Category Archives: Schools

Proctor to vote on $98k paving project

PROCTOR- Residents will vote tonight on a proposed paving project at Proctor High School.
Residents are being asked to approve $98,000 to tear up, grade and repave the driveway and parking lot surrounding the school.
The proposal is not a request for additional money. The money has already been approved by voters and is currently sitting in the Proctor School District’s capital improvement fund. The District needs permission from voters to use the funds for the paving project.
Residents will meet and vote by paper ballot at 6:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

Polls open today in Rutland Town school budget re-vote

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tonight for residents to vote for a third time on a proposed budget for the Rutland Town School District.
The School Board has proposed a budget of $7,974,000 for fiscal year 2013-14. This proposal is an increase of $211,085, or 2.7 percent, compared to the current budget of $7,762,915.
On Town Meeting Day, voters defeated a proposed budget of $8,127,036 by a 22-vote margin. That margin was even wider March 26, when voters defeated a second proposed budget of $7,999,000 by a vote of 255 to 229.
Residents who live east of Route 7 can vote at the school. Residents living west of Route 7 can vote at the Town Hall.
- Josh O’Gorman

Bennington schools out early or closed; other Bennington cancellations

By Patrick McArdle |  STAFF WRITER
BENNINGTON COUNTY - Schools in Bennington and Arlington will be letting out early today and Manchester-area schools, including public schools and Burr and Burton Academy, canceled classes today.
Green Mountain Power is reporting 54 customers in Winhall are now without power, as of noon.
Southern Vermont College has canceled its classes for Monday and an “Information Night” event which had been scheduled for Monday night. The college website will post further information about classes for the rest of the week as decisions are made.
The Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, which has schools in Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury and Woodford, dismissed Monday classes for elementary schools at 12:30 p.m. and classes for Mount Anthony Union middle and high schools at 11 a.m.
A Mount Anthony Union School Board meeting scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for Nov. 5. Continue reading

Rutland - area school closures update

Rutland Northeast, the school union in Brandon, is the only district or union in our coverage area that is open today until about 3 p.m., when afterschool programs will be canceled.
At Barstow Memorial School in Chittenden, politics hasn’t taken a break.
Senator Bernie Sanders has canceled his afterschool trip to the school to attend the student-led Voter’s Fair, but students will be joined by local representatives from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to have a registration drive.
The school is also ready to become a temporary shelter to house and feed people if the storm displaces locals.
Schools in Rutland, Rutland South in North Clarendon, Rutland Southwest in Poultney and Rutland Central in Rutland Town are all closed for the day.

Sheriff gets money to teach young drivers

ST. JOHNSBURY — The Caledonia County Sheriff’s Department and St. Johnsbury Police Department are going to teach young Vermont drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
The departments have been awarded an educational grant through Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Over the next year, the two departments will develop and carry out a distracted driver program in Caledonia County high schools.
Police say that between January 2010 and June 1, 2012, there have been a number of traffic accidents in Caledonia County caused by distracted driving.
The Caledonian Record reports ( the sheriff’s department has purchased two golf carts that will be used as part of the program at the Lyndon Institute and St. Johnsbury Academy.

Schools fall behind “No Child Left Behind” standards

Vermont’s Department of Education has released the latest “school accountability determinations” for the state’s schools as part of the No Child Left Behind Act requirements. The determinations are also known as adequate yearly progress or AYP.

This year, roughly the same number of schools - 215 - failed to meet progress standards based on tests taken last year by Vermont public school students in grades 3-8 and 11.

The standards are based on NCLB and target scores for each school increase every three years.

The same number of schools failed this year because the target scores for schools did not change year over year.

Seventeen schools in Vermont, including Montpelier High and Cavendish Elementary School, got off the failure list this year.

Twenty-three schools did not make AYP for the first time in 2012.

A school that does not make adequate progress for two years in a row gets placed in “school Improvement status” and is required to take specific actions that are supposed to improve student performance in the areas found lacking.

The state has placed 198 schools into “school Improvement status” in at least one area, including 101 of them for the first time.

“Vermont has maintained high standards and a rigorous assessment of those standards. It is not surprising that as we get closer to the 2014 NCLB expectation of 100 percent proficiency, we will continue to see more schools not meeting AYP.” said Commissioner Armando Vilaseca in a press release.

“Vermont will revise its accountability system when the reauthorization of the ESEA provides us with that opportunity. Our plan has always been to design a system that does not stress a single measure using a standardized test to determine our students’, our schools’, or our state’s success in meeting standards.”

‘Fair’ deal reached for teachers

By Cristina Kumka
Staff Writer

Teachers and school boards in Tinmouth, Wells, Poultney and Middletown Springs have reached a “fair” agreement, according to head negotiator for the boards Clarence Haynes.

A previously agreed upon salary raise of 10.5 percent for each teacher over the next four years was not touched during a 12.5-hour bargaining session Wednesday night that resulted in teachers returning to their classrooms this morning.

A deal was reached at about 4:30 this morning, according to Superintendent Joan Paustian.

What has changed however, is language in the new, merged contract that defines work conditions like the length and structure of the work day and personal leave time.

Haynes said he could not specify what the exact conditions were until the contract is ratified by all parties April 23, but he did say “we were able to take care of all the work day (language). We gave quite alot more than what we would have liked to but we have an agreement. School is back in session and we have agreements we can work with.”

Haynes said the boards could have, but didn’t, take extreme measures if a deal couldn’t have been reached, like forcing teachers back to their classrooms by imposing a mandatory contract, similar to action taken by the Addison Rutland

Supervisory, that imposed a mandatory 1-year deal before a teachers contract was reached.

“We were trying to get a settlement and not pick a bigger fight,” Haynes said.

All missed sports games will be made up in the coming weeks.

The end of the school year has been extended by at least a week in all schools.

See tomorrow’s Herald for the details.

School decisions could be first steps toward consolidation

By Jenna Pizzi
Vermont Press Bureau

MARSHFIELD – The Cabot and Twinfield School Boards have been looking at ways to collaborate as a way to test out the possibilities for consolidation of the two schools.

Nancy Thomas, superintendent of the Washington Northeast Supervisory Union, said that The Cabot School Board will be seriously considering consolidating the two schools into one sometime in the near future because there are several pressing, and likely costly facilities issues that will need to be addressed. Continue reading

Marathon negotiation resulted in teacher deal

Over the past 12 hours, negotiating teams for school boards in the Addison-Rutland Supervisory Union and teachers in four towns that make up that union went back and forth in an effort to agree on a contract for the next few years.

At 5:30 a.m. today, a multiyear deal was reached, said Darren Allen of the Vermont-NEA.

The tentative agreement still has to be ratified by school boards in Castleton, Fair Haven, Benson and Orwell but it is likened to a done deal, Allen said.

“A lot was accomplished in 12 hours. Kudos to both teams,” Allen said.

He said Sue Corey, representative for the teachers and a teacher at Benson Village School, sent him a text message this morning, excited to be in class.

Details of the deal - base pay, raises and health benefits - for the next few years under the new contract were not made available this morning.

But, teachers said that if the boards continued to maintain a mandatory one-year contract that docked their pay an average $100 every paycheck, they would strike.

— Cristina Kumka

Teacher strike headquarters open today

Teachers in Castleton, Fair Haven, Benson and Orwell have opened a “strike headquarters”  in Fair Haven in preparation for a strike Wednesday.
“The boards can prevent a strike by reopening talks and reaching a contract settlement that is fair to us, fair to the communities and good for our schools,” said Susan Corey, a teacher at Benson Village School and the spokeswoman for the Addison-Rutland Supervisory Union Education Association. “Imposing a pay cut and walking away from the table are what precipitated our decision to strike if a deal isn’t in place by Wednesday morning.”
The headquarters is at 65 Main St. and will open today from 4 to 5 p.m.