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2018-2019 Superintendent, Dr. Peter Burrows Monthly Communique

Superintendent's Communique
March 2019

The picture above was taken two weeks ago at ACSD's first annual Youth Citizen Summit, held at Middlebury College with students from Cornwall, Mary Hogan, Ripton, and Salisbury elementary schools. The summit arose out of an elementary student's idea to establish a summit in the context of the February IB PYP unit, How We Organize Ourselves, that is focused on human rights. This unit moved students to pursue three lines of inquiry: the responsibilities and functions of different governments, how governments and people interact, and rights and responsibilities of people.

Our mission to engage students deeply in their own learning and support them in taking action is beautifully reflected in the design and execution of the Summit. I think it reflects our commitment to IB for all in supporting all students to engage in real-world issues from a frame of inquiry and action. With workshops ranging from Constitutional law, fake news, taking action & action planning, United Nations mission and work, peace and justice league, migrant farm worker rights, developing leadership skills, Special Olympics, gerrymandering, civil rights, and Bill of Rights for Children and Youth, the Summit provided an opportunity for students to inquire, make connections, and consider personally how learning from the unit How We Organize Ourselvesmatters to our future and students' role in leading us through it.

Thanks to all that put so much time into making this a reality!

I also want to add that these types of large events tend to get the press coverage, but I witness firsthand all of the amazing work that is going on in classrooms in many overt and nuanced ways that speak to the deep understanding ACSD educators have for crafting learning spaces grounded in inquiry, agency, and action.


Building ACSD's System of Supports

In the coming weeks, I'll be sending out an invitation to apply to be a part of a team that will be working on aligning ACSD's system of supports with the International Baccalaureate framework. The team will be comprised of paraprofessionals, teachers, specialists, and administrators. Their work will include conducting a needs assessment of our systems of support through the District Management Group report recommendations, studying best practices, and engaging the community in helping to construct a final design. The team will map out a vision to support all students through a singular system that aligns our staffing models, our approaches to intervention and behavior systems, and our philosophy of whole child wellness.

I look forward to continuing this critical work together in the months ahead.