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Bradford, VT 05033


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“Creating learning communities... where students are engaged and successful”

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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“Creating learning communities... 

where students are engaged and successful”

Superintendent Report

February 2016

2016 – 2017 OESU Calendar

The calendar, proposed tonight, was created by regional administrators working with Bob St. Pierre at RBCTC and shared with OESU Leadership team.  

Leadership Team:

Are we ready for a crisis; was the focus of our leadership team meeting on January 26, 2016.  It will continue to be the focus of several meetings.  We have a list of needs for each school and central office.

At our next leadership team meeting, February 9th we will continue our emphasis on instruction.  


As you know, this has been a challenging year to develop budgets to stay under the thresholds.  

Thetford’s warning is signed and the report is off to the printers.

Oxbow/Riverbend’s budget will, hopefully be adopted by the board tonight.

Waits River Valley School’s budget has been presented to the board and they are ready to adopt.

Bradford and Newbury are in the very beginning stages.

As I write this report I am unsure if the OESU budget will be adopted tonight (I’m keeping my fingers crossed).  The Advisory Council, acting as the finance committee, met on January 13th.  The advisory council members, myself, Keith Thompson and Janet Mitchell went through the budget.  They asked good questions and made a recommendation to bring the budget as presented to the OESU board on February 2, 2016.

ACT 46:

On Friday I signed the $20,000 Grant that will allow BMU, OHS, BES and NES to write merger Articles of Agreement.  The next step is to create a study committee.  The committee can be from 12 – 15 board members, proportionally represented from the 4 schools.  

Saturday’s Update from the AOE, VSA and VSBA:

After convening shortly after midnight last night, the House voted to accept the Senate amendments to S. 233 - a bill to address the allowable growth provisions of Act 46. 

In any case, Governor Shumlin is expected to sign S.233 as proposed by the Senate and approved by the House.  The final version:

  • Increases a district’s original allowable growth percentage by an additional 0.9 percentage points – this will increase the per pupil amount any district can spend before exceeding its threshold.

  • Exempts from the thresholds any district with FY2016 education spending per equalized pupil below the FY2016 statewide average education spending per equalized pupil.  The FY2016 per pupil figure is $14,094.73.

  • Directs the Agency of Education to use the threshold calculation that is most advantageous between the two figures issued by the Agency: the number released in August or the adjusted figures released this month.

  • Changes the penalty for any district exceeding its allowable growth threshold to 40 percent of the excess (i.e., if a district exceeds its per pupil threshold by $100, $40 will be added to the actual per pupil spending prior to calculating the homestead tax rate).   


Special Education:  (Submitted by Dr. Sandra Stanley)

The Agency of Education has received numerous complaints regarding the “adverse effect” eligibility gate from stakeholder groups representing children with disabilities: i.e., Vermont Family Network, parents, The Vermont Law Disability Project, etc.  These groups were seeking to have the Special Education Regulations re-opened for revision.   The AOE pulled together a coalition of representatives from all stakeholder groups to examine the complaints and develop further guidance regarding eligibility processes used to determine adverse effect for students being evaluated for special education.  

The result of this year-long effort to achieve consensus will lead to a change in current practices for all.  Sandy and Alison spent yesterday in Burlington learning about these mandatory changes.  They will be developing a training program for the special educators and principals so that OESU is ready to meet special education compliance standards as indicated by the new guidance.  All LEAs (principals) are required to be trained in their role within the revised process by June 15th and all revised document and practices go into effect on July1, 2016.

These changes will require special education eligibility/IEP meetings to include and document comprehensive and thoughtful discussions which will likely take a longer period of time than is common in some of the OESU schools.  Each school’s MTSS (multi-tiered system of supports), which is required to be in place via the Education Quality Standards, must be discussed as a part of determining student eligibility for special education.  General education teachers also have some changes coming their way.  AOE is hoping that these changes will address the inconsistent implementation of the regulations and they will be closely monitoring special education paperwork for compliance.  Lack of compliance costs schools money.

Pre-K:   (Submitted by Marla Ianello)

System Development:

  • Draft enrollment forms/ packets have been created and sent to school registrars for input

  • Attendance procedures have been drafted

  • People from 7 PK programs attended a budget training on 1/18 - a template for writing a budget and accounting for the actual cost of a PK program was distributed.  This is important because programs will have to report financial information annually to AOE through OESU

Capacity & Access

  • Programs that know their actual costs are better able to make salary and quality decisions

  • Watch Them Grow Bradford and Newbury are applying for pre-qualifications for next year, adding 32 new PK slots

  • Marla is working with VCPC to apply for 2 grants (VCPC Capacity and PK Expansion) to grow capacity by way of funding the gaps found in the new budgets (e.g. renovations, college courses)

Outreach and Communication

  • Once the enrollment packets are set, we'll be ready to provide print materials and digital access for tuition (goal: by April)

OESU Professional Learning Opportunities:

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)

Future OESU Board Meeting Topics:  Abbey Group, Curriculum, Pre-K