MIDDLEBURY UNION HIGH School junior Anna Berg, shown working at home, appreciates the personalized attention that teachers are managing to give during distance learning. But she feels like she has to spend too much time on the computer.
MIDDLEBURY — Salisbury Community School teacher Amy Clapp offered an interesting analogy when speaking of the Addison Central School District’s new distance learning plan, which is seeing K-12 students attend classes remotely from their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s like we’re building an airplane while we’re flying it,” she said in a recent phone interview.
And by most accounts, the ACSD’s scores of teachers and hundreds of students are earning their wings. The district’s so-called “Continuity of Education Plan” lifted off last week for a lengthy flight that will hopefully...
MONTPELIER — Public furor over a plan announced last Friday by Jeb Spaulding, chancellor of the Vermont State College System, to close three state colleges by the fall prompted him to withdraw the proposal on Wednesday.
“It was pretty drastic proposal given that it would close half the system,” State Sen. Ruth Hardy said before Spaulding’s change of heart was announced.
Like most other members of the Addison County Legislative delegation, Hardy received a torrent of calls and emails criticizing Spaulding’s proposal to close Northern Vermont University, which combined the former state...
VERGENNES — Vergennes sewer ratepayers might in November be asked to support a multi-million-dollar bond to fund an upgrade of the city’s wastewater collection system and sewer treatment plant that could not only benefit the environment but possibly provide an economic development boost.
The Vergennes system has for decades been plagued by overflows of hundreds of thousands of gallons into Otter Creek, almost always after heavy rains. Although the vast majority of the stuff going into the creek is water, some of it is human waste.
For almost as long, the city has also been under state...
MIDDLEBURY — Young parents fortunate enough to have kept their jobs during COVID-19 continue to grapple with a major hurdle: How to get reliable childcare service during a time when most centers have been forced to close their doors — except to the offspring of what the state describes as “essential workers.”
The mandated closure of most childcare facilities has proved a major inconvenience for working families and a hardship to the centers themselves, resulting in temporary layoffs in some cases.
“It’s a balancing act, with safety first,” explained Donna Bailey, director of the Addison...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury and Ripton will not see the usual influx of more than a thousand students this summer after Middlebury College decided it would offer its summer academic programs only online because of the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Health and safety remain at the front of our minds as we decide what to do this summer,” Middlebury Provost Jeff Cason said in a letter to the community this past Friday. “As a consequence, most of our major programs will not take place in person this summer.”
Students will miss out on the in-person experience of the Middlebury language...
ADDISON COUNTY — The Addison Independent’s e-newsletters about COVID-19 and our daily updates on the number of cases in Addison County and throughout the state have been well read. People want to know how and where the coronavirus is advancing, in order to shape their travel and shopping habits during the pandemic.
We at the Independent still receive occasional inquiries from readers on why we we’re not offering town-by-town breakdown of Addison County’s COVID-19 cases, which stood at 61 as of this writing.
We’d like to offer readers that specificity, but the Vermont Department of Health (DOH...
Up in Lincoln, townspeople are being urged to exercise and enjoy the beautiful scenery during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s been a marked increase in the number of people travelling the roads of Lincoln on foot and on bikes. A group of residents has organized “Lincoln 58” — a challenge dedicated to walking, running, or biking all 58 miles of roads within the community. Be a Lincoln 58er and share stories, wildlife sightings, or other life sightings, on your daily adventures on the roads of Lincoln. Check lincolnvermont.org for a road map in the current Lincoln Town Plan on page 64.
BRISTOL — After focusing for a couple of weeks on “maintenance of skills,” the Mount Abraham Unified School District transitioned to a new phase of remote learning just before this week’s spring break. The new phase is the “continuation of learning,” and district officials are pleased with how it’s going so far.
“We are intentionally not trying to replicate a typical student day,” MAUSD Superintendent Patrick Reen said last week. “We’re really looking for families to focus on something that’s manageable, both from the parent perspective and from the student perspective.”
Where curriculum is...
VERGENNES — At a virtual Addison Northwest School Board meeting last week, board members, student representatives and administrators joined the district’s efforts in continuing education, providing and transporting meals, and keeping its buildings clean and safe.
Director of Finance and Operations Elizabeth Jennings said all ANWSD employees had excelled in responding during the COVID-19 crisis.
“It affects every single kind of person doing every single kind of job,” Jennings said. “I’m in awe and thankful for everyone in the entire district.”
Superintendent Sheila Soule also cast a wide net...
OLIVIA'S CROUTONS IS giving away bread-baking kits through the Brandon Free Public Library.
BRANDON — Like many area businesses, Olivia’s Croutons in the Forestdale section of Brandon is seeing a drop in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And like many Vermont business owners, Francie and Dave Caccavo have gotten creative with the extra product and flour they have at the Route 73 production facility.
They decided to give away croutons and make bread-baking kits for local families.
“We were having a weekly Zoom meeting and one of our employees mentioned that their friends were having a hard time finding flour,” Francie Caccavo said. “So I thought, we have so much flour and...