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Barre Unified Union School District Newsletter

March 2020

Business  |  Human Resources  |  Special Ed  | Early Education  |  Facilities|

Technology  |  Curriculum  |  Communications  |  Receptionist  |  PATH

Superintendent's Report

John Pandolfo - Superintendent; Tina Gilbert - Executive Assistant

Thanks to the hard work of so many in our community, all budget articles passed on Town Meeting Day.

  • Article I covered board director elections.  Alice Farrell will rejoin the BUUSD Board as a director from Barre Town.  Tim Boltin will continue his tenure as a director from Barre City.  There is one open director seat for Barre City, for which three people have submitted letters of interest and will interview with the board on March 12 for the seat.
  • Article II covered the general fund budget for 2020-2021, and passed with 2227 YES and 2002 NO, a huge feat given the projected increase in tax rate and some of the vocal opposition.
  • Article III covered the CVCC budget for 2020-2021, and passed with 2772 YES and 1472 NO, the biggest margin in recent memory.
  • Article IV covered the bond to purchase property and construct a building in order to expand our alternative programs, and passed with 2147 YES and 2051 NO.  Given the challenges of Article II, there were concerns that this article might not pass.

A huge thanks is owed to many.  BUUSD staff stepped up and advocated in the community.  Our students became involved at an unprecedented level, and spoke out for their own education.  The voters spread the word and turned out in force.  Our administrators did the hard work and stood tough through preemptive discussions about making cuts before putting the budget out to voters.  Our school board worked diligently to communicate on a variety of fronts.  Lisa Perreault, our Business Manager, did all the work running the numbers and advising on how to communicate that our students deserve the level of funding necessary to provide a quality education. Josh Allen, our Communications Specialist, worked tirelessly and creatively to get information out in new and important ways.  Everyone should be proud!

With growing concerns regarding the Corona Virus, we are doing our best to provide the most current guidance and information as it becomes available.  Please read all information that we share so that you are as informed as possible with facts, and help all students, families and colleagues as we navigate this challenge together.

As many of you have heard, I have accepted a job as the Superintendent in Telluride, Colorado starting July 1.  I want to assure you all that I am as invested as I have always been in Barre for the next four months, and admit that I am already feeling nostalgia for the seventeen years I have served the Barre community.  I want to thank you all for making those seventeen years amazing and enjoyable!

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Business Office

Lisa Perreault - Business Manager; Ashley Young - Senior Accountant, Michelle Leeman - Staff Accountant; Kris Gilbar - Staff Accountant;
Ann Baker - Staff Accountant; Kathy Couture - Medicaid Clerk; Jennifer Hart - Part-Time Medicaid Clerk

The FY20 BUUSD Year-end Budget Projection Report is reflecting a significant deficit. Administrators/Directors will only be approving purchases that are critical to educational programs. Thank you all for your cooperation and understanding as we attempt to mitigate the impact of this deficit.  

This month the Purchasing Procedure  has been revised to include a short list of non-allowable expenses such as gifts, prepaid store cards, and alcohol.  The purchasing procedures require an authorized purchase order (PO) be processed prior to placing an order and committing district managed funds. A purchase order is not authorized until it is approved by an administrator/director. 

The BUUSD Reimbursement Request Form has been updated to reflect allowable methods of payment considered reimbursable. They are cash, credit/debit cards, and/or checks (with sufficient documentation). If you did not pay for the expense then you will not be reimbursed for it. Incentives such as frequent flyer miles, vouchers, coupons, gift cards and other non-cash payments will not be accepted as proof of payment because these are not “out of pocket”.  Items such as gift cards or gift certificates will not be accepted as proof of payment even if you purchased the gift card or certificate from personal funds.

The Crowdfunding Procedure will be on the website soon.  This is a relatively new concept to Vermont but wide-spread in the more urban areas. The important thing to remember is that you must get prior approval before entering into a crowd funding situation.  Also important to note that the BUUSD does not allow faculty, staff, or students to create “Go Fund Me” pages on behalf of the District.

Be sure to check out our website for updated procedures and forms: https://www.buusd.org/departments/business.  If you have any questions please give us a call.

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Human Resources

Carol Marold - Director of HR; Leslie Babic - HR Specialist

Superintendent Search
All superintendent finalists will visit schools and meet with employees on April 7th.  We will be sending schedules later in March.  For all information regarding the search, please visit:  https://www.buusd.org/resources/superintendent-search

Administrative Support Professional Development
The administrative support team met over vacation for professional development.  We spent the day with Emmanuel Ajanma learning about tips and tricks for Google and Microsoft 365.  Thanks to Emmanuel.  It was a great day of learning! 

District Employment Opportunities
We are officially in the spring hiring season.  Open positions are are posted in the principal's office twice a week, but our employment page updates in real time so keep your eye on the district's employment page at https://www.buusd.org/district/employment

 

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Special Education

Don McMahon – Co-Director of Special Services; Stacy Anderson - Co-Director of Special Services;
Annette Rhoades - Assistant Director of Special Services; Sue Cioffi - Administrative Assistant

Though the snow is still falling, we have begun planning for Extended School Year (ESY) summer services.  Para-Educator, Behavior Interventionist and professional special education staff should have found memos in their mailboxes after the February break inquiring about whether you would like to work this summer and in which programs.  Please return the completed memos to Robin Poulin at the BUUSD office.  If you are interested in working in the ESY programming this summer, but did not get a memo, please contact Robin at 802-476-5011 ext. 1042 or at rpoulbsu@buusd.org. 

