Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2013

 Proposed Calendar 2.0: Forum Details and More about the Proposal
The Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA) has scheduled four regional forums to collaboratively discuss the proposed Calendar 2.0 with area residents, families, students and educators. The Superintendents in CVSA want to engage families and educators in brainstorming ideas for a school calendar that supports and maximizes learning of all students.  

Superintendents are exploring options around how to create a more efficient and effective use of the school calendar, with time and support as the variables to positive student outcomes. This calendar is a proposal intended to stimulate conversation.

The calendar proposed by CVSA preserves the current 175 student days, while shifting about 10 days into summer in order to build in blocks of times, or intersessions, during the school year.  The goal of the proposed calendar is to organize student instruction time so students have opportunities to pause and reflect and expand upon their learning. These intersessions are designed to be used in a variety of ways, including: student enrichment opportunities, chances to provide timely intervention for students who need it, in-depth and project-based learning, opportunities for teacher professional development, opportunities for teachers to review student data during non-instructional times, and opportunities for families to schedule routine appointments or take vacations without interrupting learning blocks of time.

The current century-old calendar offers limited flexibility in how time is paced throughout the school year.  As a result, opportunities for additional learning time for students only occur during the summer months, which is often not timely for students.  In addition, teacher professional development days are either front-loaded at the beginning or end of the year, with early release days structured throughout the year, and teachers leaving the classroom for professional development opportunities.  Intersessions could also provide time for students to participate in relevant learning activities, such as internships, foreign language trips, job shadowing, etc. without being out of the classroom.

“While earlier information indicated a 2014-2015 timeline, implementation of a new calendar is flexible and this proposal is a starter intended to stimulate conversation,” CVSA Co-Chair Judith DeNova said.  “Superintendents recognize change is hard and wish to engage the community in this change process.”

The forums are designed to provide an opportunity for families and educators to connect directly about how time could be used to further the quality of education in this region of Vermont.

The forums are open to parents, educators, students and interested residents.  Please join the Superintendents, and be prepared to have a creative conversation as to how time can better be used to support student learning:

  • Wednesday, October 2, 6:30 p.m. - Essex High School
  • Thursday, October 3, 6:30 p.m. - BFA St. Albans
  • Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 p.m. - Burlington High School
  • Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m. - Champlain Valley Union High School
The forums will be facilitated, and have been created in a format to ensure all participants have a voice in the conversation to talk about ways to improve upon the current calendar structure.  The evenings will be broken up into four parts: a general introduction/background, an activity for participants to provide their opinions to specific questions related to the proposed Calendar 2.0, an activity for participants to have conversations about how a calendar could be created, and a closing.  Ideas and suggestions will be compiled and made public after the forums, and will be used by Superintendents to inform future calendar decisions.

For more information on the proposed regional calendar, visit: www.schoolcalendar2.blogspot.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

PROPOSED CALENDAR 2.0 A conversation about quality education.

The Champlain Valley Superintendents’ Association invites you to the upcoming forums for a conversation around education and how the proposed Calendar 2.0 offers unique opportunities for student learning, quality family time and teacher professional development:

  • Wednesday, Oct 2, 6:30 pm – Essex High School (2 Educational Drive, Essex Junction)
  • Thursday, Oct 3, 6:30 pm – BFA St. Albans (71 South Main Street, St. Albans)
  • Wednesday, Oct 9, 6:30 pm – Burlington High School (52 Institute Road, Burlington)
  • Thursday, Oct 10, 6:30 pm – Champlain Valley Union High School (369 CVU Road, Hinesburg)
 Learn more about the proposed calendar at:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Proposed Calendar 2.0 Forum: 
Information, Locations  Dates 

Click on the image above to see a presentation about the proposed calendar.

Four dates in October, 2013 have been established for community forums across the Champlain Valley region regarding the proposed School Calendar 2.0 for the 2014-2015 school year.

Based on the Vermont Superintendent’s Association (VSA) Education Quality Framework and the VT World-Class Education Agenda, the proposed Calendar 2.0 is a new way of looking at what a school calendar could look like.

This calendar preserves the current 175 student days while building in blocks of times, or intersessions, that could be used for a variety of purposes by students, families, and teachers.  This calendar is still a proposal and is not yet finalized.  It is meant to engage educators, students and families around how to further the quality of education in this region.

Dates of these regional forums are:
  • Wednesday, October 2, 6:30 pm,  Essex High School
  • Thursday, October 3,   6:30 pm,   BFA St. Albans
  • Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 pm,  Burlington High School
  • Thursday, October 10, 6:30 pm,  Champlain Valley Union H.S.
For more information on the proposed regional calendar, visit: www.schoolcalendar2.blogspot.com.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CESU Update on Voluntary Merger Plans
September 2013

In the Spring of 2013, Chittenden East Supervisory Union’s member school boards voted to move forward with the statutory steps required to establish a Voluntary Merger Planning Committee (VMPC) and to begin studying the viability of one unified Prek-12 school district.  The merger option the VMPC will be focusing on is a Modified Unified Union School District (MUUSD).  MUUSD’s are a school district merger option in Act 156.  
Currently, town school boards (i.e. Bolton, Richmond, Huntington, Jericho, Underhill Town and Underhill I.D.) are determining a budget for the VMPC, appointing committee members and establishing the representation of the VMPC.
The following links provide an overview of the voluntary school district merger process, the CESU Phase I Governance Study completed in 2010 and a description of Modified Unified Union School Districts:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Common Core

What is all the talk about the Common Core?

As you begin to hear and learn about the Common Core State Standards a good place to start is 

The Common Core State Standards, also known as CCCS, are designed to 
“provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”(citation: http://www.corestandards.org/). Vermont formally adopted the CCSS in August 2010. 

Rather than focusing on the individual standards themselves, we urge parents and community members to envision a young adult at the end of their schooling:
As a parent or community member, if you are you curious about learning goals at each grade level under the Common Core, the National PTA has produced a guide for each grade level concerning the Common Core. http://pta.org/parents/content.cfm?ItemNumber=2910
Chittenden East Supervisory Union educators and leaders are working to develop and align our curriculum and our instructional strategies to the Common Core State Standards.  Work began last year and continues through this year in the form of teacher driven curriculum development and alignment, professional development, teacher participation in lesson study (embedded professional development), readings and reflective practices.
For a list of frequently asked questions regarding CCSS please go to: http://www.corestandards.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions