Dear Parents and Guardians,
Well, it’s hard to believe that this is my last letter of this school year! And what a year of transformation it has been. This is the year we experienced record numbers of absences among our students and staff due to Covid, and we also know what a toll this has taken on our parents. You have been amazing and so cooperative with communicating with Nurse Jamie and keeping your kids home when they were sick. We moved to mask optional with great success and have been able to slowly reduce other restrictions; eating together in the cafeteria, allowing parents back into the building, and having our full school Community Meetings and field trips again. We’re almost feeling like it’s back to normal school. And through all of this adversity this year, your children have made amazing growth academically and socially. I was blown away when I looked at the spring assessment data compared to where these students were in the fall. They’ve worked so hard, and so have all your teachers!
Speaking of “normal school”, we are really looking forward to bringing back some of our school’s traditional events next year, like Free Community Dinners, Open House, the Art Show and Spring Concert, Thanksgiving feast for families, etc. I really want to reinvigorate the P.U.P.S. parent organization so we can plan movie nights, sledding parties, and dances for our community. The pre-Covid P.U.P.S. group left quite a full bank account balance from their fund-raisers, which has been sitting there waiting till we can plan events again. I’ve talked to many parents who are starved for the school-community connection and are anxious to have social gatherings at the school again. Please let me know if you are interested in joining P.U.P.S. (People United in Promoting School Spirit), I’m collecting emails, and we’ll start right off in the fall planning some fun events for our families.
Some other great news for next year includes the new staff we are hiring. The pandemic showed us many vulnerabilities in our students’ social/emotional health, and we are using grant funding to support those needs. We have hired Tiffany Cochran as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and she will have two Emotional Support paras working with her. We’ve also hired 3 more Kindergarten Aides, so every Kindy classroom will have a full time assistant to help meet students’ social, emotional, physical needs as well as supporting academics. And we are so excited about the expansion to our LSUU preschool program. High quality early education is a major priority for our school district.
The best news of all for next year is that the VT legislature passed the law to provide free breakfast and lunch again next year for all students. We are so lucky to live in a state that recognizes how important good nutrition and consistent meals are for our students’ growth and learning.
Be sure to watch your mailbox this summer for Mastery Reports coming before the end of June. Call the office if you don’t receive it or need another copy, 888-3101. In early August you will receive a Welcome Back to School letter from your child’s teacher with information about August 26th, a chance for you and your child to meet the new teacher and see the new classroom. School starts on Monday 8/29.
Have a wonderful summer. I will be out of the building for knee surgery from 6/20 till about 7/5, but then I’ll be at school all summer (with perhaps a couple of vacation days sprinkled in there), so reach out if you have questions.
It’s been a successful year, and I feel next year is full of more hope and promise!
Kate Torrey, MES Principal