“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Dear Lamoille North Supervisory Union Staff, Parents and Community:
“Talent wins games. Teamwork wins championships.” Michael Jordan
Welcome to the start of the 2017-2018 school year in the Lamoille North Supervisory Union! I hope you have had time to do the things you enjoy this summer and feel rejuvenated and ready for an exceptional year! I continue to be honored to serve as your superintendent and to support all members of our school community. Having reflected on the past school year, I appreciate, more than ever, the importance of teamwork and have seen firsthand how powerful a collective group can be in our efforts to articulate a path of equity, access and opportunity for all. This past year we saw community support for the passage of the Hyde Park Bond Vote and are seeing the beginning phases of renovation. We successfully confronted the challenges of Act 46 and now stand solidly as a Modified Unified Union School District, yet still retain all Lamoille North town representation as members of our Supervisory Union family. The local School Boards, with the exception of Cambridge, have dissolved through a well-planned transition to a larger single Board with representation from member towns, while we simultaneously work hard to ensure local input from each of our towns. Maintaining the integrity, history and cultural knowledge of our local communities is most important as we navigate the challenges and opportunities of changing Board governance structures. All of our schools have begun the journey towards proficiency-based learning, including identification of learning targets and ways to assess learning that honor the individual paths that each student has started to identify in personal learning plans. We are continuing our work in moving forward with a common curriculum and common professional development. We are ensuring we embed academic, social and emotional supports in-house for our students so that they can access education. In summary, it has been a year of significant change.
James Baldwin said and I paraphrase, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
What does this mean for us? We are and will remain invested in better student outcomes and that investment will serve as a driver for everything we do. Our move towards a common curriculum in math and literacy over the last year showed more student growth at each of our elementary schools than we have seen in over a decade. We are utilizing the expertise of T.J. Jemison, from the Math Learning Center, and Gayle Moskowitz, from Vermont Reads Institute, to provide embedded professional development in math and literacy across the supervisory union. Targeted professional development and common curricula are, in fact, the two strongest research-based indicators of better student outcomes. And, we are becoming more practiced at assessing student growth through identified learning targets. I am proud to state that our middle, high school and technical center teams were cited as models for the state.
I am filled with hope for the trajectory of our education system and hold tremendous gratitude for the extraordinary team of people who make up our school teams and community. I look forward to a year of hard work and know without any doubt, that we will continue to transform our schools to bring about the best chance of success for all.
My very best to you,
Catherine Gallagher, M.Ed.
Superintendent of Schools