Annual Report

Sharon Elementary School Annual Report

2017-2018 School Year

I am in my tenth year here at Sharon Elementary School and each year while writing this report to the fine folks of Sharon I wonder what you would like to know about our school. In my humble opinion, Sharon has a great little school that operates as a PreK-6 district. We have a staff that cares deeply about children and their education. They are always willing to take on new challenges, reflect on their practice, and make changes as new challenges arise.
Our community provides endless support in a variety of ways. For many years now, folks from the community volunteer on Tuesdays at lunch to read with kids. Sharon Academy students are now in our building each week serving as mentors to our students. Countless volunteers work with our students and teachers to provide support wherever it may be needed. It could be John Sears leading a group through Downer Forest, the fire department filling our ice rink and leading parades through town, Elaine Kearns volunteering in the library, or her husband Jim teaching financial literacy to a bunch of fifth graders. I could go on about the generosity, often overlooked, of our volunteers and staff: it truly makes our school and community a special place.

 

All that being said, we know that education is changing as our society as a whole is changing. We, as a school and community, must self-reflect about the needs of our children and how to meet them moving forward. The challenges we face with Act 46, financial hardships, substance abuse, and families dealing with trauma are only going to increase over time. We also face challenges concerning social media use and misuse of technology by our students, issues that are not isolated to our community. Some changes we have implemented in the last couple years to tackle these issues include, but certainly are not limited to:

 

  1. No Homework – We ask that kids read or get read to for 20 minutes per night.
  2. Movement Breaks – We try to provide a movement break every 20-30 minutes.
  3. Mindfulness – This is just a quiet time for kids to refocus after a transition.
  4. Enrichment Block – Kids are provided time to work on what they need academically in math and literacy in a nontraditional way. (Theater, music, art, book clubs, creating math games)
  5. Care Groups – Similar to an advisory with a focus on character traits.
  6. Changing Perspectives – Program designed to teach kids empathy and tolerance.
  7. Place-based or Outdoor Education – No, this is not recess!!! This is when teachers take kids outside and use the natural resources provided by mother nature to teach core academics.

 

The foundation of these initiatives can be linked to the school’s mission statement:

 

“Sharon Elementary School’s Mission is to provide a caring and safe environment for our young people. We promote quality education that emphasizes high academic standards, sound personal development, and positive social growth – thus laying the foundation for lifelong learning and a personally fulfilling and productive life.”

 

Act 46 Update

The future configuration of the Supervisory Union (SU) still remains unknown.  Several towns in the SU have voted to merge, only to be petitioned to have a re-vote. As of now, Bethel and South Royalton have voted to merge to create a larger district within the SU. Granville and Hancock have also approved a merger but are considered non-operating towns because neither has a school.  Stockbridge and Rochester voted to merge, which means Rochester will close their middle and high school to become a Prek-6 district with school choice after 6th grade. Chelsea and Tunbridge are in the process of a re-vote to make them k-8 schools that offer school choice for grades 9-12. Strafford and Sharon are making proposals to the state board asking to be stand alone districts within the new SU. The Sharon School Board has been a part of several studies with towns both inside and outside of our SU and we believe there is no merger that has significant financial and academic benefits to our town and school. Steve Dale, former executive director of the Vermont School Boards Association, has prepared a report for Sharon that will be presented to the State Board for their consideration.

 

Caring for our children, caring for our community

Our focus this year continues to be on the social and emotional needs of our students. We provide direct instruction in the core academic and are looking for ways to better reach students with different learning styles. Our teachers are developing an outdoor education component to enhance our curriculum.  It is our hope to have a written plan in May that will allow each class to spend a day outside next year. We would still be teaching core academics, with a more hands on approach that allows students to apply the skills they are learning in a real world setting. Outdoor education promotes health and wellness, has many of the resources in nature needed to teach a lesson, and provides a connection for the place in which they live.  We will look to write grants, partner with local community members, and collaborate with TSA as we move forward in this process.

 

Budget Information

Every year, we go through a budget process with a focus on quality education for our children. Last year was the first in a while where we saw a small drop in our population and a drop in the town’s common level of appraisal. I believe we will continue to see this trend for the next few years, which means we will continue to see an increase in our town’s tax rate given the current formula the state uses.

 

Fortunately, we have a large surplus from last year from secondary tuition savings and revenue generated by the preschool.  This money can be used as revenue to reduce our education spending dollar amount, which in turn will have a positive impact within the tax rate formula. At the time of this report the Sharon School Board has not adopted a budget and so it is unclear what these numbers will look like.  It is very challenging to provide accurate information when the state doesn’t release their numbers until much later in the year. Regardless, the board is committed to providing high quality education, while maintaining fiscal responsibility to our tax payers.

 

I will provide a tax rate calculation sheet prior to town meeting that will clarify the impact of this year’s budget on the towns tax rate.

