Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union
"Personalized Learning for Each Student"
Our Ends Policy
BRSU schools will educate all of their students so they become self-fulfilled people and active, civic-minded citizens of the world at a cost comparable to other Vermont supervisory unions of a similar size...
Welcome from the Superintendent: August 2019
I welcome all of you, both new and returning families and students, to the 2019/20 school year.
While the summer is certainly a more relaxing time for us, it is also a time that allows us to reflect upon our work and set goals for the new school year. It is our annual practice for the leadership team, comprised of our principals, special education directors, and central office leadership to engage in retreat work and plan for the future.
The primary focus of our leadership discussions and work over the past year has been around building the instructional leadership capacity of our principals. We know that principal instructional leadership is only second to teacher effectiveness - it matters greatly. We also know that teacher effectiveness improves when principals partner with their teachers and have a deep understanding of what good instruction looks like and they know how to guide their teachers to improve.
Last year, our leadership team (principals, special education directors, and central office leadership) engaged in training with the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) from the University of Washington. The CEL helps districts and schools to empower students through great learning experiences. The CEL contends that teachers can’t do it alone: both school and district leaders have to create a culture of learning and support for their teachers to excel. We worked as a team last year, visiting all schools and many classrooms, and we have identified two areas of instructional focus for the upcoming school year: engagement and purpose.
This school year, to continue the growth of our principal leaders, they will be in classrooms more than ever. Too often, our principals engage in the practice of triage and what might not be urgent takes precedence over their most important work - being an instructional leader. To carve out time for this important work, we are making some changes to support our principals.
- If you need to meet with your principal, an appointment needs to be scheduled through the principal’s administrative assistant (for details see Communication in the BRSU Family and Student Handbook) .
- Principals will check their email and voicemail daily, but I’m encouraging them to do this just at one point in the day, not all day. I’m asking that they develop a schedule that identifies their classroom visit time, their email communication time, and their office hours.
- Principals will respond to parent/guardian emails and voicemails within 2 school days (for details see Communication in the BRSU Family and Student Handbook) .
- On a monthly basis, central office leadership will engage in classroom walkthroughs with principals to ensure that we are all continuing to develop our feedback skills.
- Principals will be partnering with their SU principal colleagues by visiting another school each trimester to engage in walkthroughs with a colleague.
At the center of our push to provide more principal instructional leadership is your child. We want to foster learning environments that respond to the needs of every child and teachers cannot do this alone - it will take leadership support and your support. We look forward to serving you and your children in the upcoming school year and we know that as a community we can work together to uncover the talents of all our children and help them achieve at high levels.
Jacquelyne Wilson, BRSU Superintendent