By Nancy Richardson
The March 17 Champlain Valley School District board met remotely against the backdrop of the uncertainties related to school suspension of operations due to Coronavirus. The discussions were largely focused on maintaining traditional work and planning for a board retreat on May 28. There will have to be some adjustments to the budget because of the interruptions in operations. Those adjustments will be determined later, depending upon the length of the school shut down.
Food service for students who need it will be continued and plans are in discussion for the provision of services for special education students during the shut-down. Suggested topics for the board retreat were discussed, including equity issues, budget adjustments, the effectiveness of the system as a whole, and quality indicators. A brief discussion was held on the legislative report on the impacts of poverty and other weighting factors for funding formulas. Those formulas will likely not be put into place until after the new special education block grant formula has been implemented. The board retreat is scheduled for May 28.
In the meantime, directions have been sent to parents of Charlotte Central School and all CVSD students in three areas: food service, childcare, and maintenance of learning. All schools in the district will provide breakfast and lunch to students who need food while schools are closed. Those students eligible for free and reduced lunch will receive meals for free: others can pay as usual. Those experiencing new financial distress can apply for free meals. Pick-up service for CCS or Champlain Valley Union High School students will be at the West Entrance of CCS from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, beginning March 23. Other pick-up sites are available. Please order at this website, or call Deb Bissonette at (802) 482-2106.
From March 23 to April 6, learning activities will be focused on maintaining academic skills. If school closures extend beyond this time, teachers are designing more specific remote learning activities. Materials for this first stage of remote activities and Chromebooks were distributed on March 23 by CCS. Directions for CVU students are available on its website. Both plans include daily check-ins with teachers. Those with questions can email Stephanie Sumner or Jen Roth.
Child care will be available for essential personnel if both parents are eligible. Parents can gain access to this system through this website. The school district has asked for stories or photos of positive efforts in the community to respond to this challenging time.