MAUSD

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) board is poised this Tuesday to adopt a roughly $31.4 million spending plan for the 2020-2021 school year that would increase 5-Town district expenditures by 1.45%, but tax rates by possibly more than twice that percentage. The board and MAUSD Superintendent Patrick Reen on this past Wednesday unveiled that all-but-final budget draft to about 20 residents at a meeting at Mount Abraham Union High School. The central question for board members this week is how they will handle a $750,000 projected fund balance. The answer will help...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District board will host a public forum on the status of the district-wide budget on Wednesday, Jan. 22. The MAUSD board plans to adopt a budget proposal on the following Tuesday, Jan. 28. On Town Meeting Day, March 3, 5-Yown residents will vote on a board spending plan to fund Mount Abraham Union high and middle schools and elementary schools in Bristol, Monkton, Lincoln, Starksboro and New Haven. Wednesday’s forum will begin at 6 p.m. in Mount Abe’s large cafeteria and is scheduled to last for 90 minutes. According to MAUSD business manager Floyd...
BRISTOL — Last week’s public forum organized by the Mount Abraham Unified School District’s Community Engagement Committee drew about 165 people to a Mount Abraham Union High School cafeteria and applause at its conclusion for the committee’s efforts to obtain and listen to residents’ suggestions about the future of district schools. The Nov. 20 meeting also offered more sobering news about MAUSD finances. Superintendent Patrick Reen said officials now estimate that without cuts in programs and/or staffing, next year MAUSD would be $850,000 over the state-allowed threshold after which the...
BRISTOL — A collection of 5 Town residents broke into groups of eight at Mount Abraham Union High School last Wednesday and discussed the educational values they shared and the future of the district. The 165 people, who had gathered for a public forum organized by the Mount Abraham Unified School District’s Community Engagement Committee, talked about shared values including producing “socially and emotionally healthy kids,” the importance of teachers, academic excellence, varied and flexible programming, equity for all students, community connections with schools, student-led personalized...
BRISTOL/BRANDON — MENTOR Vermont recently awarded 25 grants, totaling $348,735, to support youth mentoring programs throughout the state, including grants to an Addison County school and a Brandon-based organization that serves Addison County. The 2019- 2020 Vermont Mentoring Grants will support more than 100 new and existing program sites, and more than 1,800 adult-to-youth mentor pairs in communities across Vermont.  MENTOR Vermont awarded two grants to agencies and school districts that affect Addison County residents. Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) got a $28,500 grant to...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District board on Wednesday evening will host what the board is calling its third Community Conversation of the fall. At the 6 p.m. meeting, which was moved to Mount Abe’s larger cafeteria after the Nov. 5 Community Conversation drew an overflow crowd to Bristol’s Holley Hall, the board’s Community Engagement Committee will focus discussion on what it calls “a range of possible options for our facilities.” Those options will include the five different school closing and reconfiguration possibilities that were presented for discussion at the Nov. 5...
As we enter the budget building season, it has become clear that the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) is facing significant financial challenges that will impact us in the next year and beyond. Our school board remains focused on student outcomes, community values and fiscally responsible decisions. However, there is concerning urgency around the trends we are seeing and we think it is important to share these challenges with you. In building the budget, we start by looking at predictions of increases in costs such as health insurance, wages, and anticipated student needs. We...

ABOUT 135 MAUSD residents and staff members gathered in Bristol’s Holley Hall on Tuesday to discuss their school district’s future with the MAUSD board’s community engagement committee. They also heard the district could face major tax increases in the near future if spending is not reduced, and were presented with possible district reconfiguration scenarios. Independent photo/Andy Kirkaldy
BRISTOL — Late in Tuesday’s Mount Abraham Union School District community forum in Bristol’s Holley Hall, professional facilitator Sue McCormack’s voice cracked with emotion as she spoke to the roughly 135 MAUSD residents and staff members in the room. McCormack, an Essex resident, had helped lead October meetings in each of the district’s five towns before Tuesday’s forum, at which the MAUSD board shared what it learned from those earlier meetings about residents’ educational values and feelings about their elementary schools. (See related story.) MAUSD Superintendent Patrick Reen on Tuesday...
BRISTOL — Common themes and question emerged during forums held in each Mount Abraham Unified School District town in October by the MAUSD board’s Community Engagement Committee. In meeting summaries the committees released, residents expressed appreciation for teachers; said students should learn social, communication and problem-solving skills; pointed to their elementary schools’ community connections; and said they appreciated strong relationships among students, teachers and administrators. An overall summary of the five meetings the committee sent out on Monday drew a few conclusions...
BRISTOL — The next step in the Mount Abraham Unified School District’s months-long community-engagement process comes this Tuesday in Holley Hall. The MAUSD’s Community Engagement Committee will host a forum beginning at 6 p.m. that will review input from the seven conversations the committee hosted in October, one in each district town and one each with district students and staff. Those who come to Holley Hall at 5:30 p.m. may sample refreshments and listen to live music, according to the committee. According to the summary sent out after each of the conversations — dubbed Conversation 1 —...

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