 

Closing Remarks

I always like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who donated countless hours of time to help provide a variety of opportunities for our children. The following individuals, committees, and organizations have played a significant role in our success over the years:

 

Baxter Memorial Library

Danielle Bird

Donna Foster

Ice Rink Committee

Jim and Elaine Kearns

John Sears

Katie Chesnut

Reading Mentors

Recreation Committee

Sharon Fire Department

Sharon PTO

 

Sharon School Board

Sprouty Committee

Students from The Sharon Academy

Town of Sharon Employees – road crew, office staff, and elected officials

Town of Sharon Selectboard Members (Kevin Blakeman, Mary Gavin, Luke Pettengill)

Youth Sports Coaches and Officials

Sharon Lodge #105

Seven Stars Arts Center

 

In the next section of this report, you will see information regarding test results from previous years’ NECAP and Smarter Balanced Assessments. This information is one measure that we use to better understand where our students need additional support and what we, as educators, can do to provide more focused direct instruction. While we no longer have the AYP state and federal mandates, we are still required to participate in the state adopted assessment called SBAC. We now have two years of data, and combined with our local assessment, we will review and determine what our students need to be more successful.

 

Thank you for your continuous support of education.

Sincerely,

 

Barrett Williams

Principal

Sharon Elementary School

 

Mandatory State Reporting

About NECAP

In the spring of 2017, the science NECAP was administered and has its results released the following fall. The NECAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Vermont. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the test.

 

NECAP Assessment Results – School, district, and state level NECAP reports can be viewed in the assessment results document located on our web page. In order to protect individual students’ rights to privacy, results are reported only when a student grouping has more than 10 members.
I have included last year’s results in the chart below from the SBAC and science NECAP test. The chart below indicates the percentage of students in grades 3-6 who achieved a score of proficient or better in the four academic categories listed. You can find additional information this year on the AOE website under the school report card that will be updated in the spring.

 

Vermont’s Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC)

In the spring of 2017, Vermont students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 took the Smarter Balanced English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Assessments, along with students in several other states. Below is a chart that shows Sharon results for the past 12 years.

 

NECAP/SBAC – (2016-2017) School-Wide Results:

Reading Writing Math Science (NECAP)
2016-2017 SB 56% NA 57% 78% 4th Grade
2015-2016 SB 61% NA 46% 85% 4th Grade
2014 -2015 SB 60% NA 50% 65% 4th Grade
2013-2014 65% 75% 60% 64% 4th Grade
2012-2013 79% 58% 82% 62% 4th Grade
2011-2012 88% 47% 84% 70% 4th Grade
2010-2011 85% 32% 74% 60% 4th Grade
2009-2010 80% 80% 76% 70% 4th Grade
2008-2009 76% 85% 69% 69% 4th Grade
2007-2008 77% 47% 73% 34% 4th Grade
2006-2007 73% NA 71% 33% 4th Grade
2005-2006 64% 53% 64% NA
2004-2005 58% NA 58% NA

 

PARTICIPATION   

Met all Participation requirements.

 

Sharon test Results for 2016-2017 compared to the State:

Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6
Sharon Math 88% 46% 52% 42%
VT State Math 50% 44% 40% 38%
Sharon ELA 66% 64% 40% 52%
VT State ELA 52% 50% 58% 52%
Sharon Science NA 78% NA NA
State Science NA 47% NA NA

 

Professional qualifications of Teachers:

All teachers at Sharon Elementary School are considered Highly Qualified Teachers who hold either a BA or MEd in Elementary Education.

 

Classroom Teachers

Morrison, Cheslee        Preschool Director / Teacher

Olmstead, Nicole         Preschool Teacher

Smith, Blaise         Preschool Teacher

Piper, Rachel           Kindergarten

Lewis, Laura             Grades 1 & 2

Walton-Strong, Debra   Grades 1 & 2

Haley, Keenan             Grade 3

Hopkins, Meg             Grade 4

O’Hare, Dulce             Grade 5

Boulbol, Janis             Grade 6

Other Teachers

Bissaillon, Maureen     Special Education

Clarke, Sue         EEE SPED

Freese, Catherine         Librarian

Lloyd, Jill           School Nurse

Ohlson, Brad         Music

Phillip, Toni             Special Education

Rogers, Ellen             Reading Teacher

Sadowski, Paul         Compensatory Support

VandeGriek, Candace   Art

Williams, Barrett         Physical Education

Zoerheide, Melissa       School Counselor

Administration

Rousseau, Carol        School Secretary

Williams, Barrett        Principal

Contracted Services Personnel

Doubleday, Diane   Occupational Therapist

Perreault, Deanna    Physical Therapist

Matthews, Roxana     One Planet Site Director

Beloin, Cindy        OWSU Speech

Roe, Katherine        Speech Assistant

Other Employees

Barsanti, Michael    Technology Specialist

Colon, Carmen        Cook’s Assistant

Perry, Linann        Food Service Agent/Cook

Whitaker, David        Buildings and Grounds

Gerhart, Rolland        Custodian

Instructional Assistants

Blake, Anne Marie Pre-K/Childcare

Potter, Val       Pre-k/Childcare

Radicioni, Faith        Pre-k/Childcare

Eddy, Rob               Grade K SPED

Erin                         Grade K SPED

Tracey, Hazen         Grade K Assistant

Conway, Robbin    Grade 1/2 SPED

O’Donnell, Ian    Grade 1/2 504

Boles, Deb        Grade 3 SPED

Locke, Donna    Grade K-2 SPED

Rogers, Carol         Grade 1/2 SPED

Tatro, Amber    Grade 4,5,6 SPED

Moore, Linda        Grade 3 SPED

Clark-Ferris, Sheila Remediation

Kent, Linda        General SPED/Sub. Nurse