School Board Update

Hi Neighbors —

The Burlington School Board will hold its regular February meeting one week early. The Board will meet at Burlington High School at 7 p. m. on Tuesday, February 1, instead of February 8. The normally-scheduled committee meetings — Finance, and Infrastructure and Technology — will move to February 8, at 5 p. m. and 7 p. m. respectively. The Board’s March meeting will be held on its normal date and time: March 8, 7 p. m., at the high school.

In August 2008, the Burlington School Board adopted a series of guidelines for District progress which we labeled “Hallmarks of Excellence.” The guidelines are intended to measure the progress of each school in the following seven areas of the District’s overall strategic plan: Rigorous Academics; Differentiated Instruction; Enriched Arts, Math, Science and Wellness; Education for a Sustainable Future; 21st Century Learning; Promoting Diversity and Cultural Competence; and Community Partnerships. For the past 18 months, the Curriculum Committee (chaired by Ward 5 School Commissioner Amy Werbel) has been working with the administration and building leaders to develop an effective reporting structure to record and measure progress on each hallmark. Those reports are now available to the public and will be updated annually. You can view the reports on the District Web site (http://www.bsdvt.org/district/Curriculum/hallmarks.php), along with other information about the adoption of the hallmarks themselves.

The Burlington schools received one particularly good piece of news this month. The School Districts in Burlington and Winooski have been selected as one of seven recipients of a one-year, $200,000 planning grant from the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation. The grants are among the first made through the Foundation’s new District Level Systems Change (DLSC) initiative. The money will be used during the coming 12 months to design a comprehensive proposal for the implementation of a student-centered approach to education. The Burlington/Winooski consortium will be competing for a multi-year grant of between $800,000 and $1.5 million per year that can be used to implement the plan. This is a tremendously exciting opportunity for Burlington and its strategic partners.

As most of you are aware, the ribbon-cutting for the Edmunds Elevator was held on January 19, 2011. It was a well-attended event, and the kids had a great time cutting the ribbon and riding the elevator for the first time. My hope is that this is simply the first of many ribbon-cutting events, as we work to increase accessibility throughout the Edmunds complex. If you were unable to attend, the folks at Channel 17 have posted a video of the ribbon-cutting to their Web site: http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/edmunds-elevator-ribbon-cutting.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact me (flane@bsdvt.org) or Amy Werbel (awerbel@bsdvt.org).

Regards,

Fred Lane
12 Catherine Street
Ward 5 School Commissioner and Board Chair
flane@bsdvt.org
802-318-4604

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