School Board News - October 2022

Posted by Heather Crowley on 10/24/2022 12:00:00 PM

It has been great to be back in ACSD school buildings!  The positive energy of both students and staff is palpable.  And the efforts of many in our community to connect and care for our students are also being felt throughout the district: From the fantastic MUHS Homecoming hay bale Tiger to the new MUMS Color Fun Run. From the beautiful new mural at Mary Hogan School and the ongoing tradition of the Ripton Ridge Run, to the Clear the Trails night at Salisbury Community School and Shoreham Elementary’s scarecrow-making event on the Town Green, our community is showing support for our students, staff, and schools.  We thank those of you who have gone out of your way to attend a game or event at any of our schools, who have donated to various student causes or participated in activities, volunteered in our schools or become substitute teachers.  It is helping us to once again bring joy into and around our buildings and let our kids know that they matter and we care.  


I am pleased that Ripton voters have decided to stay within the ACSD educational community and hope that we can all come together as one district to focus on providing the best possible education to all of our students.  We will need to direct our collective energy toward addressing the challenges that staffing shortages, old infrastructure, decreasing enrollments, and increasing costs present to our learning community. Please keep reading below for details about the ongoing work of the Board. 


Highlights of Board and Committee work since the July 2022 Board Update include the following:


  • The Board began work on the Strategic Plan for Equity in September. This work includes taking recommendations from the community-based Strategic Plan Advisory Committee and distilling them into foundational priorities for the District moving forward. A small group of Board members has been instrumental in organizing the full Board’s ideas into values and core beliefs, and clarifying the Board’s understanding of Educational Equity. The Board is currently reviewing its mission and vision through the lens of these core beliefs, and will continue its work to establish actionable goals for the Strategic Plan. The Board will be seeking community feedback in November prior to finalizing its goals and strategies. Work products from the Board’s Strategic Planning efforts can be found in the meeting materials for the Board’s regular meetings.    


  • Given the community’s continued concern around the potential for school closure, the Board has agreed to consider revising Article 14 of its Charter to modify its provisions for school closure. In support of this effort, the Board created an Ad Hoc Charter Research Committee to research how other unified school districts in Vermont have addressed school closure in their Articles of Agreement. The Ad Hoc Charter Research Committee is compiling information about the spectrum of requirements found in other District Charters (e.g., town vote, district vote, and supermajority Board approval), as well as example language for varying combinations of factors.  Once the Committee has completed this work, it will present its findings to the full Board to inform the discussion regarding a potential Charter update. 


  • The Facilities Committee has reviewed information from the secondary school assessments conducted by Truex Cullins in Spring 2022, and will present an updated summary of District-wide facilities needs to the full Board. Based on this information and the Board’s prior Educational and Facilities Planning Report, the Board will determine which capital improvement projects best support District goals and student needs. In the upcoming months, the Facilities Committee will be guiding the development of a bond strategy to fund priority improvements to ACSD facilities. 


  • The Policy and Governance Committee has reviewed and is proposing adoption of the following Vermont School Board Association (VSBA) recommended policies and policy updates: 

    • Policy A-21, Public Participation at Board Meetings 

    • Policy C-5, Firearms 

    • Policy C-6, Home Study

    • Policy C-8, Draft Pupil Privacy

    • Policy D-6, Class Size

The Policy Committee's work aligns closely with the policies vetted by the Vermont State School Board. Most are determined by state Statutes or Federal Laws.  ACSD Policies ideally are reviewed and amended on a three year cycle. New policies are determined by state requirements or at the direction of the ACSD School Board. The complete list of ACSD Policies and Procedures can be found here


  • The Finance Committee met in August 2022 to review the fourth quarter financial report, and reported a fund balance of just under $1.1 million, which was consistent with the projected balance. In the upcoming months, the Committee will begin working with ACSD’s new Director of Finance & Operations Matt Corrente to develop the budget for the ‘23-’24 academic year.   


  • The Communications and Engagement Committee has been assisting the ACSD Administration in recruiting volunteers and job applicants to fill open positions in the District. The Committee is also working to identify ongoing opportunities for the community to engage with the Board beyond the brief public comment period during Board meetings. Some ideas that have been attempted include holding virtual office hours and having a school board table at community events. Other ideas under consideration include hosting regular informal Q&A sessions and providing recurring in-person updates via parent groups at our community schools.  If you have a suggestion for community engagement, please reach out to Mary Heather Noble at


As always, we welcome community input and participation. Currently scheduled meetings are listed below – but please check our Board and Committee Meetings page frequently, as new Committee meeting dates are continuously added to the calendar.



Victoria Jette, Chairperson, ACSD Board

Upcoming Meetings


Board and Committee meeting dates, locations, materials, and virtual links can be found on the ACSD Calendar.

October 24, 2022 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. ACSD Board Meeting – 208 Charles Ave.

November 3, 2022 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Communications & Engagement Committee meeting

November 14, 2022 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. ACSD Board Meeting – Cornwall Elementary School

November 16, 2022 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Policy & Governance Committee Meeting

November 28, 2022 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. ACSD Board Meeting – 208 Charles Ave.

December 12, 2022 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. ACSD Board Meeting – Mary Hogan School

December 19, 2022 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. ACSD Board Meeting – 208 Charles Ave.

December 21, 2022 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Policy & Governance Committee Meeting