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The nation's first interstate school district

From the Norwich School Board

From the Norwich School Board

The Norwich School Board (the “Board”) had its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday September 6th.  Below are some highlights from the meeting.  Please refer to BoardDocs for complete details.

MCS Facilities Condition Assessment and Energy Audit

  • Facility audit reports for all 4 SAU 70 schools are available in BoardDocs.
  • Although there are no major issues this will serve as a roadmap, including evaluating an aging oil tank and replacing it with propane during the septic and playground construction projects. 
  • MCS received an Energy Performance Scorecard rating of 90.  Past investments in solar and low-flow water facilities helped this rating.
  • The Administration and Board is aware of the need to continue to move to Net Zero and will be evaluating items like additional solar and heat pumps per the Audit report.  
     

2024-2025 Budget Guidelines

  • The draft Budget Guidelines in BoardDocs was discussed and approved.  
  • The Board recommends a budget increase in a range of 5.5% - 7.5% compared to the initial Quick Model projection of 7.58%.
  • Norwich is likely facing a tax increase of 30% due to the implementation of the Vermont Weightings Study over the next 3-5 years.    
  • It is likely that the State will not deliver the necessary information to determine the Norwich tax rate until well into December.
  • The Board is prioritizing flexibility and is asking the Administration for 2-3 “what-if” budget reduction scenarios given the factors that are completely or partially out of the Board’s control.  

 

PCB Testing in Vermont Schools

  • In 2021, a new Vermont law passed (Act 74) requiring all schools – public and independent – built or renovated before 1980 to test their indoor air for PCBs by July 2024. 
  • Vermont is the first state in the nation to require testing of PCBs in the indoor air of schools.
  • There are no state funds allocated for schools to identify sources of PCBs or to pay to make fixes to reduce exposure to PCBs. There has been no Construction Aid offered to school since 2010.
  • Marion Cross has not been identified as a priority for testing and is not on the initial list of 300+ schools that have been scheduled to be tested between now and July 2025.
  • The Board discussed looking into contingency plans and understanding potential remedies and timelines.

 

PBiS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) and iReady Math and ELA Test Results

  • The results of the Climate Survey by Students, Staff and Families was presented.
  • The i-Ready Math and ELA results were presented schoolwide and by grade.
  • A presentation can be found in BoardDocs under the Principal’s Report.

 

Key School Board Topics “Teach-in” Sessions

  • The Board will endeavor to conduct a brief “teach-in” session for the benefit of Board members and the General Public at a number of upcoming Board Meetings.
  • These will cover a range of topics related to the operation of Marion Cross.
  • The first topic will be a “Budget Process Overview” at the October meeting.  There will be a brief presentation (5-10 minutes) followed by discussion and Q&A for the Board and public.