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June 11, 2021

Dear ACSD Community,


This is the last Friday update of the year, and I want to take a moment to pause and reflect on a year that has been like no other we’ve experienced. This year, schools across the state received daily and weekly guidance from the Agency of Education that consistently shifted what happened in our classroom, communities adapted to the changing perspectives and realities of the pandemic, and friends, family, and the greater community struggled with limited connection and interaction. It was challenging to students, staff, and families on so many levels.


As we emerge both from the pandemic and this academic year, I’m struck with gratitude—gratitude for our community at the deepest level. This year, I watched our students persevere through the challenges of remote learning, hybrid learning, and in-person learning, taking the changes in stride with a resilience that was truly impressive. Even in the midst of the separation many students felt in not being able to be with friends and family, they stepped up and learned how to adapt to the restrictions of the pandemic to approach their academic and personal lives with the same conviction and passion they normally bring to their studies. In the coming year, we will meet our students where they are and focus on their individual needs, both academic and social-emotional.


Our staff stepped up from day one, as we witnessed and experienced throughout the year. Despite the challenges of essential work in a pandemic, ACSD staff were there to unlock doors, design lesson plans, cook meals, and reach out to parents to keep learning happening. There were many hurdles that presented themselves, and staff did what they always do: they put students first. They figured out how to do what the moment and circumstances required them to do to support students and families. They, too, were incredibly resilient and impassioned, and fueled the wellness of our school communities.


In our community at large, there are more people than space available in this note to thank for helping us through this year, people who shored up walls that continued to want to give way, and put the care and wellness of others at the forefront of their consciousness. I’ve shared many times the power that our community possesses in making our schools what they are, and that was exceedingly important this past year. From the commitment of the citizens that make up the ACSD Board, who gave up countless hours to lead our district through the many challenges we faced this year, to our families who found themselves supporting remote learning in their homes, our community put student success and wellness first. 


Next year, we’ll need these same strengths to move forward. These strengths will be central to building a new ACSD Strategic Plan for Equity to chart our course over the next phase of our direction as a learning community. We’ll lean on these strengths to serve all students with their diverse needs with supports and resources that are grounded in systems that ensure we know where students are and what they need. And finally, we’ll reflect on these strengths as we continue to grow and evolve as a community deeply dedicated to the wellness and success of all of our students!


Enjoy the summer and see you soon!


Health and Safety Update
Please find our final health and safety update from Kelly Landwehr here!


District Newsletter
Please find our final district newsletter, with lots of great information about ACSD, here.


Summer Programming in ACSD
Several fun and enriching programs will be running in ACSD schools this summer.  For the most part, these aren't new programs, but several are being expanded through partnerships with local organizations and with an influx of federal grant funding:


Mary Hogan and Shoreham Elementary Schools: ACSD is expanding our partnerships with local childcare agencies.  Mary Johnson Children's Center (MJCC) and A.R.K. Childcare are already offering full day childcare with fun activities at Mary Hogan and Shoreham Elementary Schools.  We are in the process of recruiting ACSD educators to add more fun learning engagements to the mix.  Our focus is on literacy, social-emotional wellness, creative expression, play, and outdoor adventure.  Children already enrolled in these programs will have access to any additional programming at no added cost.  These programs are open to students district-wide, and there's still room to enroll.  See flyers here and here.


Salisbury Community School: Salisbury is hosting a summer program on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from July 6 through August 12.  The focus is on math and literacy skill development, community service (gardening), and team building activities.  To learn more, contact Fernanda Canales, 802-352-4291.  Space is limited.


MUMS: MUMS is running an updated version of their traditional summer program: MUMS Kids Care!  In addition, for the first time ever the Mary Johnson Children’s Center is offering afternoon opportunities for middle-schoolers to build on the MUMS summer morning learning blocks.  Take Five with Mary Johnson will run from 11:30-3:30, Monday through Friday, June 28 to July 23.  Activities include swimming, arts, music, games and sports, photography, creating a newspaper, explorations of community, and community service.  No cost to participants.  To learn more, contact Anne Gleason, 802-388-0522.  Space is limited.


MUHS: The high school is once again offering two two-week sessions of proficiency recovery summer school.  For more information, contact Courtney Krahn, 802-382-1753.  Additionally, Addison Central Teens is aiming to offer a fun educational series at the high school this summer.  Look for more information on that soon.


Peter Burrows
ACSD Superintendent