LSSU E-Newsletter February 7, 2019

A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend

Marty Lacasse will be retiring from Stowe Elementary School at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.  She has served the students of the Stowe School District for the last nineteen years, and her presence at the school and in the community will be greatly missed. We thank Marty for her years of dedication and service to the children of Stowe and wish her the absolute best.

During in-service on January 21 and February 1, teachers worked with Dr. Kathleen Brinegar and Dr. Hannah Miller, both of Northern Vermont University, on culturally sustaining practices, which is the phrase we are using to describe systemic practices for equity.  Teacher feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are excited to continue this work to explore issues of equity and justice as adults and to expand our toolkit for engaging students in actively participating in the cultivation of culturally sustaining learning environments.  

Thanks to tremendous leadership from Representative Heidi Scheuermann and with support from Representatives Avram Patt and Dave Yacovone, the House passed H. 39 today. This bill delays the implementation deadline for school districts that have been forced to merge by the state board of education for one year - until July 1, 2020.  The Boards of EMUU and SSD support this bill, as a delay would provide time for a thoughtful merger process that provides for broad community engagement and a thoughtfully crafted process.  In the meantime, as that bill continues to make its way through the legislative process, we are continuing with both the merger process and normal operations.

For the merger, early and absentee ballot voting on the proposed amendments to the Articles of Agreement for the newly created Lamoille South Unified Union School District (LSUU) has begun. The Articles of Agreement establish critical rules around where students will attend school, the closure of school buildings, and the representation on the new Union District Board.

Voting will occur on Tuesday, February 26, between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM at your town polling location. You can also vote early! Vote TODAY or any day your town clerk is open.

Your vote is important!  While we are requesting a delay of implementation of the forced merger in the legislature and also challenging the forced merger in court, we want to prepare for all outcomes.  In the event that we are forced to merge July 1, 2019, approved Articles of Agreement will help us to be able to continue to provide the highest quality education possible for our children at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

While we pursue legal and legislative solutions regarding the State Board of Education’s forced merger ruling, we have an agreement that allows us to develop budgets for Elmore-Morristown and Stowe respectively and prepare for operations under our current structure. In the event our appeal is successful or there is a delay in the implementation of Act 46, these proposed budgets are the foundations for our operations in support of our students for the coming year. Early voting on board members and budgets for EMUU and Stowe will begin on February 15, 2019, or you may vote on Town Meeting Day, March 5, 2019.  For budget information please review the Budget Edition of It’s About Learning.

Best,
Tracy

 

EMUU Board Brief
February 5, 2019

Legislative Update:  We await the legislature’s decision on delaying our forced merger until July 1, 2020. A delay would provide us essential time to communicate effectively and construct a merger that works best for all communities, within provided guidelines. We are grateful to our local representatives for all their hard work lobbying on our behalf.

Immediately following our next regular EMUU board meeting, Tuesday, February 19, at 5:00pm in the MES library, there will be a presentation on the recommendations for amendments to the articles of agreement the state provided for forced mergers. The committee is recommending amendments to articles pertaining to board structure, school of attendance, and closure of schools. Voting will take place on February 26. Early voting begins February 6.

Please join us for our annual EMUU meeting, Thursday, February 28, at 6:00pm in the PA auditorium. We’ll provide an overview of our district budget and answer questions pertaining to the budget and other school business.  Voting takes place March 5 (Town Meeting Day), with early voting beginning February 15. 

On a lighter note, January was School Board Recognition Month and Darn Tough paid tribute to all Vermont school board members by offering each a pair of free socks. Several pairs were on display at our meeting this past Tuesday.

The board sends our best wishes to our own Ida Mae Anderson, who is recovering from a hospital stay. We look forward to seeing her back at our board meetings when she is well.

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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
February 4, 2019

February 26th: Vote on Amendments to the Articles of Agreement. If you are going away for February vacation, please make sure to vote early! Early voting began on Feb 6th!

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: Our case continues as scheduled. Legislation: We would like to thank Heidi Scheuermann for her tireless efforts writing and building a coalition in support of an amendment that provided a one-year delay to the forced mergers. Her amendment was defeated by only five votes in the House. A different version, presented by the House Education Committee, was passed by the House and is headed to the Senate.  Thank you, Heidi, for building the momentum to bring this important discussion to the floor.
  2. Meeting Forced Merger Requirements—It’s important to vote! This is your opportunity to vote for the new merged district’s articles of agreement, which will determine both the structure of the new merged board and the length of time school operations and student enrollment remain as is. Voting between February 15-25 will allow you to vote both on the new unified district’s articles of agreement and the traditional town votes of Town Meeting Day. Want to learn more about the articles of agreement? We will hold an informational meeting on February 18, beginning at 6pm at SES.
  3. Normal School Operations—Budget: The board reviewed the FY18 LSSU audit review and approved getting bids for professional services for installation of fire alarms. Marty Lacasse: The board expresses our deepest gratitude for Marty and her 19 years serving our students. We wish her the best as she retires so that she can spend more time with her family.

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

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