Weekend Update - March 18th, 2022

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Staff:

We are completing our first week of optional masking. The staff and students have been very supportive in the transition. It was a big change of course, but to see the smiling faces of so many staff and students is certainly rewarding. We continue to emphasize the respect we need to have for each other no matter what the personal choice is around masking. We have posted a sign at each entrance of our buildings indicating the respect for personal choice and that everyone needs to consider their own health risk in making the decision. If you have not seen the sign you can see a copy here. We will continue to monitor the social and emotional fallout from both the two years of masking and this significant change. We have great mental health support in our contracted providers and our school counselors. If your child is experiencing the need for additional support, please reach out to your principals and/or school counselor. 

Here are a couple of other items:

1.  Board Meetings: We have our remaining regular WSESU March School Board meeting and our April meetings next month listed below. Public participation is always welcomed. We will begin to offer hybrid meetings in April. This means that we will have an in-person location and a Google Meet link. We like the fact that the virtual option has increased our participation. The dates for upcoming meetings, locations and links can always be found on the WSESU website. Here are the locations and links for the remaining  WSESU School Board meeting in March and all scheduled meetings in April:

WSESU School Board Meeting
Monday, March 28, starting @ 6:30 p.m.
Virtual only:  https://meet.google.com/mcw-zrji-vht

Hartland School Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 @ 6:00 p.m.
Virtual Link:  https://meet.google.com/uee-cyxm-xjb
In Person at Hartland Elementary School (97 Martinsville Road, Hartland)

Weathersfield School Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 @ 6:30 p.m.
Virtual Link:  https://meet.google.com/nfo-qttm-bgg
In Person at Weathersfield School (135 Schoolhouse Road, Ascutney)

Mt. Ascutney School Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 @ 6:30 p.m.
Virtual Link:  https://meet.google.com/pxp-rzzy-ift
In Person at WSESU Conference Room (105 Main St, Suite 200, Windsor)

WSESU School Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 @ 6:30 p.m.
Virtual Link:  https://meet.google.com/sin-qaws-xpc
In Person at WSESU Conference Room (105 Main St, Suite 200, Windsor)

2. Athletics:  One final time I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winter teams that did so well. I especially want to thank our elementary coaches who build these programs in all our districts. Thanks to all the coaches and AD’s for making this work. We are currently registering for spring sports at all of our schools. You should get information from your local schools. Once we have the spring sports numbers, we will let you know which teams and grade levels will be available for participation. It is critical that you register your children at your local school.

3. ESSER/ARP Funding: The Supervisory Union has finished the draft of our ESSER Recovery Plan for Round #3. The full amount we hope to receive for Recovery efforts is $2,610,650. We did have a series of public input sessions and we did survey the public and staff on a couple of occasions. There is still time for feedback. You can email Angie Ladeau at aladeau@wsesu.net directly or use the comment form on the plans that is posted on the website. You can find the plan here

4. Legislative Update: The Vermont Superintendents Association (VSA) monitors state legislative activity that pertains to education. Each year the VSA publishes several reports. I just recently received what is called the Mid Session Education Legislative Report. This includes ways to access all of the committee reports and documents. As you know, the public school system is governed by the laws of the state of Vermont. I think staying on top of these issues is critical. The link to the mid session report is here.

5. Becoming a Foster Parent:  I was asked by a staff member at the VT Department for Children and Families if I would post the following information to my update.  I know their need is great right now, so am glad to pass along the following:

DCF is seeking caregivers for children in need of foster care.  This could look like an emergency placement, providing respite for a few hours or a weekend, short-term, or long-term foster care placement.  Have you ever wondered about fostering, and had a desire to provide safety and stability for a child?  Children of all ages within the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union are in need of support now.  If you have a heart for children, are willing to learn the skills to improve a child’s quality of life, and can provide a loving home, please complete an inquiry form  using the link provided (https://dcf.vermont.gov/foster) or call the Foster Parent Recruitment and Support Specialist at 802-760-0702.  We are all here to create a better future for our children. Thank you for your time, interest, and devotion to this endeavor.  Let’s explore the possibility of fostering together.

I think that is it for now.  Enjoy the weekend. It is officially spring on March 20, 2022 at 11:33 pm. While we never put those snowblowers or shovels away until June, spring is always the reminder that there are brighter days ahead. This year I feel that on so many different levels. 

Dr. David Baker
Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union