As the MVSD school board and administrative team are currently developing the 2021-2022 school budget, we would value your input on community priorities for our schools.
Dear Grade 6 Families;
At the end of September we shared a plan to bring all K-5th grade students back to in-person learning five days a week. Our schools have been moving through that process and students are being successful.
On October 23rd the Agency of Education updated their Strong and Healthy Start Guidelines for schools. In that update the physical distancing requirements have changed to allow students in PK-6th grade to be seated at a minimum of 3 feet from one another. This change will allow us to plan for students in 6th grade to return to in person learning full time.
At this time, Franklin and Highgate schools plan to move 6th grade to full time on November 16th. Swanton students will return full time the week of December 14th. Each school has a differing set of circumstances that impacts the timeline for students to return. The availability of adequate classroom space, appropriate furniture that can be placed 3 feet apart, and classroom staffing all needed to be considered in the development of this timeline.
Of course this transition depends on the success of maintaining a healthy school community, our ability to adequately staff our school and any changes in requirements form the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Education.
Your school will be sharing more specific information with you about this grade 6 transition. We are excited to be able to serve more of our students in our schools full time.
The Missisquoi Valley School District (MVSD) continues to build on our commitment to educate every child in a developmentally appropriate and holistic way. To expand on this commitment over the last 12 months, MVSD convened a district-wide team of educators from all member schools to create a Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 framework that addresses the social and emotional learning skills that every child, adolescent, and adult should obtain during their time at MVSD.
This framework will support every child to become curious, engaged, and respectful members of their classrooms, as well as productive members of our community as they enter adulthood. This comprehensive guide focuses on the personal and social ways that all students can achieve success, while assisting our educational professionals in creating, developing, and implementing strategies that promote this development. During our summer in-service faculty and staff were provided training and professional development on the various ways that we can foster social-emotional learning in our classrooms and will continue to be provided coaching and guidance in order to enhance this work in the months and years to come.
As this guide is the first of its kind in Vermont, we are excited to not only share this with our MVSD students and families, but also to share information about the great work taking place in our district with other schools communities across the state. If you have any questions or thoughts about this guide, please feel free to contact MVU Director of Student Affairs Steve Messier, at 868-7311 or by email at email@example.com.
MVSD School Community:
As we shared last week our elementary school administrators have been working on a plan to increase the in-person learning of our younger students. The conditions we need to meet to bring Kindergarten-5th grade students back are:
- The level of COVID-19 virus in our community and Vermont Department of Health guidance and data supports an increase to full in-person instruction.
- Staffing in our schools is stable and allows us to operate reliably.
- New routines are effective and efficient and we are able to maintain compliance with the guidance from VDH/AOE.
Right now the Vermont Department of Health, the Agency of Education and pediatricians are clear that Vermont is in an excellent position with respect to the level of COVID -19 virus in our state and region. Information about Vermont’s current level of activity can be found here. The CDC guidelines for reopening schools are also linked.
The staffing resources available and changes needed to bring all students back into K-5 classrooms varies from school to school. There are many logistical and physical classroom changes that will need to be addressed so that we can increase in-person instruction and ensure compliance with Vermont Strong and Healthy Start Guidelines. We believe that we can meet those requirements safely by planning with our teachers and staff over the next few weeks and by bringing students back in a phased approach. All students in Grades K-5 will be in school 5 days the week of November 16.
The Missisquoi Valley School District phased in-person transition is as follows:
|Week of October 19th||Week of October 26th||Week of November 2nd||Week of November 9th|
|All Kindergarten and 1st grade students attend 4 days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Remote Wednesday||All K-3rd grade students attend 4 days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.|
|All K-5th grade students attend 4 days: For Franklin and Swanton students M,T,TH & F. Remote Wednesday||All Kindergarten-5th grade students attend school Monday-Thursday in-person Friday No School|
|Students in 2nd-5th grade stay in Hybrid Schedule||Students in 4th and 5th grades stay in a Hybrid Schedule||Due to the General Election on 11/3, Highgate Students will be in school Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday with a virtual learning day on Tuesday/election day.||Friday 11/13 will be a parent teacher conference day for all students in grades PK-6. MVU students will have no school.|
Students in Grades 6-12 remain in Hybrid learning model.
Students enrolled in The Missisquoi Valley Virtual Academy (VTVLC) will continue with that program.
Our administrative team will be working together in the weeks ahead to implement this timeline and maintain a safe and healthy environment in our schools. Please understand that this timeline is subject to change should there be a change in health conditions or an inability to meet the requirements to operate reliably. We will need to continue to practice our physical distancing protocols, mask wearing and hand washing hygiene to be successful with this plan.
Although there is no plan to change the Hybrid model for 6-12th grade students at this time, please know that if conditions and Vermont guidelines for schools change, we will examine ways to provide more in-person learning for secondary students.
