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2021 Letter From the Superintendent

Dear Valued Community Members,

I continue to be honored to serve as Superintendent of the Lamoille North Schools, and even more so during a time that will likely be remembered as that of the pandemic. The past two years have been unprecedented and challenging, as we have worked together to keep our school community safe, and educate students in the midst of a once in a hundred year pandemic. One thing that has remained constant in a day-to-day world of flux is the commitment and dedication of our team of administrators, staff, Board of Directors, and community partners to the Lamoille North children and families. I have seen our school community join together to support, grow, learn and collaborate, in order to successfully navigate uncertain waters and to do it with grace and fortitude.

The Lamoille North mission and vision remain the same. We work together to empower all students to be responsible, productive and engaged citizens, and to provide them with equity, access and robust opportunities so that they may successfully pursue their passions now and in the future. I am grateful and inspired by the commitment, sacrifice and care provided by the entire Lamoille North school community; that dedication speaks volumes about the ideals and principles we hold sacred, as well as the strength and quality of our school system and local communities. One of the opportunities we have been afforded by virtue of our circumstances has been to develop and begin to implement our Vermont Agency of Education (VTAOE) required three-year Recovery Plan. This plan serves to address the consequences of last year’s interrupted learning as a result of COVID-19. Our plan encompasses the following three areas: academic rigor, social emotional wellness and student engagement. We are in the initial phases of using grant funds to hire academic coaches, home-school liaisons, and mental health clinicians to begin to address the goals in our plan.

At the elementary level, our focus has been on collaborative learning, health and wellbeing. We continue to strengthen our core instructional programs and have systematized our learning management systems to assist us in delivering curriculum. Our common math and literacy programs enable us to ensure that our students will have had access to a consistent sets of skills and concepts when they transition to middle school, no matter the elementary school they attended. In addition, our
schools have emphasized the importance of health and wellness, nutrition, civic discourse and support for self and others, especially essential given a year where isolation from friends and extended families has been necessary at times to ensure optimal safety for all community members.

At the middle school, high school and technical center, personalized learning plans and proficiency-based learning continue to evolve and strengthen. Additionally, our students are coming together to create an understanding of what respect means and identifying avenues where they can respectfully use their voice to communicate how they feel in conversations with peers and adults alike. At the high school, more students are taking advantage of our unique EPIC Academy (Educational Path I Choose) to identify a passion and design semester- or year-long projects to develop their interests that simultaneously fuel their passions and incorporate learning proficiencies. Our technical center continues to be one of the strongest of its kind in promoting mastery in technical and employability skills in its many programs. Our goal remains to ensure that all graduating students are college, career and “life” ready.

Our Board, with input from our student representatives, has identified and adopted goals that set the framework for student success. Work continues in the areas of curriculum – specifically ensuring rich course offerings and academic rigor for students; health and safety – particularly supporting our efforts to ensure social and racial justice and encouraging training and education in all schools for staff and students; communication – especially seeking to strengthen community connection through access to technology for all students and development of a Community Advisory Group to have a better understanding of community needs; and fiscal responsibility – simultaneously maintaining a sound budget and ensuring excellent programs and services for all students.

And finally, in all schools, we continue our work in restorative practices and work daily on continuing to build a sense of community, safety and belonging. We also thank our partners in Lamoille County who work with us to give our students the support they need to achieve success in their education and life. I consider myself most fortunate to work with all members of our school community, including administrators, staff and school board members; my greatest joy, however, comes from my interactions with our students. I am filled with hope for the trajectory of our education system and am humbled by the resilience, dedication and strength I have once again witnessed this year from students, staff and community members alike. I extend my deep gratitude to the extraordinary people who comprise our school community and thank you for all of your combined efforts to ensure that our communities thrive.

Respectfully yours,
Catherine Gallagher, M.Ed.
Superintendent of Schools
Lamoille North Supervisory Union