Structural administrative and nursing changes being considered for GMUSD

CAVENDISH, Vt. – Budget concerns as well as a new educational initiative called Proficiency Based Learning, has Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD) senior administrators team, which includes Superintendent Meg Powden, recommending a dramatic restructuring of personnel for several positions in the district. At the GMUSD meeting on Tuesday, Dec.19, the recommended restructuring was shared with the board members and the public for the first time.

GMUSD
GMUSD discussed recommendations for changing of administrative personnel between the three schools. Stock photo.

Recommendations include having one principal for both elementary schools, Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) and Chester Andover Elementary School (CAES) with a dean of students on-site in each building. According to Powden, “the principal’s primary responsibility will be to focus on instructional leadership, educational leadership…implementing proficiency based learning. …And so I see the dean of students in each of the schools being primarily responsible for students and addressing students’ needs and supporting programming that’s happening in each of the schools.”

There was further discussion that dean of students, requiring a teacher’s certification, would likely function as a full-time dean at CAES but might include additional responsibilities at CTES, since the student population is less.

Other proposed restructuring includes having one registered nurse for three buildings, Green Mountain Union High School (GMUHS), CTES, and CAES with one additional on-site health worker such as an LNA or LPN in each of the buildings. Additionally, there was discussion about having a part-time co-curricular director to oversee extra-curricular activities for both elementary schools.

Approval of these restructuring recommendations would happen during the process of the board approving the unified school district budget since these personnel changes, and their corresponding salaries, are detailed within the budget.

Comments from the public and several board members who were attempting to determine the cost implications of these structural changes indicated that there was not sufficient information to compare the various scenarios. According to School Board Director Marilyn Mahusky, “I’m a little concerned about where we are bottom line …for increasing a lot of positions.”

Mahusky cited in particular the concern over the proposed nursing position cuts without knowing the particular medical needs of the district students. “I feel that I need a little more information, I’m just not comfortable with the direction that we’re going in.” Superintendent Powden agreed to get the board the additional information they requested.

The next GMUDS meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.

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