530 Waits River Road
Bradford, VT 05033


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Our school districts come together for the purpose of providing equal educational opportunity for children of the supervisory union in the most effective and efficient way possible.


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 Our School Districts come together for the purpose of providing equal educational opportunity for children of the supervisory union in the most effective and efficient way possible


OESU Superintendent Report

November 2015


Congratulations to Cathy Roberts, Bradford Elementary 1st grade teacher, for being recognized as

Vermont Outstanding Teacher

By the University of Vermont

Accompanying Cathy in the picture is Principal Matthew Brankman


Report Cards:

As you know we have been working on the implementation of K – 6 Standard Based Report Card.  Parent brochures have been created to explain a standard based report card and why we changed.  It also lets a parent know what their child’s expectations are for each grade level.  Teachers used October 9th in-service to work on the report card. 

Curriculum and Assessment: 

This continues to be ongoing work in the SU.  Providing students with an equitable education through out the SU.  On Wednesdays, I am continuing to meet with grade level teams.  We are working on assessments, scope and sequence, units of study and instructional strategies.

I have been attending the state wide curriculum meetings and gaining knowledge around the Education Quality Standards and their implementation.  As always, something is gained from the networking that we do at those meetings. 

Oxbow High School:

A few weeks ago, a New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) team was on the OHS campus for a Peer Review in the accreditation process.  The accreditation process consists of an intense self-study that was done by the staff last year and a visit from the peer review team.  OHS will receive a report created by the visiting team.  This report will have requirements and suggestions for improvement.  I would like to publicly thank Oxbow Staff for the incredible work that went into the self-study as well as the great job they did hosting the visiting team.  The faculty welcomed the visiting team on Sunday, October 19th.  The presentation by the staff and the reception was top notch. Doug Harris led the school through the process with ease.  He kept reminding them that the information they gain through the accreditation will only strengthen and improve the school.  I am proud to work with such a dedicated staff. 

Special Education:

The October in-service day provided the OESU special educators from the elementary schools a rare opportunity to meet as a group.  We spent the day working on the role of special education in light of the often conflicting needs of the students, the regulations and the constant change that characterizes the public school environment.  The two goals for the day were:

·         Develop a common language to use when writing IEPs with the goal of helping the various readers to really understand the kind of learner that the student currently is.

·      Identify and prioritize the professional development that is needed to support all special educators in becoming effective analyzers of data and communicators of the meaning of that data.

Sandy commented, “The special educators supported each other's work and questions.  They were focused. professional, and got lots accomplished.  I was very proud of them all”.


Marla has met with each of the school principals earlier in the fall - access to high quality programming and communicating with parents were the first concerns and priorities. (Followed by program and curriculum oversight in years 2 and 3 of implementation).

Since last month, Marla has given universal PK informational to Bradford School Board, Valley Cooperative Board, Watch Them Grow Board and facilitated a public community forum at WRVS.  Each of these groups and communities have their own unique needs and goals around universal PK, so moving forward looks different with each group.

On November 10th Marla will be presenting to the early childhood provider network.  This is the first time she reaching beyond our current collaborating preschools.  She is bringing resource information (e.g. access to free college courses, budgeting recommendations, mentorship programs, etc) to encourage programs to become prequalified in order to increase access within our region.  Currently only 4 programs within the SU (3 in Thetford, 1 in Bradford) meet the standards to receive public tuition;  an additional program in West Fairlee is also prequalified.  

I want to note, that every time I hear what Marla has been up to, I am thankful that the OESU board agreed that her position was needed and that she is the one leading our PK journey.  So thank you, OESU board.

Leadership Team:

The principals and I are attending a series of VT Professional Learning Network workshops called, So Now You Have a Plan, Now What? The presenter is Dr. Liz City, a Harvard Professor and co-author of “Meeting Wise” and “Strategies in Action”. Liz City speaks to the implementation of plans and how to accomplish them in an effective way.  Today, our work we self reflected on things we have implemented in our SU.  We discussed our Teacher Growth Model and why it has been successful.  We also discussed curriculum and how each us may think of that differently.  We discussed “common learning outcomes” – maybe that is what we mean by curriculum. 

Central Office:

STYLE:   Megan Rizzo our Director of 21C has been busy learning the grant and networking.  We had an advisory council meeting on November 3, 2015.  The question for the group is whether or not OESU will apply for the 21C grant again. 

Act 46 Study Committee:

The Study Committee met with Wayne Gersen on October 13th. Thetford, Rivendell, Blue Mountain, Waits River Valley, Oxbow, Bradford and Newbury were represented.  Wayne presented configuration options to the group.  After contemplating the options, Thetford has decided to remove themselves from the study.  For them to stay with OESU it would mean major changes to the TES structure or changes to BES and NES.  Since the meeting, WRVS has had a “special meeting” to discuss Act 46.  They had 3 community members in attendance.  It was determined that they are going to survey the community on whether or not they want choice and some other questions that will guide the board in their next steps.  They will also be hosting a community forum.

OESU Professional Learning Opportunities:

Project Based Learning Course (UVEI) – K-12 teachers

Readers’ Workshop (UVIE) – the course provides instructional coaching  - K- 6 teachers

PNOA Training (Math assessment) – September 24th at OESU

Early Numeracy Course – taught by Moriah Fahey (TES) and Andrea Dennis (NES), UVM Vermont Mathematics Initiative (VMI) graduates – PK – 6 and MS and HS special educators

OGAP – Using math assessments to determine what students know (intermediate/middle level teachers)

Ongoing Unit Development – K- 6

VMI – OHS partnership Grant

Coaching in Math (Fran Huntoon, VMI) and Literacy (Aimee Toth, UVEI)

During the busy month of November let’s not forget that it is a time to focus on what we are thankful for.  Let us celebrate the students, teachers, staff, and administrators that make our schools a safe learning environment.