SSD Board Brief - April 2, 2018

The SSD Board began their meeting by formally recognizing Emily Bradbury and Emily Rosenbaum for their service and dedication to Stowe Schools. Both spent countless hours writing and developing our Act 46 alternative structure application, and Emily Bradbury has a longstanding record of service to our schools that began when she volunteered to serve on the RED Committee. Thank you to Emily Bradbury and Emily Rosenbaum.

Proficiency Based Learning (PBL) and Grading (PBG)

Maura Wheeler, LSSU's PBL and Technology Integration Coach, reviewed the principles of PBL. Chris Oleks, SHS Principal, then went on to present the grading principles that have been adopted by our schools. Chris explained the benefits of using whole number scoring with rubrics and then went on to show how the whole numbers end up being calculated into a GPA. The Transcript Committee continues to work on the transcript and school profile for SHS, and both will be presented to the Board at a future meeting. The Board and administration are aware of the importance of high school grading for college applications; and they will continue to monitor and assess the implementation of grading practices throughout the school year to make sure the Board’s top priority of "no child is harmed" is actuated. To address the importance of celebrating the academic achievement of students, SHS is developing a system of honors awards that will be given to high performing students.

Community Use of School Facilities

The Board followed the consensus of opinion from Town Meeting and affirmed the current Policy on Community Use of School Facilities. A paragraph was added to our community use procedure that specified guidelines for political signs on school property.

Resolution of Gratitude Regarding S.221, H.442 and S.55

Jim Brochhausen presented a resolution to the Board, and he gave the reasons why he drafted the resolution and why he thought the Board should support it. In particular, he thought it was important for the Board to recognize: 1. the work of SMS and SHS students, in addition to the Parkland students and students across the country, as they mobilized and made their voices be heard on the issue of limited gun restrictions to enhance school safety; and 2. the bravery and leadership of Governor Phil Scott and legislators supporting these highly controversial bills. The Board read the public testimonies of SMS 8th graders Sarah Evans and Alaena Hunt, as well as the petition signed by 250 SMS and SHS students. After discussion, the resolution passed (3-1, Chair does not vote unless there is a tie). Tiffany Donza voted against on the principle that resolutions of any kind should not be issued by the Board. The resolution was approved and signed by Cara Zimmerman, Jim Brochhausen, Lindsey Lamb, and Leigh Pelletier.

Act 46

Tracy Wrend shared some of the slides regarding Act 46 that Rebecca Holcombe, former Secretary of the Agency of Education (AOE), presented. The AOE continues to have conversations with those districts that submitted alternative structure applications. A rough draft of the AOE's statewide plan for merging districts will be presented to the Board of Education (BOE) in June. The Vermont State Board of Education plans to review alternative structure applications from July-September.

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