Shelburne School Directors look at enrollment, decide to hire new teacher

By Gail Callahan

In an era when school budgets are examined with a fine-tooth comb, the Shelburne School Board gave the go ahead for the hiring of a new kindergarten teacher for the 2013-14 academic year. The panel acted on a request from school administrators, who cited burgeoning kindergarten enrollment as the reason to ask for a new faculty member.

According to Shelburne Community School (SCS) Co-Principal Allan Miller, an advertisement looking for the new teacher was expected to be printed and run last week, with a salary and benefit package of $80,000. But Miller cautioned that the position would likely last only one year with the person receiving a “rift” notice. Right now, projections for next year’s kindergarten class run around a total of 83 students. Once the new educator is hired, five kindergarten teachers will be on staff, Miller said.

On the heels of that, the Board heard that SCS’s current enrollment stands at 771 students, with a projection to climb to 783, using figures from the kindergarten pre-enrollment.

Also, the Board adopted the 2012-2013 calendar, designating the last day of school as June 14. Miller said eighth grade graduation will fall on June 13.

The Board also read a job sharing request from Kaleidoscope teachers Diane Hansen and Lynda Maitland to job share a position on the first- and second- grade house. The two educators have job shared a position for years. The School Directors decided to table any decision, moving into Executive or private session at the end of their meeting.

SCS Board Chairman Russ Caffry discussed reconfiguring the Chittenden South Supervisory Board with fellow school directors with respect to the membership of Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU). CVU sought to add other members to the 11-member panel, which also includes panelists from the Shelburne, Charlotte, and Williston K-eighth grade school boards.

Caffry noted an apparent consensus of the Shelburne Board having no opposition to CVU’s request to bump up their numbers.

SCS Co-Principals Pati Beaumont and Miller also gave a brief update on events at the school. Beaumont noted the School Safety Committee held a meeting and held drills to prepare students in case of an emergency. She also noted that the school was gearing up for an evacuation drill, by having students and staff walk to the Shelburne Fieldhouse.

   Beaumont also mentioned a continuing problem with parking around the circle. She noted a great deal of traffic congestion around pick-up and drop-off times. She mentioned that with the advent of good weather, parents will be encouraged to park at the train station and walk to SCS. In Shelburne, May is designated as find an alternative way to travel to school month.

The meeting started with SCS educators’, John Madden and Carol Specht, explanation of the school’s NECAP scores.

Madden and Specht both noted that Shelburne’s numbers fall in line with other CSSU schools. The NECAP looks at students’ proficiency in math, literacy, and science. One portion of the standardized tests is given in the fall, with the remaining portion in spring.

School Board member Bob Finn said that more students were gaining proficiency, but the number of students who attain “proficient with distinction” is declining. Middle school students’ performances were tracked back three years to measure how they did on the NECAPs. Each grade’s performance was broken down by subject.

   Noting that some students lag behind, Madden said early intervention is the key. He plans to contribute by holding future Shelburne Curriculum nights.


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