The Montpelier Roxbury School Board not too long ago determined to allocate a further $400,000 to the beforehand allotted $1.5 million to fund a brand new profession at Montpelier High School. This challenge has no tax implications, the board stated, because the route shall be paid for with funds from the present fiscal 12 months’s finances. Facilities Director Andrew LaRosa has been tasked with redefining the scope of the challenge with the technical consultants and can present revised drawings and price estimates to the board. The challenge shall be tendered to pre-qualified development corporations by March, and development of the road might start in June. Completion of the brand new route would happen both in the summertime of 2023 or within the spring of 2024. LaRosa has beforehand confirmed that there isn’t a acute want for amenities aside from the monitor. Photos of the route proven on the assembly documented the present state of decay. Superintendent Libby Bonesteel confirmed that there are adequate funds to satisfy “rainy day” wants, even after paying for a brand new route. Warm enter from the general public and board difficult the choice to allocate a further $400,000 to fund the route.
Lisa Burns, a mother or father of scholars within the district, phrased the choice the board needed to make as proper or mistaken: “If you have a choice of a $2 million track or $2 million to fund education. I want to ask you to do the right thing.” Kathryn Nunnelley, a former educator and mother of Jacob, a track and field athlete at Main Street Middle School, had a different perspective: “What we need more than anything right now is community building, and Athletics is a possibility that can definitely be achieved. Mental health and physical health, of all the things that we’ve lost with COVID, athletics and cross country have been a great way to improve all of that.” Mia Moore, vice chairman of the board, suggested, “we’re directing that one of our committees is designing and implementing a process to determine how these excess funds are to be spent.” Rhett Williams disagreed, saying, “I don’t see how prolonging a process that has been contaminated with bad information is going to improve it “I’m really disappointed and upset by the amount of information and how personal and unhelpful it has become because it could really cloud the conversation,” said board member Jill Remick. Concerns from board members about the responsible use of the fund balance to purchase undisclosed student supports have been addressed with information provided by administration. The administration had no list of unprovided academic support to propose. Local academic progress monitoring, screening and testing data showed no loss of education due to COVID-19. “We have no evidence of significant learning losses for the majority of our students. We have evidence of losses in other areas, but not in learning data,” Bonesteel said. MRPS students have met or exceeded the state-mandated SBAC test in English language arts and math, Bonesteel said, with the exception of fourth-grade math and Roxbury Village School. Bonesteel acknowledged that schools continue to develop a system of support to address academic, behavioral and emotional needs, particularly for students with free and discounted lunches, under Section 504 plans or individual education plans. Bonesteel found that “students who are eligible for free and discounted lunches and students with disabilities are overrepresented in our systems among students with social emotional learning (SEL) incidents. This school year, we’re again seeing free and discounted lunches as the highest rates of chronic absenteeism. So while only 27.4% of students are chronically absent, 40.3% of students who are free and concessionary are chronically absent.”