Jericho/Underhill

Delayed opening for Chittenden East Supervisory Union sparks concerns

By Phyl Newbeck

Superintendent John Alberghini admits the Chittenden East Supervisory Union did a poor job of public relations when it rolled out a proposed delayed opening one school day each month for the 2015-16 school year.

“The communication should have been much, much better,” Alberghini said, noting that the district sent out an apology for the way things were handled.

He hopes that parents will forgive the way the message got out and will come to embrace the idea that schools throughout the supervisory union will open two hours later on the second Wednesday of every month during the upcoming school year.

“The change is purely for professional development,” Alberghini said. “There are a lot of new initiatives that educators will need to implement over the next few years and we don’t have enough time during the school day to get it all done.” Alberghini detailed a number of changes that the district believes will require more preparation time than is currently devoted to in-service training.

  • The new state education quality standards approved last year by the Vermont Board of Education require professional learning to be embedded into the school day.
  • Learning plans are now required for all students in grades 7 through 12.
  • There are new proficiency-based graduation requirements that require more than just a letter grade to prove that a student can move to the next grade level or graduate.
  • The supervisory union is implementing the Common Core of Standards and Practices, which were adopted by the state.
  • CESU has new K-12 data teams composed of educators and staff who will get together to determine how students are doing on a particular assignment, skill or concept and then decide how best to help those students become more successful.
  • The district is implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, which are supported by the state of Vermont, and the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition to those specific changes, Alberghini said the district is focused on closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their peers. “Some students do not have the assets that others do,” he said. “It takes a great deal of time, thought and effort to put together individual learning plans so they can be successful and close the gap.” CESU is also working on ways to integrate technology into all the curricula and lesson plans. “We want to use technology to expand learning and engage students,” Alberghini said “but it takes training to teach staff how to do that.”

Alberghini noted that many of the new initiatives have been imposed by the state, but he believes they have the potential to support students and help the schools to be as student-centered as possible. “Some of these are fairly new,” he said “and we’re trying to implement them and implement them well, but we only have a finite amount of time. We’ve moved from content and rote learning to understanding that practice makes the most difference for student achievement and all these initiatives are focused on helping students reach their full potential.”

Alberghini proposed the two-hour delay in the spring and the school board approved it. Word leaked out before letters were sent and there was an outcry on social media about the hardship the move would pose to parents. “The last thing I want to do is stress families and increase their anxiety,” Alberghini said. “There’s enough of that to go around without schools adding to it.” Recognizing that the two-hour delay may cause challenges for some families, Alberghini said his administrative team is working on ways to accommodate those who will be affected adversely, perhaps with school-based options. He noted that other school districts are also planning either delayed starts or early closures.

“We’re going to have a community forum,” Alberghini said “and listen to what parents have to say and make sure we understand their concerns. That’s the great thing about this board and this community. We have a lot of thoughtful people and their top priority is to support students. They care about their neighbors and will listen to their concerns.”


Achievements

Adele Julianelle, of Underhill, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. Adele is a first-year student in the diagnostic medical sonography program in RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Noelle Kichura, of Underhill, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Boston University in Boston, Mass.

Christian Kleiner, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. Christian is a sophomore majoring in Business Administration.

Andrew Lange, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. Andrew is majoring in Visual Art Studies.

Maria Leech, of Underhill, was named to the spring 2014 semester Dean’s List at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. Maria is a member of the class of 2018.

Linda Lewis, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Community College of Vermont in Montpelier.

Rachel Loggins, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Lyndon State College in Lyndonville. Rachel is a junior majoring in Music Business and Industry – Concentration in Production.

Addison Marcus, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. Addison is a sophomore majoring in Biological Science.

Emily Marshall, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. Emily is a senior majoring in Neuroscience.

Ariana Matthews-Salzman, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. Ariana is a first-year majoring in Environmental Studies.

Austin Merrill, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. Austin is a junior majoring in Biological Science.

Jeffrey Meyer-Lorentson, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. Jeffrey is a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Emilie Moreau, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Champlain College in Burlington. Emilie is majoring in Psychology.

Emily Mulvihill, of Underhill, was named to the spring 2014 semester Dean’s List at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. Emily is a member of the class of 2016 and is majoring in English and multi-language.

Andrew Nitchie, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga.

Alexandra Orsky, of Underhill, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Orsky is enrolled in the university’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Dakotah Patnode, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Champlain College in Burlington. Dakotah is majoring in Early Childhood/Elementary Education.

Darcy Patnode, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Champlain College in Burlington. Darcy is majoring in Early Childhood/Elementary Education.

Ryan Peden-Spear, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. Ryan is majoring in Legal Studies Program.

David Polson, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. David is a junior majoring in Biology.

Matthew Prahl, of Underhill, was named to the fall 2014 semester President’s List at Champlain College in Burlington. Matthew is majoring in Computer Networking and Information Security.

Kaerstin Quinlan, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn.

Clay Reid, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Community College of Vermont in Montpelier.

Jillian Reynolds, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I.

Daniel Shank, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Boston University in Boston, Mass.

Julia Smith, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Community College of Vermont in Montpelier.

Samuel Spencer, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Castleton State College in Castleton.

Eliza St Onge, of Underhill, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Community College of Vermont in Montpelier.

Addy Stricker, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at University of New England in Biddeford/Portland, Maine.

Karly Terrio, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Champlain College in Burlington. Karly is majoring in Communication.

Austin Trembllay, of Underhill, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at Paul Smith’s College in Paul Smiths, N.Y. Austin is majoring in environmental sciences.

Zoe Walsh, of Underhill, was named to the fall 2014 semester Dean’s List at The University of Vermont in Burlington. Zoe is a sophomore majoring in Athletic Training Education.

Samantha Ward, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester President’s List at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H. Samantha is majoring in Graphic Design and Media Arts.

Justin Yergeau, of Jericho, was named to the fall 2014 semester President’s List at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich.