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  • ADDISON CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT FORMS NEW STRATEGIC PLANNING ADVISORY COMMITTEE WITH STUDENTS, STAFF, AND COMMUNITY 

    In 2022, Addison Central School District (ACSD) will begin a new strategic planning process. Strategic plans offer an opportunity for a school district to name priorities, make value statements, and be accountable to the community when working towards those priorities. ACSD is working to understand equity issues, identify inequities within our district, and make equity-informed decisions.

    We will use this space to provide updates. 

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  • April Co-Chair Update and Opportunities to Engage

    Posted by Emily Blistein on 4/28/2022 4:20:00 PM

    Dear ACSD Community, 

    The focus of the Advisory Committee's work is to gather and understand the views within our district about areas ACSD should prioritize in its upcoming strategic plan. Below, please find updates from our recent meeting and opportunities to engage. You can find all of our updates here

    April 4th Meeting:

    • We discussed two areas of the equity survey: staff perceptions and community outreach and engagement. Each topic had a small group which reviewed the Hanover survey results in more detail and prepared questions for the entire committee to discuss. 
    • The staff perceptions discussion highlighted the need to build trust between staff to do the equity work needed in the district. This includes taking time to build relationships between staff and district leaders to form collective ownership so we can truly do this work together; to look for ways to involve students in rethinking the learning process; and to seek direct input from all staff and use this feedback to further develop trust and consistent engagement in equity work by staff. The group noted the importance of regular and clear communication in this work between leaders and staff (and also students and larger school community).
    • We discussed several one-on-one and small group meetings that have occurred with staff, students, and families since our last meeting. We focused on a meeting with several ACSD families from the migrant farm worker community. Key takeaways included that families appreciated direct, in-person communication they receive in the first year, but after that it is hard to navigate the dense communication sent only by paper, or email. Creating and maintaining relationships between families and schools, specifically parents and teachers, is the most important thing. Migrant and multilingual families experience uncomfortable interactions with some negative interactions based on racism. We need to focus on systems and relationships so that all families feel safe and included. 
    • The community engagement and outreach discussion highlighted the lack of two-way communication between families and schools. We must decrease the reliance on heavy written communications, understand barriers, and make our communication more concise and focused and accessible. Relationships between families and schools drops as students move up grade levels. Need to increase engagement beyond use of standard parent teacher conferences and events. Also, let’s work to better understand a problem before jumping too quickly to fix it.

    Opportunities to engage:

    Our work will conclude with recommendations to the school board as they begin our next strategic plan. We welcome all staff, caregivers, and students community members to share their thoughts about how ACSD is doing creating a welcoming and inclusive environment: What is working well? What could we improve? What should we prioritize? The equity survey was one way the district is gathering data. We will soon have an analysis and interactive dashboard for you to review the results of the survey. You can also:

    • Share your perspective and experiences in this community feedback form. Responses will be anonymously shared with the advisory committee. 
    • We are planning 2 or 3 in-person events to listen to parents and community members about their perspectives and experiences with how ACSD can create an inclusive environment for all students and families. We will host these events at our elementary schools in May, please look for those dates in email and on our webpage within the next week.
    • If  you would like to share your feedback in a discussion, contact Emily (eblistein@acsdvt.org 802-382-1183) and we will connect you with a member of our advisory committee.
    • You can find comprehensive notes from each of our meetings here

    Upcoming meetings and topics: All meetings will take place at 208 Charles Ave in Middlebury.

    • May 2th, 6:30-8pm - academic environment.
    • May 16th, 6:30-8pm - social environment. 
    • June 6 (final meeting to set recommendations). The committee will draft a report by mid June for the board.
    • August 27th, committee members are invited to meet with the ACSD school board to offer recommendations with discussion.

     

    Thank you and take care,

    Esther (Thomas) Charlestin, Middlebury Selectboard Member & Amanda Gomes, MUHS '23
    ACSD Advisory Committee Co-Chairs

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  • March Co-chair Update + Opportunities to Engage

    Posted by Emily Blistein on 3/15/2022 10:00:00 AM

    Dear ACSD Community, 

    Last month, we introduced ourselves and the ACSD Advisory Committee's work. As our committee work continues, we will provide updates by email and on our webpageThe focus of the Advisory Committee's work is to gather and understand the views within our district about areas ACSD should prioritize in its upcoming strategic plan. 

    Opportunities to engage:

    We welcome all staff, caregivers, and students community members to share their thoughts with us about how ACSD is doing creating a welcoming and inclusive environment: What is working well? What could we improve? What should we prioritize? Our work will conclude with recommendations to the school board as they begin our next strategic plan. We hope to hear from many members of our ACSD community. The equity survey was one way the district is gathering data. You can also:

    • Share your perspective and experiences in this new community feedback form. Responses will be anonymously shared with the advisory committee. 
    • We will have small group and one-on-one discussions to hear directly from you. We are prioritizing outreach to traditionally underrepresented voices, but welcome an invitation to speak with any group or individual. Contact Emily (eblistein@acsdvt.org 802-382-1183) to set up a meeting for you or a group you represent.

