The Lamoille South school board wants your thoughts about opportunities for kids who go to all seven schools in the new merged district, and how it can help students do better.
That’s why it set the date for its first community engagement forum Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. at Peoples Academy Middle Level.
Tracy Wrend, who oversees the Lamoille South Unified Union School District, says the board will “explore community perception, voice and hopes and dreams” for their kids, especially as they relate to quality, equity and opportunity for students.
The forum will likely start with a student performance and a meal before people break out into small groups to talk about their hopes and dreams for the new merged district, Wrend proposed.
The Lamoille South Unified Union district is the result of a forced merger between the Elmore-Morristown and Stowe school districts last year.
It oversees seven schools — Morristown and Stowe elementary schools, Elmore School, Peoples Academy Middle Level and High schools, and Stowe Middle and High schools — and since this is the first school year where all seven are under the same umbrella, the board wants to ensure residents of all three towns get a say.
Summer school update
The Lamoille South board also got a briefing on summer programming for kids who’d fallen behind during the school year or needed extra help to be ready for this year’s classes.
All schools except Peoples Academy offered summer programs, said Valerie Sullivan, director of curriculum and instruction for the school district; instead, Peoples staff made individual learning plans with students who needed the help.
Stowe Elementary School offered two week-long programs, this month and last; both focused on literacy and math. Sixty-seven kids participated; 42 of them had been invited based on school performance in the past year.
Morristown Elementary’s program ran from June 24 through Aug. 2, and included 27 kids who needed to brush up on foundational reading skills, fluency, math skills and daily writing. Kids took field trips every Friday, and worked with Molly Gellar, the school district’s farm-to-school coordinator.
Stowe Middle School offered three camps — a humanities camp, focusing on literacy through teaching about ancient Egypt; Cooking is Fun, which taught applied mathematics and science through experimentation in the kitchen; and Stowe Middle School Transition Camp, new this year, which helped kids heading into sixth grade familiarize themselves with the school and learn how to open their lockers, which Sullivan called “a high-anxiety-producing event.”
At Peoples Academy Middle Level, summer programming days were split in two; the mornings were Pro-Boost kids, who needed help in reading and math, and the afternoon programming was for Unbound programming, which allowed kids to go on field trips, including one to the Jay Peak Ice Haus for ice skating, to learn sign language, focus on science, technology, engineering and math with the construction of water rockets, and to get comfortable with kids in other grade levels.
According to Sullivan, 35 kids were invited, 22 were involved and 17 attended daily.
Board member Cara Zimmerman confirmed the kids who didn’t go every day would receive help from classroom teachers when school starts.
Stowe High School’s summer offerings included individual plans with classroom teachers to let students “recover their scores in proficiency” they need to make up. Thirteen students completed Stowe High’s summer program, of 16 invited.
“We’re super proud of the growth of this type of programming,” Wrend told the board.