Letourneau volunteers to represent MAU on Act 46 committee

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BENNINGTON >> The Mount Anthony Union at their meeting on Wednesday was updated on the evaluation of administrators, and began discussion on who would represent the board on the supervisory union's Act 46 study committee.

MAU had previously not been represented on the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union's study committee, but Superintendent Jim Culkeen told the board that, by their June meeting, they would have to nominate someone to represent them. The committee will be expanding from seven members to 15. The first seven of the new seats will go to community members representing Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford, with the last going to an MAU board member.

The study committee is exploring paths forward for the SU to come into compliance with last year's controversial education law. To remain on the path dictated by the timeline of the law, Culkeen said, a consolidation plan would most likely have to go before voters by town meeting in March.

Board member Ed Letourneau, who represents Bennington on the MAU board, volunteered to fill that role. No one else expressed immediate interest, but the final decision will not be made until June. "I think you're crazy," said Holbrook jokingly to Letourneau when he volunteered. The study committee is currently planning to meet next on June 21, after all the boards have had their June meetings. The committee is planning to meet twice a month over the summer, and perhaps into the school year. Community members who are interested in applying for those seats should fill out the application that can be found on the homepage of the SVSU's website, svsu.org.

Assistant Superintendent Donna Leep explained the process of evaluation for administrators. "We have developed this plan over the last year and a half," she said, "It's really an evaluation cycle meant to support the administrators and the work that they do, and it is following the Agency of Education core leadership standards, and it has been developed as a process that also includes a self-assessment that is required by the Agency of Education for administrators. We meet together, as administrators, to discuss their areas of strength and challenges, and the feedback that we have for them in their performance. The process continues to look at data collection for student progress, and then setting goals for each of the administrators and developing an action plan that we follow throughout the year, and meet with them frequently to get feedback and reflect on their accomplishments."

Leep said that evaluations must be completed by March 1, but that the cycle continues throughout the year.

Board chairman Tim Holbrook said that Leep had made a presentation to the board about the administrators' evaluations in executive session, and that all their questions had been answered.

The Mount Anthony Union School Board meets the third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Mount Anthony Union Middle School library. Full recordings of their meetings are available on Catamount Access Television, and on the station's YouTube page.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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