    Committee updates: 

    • We held our third meeting in March just after the district-wide equity survey concluded.
    • At this meeting we worked to finalize our definition of equity. The definition will be used as a guide when looking at data from the equity survey and other data and feedback from our ACSD community. 
    • The committee also reviewed the raw data from the February survey. The group organized into four small groups to look at four main areas over the next two months: academic environment, social environment, staff perceptions and district engagement and outreach. The small groups will identify additional information needed to fully examine these topics and lead the full committee in a discussion on each topic. 
    • The committee also developed a graphic to illustrate its work over the next three months. View the graphic in English or Spanish

    Upcoming meetings and topics: All meetings will take place at 208 Charles Ave in Middlebury.

    • April 4th, 6:30-8pm  - 2 topics: staff perceptions on equity work and district engagement and outreach with the school community. 
    • May 2th, 6:30-8pm - academic environment.
    • May 16th, 6:30-8pm - social environment. 

    Thank you and take care,

    Esther Thomas & Amanda Gomes (MUHS ‘23)
    ACSD Advisory Committee Co-Chairs

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  • February Co-chair Update + Equity Survey Reminder

    Posted by Emily Blistein on 2/17/2022 1:00:00 PM

    Dear ACSD Community, 

    We are writing as the co-chairs of the newly formed Advisory Committee to the 2022 ACSD Strategic Plan to offer a brief introduction of our work. 

    First, we want to encourage you to take the Equity and Inclusion Survey that Superintendent Burrows sent earlier this month (the deadline was extended from 2/21 to 3/2 to allow for more participation). We hope you will take the opportunity to share your experiences with ACSD. The survey is one way we will collect data on current experiences and will be one of several upcoming opportunities to help inform ACSD about your current experiences in the district and how we can build a more equitable district. 

    We have just begun our work together as an Advisory Committee, and we want to briefly introduce that work to you.  Our primary goals as an Advisory Committee will be to: Help define equity in the Strategic Planning process; Advise on how to better engage the community in the process; Provide input on the data that is collected and what additional data should be collected by the district; and work in partnership with the ACSD Board and staff to develop priorities and determine how to work toward those priorities. 

    We look forward to engaging and encouraging as much community participation as possible. We invite you to stay up to date with our work via the strategic planning page and look for upcoming opportunities to engage with us and provide feedback as we work together to ensure bright outcomes for all of our students. 

    With thanks, 

    Esther Thomas & Amanda Gomes (MUHS ‘23)
    ACSD Advisory Committee Co-Chairs

     

    p.s. If you have immediate questions about this work, you can reply to Emily Blistein, ACSD Director of Communications and Engagement, at eblistein@acsdvt.org or 802-382-1183

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  • Equity and Inclusion Survey - open until 3/2/22

    Posted by Emily Blistein on 2/9/2022 7:05:00 AM

    Dear Parents/Caregivers,

    As part of ACSD's commitment to all students and to better understand who we are as a community, we are launching our Equity and Inclusion Survey. This is a chance to hear directly from you about our ongoing efforts to create a welcoming environment for our students, parents, and teachers from diverse backgrounds. 

     

    CLICK HERE to take the survey on your phone or computer. It will take about 15 minutes to complete, and will ask you questions about your experience in ACSD. The survey window has been extended to March 2nd at Midnight. It will also be sent to teachers and staff and students in 6th-12th grades. Students will have an opportunity to complete the survey during their advisory time, with more information coming directly from MUMS and MUHS.

     

    This survey is part of a greater effort to address equity in our district. We have partnered with an education market research firm, Hanover Research, to undertake a districtwide effort to better understand how we are doing and how we can build a more equitable district.

     

    This survey and other outreach this year, led by our Strategic Plan Advisory Committee, will provide critical information from which the ACSD Strategic Plan for Equity will be built. Your opinions, perceptions, needs, and hopes will help us set a path for what equity can look like within our schools and district. 

     

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

     

    With appreciation,

    Peter Burrows

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  • Strategic Plan Advisory Committee

    Posted by Emily Blistein on 12/1/2021 7:20:00 AM

    To help guide this work, ACSD sought applications for an advisory committee that would represent a diversity of perspectives from the ACSD community to help guide and inform the foundational equity work that will inform the 2022 Strategic Plan lead by the ACSD Board. Applications were accepted through November 2021 and the group will hold their first meeting in December 2021.

     

    The Advisory Committee will meet roughly monthly through the fall of 2022 to help define equity in the planning process, advise ACSD on how to better engage the community, provide input on what data should be collected by the district, and, work in partnership with the board and staff to develop priorities and then determine how to work towards those priorities. For more of the Advisory Committee's work you can visit the page HERE.

     

    From the work of the Advisory Committee, the ACSD School Board will launch the full strategic planning process.

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