School starts this week (Vermont summer sure flies by quickly!) for public schools. As we send our children back to the classroom, let’s send a huge THANKS to the entire school community-teachers, office staff, bus drivers, school nurses, PTs, OTs, SLPs, reading and math specialists, kitchen staff, maintenance, custodians, special educators, behavior interventionists, administrators, paraeducators, substitutes, ELL specialists, guidance staff, librarians, IT specialists, intensive needs specialists, coaches, social workers, EEE staff, after-school staff, and counselors- who have dedicated their lives to the education and enrichment of our children. Let’s also acknowledge the importance of partnerships with our local businesses, collaborations with cultural, environmental, and agricultural organizations, parent and community member involvement and volunteerism, civic service on behalf of education, and the many mentoring (formal and otherwise) alliances that support and enhance education. This dedication is a key reason that the Champlain Valley is one of the best places in the country to raise a family.
Let’s work together to preserve our community’s broad and inclusive definition of a successful path in life. Let’s recognize that successful learning and teaching are not defined by standardized test results alone. And let’s keep our reform discussions positive, informed, open to the voices of all stakeholders, and focused on the needs of our unique community. It’s the Vermont way!