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Barre Supervisory Union Newsletter

May 2019

Business Human Resources  |  Reception Desk Special Education  |  Early Ed

Communications  |  Facilities  |  Curriculum  |  Technology  |  Calendar  |  Path

Superintendent's Report

John Pandolfo - Superintendent; Tina Gilbert - Executive Assistant

As I reflect on the fact that we have only a few months left in our school year, I want to thank you all for the work that you do. I often become involved with some of the very best and very worst of the day to day experiences of our system, but you all see the full range every day. You do amazing work, and I appreciate all that you do. I know that you absorb the burdens of our children, which is a heavy load. We can become overwhelmed by the challenges we face on a daily basis, and at the same time thrive on the rewarding things we experience. That is what keeps us going. I hope, as we move further into spring, that you are able to have the best possible last few months of your school year.

BUUSD merger activity is as follows:

  • New Board elections took place on April 9 and the new BUUSD Board met and organized on April 11.
  • For minutes of that meeting use this link
  • At that meeting, committee assignments and schedules were set; to see the most current schedule of meetings click here
  • The BUUSD FY2020 budget vote has been warned for May 14. We are in the process of publicizing this vote. A budget page is being set up with links from all school and BSU home pages. Please get out and vote if you are a Barre resident and urge those around you to vote as well. 

The next meeting of the BUUSD Board is Thursday, May 9. The agenda will include:

  • New hires
  • Approval of almost all policies currently in the BSU Policy manual
  • Approval of additional policies new or newly revised for the BUUSD Board
  • Approval of the Continuous Improvement Plan
  • Discussion of Student Representatives on the BUUSD Board

The BUUSD Board will meet again on Thursday, June 13, and the BUUSD goes operational on July 1, 2019.  See the Merger Update Page on the BSU website for more details.

2019-2010 Letters of Intent for Para-Educators and Continuation Letters for non-union employees were distributed by May 1 and are due back by May 16.

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Business Office

Lisa Perreault - Business Manage; Ashley Young - Senior Accountant, Amy Renaud (Accountant BSU); Kris Gilbar (Accountant SHS/CVCC & BTMES Payroll); Ann Baker (Accountant BCEMS & BTMES Accts. Payable); Kathy Couture (Medicaid Clerk)

Aladdin will be serving the BUUSD Food Service Programs for all schools effective July 1, 2019. We began the process of procuring a single BUUSD Food Service Management Company (FSMC) in December 2018. The VT Agency of Education and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) require that all new FSMC contracts be a “fixed price” contract versus a “break even” contract. We also convened a FSMC Procurement Committee consisting of Lisa Perreault, Ashley Young, Jamie Evans, Brenda Waterhouse, Scott Griggs, and Hayden Coon. The BUUSD Board approved the recommendation of the committee and the Superintendent on April 11, 2019. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Aladdin and want to thank the Abbey Group for their excellent service to the Barre Town Middle and Elementary School over the past 10 years.

With just 8 weeks left in the school year and 9 weeks until we close our BSU/BT/BC/SHS/CVCC books and open a new set for the BUUSD, we are asking that everyone limit their spending. Administrators are reviewing requests carefully and will only approve items that are critical. We have closed the grants. Requisitions may be completed as in the past for the FY20 school year however, we cannot make purchases until July 1, and provided we have a voter approved BUUSD Budget (scheduled for May 14- Please vote if you’re a Barre Town or City resident!). We will be reaching out to bookkeepers in May to schedule time together to review the new BUUSD database.

Please submit all Medicaid paperwork to Kathy Couture by end of day, June 21, 2019.
Thank you, for all you do each and every day for the students in the Barre Community!

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Human Resources

Carol Marold - HR Coordinator; Leslie Babic - HR Specialist

The hiring season is in full swing. We currently have over 25 positions open (including 3 coaching positions). You can find more information about district openings on our website.

The general Human Resources Department page includes forms, notices, links to just about anything HR related. You can find links to all master agreements and handbooks on this section. This includes the non-contracted, volunteer, coach and substitute handbooks. There are quick links to the AESOP system, Vermont retirement systems, Employee Assistance Program, and of course, health benefits.

