LSSU E-Newsletter January 10, 2019

A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend

I am pleased to share another exciting and high quality initiative being undertaken at one of our schools. Morristown Elementary School teachers have been using a writing workshop model that has improved student writing and increased their enjoyment of the subject area. The model has clear learning targets and rubrics in student-friendly language, opportunities for self-assessment and peer feedback, authentic audiences for writing and personalization through student choice within the writing assignments. Since initiating the model we have seen more and more students choosing writing during academic choice time.  

There are new developments regarding the graffiti found on Elmore-Morristown school grounds in August. Two juveniles have been charged and cited in family court in connection with the incident. We are grateful to the Morristown Police Department for assisting with the investigation and follow-up. We are also grateful for the work of faculty and staff to educate students about hate speech, which ultimately also assisted with the investigation. We hope that this will lead to additional positive steps for growth and healing as we continue our work to create a respectful, welcoming community for all.  

With regard to Act 46 and governance, we have an agreement that allows us to develop budgets for Elmore-Morristown and Stowe respectively and prepare for operations in our current structure while our districts’ legal appeal is pending. At the same time, we are continuing with the merger process.  Please note that our agreement is different than the agreement reached for parties involved in a similar suit, which simply delays their organizational meetings for a short time. We believe it is in the best interest of our students and communities to be prepared for any outcome and to ensure our options are open for as long as possible. Our agreement was negotiated by our legal counsel and was tailored for LSSU.

As we prepare for both a merger and operations in our current governance structure, there are a number of very important opportunities in the near future for community engagement and feedback.  

Residents of Elmore, Morristown and Stowe are encouraged to attend the Organizational Meeting for the Lamoille South Unified Union School District. The Lamoille South Unified Union School District is the new, merged District created by the State Board of Education’s decision to merge the EMUU and Stowe School Districts. The Organizational Meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 14, in the Auditorium at Peoples Academy.

Immediately following the business of the Organizational Meeting on January 14, there will be a Public Hearing on possible amendments to the Articles of Agreement, which prescribe some of the key elements of the operations of the new district, most notably the composition and election of the board of the newly merged district.  Community feedback at the Public Hearing will inform the recommendations of the committee working on the Articles of Agreement, which will be voted on by the electorate in an Australian Ballot vote on February 26, 2019.

I hope to see you all there!

Best,
Tracy

 

EMUU Board Brief
January 8, 2019

The EMUU board continues to move forward with the steps necessary for merger, while simultaneously planning for the EMUU district to remain separate.

Organizational Meeting/Public Hearing: Residents of Elmore and Morristown are encouraged to attend the Organizational Meeting of the Lamoille South Unified Union School District (LSUU) on Monday, January 14, 2019, at 6:00pm in the Peoples Academy Auditorium. The Warning outlining the items that will be discussed and voted on can be located on our website.  

At the close of the Organizational Meeting, a public hearing will be held on the proposed Articles of Agreement for the newly-formed district. The Articles of Agreement Committee, comprised of representatives from both EMUU and Stowe, is seeking community feedback prior to making a formal recommendation. The group has held three meetings to discuss the default Articles of Agreement provided by the State Board of Education and has preliminarily decided to modify articles pertaining to grade configurations, closure of school buildings, and board structure. Please attend and share your thoughts on the committee’s preliminary recommendations.

2019-2020 Draft Budget:  The board reviewed the first draft of the FY20 budget for EMUU.  The $14,473,950 draft budget presented reflects an increase of $400,175, or 2.8%.  The administration will revise the budget areas requested and the board will review the information at our next meeting on January 22.  The complete draft budget can be viewed on our website.

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 it directly by email by subscribing. 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
January 7, 2019

The SSD Board continues to concurrently: 1. appeal the Vermont State Board of Education’s decision, 2. take steps required by law for a forced merger, and 3. make decisions centered around normal school operations.

  1. Appeal Forced Merger Decision—Litigation: A joint motion agreeing to a litigation schedule was filed last week and is waiting for approval by the Court. The agreement stipulates both a hearing on the stay and a hearing on the case to occur concurrently later in the spring and allows the SSD, EMUU, and LSSU to continue operations in anticipation of continuing in our current structure in the future until the matter is resolved. The board adopted a resolution waiving any claim of conflict of interest by Judge Teachout.
  2. Meeting Forced Merger Requirements—Transition Board: The first meeting of the transition board will be on Monday, January 14, at 6:00 pm at Peoples Academy. Public attendance is critical since the public will vote from the floor on how they would like future voting to occur for LSUUSD board members, the education budget, and the articles of agreement. Articles of Agreement: The Articles of Agreement committee recommended three changes to the draft articles: maintain which school students attend from two years to four years, maintain all current school buildings from two years to four years, and change the board composition to three Stowe, three Morrisville, and one Elmore.The community will have an opportunity to provide feedback to the committee on the proposed amendments at the meeting on January 14.
  3. Normal School Operations—Academic: The board approved a Switzerland field trip for SHS French students. Capital Projects: Black River Design presented options for pre-bond work; and the cost will be included in next year’s budget. The plan is to continue moving forward with the capital project on the timeline recommended by Black River. Budget: The board received the audit report and reviewed a draft of next year’s budget.

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 it directly by email by subscribing. More detailed information regarding Stowe School Board meetings can be found in our board minutes: https://www.stoweschoolsvt.com/ssd-school-board.php