Message From Our Chairperson
Message From Our Chairperson
To the Communities of Braintree, Brookfield, and Randolph:
It is my pleasure to provide you with this second Annual Report of the consolidated Orange Southwest School District. First and foremost, your schools are caring, innovative, and exciting places of learning and growth. We have confidence in the commitment, professionalism, and dedication of our staff; and we are thankful to be part of the supportive and engaged communities to which we all belong.
As those of you who have attended one or more of Supt. Millington’s frequent community forums can attest, our new superintendent has wasted no time in addressing a range of issues around curriculum development and academic success. As we complete our second year as a consolidated district, here are just a few of the areas on which we as a board, with Layne’s guidance and expertise, are now focusing:
- The development and implementation of an elementary science program based on the common core standards of teaching and learning.
- A renewed focus on mathematics, with the goal of redressing gaps in student knowledge through the addition of staff specialists while a comprehensive k-12 math curriculum is developed.
- The creation of a third preschool within the district, so that a preschool at each of the three elementary schools is in place by the fall of 2019. Full-day preschool options at one or more of the schools is also being considered.
- The creation of a therapeutic program at Randolph Elementary School to address the growing impact of trauma-based behaviors.
- And finally, the replacement of the RAVEN building, which is long overdue for an update. RAVEN is a cooperative venture between the OSSD and surrounding schools to serve a small group of students that benefit rom the grade 9-10 pre-technical program.
Since the fall of 2017, RUHS administrators have been hosting monthly discussions with parents, teachers and community members to address issues of concern and to delve into creative solutions. If you haven’t attended one of these forums, we encourage you to attend, listen, and share your thoughts, ideas, and expertise; and become involved in these ongoing efforts to effect change.
After a period of declining enrollment, we are pleased to report that student numbers are ticking upwards. We have added bus routes to Chelsea and Rochester this year to make it easier for interested students to attend RUHS. We are also seeing growing numbers of students at all three elementary schools, an increase that looks to continue.
Finally, we are excited about the launch of RTCC’s new program, Advanced Manufacturing. With hands-on learning spanning skills from computer-assisted design to welding, students are making valuable connections with area businesses, as well as with Vermont Technical College.
Through these and other initiatives, we are striving to meet our goal of improved educational and social outcomes for all of our students. We are proud of our international travel and study opportunities; of the wide range of athletic and co-curricular activities we offer; or our expanded theater program; and of opportunities for community connections with our Project Based Learning initiatives. Our students are indeed being given the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to be prepared for the next stages of their lives; which justify the resources invested by the community. That’s our mission, and we are proud of our ongoing efforts towards success.
Laura Rochat, Board Chair