Cavendish Update 4/20/18: CTES/Petition/News

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 4/20/18 Cavendish Update

1. CTES/GMUSD: This Effects All of Us

2. Cavendish Related News

3. Events

1. CTES/GMUSD: THIS EFFECTS ALL OF US: If it feels like the school is dominating the news, it is. However, it’s important because, “as your school goes, so goes your town.”

Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) is an integral part, the heart of the community, and it serves multiple functions beyond educating children. It’s our meeting place, where we go for shelter during emergencies, where we vote, hold plays, recreate and much more. it’s also considered a “small school,” because its census hovers around 100 students. In the Act 46 climate, and the push for mergers and redistricting, small schools have reason to be concerned about their viability.

With the retirement of the current principal taking place in June, the school’s future has come into focus. Since Cavendish is now part of the Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD), which answers to the Two Rivers Supervisory Union (TRSU), the decision about a CTES principal is being made by the 11 member GMUSD board, which has only three Cavendish representatives. If you have questions about this, please read Understanding School Structure or Why is the GMUSD Picking Our Principal?

Initially, the TRSU informed Cavendish that the district was moving  to a model where a dean of students would be responsible for day to day operations at both CTES and the Chester Andover Elementary School (CAES), with both reporting to the current principal of CAES. In response to both protests by the Cavendish community and the fact that replacing a principal with two dean of students was a more costly option, the TRSU decided that while they worked on a game plan, an interim principal for CTES could be recruited for one year.

In the last several weeks the “interim” principal has become an extremely problematic issue.

Members of the search committee were quite clear with the GMUSD board on Tuesday evening, where one of the primary agenda items was to interview and select a CTES interim principal, that having the term “interim” in the job description significantly limited the field of candidates. Further, the two people that were interviewed in the “Interim Principal forum,” which took place at CTES the week before, shouldn’t be considered a recommendation by the search committee, but rather the best of the applicants who had applied.

As it turned out, after the community forum, one candidate, Joe Smith withdrew his name.

For many in Cavendish, Tuesday night’s interim principal’s vote by the GMUSD board was an eye opener. Despite a significant number of people in the audience, with several key attendees asking that the search be re posted for a full time principal, not interim, the board went ahead and voted to offer the position to the remaining candidate, Madeline Carlock for $80,000 plus benefits.

On Wednesday morning, Carlock, declined the offer, stating that she didn’t feel comfortable accepting a position when she knew she didn’t have the community’s support.

The GMUSD vote was 5 to 3, with the dissenting votes from Cavendish representatives Doug McBride and Kate Lamphere and Chester representative Mike Studin. Cavendish’s third representative, Fred Marin voted in favor of the candidate. However, it wouldn’t have made a difference if Marin had cast his vote with his fellow town representatives, since other towns were determining the fate of CTES.

Now, more than ever, a permanent principal at CTES is needed. Given the current and continually changing climate of Act 46, to keep CTES a viable school, a strong advocate as well as leader, is needed. For CTES to move forward in its efforts to not only maintain but to expand on its tradition of excellence, a principal who is vested in the community and school, not just passing through, is crucial.

To assist the search committee in finding qualified applicants, a petition has been started to ask the GMUSD to drop the interim and advertise for a principal.

If you are interested in signing petition, please go to This petition can also be signed in person at the Cavendish Town Office and, starting next Tuesday, at Crows Bakery in Proctorsville.

Data will be provided to the GMUSD board only and will not be shared elsewhere.

Below are a series of articles pertaining to education that have been published this week. . Please take the time to educate yourself on the school issues, as it impacts the future of the town.

• Understanding School Structure or Why is the GMUSD Picking Our Principal?

GM Board Splits, but Hires Interim CTES Principal: In addition to agreeing to hire an Interim principal for CTES, the board also voted to approve a budget to bring to the voters on May 22, with an informational meeting on May 16. The budget, that was defeated in March, was for $12,547,513 or $15,659 per pupil cost. The revised GMUSD budget is $12,532,143 or $15,637 per pupil. In the end, the $15,370 savings from the first budget to the second is less than the cost of educating one pupil. Chester Telegraph

Cavendish Interim Principal Pick says No Chester Telegraph

CTES Interim Principal Candidates Shake Cavendish Community VT Journal

Small Schools Could take big hit if state changes grant policy: Lawmakers want to change how the state’s small school grants are administered. Small schools are eligible for a small schools grant if the average enrollment is less than 100 or if the average grade size is 20 or fewer. CTES currently meets this standard. Started in the late 1990s, when VT moved to a statewide education tax, as more VT schools move toward consolidation, there have been some questions raised about continuing the grants. The State Board of Education will be making decisions about the grants prior to July 1. The new rules will go into place before the 2019 school year. VPR

Vermont School Safety Assessment Released: In response to the alleged plot to shoot up Fair Haven Union High School, Gov. Phil Scott called for a safety review of all Vermont schools. The results were released Thursday. Law enforcement evaluated 422 schools, that's 95 percent of all schools in the state. Findings included: 96 percent of schools surveyed take part in some emergency preparedness activity; 44 percent have not communicated with families about what to do during an emergency at school; 45 percent don't have a family reunification plan.; 21 percent have a school resource officer; 64 percent have reliable cellphone coverage on school grounds. The full report is available from the VT Dept. Of Public Safety VT School Safety Center



Work on Route 131: Resurface VT 103 in Rockingham, Chester, Cavendish, Ludlow, Mt. Holly, Wallingford, Shrewsbury and Clarendon beginning at the US 5/VT 103 intersection in Rockingham and extending northerly 42.036 MI to the VT. 103/US 7 intersection in Clarendon. This project includes milling of the existing road surface, pot hole repair, crack sealing where necessary, hot-in-place recycling, paving, milled rumble strips and line striping. This is a maintenance project designed to extend the life of the roadway and prevent further deterioration. Alternating one-way traffic patterns will be in effect along the length of the project. The traveling public can expect minor delays in these areas. Construction takes place from April 30 to Oct. 2018 FMI: Natalie Boyle, 802-855-3893 or

Installation of a New Traffic Signal at VT 100/103: A new traffic sign is being installed at the junction of routes 100 N and 103 in Ludlow. This project is currently underway. Expect changes in traffic patterns. FMI: Patricia Coburn 802-828-6980 or

 GMP Customers Could Pay Less in 2019: The utility filed for a rate increase to cover the cost of doing business. But at the same time, GMP wants to kick cash back to ratepayers that it is getting thanks to those federal tax cuts. If regulators approve the plan, GMP customers would see an overall rate decrease of 0.5 percent in 2019. WCAX

Ludlow Talc Plant at Center of $117 Million Contaminated Baby Powder Case: Pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson and a company that supplied it with talc from mines in Vermont have been ordered to pay a combined $117 million in damages after a jury found their popular baby powder product contained asbestos that caused cancer. Imerys Talc America is a San Jose-based company with a location in Ludlow and calls itself the “world’s leading talc producer.” VT Digger

‘American Pickers" will film in Vermont very soon! The hosts are looking for people in our area with unique antique collections and interesting stories behind them. They are looking for large unique collections, interesting multi-generational family properties, or anywhere the guys can spend the better part of a day picking good stuff, get in touch ASAP! Sorry, no retail shops or single items. Please call or e mail 1-855-OLD-RUST (653-7878), or


APRIL 24 (TUESDAY): CTES Reorganizational & Regular Meeting at CTES 5:30-7 pm at the

For information on upcoming events, go to the Cavendish Connects Calendar. For area events, check the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce calendar.