Weekend Update - March 25th, 2022

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Staff:

Happy Friday!  The weather is lightening up for us and we have officially moved into spring. We did have a scare with roads freezing this week, but we have a great transportation company with professional, reliable drivers who know our roads. Fortunately, this makes it less of an issue for us.  Our bus drivers are sometimes the unspoken heroes in the Vermont winter weather. We owe them a debt of gratitude for the professional way they get our students to and from school.

Good news on the masking front. We have not seen an increase in positive cases. We do have a small, steady stream of positive cases that our nurses and parents handle well. It is about communication, which is critical. I think we have survived another major transition. Again, if you or your child is experiencing the need for additional support in this new phase, please reach out to your school principal(s) and/or school counselor(s). They are always available to assist.

Here are a couple of other items for today:

1)   Board Meetings: We have our remaining regular WSESU March School Board meeting on Monday (March 28) 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 public participation. The dates for upcoming meetings along with location and links can always be found on the WSESU website. Here are the locations and links for the remaining WSESU board meeting in March and the board 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
Monday, April 11, 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
Monday, April 25, 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. Last Day of School:  Sometimes it is difficult to keep track of snow days as we move through the winter. So we are all on the same page, the last day for all of our schools will be an early release day on Friday, June 17th. We are planning another Summer Academy this year. It will be four weeks long. The details are in the planning phase, but I should be able to provide more information in the next couple of weeks. We will avoid the July 4th week and begin on July 11th. We hope to double the participation this year. Last year we served close to 100 students. More information to follow.

3. ESSER/ARP Funding: Just another reminder that 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 School Boards Association (VSBA) monitors state legislative activity that pertains to education. Friday, March 18th, was “CrossOver Day” when House and Senate bills were exchanged. You will see from this link that twelve education bills made the crossover deadline. To become law, these bills need to be passed in each chamber. You can find those twelve bills at this link. I will provide the VSA updates as they come to my desk. 

5. Becoming a Foster Parent:  I want to repeat the fostering information again.  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.

6.  Updated COVID Testing and Quarantining Protocols: have now been published. You can find a summary here. You can also see the entire updated handbook at this link. Again, we appreciate your support.

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

Dr. David Baker
Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union