|Weekly Update: August 31, 2015||08/29/15|
2015-2016 WWSU Bus Route Changes for Waterbury-Duxbury and Mooretown
Based on feedback and analysis, the bus routes for students attending Thatcher Brook, Crossett Brook and Mooretown schools were revised. Please check these new schedules. Routes are effective begining Monday, August 31.
This year, Harwood welcomed 16 new faculty and staff members into the Harwood Community. The Harwood Union Assembly Hosts grilled our new hires with speed questioning during the opening day assembly – a wonderful way to integrate our new faculty/staff into the traditions of Harwood.
While welcoming our new faculty and staff and supporting their transition to a new school, the Harwood Community also recognized one of their many outstanding colleagues. Vicki Hummer, Special Educator, was recognized as part of the University of Vermont’s Teacher of the Year program.
Teacher of the Year
Vicki was recognized during our pre-service with these words:
“Vicki Hummer demonstrates an astonishing ability to establish immediate rapport with some of our most disenfranchised students. This comes from her capacity to care, yet be honest and not shy away from difficult conversations with youth. She works tirelessly and typically behind -the -scenes to build bridges and blaze trails for students who have historically not found success in the traditional classroom. Indeed, even the parents of these students often find it challenging to enter the school building due to their own negative experiences with school. Because of her wealth of knowledge working with family systems in the mental health field, she has been able to successfully build true partnerships with parents and outside agencies, which has resulted in numerous students finding success and being able to remain in their own school community. With respect to advocacy and confidentiality, Vicki’s level of integrity is exemplary. She is an ardent advocate and master at protecting one’s right to privacy.”
The First Week
The first week of school at Harwood Union was a great success. Our staggered start truly supported our students in grades 7-10. They became familiar with their schedules and daily routines along with ample time to establish relationships and become connected to the Harwood Community.
One highlight of the week was the 9th grade introduction into the Habits of Work; that is the skills and dispositions necessary to be successful in school and beyond. The Habits of Work include: Active Learning; Self-Regulation; Citizenship; Appropriate Use of Technology; and Time Management. The Habits of Work will be intentionally integrated into the 9th Grade curriculum this year.
Another highlight was an extended Teacher Advisory period that included activities to foster positive relationships among members of the advisory and between each student and teacher advisor. Harwood is revitalizing its Teacher Advisory program; it is important to the success of every student to have one or more adult in the building who knows him or her well, and can serve as an advocate.
Habit of Work : Active Learning
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On Tuesday, Sept. 8th at 6:00 at HUHS in the auditorium,
the local school boards of the Washington West Supervisory Union will have a first presentation on Act 46 or H.361. This is the new legislation that requires merger/consolidation of school districts by July 1, 2019.
The presentation will include an overview of the law, some cost models for Washington West based on what we know to date, and a Q & A.
Nicole Mace, attorney and Executive Director of the Vermont School Boards Association, and Brad James, an accountant/finance officer for the Agency of Education, will present with Michelle Baker, WWSU CFO and Brigid Scheffert Nease, Superintendent of Schools.
We are encouraging all community members, faculty, and media to join the boards and administration as we begin to fully understand the law and begin our very important work.
The following evening, Wednesday, Sept. 9th,
the WWSU Executive Committee will debrief the presentation, set a rigorous working schedule (additional meetings), change the bylaws to expand the membership for this work to include an additional representative from each school board, and begin serious work on the primary guiding question: Should the WWSU go for the accelerated merger option: why or why not?
A number of resources to study can be found on the Vermont Agency of Education and www.wwsu.org websites. This is a very important time to serve, with serious decisions-financial, governance and programmatic to be made, on behalf of many student generations to come and our taxpayers at large.
As always, I look forward to working with you as we tackle these challenges and engage in problem solving. We are very lucky to have such wonderful people capacity and resources in the Washington West Supervisory Union!