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Receptionist Desk

Linda Papineau – Receptionist

Field Trips: Please remember there’s a process for parents, chaperones, and volunteers to complete prior to the trip. All must complete a volunteer application and call to schedule an appointment with Linda at Central Office to complete background checks and appropriate paperwork for fingerprinting.

This cannot be completed at the last minute. You should allow at least 30 days prior to the event, more if possible.

Click here for Directions for the Fingerprinting Process, and for our Full Volunteer Policy and Procedures

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Special Education

Don McMahon – Co-Director of Special Services; Stacy Anderson - Co-Director of Special Services; Pam Wark - Administrative Assistant

Special Education Administrative Assistant Pam Wark has announced her retirement after 31 years working for the Barre Supervisory Union. Pam is looking forward to spending more time with her husband, her adult children and two grandchildren! We thank Pam for all of her hard work over the years and wish her a very happy retirement!

Alternate Assessment: The AOE has rescheduled the Alternate Assessment trainings to occur between April 29th and May 2nd and the assessment window will open in early May.

The link for registration is: https://vt.portal.airast.org/vermont-training-registration/

Assistant Director of Special Education Search: We have formed a committee with representatives from each of our schools and our alternative programs and have reviewed applications of candidates for the Assistant Director of Special Services position. Members of the committee are: Don McMahon and Stacy Anderson - BSU Special Services Co-Directors, Brenda Waterhouse, Luke Aither- SHS, Carol Marold-HR Coordinator, Becky Dwyer-BCEMS Special Educator, Moss McCurdy- BTMES Special Educator, Katie Jankowski -SHS Special Educator, Cristina Scharnberg- SHS Alternative program Clinician and Julie Prentice- Paraeducator. Interviews were held on April 26th.

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Early Education

Sandra Cameron - Early Ed. Director/Act 166 Coordinator; Lauren May - Early Ed. Coordinator; Pam Wark - Administrative Assistant

On Monday, April 29th, there was a state-wide Act 166 Coordinator’s meeting held in the Waterbury State Office complex. The workshop title is “Celebrating and Growing on our Successes with Act 166” and the identified purpose is: Networking and learning about state-wide successes regarding programs, process, procedures, and practices. Sandra Cameron is on the planning committee and presented at this event and Lauren May also attended.

The special education teams will have the third and final meeting of the year with Children’s Integrated Services on May 1st. This meeting will allow the teams to gather information about children who will transition to our programs in the next school year.

Preschool Parent Teacher conferences will be held at both schools on Monday, May 6th and Tuesday, May 7th. These conferences will be used to discuss the kindergarten transition for families of student moving on and progress for all students.

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Communications

Ben Merrill – Communications Specialist

It’s been a busy month. We finalized and distributed the Annual Report and a “Thank You” flyer, reminding the voters and taxpayers of Barre how grateful we are (we = students, faculty, staff, volunteers, coaches, administration) for the support they’ve given to the schools over the years.

We created a full page spread for the Times Argus highlighting some of the work going on at BCEMS and BTMES. The Times Argus has reached out a number of times this winter and spring to help us showcase all the amazing work that goes on in our schools, and we are very grateful for their generosity. We will be highlighting CVCC - again with a full page spread - in their May 17th issue. And we will be recognizing one of our Home Town heroes (you gotta wait for the issue to come out!) in an upcoming issue. Lots of gratitude for the support of the local paper!

We continue to update and expand the website, and I’m very grateful to Josh Allen, Dan Smith, and Mike Emmons for everything they do, it’s definitely a team effort.

The Annual Budget Report was finalized as this newsletter was going to press and will be ready for distribution by May 1. You can find the budget report, along with the Annual Report and other information, on the website at https://www.bsuvt.org/resources/fy-2020-budget-resources

Work is ongoing with VSAC and SHS creating a communications plan for the “Aspirations” project, which seeks to create a culture of “college and career ready” at Spaulding. Most of the work in this regard will come to fruition during the 2019-20 school year.

And we are working with BCEMS to (re)create a school newsletter. Look for the first issue to come out in mid-May.

