Latest update from the Superintendent

3.31.2020

Dear Families,

Right now we're in a maintenance of education period. This means the TRSU educators are working on becoming instructionally and technologically skilled at providing distance learning while providing an ongoing education to our students, to keep their skills and achievement where they were when the schools were closed. In addition to ongoing education, some of our teachers have introduced new learning to our students because in their professional opinion their class(es) of students were ready for the next phase of instruction.

We are currently working on a Continuity of Learning Plan for that second phase of instruction. Our Director of Curriculum, Michael Eppolito has created a draft Plan. Right now it is being vetted by our teachers and administration. We plan on beginning to implement our Continuity of Learning Plan prior to our April vacation.

Just a reminder, we will be on April vacation from April 13th-17th as it is scheduled in our school calendars. All of our employees need to have an opportunity to have a break at that time. However, we will continue to provide food pick-up and delivery during that week throughout the supervisory union.

Since we have established our routines for this maintenance of education period, I am not anticipating the need to continue to provide you with a daily message. Once we get closer to launching our Continuity of Learning Plan, I will begin sending out daily messages again. In the meantime, let me know if there are any topics you would like further information on. I want to be sure we are providing you with the information you need.

Sincerely,

Meg Alison Powden

Superintendent of Schools


3/30/2020

Dear Families,

Recently, I started researching the pandemic of 1918-1919. I'm curious about the lessons learned from that time. Also, I've been wishing that as a young adult I had asked my grandmother how my grandfather and they survived during that time. My mother's oldest brother was born during the 1918 pandemic. This past weekend I asked my mother if my grandmother ever talked about that time and if so, how they survived. My mother said she did speak about the pandemic on occasion. They survived because they stayed on their farm in Castleton and fortunately had all they needed.

Isolation worked for them and that is one of the lessons learned from the 1918 flu pandemic. That is why we need to keep our physical distance during this pandemic. I like the term physical distance better than social distance. It's important for us to stay connected socially while keeping our distance physically.

Just a reminder, our School Counselors and School-based Clinicians have created a TRSU School Counseling webpage with lessons for our students, resources for our families and a listing of our counselors and clinicians for you to contact. This webpage is linked to the TRSU website. Also, this morning, I received the following resource to share for those of you who might be struggling with substance abuse concerns: VTHelpLink. During this Covid-19 pandemic we need to do all we can to care for ourselves and our loved ones.

With our educators offering online learning for our students, many of you have observed our instructional practices in real time. As I've mentioned previously, having to become distance learning educators in a very short period of time is a huge transition for us. If you happen to observe an instructional practice or student behavior that causes you concern, please contact your child's Teacher directly to discuss your concern. If for some reason you aren't able to connect with the Teacher, then contact the Principal of your child's school.

To provide the best learning experiences possible for our students, we need to hear from you, what works for your child(ren) and what doesn't appear to be working. Thank you in advance for keeping the lines of communication open.

Sincerely,

Meg Alison Powden

Superintendent of Schools

3/26/2020

Dear Families,

Just now I was reviewing my notes from the day. Since the beginning of this ordeal, I have taken pages and pages of notes on a daily basis (granted it is a small notebook). However, today I only have two pages of notes and that's indicative of all of our challenging and collaborative work getting to the point of becoming routine. While we are so far away from our typical instructional and delivery of services routine, we are establishing new routines for Ensuring an Ongoing Education and Food Services during this period of Stay Home, Stay Safe.

In regards to providing childcare services, we will be unable to provide those services within our school buildings. However, I am aware of five children of Essential Personnel still in need of care. We will work with you to find care with private providers. I just got off a conference call with my colleagues in the southeast and the Superintendent from the Springfield School District said there is a provider in his district who might be able to provide care. I will be contacting you soon (hopefully tomorrow) to see if that option will work for your family. If there are other Essential Personnel who need care for their children please contact me at meg.powden@trsu.org.

Parents of elementary school children, if you haven't already done so, please complete our TRSU Tech Agreement. We are all set with our middle and high schoolers who have devices. We have many elementary school children who are using our devices without the Agreement being submitted. Please fill out that form as soon as possible. Thank you.

Have a good evening and good health,

Meg Alison Powden

Superintendent of Schools

3/25/2020

Dear Families,

Governor Scott has directed all of us to Stay Safe, Stay Home beginning at 5:00 p.m. today. With this directive, I want to assure you, we will continue to provide our students with an education, social and emotional support, and food. School personnel are considered Essential Persons and we are in the process of issuing letters to our employees who need to access our school buildings. These letters will verify their essential status. Our employees will only be traveling to our schools to instruct our students, pick up educational materials and supplies, for preparation and delivery of food, and for ongoing cleaning and maintenance.

Also, Secretary French informed the Superintendents today to plan on an extended school closure. We are beginning to plan for that extension by creating an Extended Home Learning Guide for our teachers and students. On April 7th we will be holding a professional development afternoon (see school calendar) for our teachers. Please plan accordingly, if your child(ren's) teachers typically provide instruction in the afternoon.

It will be challenging and difficult for all of us to stay home (with the exception of essential purchases). We're used to being on the move, headed to work, seeing extended family and friends, going to the movies, etc. I hope during this time you find ways to enjoy being at home and access any services you need to stay healthy and well.

Sincerely,

Meg Alison Powden

Superintendent of Schools


COVID-19 Letter to Families 3-24-2020.pdf
Covid-19 Letter to Families 3-23-2020.pdf
Covid-19 Letter to Families 3-20-2020.pdf
Covid-19 Letter to Families 3-19-2020.pdf