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4/27/18 Cavendish Update
1. Cavendish Related News
2. CTES/GMUSD: Principal Petition/CTES Board Meeting
3. Green Up Day
1. CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS
Celebrating Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Vermont: The Vermont Historical Society is partnering with the Cavendish Historical Society and the University of Vermont to celebrate the life and work of Russian novelist and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on what would be the 100th anniversary of his birth. Solzhenitsyn’s time in Vermont and its influence on his life and work will be explored in the exhibit, “Solzhenitsyn in Vermont” on view at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier from May 17 to October 27, 2018 as well as through associated presentations and programming throughout the year. Press Release
Privacy and Social Media: As the state has honored the 100th anniversary of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s birth, Mary McCallum of Proctorsville, provided commentary on his need for privacy and how that might have changed if he were still alive. Her commentary can be heard at the VPR website.
Watch Your Speed: Three Towns Issue a Quarter of the State’s Traffic Fines: Law enforcement issued more than 24,000 tickets worth upwards of $4 million in fines to drivers in Vermont in 2017. A quarter were issued in just three Vermont towns: Plymouth, Bridgewater and Mount Tabor. The top two towns, Plymouth and Bridgewater, have a couple of things in common. They both contract the Windsor County Sheriff's Department for speed enforcement services, and that department issues nearly three times as many tickets as any other law enforcement agency in the state. Woodstock, who many would have probably thought would have been in the top three, ranks 4th, Cavendish 41st and Chester 47th. VT Journal
2. CTES/GMUSD: Principal petition CTES Board Meeting: CTES Principal Petition: On April 19, in response to a failed attempt to hire a replacement for retiring principle George Thomson, a petition was started, As a resident in a community that is part of the Green Mountain Unified School District, I am signing this petition to ask the Board to immediately and publicly reinstate the position of Principal at Cavendish Town Elementary School to a permanent, full-time position, and to re-open the search for candidates for this position.”
With over 200 signatures by Monday morning, April 23, an e-mail was sent to Meg Powden, Superintendent of the Two Rivers Supervisory Union (TRSU) informing her of the petition and requesting that she immediately reinstate the CTES principal position as Permanent and Full-Time, but If this is a GMUSD decision, we ask that you call an emergency GMUSD board meeting this week to approve of this change.
Powden immediately responded that she would forward the e-mail to the GMUSD board chair, Marilyn Mahusky. To date, no meeting has been set. The next GMUSD board meeting is on May 8, 6 pm at Green Mountain Union High School (GMUHS).
The petition is still available for signifying at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/M3PHGHX Signatures will continue to be collected until the meeting with the GMUSD board.
CTES Board Meeting: The CTES board met on Tuesday April 24. While this was the annual organizational meeting, the elected board chair, Dr. Eugene Bont, noted that “it was a lot of fuss for nothing,” as the board ceases to exist after June 30th. On July 1, the Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD) becomes the board for CTES, Chester Andover Elementary School and the GMUHS.
After a lengthy discussion, the board agreed to the formation of a Steering Committee to help the school deal with internal issues and to chart a course of action that works to insure the future of the school despite the many issues resulting from ACT 46 and the formation of the GMUSD. A group of board members, teachers, parents and community are meeting to develop “by-laws” of how the Steering Committee will function, which will be presented at the May 15 board meeting.
The board also passed a motion requesting that “interim” be dropped from the search for the new principal for CTES.
Other news impacting education:
• Scott Administration Looks to Impose Student Ratios: The Scott administration introduced a new proposal Tuesday that sets a threshold student-to-staff ratio for schools. Schools that fail to meet the target would be fined. The statewide average student-to-staff ratio is 4 to 1. The Scott administration wants to set a threshold ratio of 5.15 to 1 for every school in Vermont. Some schools in Vermont currently have a 3 to 1 ratio; others have a 7 to 1 ratio. Under the proposal, districts that fall below the target would face fines that would be as much as $20,000 to $40,000, according to a formula from the Agency of Education that ties the penalty to the ratio threshold. The plan would go into effect in 2020, giving school districts time to find ways to cut staff without hurting students. Nearly 1,000 school staff statewide would be laid off over a five-year period, under the plan, saving about $45 million. Exemptions to this would include bus drivers, cafeteria workers, operations staff, special educators and pre-K teachers. VT Digger
• Education Hole Balloons to $58 Million: The education fund gap is much higher than originally projected, legislative analysts say. The gap, which had been reported by the Scott administration to be $40 million, is actually $58.2 million. That’s because special education spending is higher than anticipated, and the governor, in his public statements, hasn’t take into account funding needed to fill statutorily required reserves. The state treasurer’s office has said that if the state does not fill its education fund reserves at the 5 percent level, the state’s credit rating could be downgraded. In order to cover the $58 million gap, the statewide property tax would need to go up by 7 cents, but Gov. Phil Scott has insisted on keeping the tax rate level. VT Digger
3. GREEN UP DAY AWAITS YOUR HELP: On the first Saturday in May, Cavendish will join hundreds of communities throughout Vermont to support the 48-year-old tradition of picking up roadside trash accumulated over the winter. Green Up Day is a fun volunteer opportunity that unites communities, raises environmental consciousness and results in litter-free roads and town spaces for us all. Thanks to moving the date to Saturdays, town-wide volunteer participation has climbed steadily in recent years. No special gear is required to join this family friendly event, just the desire to pitch in and clean up unsightly litter. Come to the Proctorsville Green with friends and family on Saturday May 5 to pick up special green trash bags, protective gloves and your road assignment. The big sweep begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at noon with a free town-sponsored barbecue on the Proctorsville Green, where hot dogs and hamburgers will be on the grill. In case of a downpour, Green Up Day will be on Saturday May 6, same time, same place. For more information call Diane McNamara at the Town Office at 226-7292. Join the thousands of Vermonters who care enough to keep our state beautiful by pitching in to gather the trash that has been pitched out!
APRIL 27 (FRIDAY): Bingo, CTES at 6 pm
APRIL 28 (SATURDAY) : National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Note that the Ludlow Police Department and the Ludlow Pharmacy offer year round Med Drop Boxes.
APRIL 30 (MONDAY) : Green Mountain Unified School District and Ludlow/Mt Holly Unified School District Policy Meeting; 5-6:30 at CTES.
MAY 1 (TUESDAY): HAPPY MAY DAY
• Community Luncheon, noon, Gethsemane Church, off Depot Street in Proctorsville. All are welcome. The menu is ham, potatoes, veggies and dessert from the first graders.
MAY 3 (THURSDAY): TRSU Executive Committee, 5:30-7:30 at TRSU Roost