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Facilities

Jamie Evans - Director of Facilities

Improvements to the basement level of the BSU building are nearing completion. This space will be utilized for additional office space. BTMES recently purchased a dump truck w/plow and sander for use on school grounds to supplement plowing efforts. The truck will also be used for grounds and maintenance purposes. BTMES is scheduling preventative maintenance work to be done on the wood chip boiler for late spring time. Roof repairs and a section of roof replacement will take place in late spring also at BTMES. The school board approved the re-roof project for the next phase of roof replacement at BCEMS. The roof project will be done over summer 2019 break. SHS/CVCC replaced a roof top exhaust fan for the cafeteria kitchen exhaust hood. Also replaced was a large section of the steam pressure cooker equipment in the main kitchen.

All buildings have begun the task of exterior spring cleanup as well as preparations for winding down the systems for the heating plants.

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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Jackie Tolman - Director of CIA; Ashley Dunlea - Administrative Assistant

The assessment season is in full swing with some grade levels having already completed the SBAC. Spaulding High School held and “assessment day” for 9th graders during which SBAC and the PE assessment were completed. Students were also able to participate in and learn about a variety of wellness options as part of the day, and this was very well received. Other grade levels will be completing the various assessments over the next four weeks.

We had our last professional development day of the year on April 5th. In looking at the feedback from the entire year, nearly 100% of the staff responses indicated that some or all of the PD sessions were relevant and the PD time was well spent during the course of all of the days. The curriculum, administrative, leadership and innovation teams will be helping to finalize plans for 2019 -2020 professional development before the end of this school year.

Your feedback is being used to continually improve our PD and in-service days. We are seeing the benefits of increased cohesion between the continuous improvement plans, our local assessments, State assessments, teacher, staff and administrator feedback.

This week we will be closing out the investments for our FY ‘19 consolidated federal programs grants. Soon I will begin the work of writing roughly 1.8 million dollars in grant investments for the next school year and uploading the investments into the AOE’s grant management system. The investments will include Title I Part A - Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged, Title II Part A - Supporting Effective Instruction, Title IV Part A - Student Support & Academic Enrichment. These investments must be connected to the continuous improvement plan for the Barre Supervisory Union. The 2019 - 2020 continuous improvement plan has been drafted with feedback from staff, multiple forms of data analysis, and incorporating what we know about aligning the educational quality standards with the science of continuous systemic improvement.

In April we completed our McKinney Vento monitoring visit with the Agency of Education. Vermont's Education for Homeless Children and Youth program ensures that homeless students have equal access to the same free, appropriate, public education (including public preschool) provided to other Vermont children, with the opportunity to meet the same challenging state content and student performance standards. The Education for Homeless Children and Youth program is supported by funding from the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the Every Students Succeeds Act. I am pleased to report that the BSU was found to be in full compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act, and received multiple commendations for the systemic improvements that have been put into place over the past year. Thank you to Dawn Poitras, Nancy LeBlanc, Ashley Dunlea and everyone else who works to ensure that our homeless students have the resources that they need and are entitled to.

Our BSU Innovation Team continues to meet monthly. Here are the most recent meeting notes. This team has been invaluable in their collaborative work to assist in reflection and planning for professional development, continuous improvement planning and the business of teaching and learning in the BSU. I am grateful that these colleagues have volunteered for this work, and please know that the team welcomes any member of the BSU to sit in on a meeting or to join the team. Please reach out to me if you are interested.

The CIP resource this month is an article from Education Weekly about the continuous improvement cycles under ESSA. Vermont’s own Jesse Roy is quoted in the article! Jesse works closely with us on our consolidated federal grant program.

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Technology News

Emmanuel Ajanma - Director of Technology; Megan Gonyaw - Administrative Assistant

Online student portfolios are a great way to showcase student work and show growth over time. Google Sites could be a perfect tool for you and your students to create digital portfolios. It integrates with all of your favorite G Suite tools, easy to use and a natural go-to for publishing student work. Portfolios are a great way for students to demonstrate learning and reflect on their growth and progress over time. Talk to a Technology Integration Specialist in your building if you need help getting started with Google Sites.

Infinite Campus is making significant changes to its mobile app. Campus Portal (Apple, Android) will be replaced with Campus Student (Apple, Android) and Campus Parent (Apple, Android). These changes will affect students and parents who use mobile app to access Infinite Campus. Read more about these important changes to Campus Portal.

