A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend
We recently learned of four additional positive COVID-19 cases within our school community. Our safety procedures were followed and are continuing to prove successful. There are no specific additional actions recommended for any members of our school community in response to these cases. However, if we are to keep our school doors open it is of critical importance that we all follow the state’s safety and health guidance. Please continue to follow the guidelines and do everything in your own power to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
While much of our focus has been directed towards navigating the pandemic, keeping our school doors open, and our students safe and healthy, we are also actively planning for the future. The board approved a budget for the 2021-2022 school year that maintains essential services, meets critical needs in our high schools (Health/PE and Literacy), and provides for much-needed stability for our schools in this time of great uncertainty, with just a 1.89% increase. This has been a challenging year in so many ways, and the tax rate implications of the proposed budget are no exception. However, just as with increasingly positive recovery from COVID, all signs are pointing to more favorable tax rates than we are able to project at this time. In the coming weeks and months, please look for additional information regarding updated tax rate projections, as well as information about the successes of our students and schools and the importance of your continued support of our schools and the role they play in the well-being of our children, families, and communities as a whole.
Finally, my upcoming departure from my position as Superintendent of LSUU was announced late last week. I wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate how much I have appreciated the opportunity to serve the communities, schools and, above all, the students of LSUU. After over a decade with the district I feel that it is now time for me to explore other opportunities. Until my departure in June, I will continue my commitment to doing what is best for each and every LSUU student.
Lamoille South Unified Union Board Brief
January 19, 2021
Superintendent Search Process: Superintendent Tracy Wrend has informed us of her intent to leave her position on June 30, 2021. Tracy has determined that she would like to explore new opportunities, and as a board we are supportive of her decision. We wish her the best in her new endeavors.
We will be contacting the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) and asking that they assist us with the Superintendent search process. NESDEC is also helping the district with the SHS Principal search, and we will continue to provide updates on both the superintendent search and principal search as they move forward.
FY22 Budget Adoption: The FY22 district budget was developed with the goal of minimizing expenditure increases while maintaining existing programs and staffing. To that end, with the exception of salaries and benefits, the proposed budget was generally level-funded with the FY21 budget.
We adopted a proposed 2021-2022 school year budget of $32,886,775 – an increase of 1.89% over the current budget. The estimated local homestead tax rates are: Elmore: $1.596 (an increase of 11.6 cents from FY21); Morristown: $1.680 (an increase of 19.2 cents from FY21); Stowe: $1.812 (an increase of 18.0 cents from FY21). There are two primary drivers of the increase in tax rates: town CLAs and the property yield set by the State. Both these drivers are outside the control of the board. We believe that tax rates may be lower than we can project at this time, and we ask that everyone pay close attention to legislative developments as we near Town Meeting Day.
Board Elections and Budget Information Meetings: REMINDER – In response to the restrictions posed by COVID-19 on large group gatherings, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 162, which allows a municipality to apply the Australian ballot system to any or all of its municipal meetings held in the year 2021 by vote of its legislative body. It also eliminates the requirement for a person to collect voter signatures in order to have the person’s name placed on the ballot as a candidate for a local election that is held at a 2021 municipal meeting.
The LSUU board voted to use the Australian ballot system for the 2021 Annual School Meeting. Open school director positions for the 2021 Lamoille South Unified Union Annual Meeting are: School Director (Morristown) – 3 year term and School Director (Stowe) – 3 year term.
Any candidate running for an elected position must complete the CONSENT OF CANDIDATE form. The form is available online or can be requested by contacting the Central Office. This form must be completed and returned to your Town Clerk’s Office no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, January 25, 2021, in order to be listed on the ballot.
We will hold a virtual budget information meeting on Monday, March 1. Additionally, we will be holding a Special board meeting on Tuesday, February 9, for the purpose of providing information on the FY22 proposed budget. Additional information will follow.
Subscribe: LSUU’s E-Newsletter, including Board Briefs will be posted the Thursday following each board meeting at https://lsuu.org/category/news-announcements/. You can read it there, or receive it directly by email by subscribing at https://lsuu.org/subscribe/. More detailed information regarding Lamoille South Unified Union School Board meetings can be found in our board minutes: https://lsuu.org/board/#minutes-agendas-etc.