Message From Our Superintendent
Dear Parents, Families, Friends, and Community Members,
Well, summer vacation is almost over. The teachers are beginning to return and the parents and students new to the district are learning their way around their respective schools. There’s been a significant amount of work on the facilities this summer and the administrative team has thought deeply about its goals for the coming year.
Every building in the district has seen extensive security upgrades, some of that work is still on-going and will should be completed by the first day of school. Each building will be locked down during the school day, folks will have to be buzzed-in to enter and the only entrance during school hours will be through the main doors. The teachers are being trained in ALICE (active shooter response training) on August 31st, and once they are comfortable with putting what they’ve learned into full practice, the students will be trained as well. The schools will be much more secure than they have ever been before.
Brookfield elementary has undergone two major renovations; the playground perimeter fence has finally been extended to encompass the whole perimeter, and the school’s well has been upgraded in an attempt to make the water palatable. The water is currently being tested every day for sixty-days as is required by state regulation to ensure there was no organic contamination while the well was reclaimed. At the end of the sixty-day period, a different series of tests will be run to determine the impact of this work on the water’s palatability. In the interim, the district will continue to supply bottled water to the school.
The district-level cabinet has been thinking about student performance and identifying the best ways to assess achievement in the areas outlined by the School Board’s core values statement. There will be a shift this year to looking at standardized testing data (SBAC, SAT, ACT, AP, the new Vermont State science exam) as a means to gauge achievement. While no test is perfect, the students take these yearly anyway, and they are objective measures of the district’s performance. In disciplines that are not currently assessed by standardized testing, we will create our own summative assessments to provide data to guide our practice. Our scores in reading and writing have begun to rise for the first time in many years and the work driving that change will continue; this year’s focus will be in mathematics, an area the district has struggled in for some time now.
All that said, I welcome you back to the district for the fall of 2018 and know it will be a fantastic year. Parents, I invite you to stay involved; there are many events across each school that showcase student work and which provide you with the opportunity to speak directly with your administrators. Additionally, we have over twenty new school-choice students this year, please help us make them feel at home. Together, we can make an already good district great.
Layne Millington, Superintendent