There were no community comments to start last night’s meeting. One middle school teacher is leaving before the end of October.
Approval of warrants was followed by the superintendent’s report. Amy started by talking about the Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) for Curriculum and instruction. This is a state approved plan that assures the MTSD’s goals align with state and federal government regulations, rules and quality standards. Many district leaders are involved in implementing the plan which includes actions such as curriculum review, ID of evidence-based instruction practices, a district assessment plan among other things. There are three overarching CIP goals; Student and Family Engagement, Student Proficiency and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mental Health. The VT AOE held a meeting regarding comprehensive support. There was supposed to be money to the MTSD from the state on July 1st, but that money has not been received and there is a finite time in which to spend it. The later it comes the harder it will be to spend. Goal 4 of the strategic plan has been revised. Goal 4 is to “create responsive, reflective and integrated operations that enable continuous improvement in educational programs and learning spaces that are adaptive to the changing needs of students and educators.” This involves spending money transparently, improving and building spaces that safe, transparent and flexible, and continue to improve policies and procedures. Earlier this week Amy Rex and Matt Grasso met with Don Turner to discuss collaborating with the town on the possible new build and how it would fit in with Milton on the Move and the town’s plans for a recreation facility. In September the Vermont Superintendent’s Association (VSA) had a meeting. There were various trainings and discussions on leadership, PCB’s and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
Matt Grasso gave the operations report starting with the completion of work on the “White House” and the work on the HVAC system in the auditorium. The financial audit is still ongoing. The onsite work is done and the rest will be done remotely. This is ahead of schedule from last year. He also discussed the meeting with Don Turner and the consultant doing the feasibility study for the town. They added the Herrick building to their study to see how it fits in with the town’s goals and plans.
Kylene Flowers, Craig Dwyer and Fieh Chan presented the MES principal’s report. There are three goals, the first being academic proficiency. Illustrative Mathematics has been implemented in K-4 and a new ELA has been implemented in kindergarten which focuses on phonics while integrating science, social studies and math. Professional development meetings will be centered around book study groups. Reading services have been added to third and fourth grades. The second goal is SEL and Mental Health. The SEE curriculum continues to be used in K-4. The safe space rooms Monarch and Dragonfly are being utilized. There are also student support rooms called “The Hive”. MES still has two counselor positions open. The third goal is family and student engagement. The back to school bash was well attended. There are monthly community connections taking place. The first annual kindergarten breakfast was also a success. Bus Buddies was implemented where 4th graders help kindergarteners to their busses at dismissal. 802 Smiles, the dental hygienist, is in it’s second year.
The committee reports were short. The facilities committee will be meeting Monday to discuss Herrick ave. The policy committee met Monday and several policies will be ready for first and second reads and approval at the next meeting.
This was followed by a Professional Development Plan by Lynn Manley. A lot of data was analyzed to determine the next steps and why they got the results that they did. Much of this data came from surveys. There are three broad areas to focus on which are Academic Proficiency, SEL and Mental Health and Student Engagement and Cultural Proficiency. The teams looking at the data are district level leadership team, building level leadership teams and building level teacher leaders. They look at the data and come up with ways to improve picking the highest impact categories while taking into account the whole child framework. In the academic proficiency category Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will be used along with other “evidence-based” strategies to ensure equitable access and enhance student discourse. In mathematics this looks like two expert consultants working with teachers at MES and MMS. MHS will be using Math Medic program training. Lynn stated that teachers coming from UVM only need two math courses in order to become math teachers and don’t know how to actually teach math to younger students. In literacy the schools are partnering with Partnerships for Literacy and Learning (PLL). These consultants work with MES and MMS. Cultural Proficiency is embedded in all K-4 literacy units and all allow for UDL. In MMS students are matched to reading profiles and the team helps support students in their profile. For restorative practices (RP) and SEL the school has partnered with Starling Collaborative who has two expert consultants working all three schools. The RP consultants are working with the schools to make sure all students “feel belonging”, support students in “the area of behavior”, support teachers in dealing with “level 1 behaviors” and “align school spaces for SEL”. There is also a Pathways to Wellness expert SEL consultant at MHS. In student engagement and cultural proficiency the goal is to “become culturally proficient and access and use culturally and linguistically responsive frameworks. We learn to use the frameworks, engage in conversations (and take action) in order to ensure equitable access to learning and create a sense of belonging for all.” This looks like anti-bias training for teachers such as the opening day with Jamele Adams. More DEI trainings are being planned for the spring. Teachers will be leading most of this work. A curriculum will be built with cultural proficiency in mind.
The discussion items started with a short presentation asking that the board fund an ELA curriculum called Fundations for 3rd grade focusing more on phonics. This will not be replacing any other curriculum, just an addition. The HVAC system improvements at Herrick Ave using ESSER funds needs approval from the board. They briefly discussed a new survey for Herrick Ave to be sent to the community. There is also stormwater to be aware of. MTSD hasn’t heard from the state about Herrick Ave stormwater, but it will be expensive because everything coming off the roof needs to be filtered. MHS stormwater is used to irrigate the playing fields and is fine, but there was not permit at the time. The permitting process now needs to happen and be funded.
There were no community comments.
In the action items the board approved the HVAC ESSER spending. They also replaced the F108 Student Placement policy with the C41 Student Placement Policy. The stormwater permitting funding was also approved.
There will be a special board meeting on 10/12. The next regular meeting will be Thursday 10/19.