MVSD is pleased to announce that Mr. Christopher Dodge has been selected as the new Principal of Swanton Elementary School.
Mr. Dodge has been a full-time elementary school administrator for 16 years. Prior to becoming a principal, he taught second, third and fourth grade, art, and served as a school counselor for two years. Mr. Dodge is a lifelong Vermonter who enjoys spending time outside kayaking, gardening and taking long walks with his three-year-old 140-pound Bernese Mountain Dog, Jackson (named after the artist Jackson Pollock). He finds joy in making pottery and doing photography, as well as writing children’s books. Mr. Dodge’s experience as a principal and teacher will serve him well as he begins his new role starting July 1st, 2021.
As you know, on 3/11/21 MVU announced that we would be moving to remote learning for up to 28 days as a result of multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 in our MVU school community. This was a very difficult decision to make, but one that was considered necessary given the large number of cases and close contacts who needed to quarantine.
We are now approaching the 14 day mark after the last group of cases who were in school while infectious. After reviewing the current case data and in consultation with the Vermont Department of Health, MVU will be returning to our Hybrid Instruction Model on Friday, March 26th.
Franklin County still has a high positivity rate of approximately 5%. We do expect that there will continue to be positive cases in our schools. When that occurs we will continue to work with the Department of Health to identify close contacts and make decisions about instruction and programming.We must continue to be vigilant in following our COVID-19 protocols and guidelines until our community no longer has a high rate of positive cases.
It is our belief that we will be able to educate our students safely in a Hybrid Model while there continues to be a high level of virus in our community. We look forward to the time when there is less virus in our county, state guidelines begin to loosen, and we can begin the process of bringing students back to more in person learning at MVU.
The Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) is pleased to announce the 2021-22 School Leaders of the Year. These leaders will be honored at the VPA Leadership Academy awards banquet on August 3rd, 2021 at the Stoweflake Resort.
The honorees were selected by the Executive Council of the VPA.
The Henry Giaguque Vermont Elementary Principal of the year is Dena St. Amour. Ms. St. Amour is the principal of the Swanton Elementary School.
The John Winton Vermont Middle Level Principal of the year is Daniel Palmer. Mr. Palmer is the principal of Missisquoi Valley Middle School in Swanton, VT.
Dear Parents and Guardians of Missisquoi Valley School District Students;
The purpose of this letter is to inform you about the MVSD Elementary School Choice Program. As of July 1, 2019, Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union became the unified Missisquoi Valley School District. As a single school district with four schools we are allowed some flexibility in where students can be enrolled.
The school board has determined that they will allow a limited number of students to transfer from one elementary school into another of the three participating elementary schools in our district, providing there is room. Once accepted, the student is able to attend the receiving school through the end of grade 6. It is important to note that, unless available, transportation is not provided.
If you are interested in having your child take part in the program, please complete and submit your application form by April 1, 2021. You may also call and request a copy from the superintendent’s office at 802-868-4967.
Although we hope to notify families by May 30th, due to COVID restrictions and what they may look like in the fall of 2021, we may not have a clear understanding of school capacity until much later. We will notify interested families of capacity as soon as we can be assured of conditions.
If more than the allowable number of students apply and there are limited openings, a lottery system will be used to determine the students who may transfer.
Missisquoi Valley School District has one three-year term for a school board director from each town of Swanton, Highgate and Franklin.
In order to run for school board, you must be a legal voter from a town in the Missisquoi Valley School District. For 2021, the requirement to file a petition with signatures has been waived. A candidate needs only to complete a consent of candidate form and return it to Pierrette Bouchard at Missisquoi Valley School District, 100 Robin Hood Drive, Swanton, Vermont 05488 or email to Pierrette.firstname.lastname@example.org no later than January 25, 2021 by 5 pm.
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 thatall 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.
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. Remote Wednesday
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 bein school Monday, Wednesday,Thursday & Friday with avirtual learning day onTuesday/election day.
Friday 11/13 will be a parentteacher conference day for allstudents in grades PK-6.MVU students will have noschool.
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.