SLATE VALLEY INNOVATION PROJECT
The formation of our new district opens the door to new possibilities. Our first steps were to form a new vision through the engagement of our constituents. With this vision in mind, we are now ready to consider options to help us achieve our long-term vision.
All students are engaged in rigorous, authentic, experiential, individualized learning that is supported or accelerated to ensure that they meet or exceed standards. View: Mission/Vision.
The former Slate Valley Modified Unified Union School Board (SVMUUSD) established a committee to develop a plan that would expand educational opportunities for students and help address the financial burden of growing deferred maintenance needs. This committee is known as the Slate Valley Innovation Committee. Read more.
The plan would reconfigure district schools serving grades sixth through eighth beginning with the fall of 2021. Seventh and eighth grade students would attend the high school facility. However, the intent is to have a separate middle school within the high school. Sixth grade students at Castleton Village School would attend Castleton Elementary. Fair Haven Union High School currently serves 372 students in grades nine through 12. The change would increase the school by 163 students given this year’s enrollment.
View the Community Survey overview.
What’s “wrong” with our current facilities?
- All of the schools throughout the district have facilities issues that need to be addressed.
- These issues are not cosmetic but involve the need to repair and or replace core infrastructure.
- A comprehensive list of needed infrastructure repairs has been compiled for each school and is available for community members to review.
- These repairs and/or renovations will need to be addressed regardless of whether or not the district proposes to create a district middle school.
- Opportunities for community members tour our schools and review proposed repairs/renovations will be provided throughout the fall of 2019.
Do our current facilities meet the educational needs of our children?
- The Slate Valley Unified School Board has a clearly defined set of educational goals and initiatives designed to meet the current and emerging needs of our students.
- Every school in the district needs to renovate and/or add instructional areas in order to fully achieve educational goals.
- Maintaining a quality school system in our district is essential to the long-term health, economic, and cultural vitality of our communities.
- Repairing and updating our schools will ensure that Slate Valley remains a destination community for young families looking for a great school system in our region.
- Maintaining great schools is the best way to protect the property values of homeowners across the district.
Read about proposed upgrades.
- Updating our facilities will require the district to put a multi-year bond before community members for their consideration.
- A bond is the most cost-effective way to address the district's core infrastructure needs and ensures that those who will benefit from the use of those facilities pay for them.
The cost of the bond along with the facilities needs that will be addressed is currently being compiled for review by community members. The date of that bond has tentatively been set for next March - Town Meeting Day.
Why a District Middle School?
- The creation of a unified school district here in Slate Valley has opened up the possibility of creating a district middle school to better serve our 7th and 8th grade students.
- As enrollment across our elementary schools has dropped, meeting the educational needs of middle school students has become more challenging and expensive.
- A district middle school would create a critical mass of students needed to offer the full range of program offerings typically offered to 7th and 8th grade students in Vermont. e.g. Arts, Foreign Languages, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math currently being offered by the schools in our region.
- Duplicating educational offerings to small numbers of middle school students across our current elementary schools is expensive and limits the educational programs we can offer our children.
- Creating a district middle school would enhance educational opportunity for our children and better utilize existing resources - a more cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars.
What is the proposed location for a new Middle School?
The district has concluded that the only educational complex large enough to meet the requirements for a self-contained, autonomous middle school is on the grounds of Fair Haven Union High School.
- Locating a middle school at FHUHS would provide students with additional opportunities for academic acceleration, access to arts and co-curricular programs (athletics, clubs, and extra-curricular activities), and enriched support services.
- Creating a new middle school adjoining the current high school facility would result in:
- Greater long-term, operational efficiency – space utilization, staffing, and field space.
- A more cost-effective district-wide renovation plan to address our district's overall facilities needs.