Thursday August 25, 2011
Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members:
It is with sincere enthusiasm that I welcome all students to a new school year. With each school year comes anticipation, excitement, and for many, anxiety for what the new school year may bring. I wish the greatest success for all our students and believe the major component of our success, as a School District and the greater community, lies in the relationships that we have and those that will be formed. These include student to student, student to teacher, student to staff, as well as those between members of our South Burlington community and surrounding businesses. As students develop these strong and trusted relationships anxiety is reduced and opportunities develop.
This year we will expand district understanding of how to implement the Ends Policy passed by the School Board. The Ends are what we want each student to have when they graduate from our system. The policy states:
Students successfully complete their education from South Burlington School District demonstrating readiness for their next step. To be ready, they will show competence appropriate to grade and developmental capacity. We envision all graduates are ready for college, career, or individually determined next steps. The Ends will be met at a cost that the community will support.
To demonstrate the above, students will have a Disposition for Lifelong Learning, Academic Proficiency, Personal Development and Citizenship. While our students often demonstrate many of these we often only report academic proficiency. This year we hope to create ways to measure all the Ends, and do so in a way that enhances the work we are already doing.
I want to welcome 46 new employees to the district. Winton Goodrich, our assistant superintendent, and Holly Rouelle, principal of Chamberlin Elementary School, are joining our administrative team.
Over the summer we completed several projects in keeping with our Stewardship plan for the district. Some of the most visible are:
• High School front entrance, sidewalk and drainage improvements.
• Playground accessibility improvements at Orchard and Rick Marcotte Elementary.
• Continuation of the floor tile replacement project at the Fredrick H. Tuttle Middle School.
As a District, we are embarking on an exciting new Information Technology/Learning Initiative. Specifically, this year will be the first year of the district’s “One-to-One” (one computer to one student) program—a program that may ultimately provide each upper elementary, middle, and high school student with a personal learning device of his or her own.This year all students in 8th and 9th grades and students who are transported to and from the Grand Isle and Georgia school districts will be issued laptop computers. The students will use these powerful learning tools throughout their courses—for research, creation, communication, collaboration, problem-solving, data analysis, and all the learning activities that will enable them to be highly successful in their lives. The district anticipates that these laptops will help foster a highly engaging learning environment and will transform teaching and learning, both during and outside of the school day.
We have a sensitive lens for the community in planning for the 2013 budget. Some challenges include:
• Reduction of State general fund aid to schools.
• Uncertain status about the level of Federal funding.
On a positive note, all of our contracts are settled through 2013.
I look forward to our continued partnerships with our families, the City of South Burlington and community as well as our businesses. I believe these partnerships are vital to success. From this time forward, I believe we will move from saying “I or you” to “WE”. As I enter my seventh year in the South Burlington School District, I am proud to serve the community in my new role as Superintendent. With extraordinary enthusiasm and excitement, I look forward to a great school year.
Welcome back Students!