On Tuesday, April 16th we successfully upgraded all of the Barre Schools phone systems to the same software version. We have five phone systems - ACT, BSU, BCEMS, BTMES, SHS/CVCC. It took about an hour to upgrade each phone software to the latest stable version. The phones were unavailable during the upgrade process, but services were restored as soon as we completed the process.

Dynamic Landscapes 2019: Some of our teachers will attend this annual conference held at Champlain College on May 20 and 21, 2019. Dynamic Landscapes is a technology conference for K-12 educators from across the state of Vermont. Attendees include administrators, classroom teachers, librarians, and tech integration specialists (among others). This year's theme is Empowered Learning for All. Highlights of the event include thought-provoking sessions, hands-on learning opportunities, presentations by students, keynote speakers, social and networking events, and more!

Thank you to all those who participated and gave us feedback to help determine whether or not we should change the staff email format as we transition from Barre Supervisory Union to Barre Unified Union School District. We received almost 300 responses. The largest number of respondents voted to keep the format the way it currently is.

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Upcoming Calendar Events

May 1 – Barre Town School Board Meeting – 6:00 pm – BTMES Library
May 1 – BTMES Grade 5/6 Spring Concert – 6:30 pm – BTMES Gym
May 2 – Spaulding High School Board Meeting – 6:00 pm – SHS Library
May 2 – BTMES Grade 7/8 Spring Concert – 6:30 pm – BTMES Gym
May 3 – BTMES Grade 6-8 Dance – 6:30 pm – BTMES Gym
May 6 – Barre City School Board Meeting – 6:00 pm – BCEMS James Taffel Library
May 7 – BUUSD Finance Committee Meeting – 5:30 pm – SHS Library
May 6 & 7 - Preschool Parent/Teacher Conferences – No School for Preschool
May 8 – Vermont All-State Parade – 6:00 pm -
May 9 – BUUSD Board Meeting – 6:00 pm – SHS Library
May 13 – Barre UUSD Informational Meeting – Re: Budget Vote – 6:00 pm – SHS Library
May 14 – Voting Day: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm – Barre City residents at Barre Auditorium; Barre Town residents at Barre Town School
May 14 – BUUSD Facilities Committee Meeting – 5:30 pm – BCEMS James Taffel Library
May 16 – Barre Supervisory Union Board Meeting – 6:00 pm – SHS Library
May 20 – BSU Curriculum Committee Meeting – 5:30 pm – SHS Library
May 20 – BSU Policy Committee Meeting – 6:00 pm – BSU Conference Room (upstairs)
May 21 – BTMES PTO Meeting – 6:30 pm – BTMES Library
May 22 – SHS National Honor Society Induction Ceremony – Barre Elks Club – 5:30 pm
May 23 – CVCC Spring Open House – 4:00 pm
May 23 – SHS Open House for New Students – 5:00 pm
May 25 – SHS Prom – Barre Elks Club – 7:00 pm
May 27 – Memorial Day – No School


PATH

OPEN to ALL SU employees (even if you’re not signed up for PATH)! Many of these
offerings are FREE. Some may have a nominal charge to help defray the costs of the instructor. Some of these offerings will also allow you to earn an extra 10-PATHpoints for those aiming for the $100 LL Bean gift card!!

  • Natural Remedies (FREE) - Spring 2019 (TBD) - Come learn about health and healing with natural remedies and try your hand at making some of your own! More details coming soon! Instructor: Diane Maurice-Brault
  • 30-Day Gratitude Journal, Month of May
  • HIIT CIRCUIT TRAINING Series with Brittany Tremblay (nominal fee charged for the series). Thursdays for 6 weeks - May 2 - June 6, 4:15-5:00 pm @ Granite City Group Fitness in Barre

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. It might include stations, or partner/group workouts. Exercises will utilize your own body weight, resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells and other fun equipment. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.

PATH building leaders:  BC: Gretchen Singer, Diana Flood; SHS: Beth Bicknell, Jesse Carpenter, Sarah Chap; CVCC: Wendy Clark, Cheryl Zanleoni; BT: Laura Thygesen, Jessie Casavant, Amy Robertson; BSU: Ashley Dunlea

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Past Issues