Weekend Update - April 29th, 2022

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Staff:

I told you not to put those snow shovels away!   Wow, has it been cold. I live in Danville, VT,  and I woke up this morning to two inches of snow on the ground. Crazy. Charles Dickens, in an effort to portray the duality of the characters and situations in his short story entitled, “A Tale of Two Cities,” starts this work with the following line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”  While Dickens was trying to portray the historical, complex condition of France and London in the later 1700’s, the quote symbolizes much of what I have been feeling the last couple of weeks. There is both a sadness and a hopefulness in any decision to leave a job, especially a job that has been so enjoyable. I have built so many great relationships in this Supervisory Union. The communities of Weathersfield, Windsor, West Windsor and Hartland should never take what they have for granted. 

This was my fourth professional job in Vermont. I have worked at the building level and at the central office level for the last 35 plus years. I say, without hesitation, that this is the best job I have ever had. There has never been a doubt that the boards, the communities, the parents and the staff put the children first. Trust me when I tell you that this is not always the case. I know that change is always good - because it provides opportunity. There will be personal transformation for me and certainly the same for this SU. These last few years have been difficult but the future is bright.  Sometimes it takes “trial by fire” to see what really holds a community together.  This community stayed together and is coming out of these times even stronger.  Dickens ends “The Tale of Two Cities”  predicting that all the death and suffering at that time in history would lead to peace, restoration and happiness.  Knowing the people who serve our schools and live in our communities, I predict the very same thing.

Here are a couple of other items for today:

1) Graduation Dates: This is the season for celebrating!  It is one of my favorites.  I encourage the whole community to come out and recognize these students who are graduating from high school or moving on to junior high or high school. The following are the dates and times for our 6th, 8th, and 12th grade celebrations and graduations:

Windsor High School Class of 2022 Graduation
Friday, June 10, 2022 from 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Windsor School 8th Grade Passages Celebration
Monday, June 13, 2022, from 6 - 8 p.m.

Weathersfield School 8th Grade Graduation
Tuesday, June 14, 2022, from 7 - 8 p.m.

Albert Bridge School 6th Grade Graduation
Wednesday, June 15, 2022,  from 9 - 10:30 a.m.

Hartland Elementary School 8th Grade Graduation
Wednesday, June 15, 2022, starting at 4:00 p.m.

2) Board Meetings: Public participation is always welcomed. It has been good to see so many of our public attending these meetings. I hope it keeps up. It is the only way we all stay informed.  We are now offering hybrid meetings. This means that we will have an in-person location and a Google Meet link. We like the fact that using Google Meet has increased our participation so we do not want to move away from that option. The dates for the upcoming meetings, locations and links can always be found on the WSESU website. Here are the locations and links for the meetings to be held in May: 

Hartland School Board Meeting
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 from 6 - 8 p.m.
Google Meet Link:  https://meet.google.com/xeg-rdku-cwf
In Person Location:  Hartland Elementary School, 97 Martinsville Rd, Hartland, VT

Mt. Ascutney School Board Meeting
Monday, May 9, 2022, from 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Google Meet Link:  https://meet.google.com/sdv-ppnd-hzx
In Person Location:  Windsor School, Room 210, 19 Ascutney St, Windsor, VT

Weathersfield School Board Meeting
TBD from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Tentatively Scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2022)
Google Meet Link:  TBD
In person Location:  Weathersfield School, 135 Schoolhouse Road, Ascutney, VT

WSESU School Board Meeting
Monday, May 23, 2022, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Google Meet Link:  https://meet.google.com/qhm-exwf-ofb
In Person Location:  Windsor School, Room 210, 19 Ascutney St, Windsor, VT

3. Community Forum: Our boards realize that we have been a bit distanced from our communities during the Pandemic. To that end, they would like to host a community forum that will focus on the future of the supervisory union as it relates to our Strategic Plan. More information will follow, but please hold Thursday, June 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Windsor School Auditorium. It will be an hour for the forum followed by a BBQ outside (weather permitting). For those who can’t attend, we will Live Stream. More information to follow.

4. Transportation Company:  I want to shout out to Student Transportation of Vermont who is our transportation carrier for the SU. Mike Gaudette is the manager. Our buses have run all year long. I have heard stories that other districts have had to cancel certain routes at certain times. We never did. Mike and the drivers have a difficult mission and do a great job.  We applaud Mike and his staff for their continued outstanding efforts.

5. Legislative Update: Our legislators are in the home stretch. There are lots of important decisions being made this week. PCB Testing and Universal Meals have been major topics  of late. Here is the latest Legislative Blog from the Vermont School Boards Association. Good night-time reading. 

6.  Athletics: A big shout out to our maintenance department for getting our fields up to snuff even in this unpredictable weather. They have done (and continue to do!) a great job. I want to thank the team that went out to Weathersfield and worked on those fields in particular. Field maintenance is critical to spring sports and our folks do a tremendous job! Our teams are off to a good start at all levels. Thanks to all our coaches who put in untold hours every year for very little money but do so for the love of the games and our student-athletes. This activity is so important to our kids - especially as we come out of this Pandemic. 

I think that is it for now. Stay warm and let’s finish the year strong. 

Dr. David Baker
Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union