July 2018-Public Comments+Questions

Released 8-6-2018   -  RJW, chair

Questions have been answered here, comments have been recorded and reported publicly.
These are from the two RVUSD Board Meetings in June and July 2018.

Comments from Dover Meeting - June

We voted on keeping both schools open and running/ operating the same…..Option B had only Wardsboro making a change- Why?  Wardsboro will lose our identity.
·        Citizens voted on the Articles of Agreement. Article 3 – Grades included states “The Unified District will operate schools for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Six and will pay tuition for the students in Grades Seven through Twelve pursuant to Vermont statutes.”
For option B- P.D. $ for multi-grade not listed
·        $3,000 has been estimated for Option B multi-grade additional professional development
Re: Option B-I really resent the public comment that “you are taking away” students from Wardsboro.  *Change the Rhetoric!!” I see that what is really happening is that you are fully meeting the goal stated of “giving students more opportunities”
·        Public Comment
Rich request- option B+- A new school building in between the towns
·        Public Comment
If option B was chosen why would Wardsboro pay/ train for IB program only for prek-2nd graders?  Option A was presented and voted upon
·        Equity of Offerings: Article 1 – Educational Opportunities – “the Unified Board will allow for educational opportunities provided at each school to be extended to all students in the district.”

Comments from Wardsboro meeting- July

If Dover students/school has little to no change, whereas Wardsboro changes immensely, how does this keep the culture and identity of Wardsoro (what was identified as an important aspect) and also keep equity between the two schools?
·        Honoring the Culture – Wardsboro. It appears all things listed are possible in Option B
·        Slide at end of the answers
In option B, there are combined classrooms (pre-k3-K) and 1-2, in Wardsboro.  Does Dover combine these grades and if not, how does this meet the equity in education that is required?
·        The plan does not propose the combining of grades on the Dover Campus
·        The Board will discuss Equity as it designs the new district
·        Working Definition of Equity at end of the answers

If the other schools in the district combine and send their 6th graders to L&G middle school, what will happen to our 6th graders who are now going to Dover in Option B or staying in Wardsboro in Option A?  Will they then be “behind” in a year, or set back in any way?
·        No, All 5th grade students receive instruction in the Vermont Educational Quality Standards

IB in Wardsboro is a “non-starter”
·        Public Comment

Have transportation costs been factored in to Option B, or the most likely addition of a teachers Aide in the pre-K3 class? (same card separate question)- If 2 teachers will lose their job, are all of the teachers going to have to re-apply for a position?
·        No transportation has not been added and neither has an additional Aide. In Option B, 15-18 students are expected in the prek3 – K class with a teacher, Aide, and Principal/Interventionist.
·        The Board will devise a procedure for employment that respects existing and future Collective Bargaining Agreements. That process is unknownat this time.

Families being involved was a goal mentionedin the beginning of the presentation.  Low parental involvement is already an issue, how will splitting siblings into 2 schools help with this?  Parents will have even more events to attend, ie: Open Houses, P/T conferences, Authors Teas, etc.
·        Under one District Board, coordination is possible and expected to address this

I think the Board (Rich) needs to understand this was a discussion and the rudeness was not a great show of “blending” our towns.  Would have been nice to hear from Wardsboro members!
·        Public Comment

Wardsboro- I don’t think this is what Wardsboro Town people voted for.  We want equal opportunities for our children but I feel going in this direction will eventually mean the closing of our town school which will be harmful to our community.
·        Public Comment

Bus safety seems like a BIG issue.  We should not be bussing children over that mountain
·        Public Comment

It’s unfortunate to (especially with the comm. That came) have a meeting without discussion- only questions no answers
·        Public Comment

IB Program works in Dover… is it an expense that we need to spend to bring it to Wardsboro School?
·        Future Board Decision

I strongly agree with operating each building as is and reassess next year
·        Public Comment

Dover and Wardsboro went into this merger to continue to operate both schools- this complied with the States Act 46 requirements and Option A does this without compromising the culture of each school.  Option B changes everything in only Wardsboro.
·        Public Comment

Would you put your kids in a bus to go from Wardsboro to Dover?  I live on that hill and would not
·        Public Comment

Thank you for your work and dedication in trying to bring the most equitable resources to help our children flourish in their education
·        Public Comment

Option B has definite travel for Wardsboro.  It would be helpful to know what it looks like before comments can be made.  I am not sure I want any kids traveling- unless building choice.
·        Public Comment

I would like to be part of the 7-12 transportation discussion.  When will this happen?
·        Fall of 2018
Safety    Ask any Dover Police Officer how safe it is to drive a bus full of children over the mountain and back.  Rich could answer this
·        Public Comment

If you can estimate the numbers on A & B options now- why not provide “hard numbers”?
·        Once a defined structure has been decided upon, more detail can be provided

Safety- transportation over Mtn. on Rte 100- what measure/ arrangements will be made w/AOT to maintain the rte better?
-Smaller class room size = equity
-student/ teacher ratio
·        Transportation- unknown at this time

Would we have multiple buses with Plan B?
·        Future Board Decision

What are anticipated classroom sizes with Plan B
Dover Campus:                                                              Wardsboro Campus
PreK3-4:               16-19                                                  PreK3- K               15-18
K:                           12-14
1:                           10-12                                                  1-2                        10-14
2:                           10-12
3:                           15-17
4:                           15-17
5:                           19-21
6:                           17-19    
Options A seems liker a good fit, in my opinion, with minimal change and efforts to improve both schools (mostly Wardsboro).  However it’s the more expensive option.
·        Public Comment

How does this alter the level of Special Ed
·        Option A – no change
·        Option B- more concentrated at Dover Campus

Separating family’s with siblings being in different school
I drove that mountain for 25 years very dangerous drive.  Safety of our children is a number 1 priority
·        Campus

Comment: it seems as though my childrens safety is based off a savings “EQUITY”
·        Public Comment
Obviously option B is not favorable- whats next?
·        Public Comment, Board Creates a Structure, Develops a Budget, Citizens vote.


Educational equity means that each student receives the resources and educational opportunities they need to learn and thrive.  

·  Equity means that a student’s success is not predicted nor predetermined by characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, family economics, class, geography, disability, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or initial proficiencies.   
·  Equity means that every school provides high quality curriculum, programs, teachers and administrators, extracurricular activities and support services.
·  Equity goes beyond formal equality where all students are treated the same. Achieving equity may require an unequal distribution of resources and services.
·  Equity involves disrupting inequitable practices, acknowledging biases, employing practices that reflect the reality that all students will learn, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children.

Vermont School Boards Association
Vermont Principals Association
Vermont Superintendents Association