July 17, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff, and Community Members,
I hope you all had a wonderful week. I am thinking of you as we work on plans toward reopening our schools and appreciate the concerns this brings up for families and staff. I know logistics around transportation in addition to student health is at the forefront of people’s minds. Our District and school level task forces are working hard to answer these questions using guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education and information from state and national health experts. A critical piece guiding our next steps is you! That’s why we have surveyed our staff to help determine their comfort level and needs related to returning to in-person work and instruction and will be sending a survey to all parents and guardians next week. Please see more about this below in addition to budget re-vote information.
Keep your eyes on your e-mail next week for a brief survey that will contain both general questions around school reopening and those pertaining to transportation needs. It is important that we receive your feedback as soon as possible as this information will help inform our reopening plan.The survey will be administered through your PowerSchool Parent Portal Account. If you have difficulty signing into the Parent Portal and require assistance, please email SBDataTeam@sbschools.net.
FY21 Budget Update
The FY21 revised proposed budget was unanimously approved by the school board at a special meeting July 15. This budget represents a 1.91 percent tax increase. I would like to thank all of the community members who provided their thoughts and ideas at our board meetings and especially to those who served on our reinvigorated Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. Your feedback and participation were invaluable. Please stay tuned for more information on budget chats via Zoom leading up to the vote where you can listen to an overview of the proposed budget and ask questions. We want to be sure you have all of the information you need prior to voting!
Although regular polling locations will be open August 11, we are encouraging the use of absentee ballots. The Vermont Secretary of State has mailed postcards to all registered voters for the state primary regardless of whether or not a ballot had already been requested. This can be filled out and returned to the City Clerk and if you would also like the ballot for the budget re-vote, you can write “school” anywhere on the postcard to request it.
A ballot can also be requested via the Secretary of State’s My Voter page. Please note that school budget and state primary ballots will be mailed separately and that the school ballot is not ready yet. You can review the latest, proposed budget information here and listen to the conversation from the July 15 board meeting via RETN.
I noted last week that as part of our reopening guidance, masks will be required of all students and staff in our schools and on the buses. We realize this will be a big adjustment. For more information on face coverings see this guidance from the State of Vermont which includes resources on where to purchase one. There are also numerous helpful tutorials on making your own cloth face covering, which can be a fun family project and give children a feeling of ownership over their masks.
I hope you all have a great weekend and continue to get out to enjoy South Burlington's parks, natural areas, and time with one another.