LSUU E-Newsletter May 21, 2020

A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend

It is hard to believe that there is less than a month of school left!  The last day of school for students is Thursday, June 11.  Principals will be communicating with you about end-of-the-year activities, including opportunities to pick up student’s personal belongings that are still at school.  

Because schools are closed for in-person instruction for the entire school year, there will be no school-sponsored group activities of any size.  However, we know that the end of the school year marks an important milestone for every student every year and the way we say goodbye is important.  This year, the ways we close will be different, but we know that and are committed to supporting students in transitioning to summer and next school year with their social-emotional needs as the priority.  

As we plan, please join us in keeping the graduating classes of 2020 at the forefront of all of our events.  The transition to adulthood that high school graduation ceremonies and traditions represent is significant, and we hope all will join in honoring our seniors as details about these opportunities emerge.  Principals at PA and SHS have been working with students and faculty to plan events that respect the preferences of our students while ensuring we stay safe and healthy.  

Please consider joining the students of our schools in celebrating Memorial Day, this Friday, May 22, at 11:00 am.  Students will be singing "These Green Mountains" during a Front Porch Concert, where every student goes outside and sings "These Green Mountains" at the same time. Families and neighbors are welcome to sing along, too!  Joining together as one community in song, even as we remain physically distant, represents the freedoms and responsibilities that are essential for the vibrancy of our democracy, and a thoughtful tribute to those who have given their all in service for these principles for each and every one of us.

Finally, we’ve received a lot of feedback from community members, parents and students about the recent changes made to grading practices. We’ve read and discussed every single email and had many thoughtful and insightful conversations with parents and students. All of us here at LSUU appreciate and are grateful that our community feels passionately about our grading practices and the success of our students. As you have heard from high school principals the board determined that the best way to move forward is to provide high school students in grades 9-11 with the opportunity to choose a course score that counts in their GPA as an alternative to grades of Pass, Pass with Distinction, Incomplete and No Record. The Pass, Pass with Distinction, Incomplete and No Record will continue to be the default unless we hear otherwise. If you have additional questions, please contact your principal.

Best,
Tracy

 

Lamoille South Unified Union Board Brief
May 18, 2020

We were joined by over 100 guests, heard from over 25 community members and spent almost five hours discussing agenda topics - the LSUU board made the most of its first in-person meeting since March.  Public participation will continue to be welcomed via zoom.

The agenda was amended so that the board first addressed the main focus of interest for board members and for the vast majority of those in attendance: grading and reporting during COVID-19.  We appreciate the communications received from parents and students regarding concerns with the recent changes proposed by the district to end of year grading and grading practices.  After viewing the presentation provided by the administration, hearing from community members in attendance and sharing our own thoughts as individual board members, the board voted to reverse the recommendation of the administration. Students in grades 9, 10, 11 will be offered the opportunity to choose course scores that contribute to their GPA as an alternative to grades of Pass, Pass with Distinction, Incomplete and No Record. The Pass, Pass with Distinction, Incomplete and No Record will continue to be the default process for students. Grading for seniors will be based on the recommendation of the Agency of Education. Additional information will be shared with families shortly.

Additional Updates
Use of School Grounds and Facilities - While we want to promote wellness, we also need to recognize that there is still a risk of spreading COVID-19.  All LSUU grounds continue to be closed for public use, but the administration will be reviewing and relaxing restrictions over the next several weeks.  We appreciate your continued understanding and cooperation.

FY21 School Budgets - COVID-19 has been devastating to state revenue and that loss in revenue will likely impact school budgets over the next few years.  We will continue to closely monitor the on-going discussions at the State level and our local expenses.

Tax Anticipation Note - The board reviewed the results of the FY21 Cash Management bid process. Each year the district requests bids for a tax anticipation note to assist with cash flow.  The board approved the  $4,274,400 Tax Anticipation Note through the Union Bank.

End of School Year - The last day of school will be Thursday, June 11.  Principals, faculty and students are planning for graduation celebrations, which will be held on June 11 for Peoples Academy and June 13 for Stowe High School.  Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

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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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