LSSU E-Newsletter May 9, 2019

A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend

We are pleased to see continued evidence of student success as we implement the principles of proficiency-based learning across our schools.  Peoples Academy Class of 2019 students applied for and are learning of their acceptance into competitive colleges and universities.  These include Smith College, University of Connecticut, Michigan University, Pennsylvania State University, Villanova University, St. Lawrence University, University of Delaware, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, University of Vermont, Virginia Tech and Rhode Island School of Design.  

This is our second year of grading and transcripts in our proficiency-based system with GPAs on a 5.00 scale, and we are continuing to see college acceptance rates comparable to prior years using a traditional grading scale.

Act 46
Our legal appeal of the State Board of Education’s forced merger ruling has been resolved and requires that we move forward with the merger process. While we did not believe a merger was necessary, there is no doubt our children will continue to receive the highest quality education.  We now look forward to finding efficiencies and opportunities in the newly merged governance structure.

Lamoille South Unified Union School District
We are actively working to prepare for operations of the merged Lamoille South Unified Union School District (LSUU). The LSUU Board has developed a merged budget for approval by the electorate of all three towns.  Approval of this merged budget is critical as it allows us to operate our schools beginning July 1, 2019. Please vote!

The annual meeting of the new, merged district, along with a public information meeting on the proposed budget, will be held on Thursday, May 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the Stowe High School Auditorium.  A budget vote by Australian ballot will be held on Tuesday, May 28, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Elmore, Morristown and Stowe Town Offices.  

Best,
Tracy

 

EMUU Board Brief
May 7, 2019

We were delighted to learn we have been awarded a five year 21st Century Grant to fund our Unbound program. Unbound extends the school day for PA and PAML students with activities that promote friendship, the arts, wellness, and achievement in learning and life.

You’ll notice some familiar faces on lamp posts in town, care of the PA banner project. PA Art Teacher, Averill McDowell and her AP art students created the pop-art style banners, which feature business people, civil servants, and other community members.

Author Nights for the Elmore School are Thursday, May 30, and Monday, June 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Elmore Town Hall. Student authors from the Elmore School will be reading the books they have written. This event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend!

Please join our EMUU community on Friday, May 24, at 10:00 a.m. at the band shell for our Memorial Day Observance. 

On April 29 Judge Mello issued a decision rejecting our appeal of the State Board of Education’s order to merge Elmore-Morristown and Stowe on July 1, 2019.  We continue to await the legislature’s decision on H.39, the bill which could grant a one-year delay.  Either way, remember we have been preparing for all outcomes and will continue to provide our students with the highest quality education. 

Two upcoming important dates for the newly merged entity:  the Annual Meeting and Budget Informational Meeting will be held Thursday, May 23, at 6:00 p.m. in the Stowe High School Auditorium.  On Tuesday, May 28, an Australian ballot vote for the LSUU budget will be held at the Elmore, Morristown and Stowe town offices.  The budget is a combined total for EMUU, LSSU and the Stowe School District.

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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. 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
May 6, 2019

Please vote for the merged district LSUU budget on Tuesday, May 28th! Early voting has begun.

Important upcoming dates:
May 13, 5:15-5:45 pm, SHS Library: SHS Interim Principal Meet & Greet

May 23, 6:00 pm, SHS Auditorium: Merged LSUU Special Annual Meeting & Budget Informational Meeting

May 28, 5:30-6:30 pm, SHS Auditorium: SHS Transcript and College Reporting

May 28, 8:00 am-4:30 pm, Town Clerk’s Office: Merged LSUU Budget Vote

On April 29, the court granted summary judgment to the State on our Act 46 challenge. Based on the advice of legal counsel and their analysis of Vermont Supreme Court case law, the SSD and EMUU School Boards will not appeal the decision. In moving forward, the SSD Board will now: 1. make decisions centered around normal school operations, and 2. take steps required by law for the merger of school governance that will occur on July 1, 2019, unless delayed by the legislature.

1. Normal School Operations—Proficiency Based Learning: a.) Post-Secondary Applications. The sample transcript, school profile, and the PA letter sent with the Mastery Report for first semester reporting were provided as a preview of what will be presented to Junior parents (and all SHS parents who are interested) on May 28th. b.) Learning Management System. Based on community feedback, the administrative team looked into other options but ultimately found that Schoology is the best system for us to use at this time since it most closely aligns with our PBL framework. The team made recommendations: explore using SeeSaw for younger grades; and, over the next couple years, continue to look at the top four learning management systems to determine whether we should change systems in 2021. c.) Scholarly Habits. SMS student leaders reported on collaborating with faculty and students to modify scholarly habits to make them more meaningful and useful to students. SHS Interim Principal Search: The search committee has gone through the interview and selection process. The interim principal candidate will be onsite on May 7th and will do a walk-through, attend student panels, and lead a faculty meeting. The following week, a Parent Meet and Greet is scheduled. SMHS Fire Alarm System Replacement: Replacement will occur this summer.

2. Moving Towards Merger—Merged Budget: The merged budget is simply a merger of the three town budgets (nothing added, nothing deleted) that passed on Town Meeting Day. The budget is available to review on the LSSU website, on the LSUU Board page. Please make sure to vote! Passing the budget is critical to ensuring smooth school operations for the upcoming school year. New Fiscal Entity Being Developed: To be operational by July 1, we will open new bank accounts, apply for all federal and state IDs, change our municipal and state retirement, health insurance, dental insurance life insurance, etc. to make sure we can meet all payroll obligations. These changes need to be completed by May 22, at which time we will be committed to our new entity as the LSUU merged board.

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