoille South Unified Union will be partially reopening the outdoor school grounds.  This is in accordance with the Play Smart and Play Safe Addendum 13.  The following requirements must be followed:

All playgrounds currently remain closed and are strictly off-limits for any use.  

Please use an “arrive, play and leave” mentality. Groups may not gather before or after activities (no tailgating, etc.).

These opportunities are for Vermont residents and those who have met the minimum 14-day quarantine requirement. 

Contact sports and games are prohibited. For example, outdoor basketball courts may be open to “shoot hoops,” but full-contact games cannot be held at this time.

Organized sporting events and spectator events are not permitted at this time.

Continue to be mindful of social distancing and proper hygiene.

We know that outdoor activities and exercise are important, and we look forward to the time when we can fully reopen all of our grounds.  Until then, we greatly appreciate your help in following these guidelines while enjoying the school grounds.

Summer Meals and Summer Programs
Meals for all youth 18 and younger will continue throughout the summer. Until June 30, meal pick up will continue at Stowe Elementary and Morristown Elementary on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Beginning July 1, pick up will be available at Morristown Elementary on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Youth do not need to be present to pick up meals, and families are encouraged to coordinate neighborhood meal pick up.

Best,
Tracy
 

Lamoille South Unified Union Board Brief
June 1, 2020

End of Year Update
As a reminder, the last day of school is June 11.  PA will hold its senior celebration parade beginning at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 11.  The parade will begin at PA, continue down PA hill to Main Street, Portland Street, Bridge Street, Brooklyn Street, Harrel Street, Route 15 to Route 15A and back to MES. We hope the community will join us as spectators along the parade route.  Remember to practice social distancing and wear cloth masks!

SHS will hold their senior celebration on Saturday, June 13, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Mt. Mansfield Parking Area.  We know the entire Stowe community joins us in wishing our seniors the best, but we ask for your understanding and cooperation as attendance is limited to immediate family only.

Continuous Improvement Plan
Members of the LSUU Curriculum Council provided us with a presentation on LSUU’s Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2020-2025.  Continuous improvement planning is a process of analyzing data about a school or school system to learn what has occurred, is occurring and needs to occur to improve student outcomes for the next five years.  The process leads to the identification of specific and measurable goals for improvement and high-leverage change ideas to achieve them.  The goals and change ideas identified as a result of this process not only provide focus and identify next steps for LSUU and its schools, but also drives changes in professional practice, professional development needs, and informs grant applications and cost objectives.  

Schoology
Maura Wieler, LSUU PBL and Tech Integration Coach, outlined the features of the learning management system (LMS), Schoology.  Schoology is the LMS utilized in LSUU middle schools and high schools, while the LMS SeeSaw is used at the elementary level.  The key features of Schoology include access to learning materials and resources, ability to provide student feedback, integration with other google programs, notifications/calendars, and the ability to view student progress and growth toward achieving goals.

Board Retreat
The board will determine a date for a summer retreat to discuss and develop board norms and positive working relationships and create a board work plan for 2020-2021.

Subscribe
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

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