Vermont School Boards Association From the Boardroom Newsletter

2016 Spring Essential Work of Vermont School Boards Workshops

The Essential Work of Vt School Boards is a framework for the effective governance of our public schools. 

The 2016 workshops will kick off on March 31st in Rutland followed by dates in Lyndon, Springfield, Montpelier, Manchester and Milton. We will also present a webinar for those unable to attend in person. 

VSBA Upcoming Events

TONIGHT 1/19/16 - Preparing for Annual Meeting Webinar
02/02/16 - Board ReOrganization Webinar
03/03/16 - Welcome New Board Members Webinar
04/01/16 - Policy Governance 101 & 102
March & April - Essential Work of School Boards


The VSBA proudly announces the release of our new website. Please take a few moments to check it out!

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  1. School Board Members Rise to the Challenge
  2. A Word from the VSBA President
  3. Secretary Holcombe Recognizes School Boards
  4. The Allowable Growth Provision Conflicts with the Goals of Act 46
  5. Better Together: Making The Case for School District Unification in Essex & Westford
  6. Act 46 Implementation Project
  7. VSBA Award for Exceptional School Board Leadership goes to Prosper Valley Joint School Board
  8. Leaving Behind No Child Left Behind
  9. UP For Learning Time for you to dream...
  10. NSBA Annual Conference IN BOSTON!!!
  11. UP for Learning Dynamic Design Day
  12. Vermont's Open Meeting Law and Contract Negotiations
  13. 2016 Spring Essential Work of Vermont School Boards Workshops
  14. Superintendent Search Services
  15. Superintendent Evaluation Services
  16. Vermont Education Policy Service

School Board Members Rise to the Challenge

Over the past several years the Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA) has been engaged in a serious dialogue with our members regarding the best public policy approaches to address declining enrollment, rising costs, increasing numbers of students with significant learning needs, leadership turnover, and growing inequity in student opportunity. 

A Word from the VSBA President

While winter is a long season in Vermont, I have a feeling it is going to seem a bit shorter than usual to those of us on school boards. It always feels like the busier I am, the faster the days seem to pass and I am willing to bet there isn’t a school board in our state that is not busier than usual right now due to the requirements Act 46 has placed upon us.

Secretary Holcombe Recognizes School Boards

“Talent is universal,” wrote Kantaro Toyama, “and opportunity is the nurturing of that talent.” As school board members, you are in charge of nurturing the talent of the children in your communities - with building in every child the strength, knowledge and skill he or she needs to thrive. Without your careful and caring oversight, our schools are unable to develop the human potential of our next generation. There is no more important civic responsibility.

The Allowable Growth Provision Conflicts with the Goals of Act 46

School district officials are leading important and challenging conversations in communities across Vermont about how to adjust governing and operating structures to ensure greater equity, quality, and cost-effectiveness.  

Better Together: Making The Case for School District Unification in Essex & Westford

On Nov. 3, 2015, voters in Essex Town, Essex Junction, and Westford overwhelmingly supported a proposal to streamline school governance, reduce costs, and enhance student outcomes and opportunities by creating a unified school district. The vote was the culmination of months of challenging deliberations, community engagement and a public outreach campaign.

Act 46 Implementation Project

The Act 46 Implementation Project is a collaboration of the Vermont School Boards Association, the Vermont Superintendents Association, and the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust. The Project was initiated as the result of separate consultations that representatives of the VSA, VSBA, and the Agency of Education held with officials from thirty-seven supervisory unions immediately following the enactment of Act 46.

VSBA Award for Exceptional School Board Leadership goes to Prosper Valley Joint School Board

The Vermont School Boards Association is pleased to announce that the Prosper Valley Joint School Board is the recipient of the 2015 VSBA Award for Exceptional School Board Leadership.   This Award recognizes the leadership taken by the Pomfret and Bridgewater boards in coming together to form their joint contract school, the new Prosper Valley School, and their subsequent efforts as the Prosper Valley Joint School Board to make this new school a success. 

Leaving Behind No Child Left Behind

On Thursday, December 10, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. The ESSA is a reauthorization and replacement of the No Child Left Behind program. ESSA represents a shift away from burdensome federal mandates for education and toward state by state quality measures and accountability. 

UP For Learning Time for you to dream...

As part of our partnership work with 
Up for Learning please take a moment to 
contribute your thoughts....

NSBA Annual Conference IN BOSTON!!!

The NSBA Annual Conference and Exposition is the one national event that brings together education leaders at a time when domestic policies and global trends are combining to shape the future of our students. 

UP for Learning Dynamic Design Day

Join school redesign teams to work and to make connections at The UP for Learning Dynamic Design Day at Lake Morey Inn on Wednesday, March 30th.  


Vermont's Open Meeting Law and Contract Negotiations

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding these two very important issues for Vermont school board members.

Superintendent Search Services

Hiring of a superintendent is the most important decision of a board. The VSBA is pleased to provide comprehensive superintendent search services to assist boards in this all-important endeavor. 

Superintendent Evaluation Services

An effective evaluation provides the board and superintendent with data to measure performance and inform decisions.  It enables both the board and the superintendent to continually improve their efforts.

Vermont Education Policy Service

In Vermont, the most important function of school boards is policy making.  It is the first responsibility assigned to school boards by the statute listing 32 fundamental responsibilities of school baords.

Editor: Harry Frank
Layout: Kerri Lamb

Articles printed represent diverse points of view and may be controversial in nature. It is the belief of the Association that the democratic process functions best through discussions which challenge and stimulate thinking on the part of the reader. Therefore, materials published present the ideas/beliefs of those who write them and are not necessarily the views or policies of the VSBA unless so stated. This newsletter is distributed at no charge to all members of the Association. Contact the Association by calling 800-244-8733.