Additionally, we are beginning to plan for para-educator and Behavior Interventionist assignments for the 2020-2021 school year.  We have placed memos in mailboxes asking those staff for information on their placement preferences.  Please complete the forms and return them to Robin Poulin at the BUUSD office as well.  

Due to the state-wide shortage of qualified applicants, Special Services began this school year with a few unfilled positions.  We have begun to advertise and interview with an eye towards next school year.  We are currently looking to fill Speech and Language Pathologist positions, and 2 School Psychologists positions.  If you are aware of anyone who is looking, please send them our way!  

Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a special educator?  There are a variety of avenues for special education licensure in Vermont.  Please feel free to contact one of us if you, or someone you know, are interested in discussing these options.

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Early Education

Lauren May - Director of Early Education; Rebecca Webb - Act 166 Coordinator; Megan Gonyaw - Administrative Assistant

On March 19th, Barre City and Barre Town Preschools will hold their annual Screening and Open House.  This event provides us with the opportunity to get to know families and children in our community who are eligible for prekindergarten, but not yet access our programs. Families will learn how to request public preschool placement for their child for the 2020-2021 school year.  Registration is for children born on or before September 1, 2017.
Please call Betsy Pearce at 476-6617, ext. 6186 for Barre Town School or Kaitlyn Smith at 476-6541, ext. 4318 for Barre City School to schedule an appointment.
 
Lauren May, BUUSD Early Education Director and Act 166 Coordinator, is beginning outreach to community prekindergarten programs to facilitate registration for children and families interested in accessing private prekindergarten education utilizing Act 166 funds for the 2020-2021 school year.
 
We are excited to welcome two PreK new staff members to our schools this month.  Laura Mahan is coming on board at Barre City as the second of our two PreK permanent subs in that building.  Hannah Wirth is joining us as a para-educator at the Barre Town School.  Welcome!!

 

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Facilities

Jamie Evans - Director of Facilities

Work continues on preparations for summer 2020 vacation break projects BUUSD wide. SHS/CVCC is currently collecting quotes for the replacement of the existing hot water storage tank that is showing signs of failure. This work will be done during April vacation break. BTMES has hired a custodian to replace an open position on the 2nd shift. Testing results have come back for BCEMS and BTMES for the re-testing of lead in the drinking water. BCEMS results were good, with no further action needed. BTMES results came back with mostly favorable results. There are two taps that just barely missed the mark of being below the 4 parts per billion threshold. The two fixtures will be removed from service permanently due to being in areas that aren’t needed. One of the fixtures is in a classroom that has two sinks, so removing this fixture isn’t an issue. The other fixture is in a maintenance storage room that is not needed. 

We received our annual report from our composting vendor Grow Compost Of Vermont recently. We learned that we diverted 137,600 pounds of food scraps from the landfill in 2019! BUUSD is committed in helping to be a good neighbor to the environment and composting is just one example.

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Technology

Emmanuel Ajanma - Director of Technology;  Megan Gonyaw - Administrative Assistant

Classroom digital content use survey: Thank you to our many educators who have already completed this survey. Your thoughtful and insightful comments are refreshing, and your sharing the many ways technology has positively impacted your teaching is well appreciated. The survey link is still live for those who have not responded but wish to do so. Please make your voice heard by completing the 10 minutes survey at this link. 

G Suite Fundamentals - Fast Track PD: We are excited to share and invite you to participate in Google for Education's new PD initiative: G Suite Fundamentals - Fast Track PD. If you are interested in better understanding the classroom application of Google tools or if you want to become a Level 1 Google Certified Educator, sign up for the program here.

What can you expect if you register?

Over the course of 6 weeks, you will receive an email each Monday morning from the Google for Education team highlighting curriculum from the Teacher Center and sharing exam preparation tips and hints. The program should help you: 

  • get familiar with G Suite for Education tools and their classroom application
  • understand how Google tools can make your life easier
  • prepare for the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam

Find more details and answers to FAQs here, and register today if interested. As a final note, I am available to answer any questions that may arise. Please send me an email (eajanbsu@buusd.org)

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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Jessica Barewicz - Director of CIA

Jess is still on leave, but is hoping to be back in the next few weeks 

For our March 20 Inservice, all staff will be in the SHS Auditorium with Dave Melnick of NFI Vermont (Northeast Family Institute) for the morning.  Dave has worked with many in our district before, and will speak to the large audience about the impacts of societal trauma on children, families, staff, and education systems.  The afternoon will be structured similar to the last few inservice days, with some time for wellness as we had initially planned for February 7.  Look for a more detailed schedule to come.

 

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Communications

Census:  Remember, April 1 is Census Day, and this year you can fill it out online right from your phone.  Schools receive funding for educational programs that benefit our students, like after-school activities, school meal programs, and Head Start based off of the census count.  Currently we receive funding based off of the count from 2010.  This is more than just a count, it’s an opportunity to shape the next generation.

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Receptionist

Normal health practices are recommended:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand). Then throw the tissue away and wash hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep students home if temperature is above 100.0 F or they report not feeling well, appear weak or ill. Students should be fever free for 24-hours before returning to school.

For more information, please see educational guidelines and Vermont health information. Questions may also be directed to your school nurses.

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PATH

It's the start of Week 7 in your PATH Adventure.
You have four weeks left. That's a lot of time to make a BIG change!
Anything can happen as long as you're open to reaching for it.

Building Coordinators – BCEMS: Diana Flood, Jessica Maurais, Ian Thomas; SHS: Beth Bicknell, Jesse Carpenter, Sarah Chap; CVCC: Wendy Clark, Cheryl Zanleoni; BTMES: Laura Thygesen, Jessie Casavant, Amy Robertson; BUUSD: Michelle Leeman

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