We feel confident that this phased in approach is the best way to increase the in-person learning for K-5th grade students while maintaining safe practices.
You can expect communication from your school’s principal in the upcoming weeks with more specific information.
As always, thank you for your support and keep well.
- Department for Children & Families Benefit Programs
- Vermont Department of Health CORONAVIRUS Information
- MVSD COVID-19 Program and Exposure Control Plan
- CDC Guidelines on conditions medically vulnerable to COVID-19
Local Food Pantries
Child Care for Essential Workers
The Governor has asked the state to gather information on those essential workers who require childcare. The list of who is an Essential Worker can be found here: https://vem.vermont.gov/essentialpersons. If you work in one of those categories and cannot find care for your children, please fill out the survey below.
Let’s Grow Kids has developed a web form to help collect information to connect the families of essential workers with child care in schools and licensed child care programs that are operating to provide services now through April 6, 2020, while school dismissal and general child care service closures are in effect.
Essential workers who need help finding child care should visit: https://webportalapp.com/webform/essentialworkers. Families can also call 2-1-1 ext. 6, or call 1-877-705-9008 to speak to a child care referral specialist.
PreK Learning from Home:
Supplemental Resources for Families
PreK Learning from Home Supplemental Resources for Families from the Vermont Agency of Education is available now!
Information regarding Daily Home Screenings for MVSD families and students.
SUBJECT: Schools to Reopen with Hybrid Model July 22, 2020
Dear MVSD Families,
I am writing to provide you with an update on our plans to reopen our school buildings in Franklin, Highgate, Swanton and at MVU. To start the school year, the Missisquoi Valley School District, along with all 16 school districts covering Addison, Chittenden Franklin and Grand Isle Counties who are members of the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA), will implement a hybrid instruction model that will include both in-person and remote learning. This plan to return to school is student-centered, focused on the social-emotional and physical health and safety of our students and staff, and designed to keep our students learning at a high level. Here’s how the hybrid model will work.
- Students will be divided into two groups.
- Groups will attend school in-person two days a week and learn remotely three days a week.
- Students and staff attending in person will wear masks and practice physical distancing.
- Groups will be thoughtfully created so they best support families, including grouping family members together whenever possible.
- We are working on scheduling and will have that information to families as soon as possible.
- All students will be learning remotely on Wednesdays. We will use this day to provide individualized support to students, engage in professional learning and planning for our staff, and deep clean our buildings.
While we all agree that nothing compares to the benefits that students receive from in-person instruction, after extensively reviewing the guidance put forth by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), evaluating how to operationally implement those recommendations in our schools, reviewing survey submissions from our families and staff, and consulting with our reopening committee, we feel the hybrid model will best address the health and safety of our students and staff given the current health data available.
Having fewer students in the building at a time will help reduce contact with others and allow for better distancing. The smaller groups will also allow teachers and staff more time to assess the academic progress and needs of our students. With fewer students in the building, we can better help them adjust to new expectations while fostering healthy routines throughout the day, such as regular hand washing. In these pandemic conditions, it is also imperative that we continue to improve our remote systems so that we can be ready to adapt if health data requires a shift to full remote learning again.
We are also preparing to offer a remote-only/virtual learning option for families. More information regarding this option will be available soon.
We acknowledge the hardships that hybrid and full remote models may place on families, including our own faculty and staff. Although a clear majority of staff and families preferred a remote or hybrid model for the reopening of school, we know that many families were hoping for a full time option for their children. As difficult as this fall will be for everyone, it is important that you know that throughout this decision making process, the health and safety of our students and staff have been our priority. By working together, openly communicating, and being creative and flexible, we can overcome these challenges together. That said, please understand there are many moving pieces to these plans, and we will need to adapt as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves and we receive further guidance from the AOE and the Department of Health.
Finally, in addition to academic work, I want to assure you that our teams will work tirelessly to support your child’s social and emotional needs through this transition. School is going to look and feel different this year, and we know all of our students will need support. We are here for your children and for your family.
Julie Regimbal, Superintendent
Missisquoi Valley School District
The next board meeting, scheduled for May 5th will be held remotely.
MISSISQUOI VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Payroll During Emergency School Dismissal
This procedure establishes how employees will be paid during school dismissal as mandated by the Governor’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency for the State of Vermont in response to COVID-19.
- All employees will continue to be paid based on their current contract.
- Funding of Employees:
- During school dismissal all employees will continue to be funded in the same manner as they are funded when there is not a school closure.
- Employees paid with federal funds and multiple funding sources will continue to be paid from the same sources they are paid from when there is not a school closure.
The above procedures shall be in place while the school district is closed as mandated by the Governor of Vermont.
The School Choice deadline is being postponed to April 15th due to the COVID 19 crisis.