education

BRISTOL — After teachers at Bristol Elementary School raised school safety concerns in a public statement at Tuesday night's Mount Abraham Unified School District board meeting, Mount Abraham Education Association co-vice president Sarah Mangini followed with a statement cataloguing some of the damage and dangers experienced or observed at the school. Mangini described an atmosphere in which students and teachers have feared for their safety, property has been damaged, and learning has often being interrupted. Some of the concerns expressed Tuesday night echoed those that have been shared in...

A BRISTOL ELEMENTARY School classroom that recently suffered damage after an incident at the school.
BRISTOL — A group of Bristol Elementary School teachers banded together to raise concerns about safety issues at the school during Tuesday night's MAUSD board meeting in Bristol. Teachers spoke of incidents in recent days and weeks when "children were hiding and crying in fear and staff members were injured. Hallways were cleared and students and staff remained in the learning space they were in with the doors locked." They referred to the school as a "place of unrest" where "a general sense of helplessness and fear has permeated our school." The full statement, which was shared with the...

Lincoln children carry signs supporting the preservation of their school earlier this week. Photo by Sarah McClain
LINCOLN — By a margin of more than 3 to 1, Lincoln voted Tuesday to withdraw from the Mount Abraham Unified School District. The vote count was 525-172 in favor of the measure.  Turnout for Tuesday's vote was 62%, significantly higher than Town Meeting Day 2021 (38.9%) but lower than the 2020 presidential election (88%). The MAUSD now has 90 days to schedule votes in the district's four other member towns of Bristol, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro. Lincoln’s exit plan has to win a majority of votes in each of those towns before it can proceed to the Vermont Board of Education, which would...
ADDISON COUNTY — Here’s a shocking truth about rural America: Children living in rural areas are the likeliest group to grow up in poverty, experience poor health outcomes, leave school before college, and fall victim to alcohol and drug abuse. That applies to the rural South and Midwest, but also to many areas of Vermont and upstate New York. “Rural America needs a lifeline, but only 3% of philanthropy goes toward rural causes,” writes Rick Dalton of College For Every Student (CFES), a foundation based in Essex, N.Y. “As we ignore America’s rural crisis, we ignore a quarter of the U.S....
ADDISON COUNTY — School taxes are going to be lower across the board than initially projected back in January, according to lawmakers and local school district officials. Several factors have combined during a winter that made the state tax rate, upon which local rates are based, difficult to project, according to experts recently interviewed by the Independent. Rep. Peter Conlon, D-Cornwall, a House Education Committee member, described the bottom line in a Feb. 4 piece in the Independent. In it, Conlon shared the good news about what is known as the “Yield Bill,” upon which statewide...

Willowell Foundation land in Monkton.
MONKTON — With the limited in-person schooling this fall due to fears around coronavirus, The Willowell Foundation is rolling out a new interdisciplinary, outdoor, multi-aged option. The program will provide activities for students on days when they are not in school. The foundation is collaborating with a group of licensed teachers, artists, theatre majors, and craftspeople to run an educational camp at the Willowell Foundation land in Monkton. The program will be completely outdoors, open air, and will follow state health safety guidelines. This program will run from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.,...
About eight years ago I began doing hand-built pottery. Some people make beautiful bowls or whimsical wall hangings; I like to make sculptures. Probably all of you have made things out of clay, even if it was simply Playdough. I remember making an elephant when I was in kindergarten. The great thing about building with clay is that if you don’t like the way it’s turning out you just squish it into a ball and start anew. I realize that making a marble sculpture would be significantly less forgiving.  In the state of Washington, a famous bridge was built in 1940. At that time, it was the third...
As a retired teacher (over 20 years as an elementary school classroom teacher and five years as a supplemental literacy teacher in Bristol, Vt.), I am concerned about the future of education during and after the pandemic crisis. I know from my own experience that there are many children in our communities who struggle, both academically, and in other areas of their lives. Even when school is open they face many challenges. My former colleagues who are still teaching are working incredibly hard to stay connected to their students, and teach them. But when this is over, and the schools reopen,...
We ended our work early at the Statehouse on Feb. 7 due to the huge snowstorm, but otherwise we’re just about one month into the 2020 Legislative Session and it’s been nonstop action! We’ve already sent several important bills to Gov. Scott for signature. Unfortunately, he vetoed a bill that would have provided universal paid family leave to enable Vermonters to take paid time off from work to care for a new baby or ailing family member. Although there was broad support in the legislature for this program, a vote to override the governor’s veto failed by one vote in the House. Similarly, a...

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Addison County Independent