Local News

MVSU Budget Report

MVSU Board of Directors

Each of the seven district towns elects its own representative on the school district board of directors. Each town has two representatives, except for Woodstock which has six [due to its population which is about three times larger in population than the next biggest town in the district.] Representatives serves three-year terms.

Bridgewater Representatives


The legal voters of  the Windsor Central Unified Union School District, a.k.a. Mountain Views School District, comprising the voters of the Towns of Barnard, Bridgewater, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Reading, and Woodstock, are hereby WARNED and NOTIFIED that an INFORMATIONAL HEARING will be held at the Woodstock Union Middle and High School library, located in the Town of Woodstock, Vermont, on Thursday February 29, 2024, commencing at 6:30PM to discuss the Australian ballot articles of the 2024 Annual Unified Union District Meeting Warning. Additionally, the Public Informational Hearing will be accessible through electronic means (online meeting). 

Information on how to access the remote hearing:

Topic: WCUUSD/MVSD Informational Hearing

Time: February 29, 2024 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Zoom Meeting ID: 893 0245 0476

Zoom Passcode: 525685

  • By computer: Join Zoom meeting at:  tinyurl.com/MVSUtmdZoom
    You may have to create a free account or sign into your existing account. Select the option to join meeting and enter the meeting ID if prompted: 893 0245 0476 and passcode: 525685 if prompted.
  • By smartphone, tablet, or other device: Download and open the Zoom app. You may have to create a free account or sign into your existing account. Select the option to join meeting and enter the meeting ID: 893 0245 0476 and passcode: 525685 if prompted.
  • By telephone: Dial:  +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) or +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC). Enter the meeting ID: 893 0245 0476 and passcode: 525685 if prompted.


6:30PM: Call to Order

6:35PM: Additions or deletions to the agenda

  • Public comment

6:40PM: To hear the reports of the School District Board of Directors

  • Public comment

6:45PM: Review and Discuss Article 4: To fix the salary for District Treasurer in the amount of $7,500.00 for 2024-2025.

  • Public comment

6:50PM: Review and discuss Article 6: Shall the voters of the Windsor Central Unified Union School District, a.k.a. Mountain Views School District, approve the school board to expend Twenty-Nine Million Seven Hundred Fifty-Six Thousand


Changes to Act 127 and its effect on town reports

This year, the state Legislature 
has had last minute discussion
of probable Act 127 changes.
This revelation on Thursday, Feb. 1, resulted in the board holding an


District School Board Report

By Keri Bristow, Chair, MVSU Board and Ben Ford, Vice Chair, MVSU Board

In 2023, the work of the Mountain Views School District Board was focused on several key steps to enhance teaching and learning in our schools.   Continuing to leverage pandemic-era ESSR funds to overcome learning loss, the district made key investments in math and reading education this year.  Following intensive professional development, our math teachers created foundational agreements to advance teaching practices, engagement, high-quality instructional resources, and learning assessments.  Similar investments in student literacy based on the science of reading culminated in a new 90% reading proficiency standard for the district.  With historical measures around 65%, this represents an ambitious goal, but one our educators have eagerly taken on with new methods and exciting early results. 

Following a district-wide assessment, the MVSU Board also approved additional administrative and educational resources at our elementary schools to address socio-emotional behavioral concerns using restorative approaches.   

With voter approval of three ballot measures last spring, the Board was able to make significant progress on improving the conditions of our school buildings.  A $1.75 million project was completed to replace the roof at Killington Elementary.  A $1.2 million upgrade project was required to extend the service life of the heating system at Woodstock Union High School after losing the use of six classrooms last winter.

As the maintenance team worked steadily to keep up the MS/HS building, district voters also approved $1.65 million for architectural services needed to complete the detailed design of the new middle and high school building.  PC Construction was hired in October as the construction management firm for the project.  Soon after, PCI Project Consulting were retained as owners’ representatives to help complete project costing and value engineering.  In December, their work resulted in $16.5 million in cost reductions to achieve a final construction cost of $90 million for the new building.  With permitting, site work, and furnishings, voters will be asked to approve a $99 million total project cost March 5.  At a square foot price of $569/square foot, this is among the most efficient school projects currently planned for construction in the state, with five other Vermont school buildings ranging from $633 to $726/square foot.

We are thankful for the commitment of fellow Board members, and of our exceptional administrators, educators, and school staff.  Through all of our collective dedication to the students of our district, we have made real progress in overcoming the challenges presented by the pandemic, as well as tackling infrastructure issues long in the making.  We look forward to continuing our important work together in the year to come.

Superintendent’s report

By Superintendent Sherry Sousa

While we continue to feel the impact of the Covid years, we strive to return to the rituals, routines, and rhythms of previous years. Our students and their families require a level of care and compassion that previously was not needed, but now our teachers, Social Emotional Coaches, staff, administrators, and district leaders work hard to listen to their needs and address their concerns. This culture of empathy and belonging is pervasive in our school communities.

Five years ago a District Strategic Plan was crafted by parents, community members, Board representatives, students, teachers, and administrators. This year we have begun the process of creating our next five year MVSU Strategic Plan. The current Design Team, that includes all of these stakeholders, reviewed the current Portrait of a Graduate and provided feedback to make the wording more accessible and inclusive of current work and policies. The Design Team has also provided school leaders with guidance on Priority Areas and Goals. By February 2024, a draft will be presented to the Board of the Priority Areas, Goals, and Strategies for the next five years with a finalized document to share in May.

This year we have begun 
the process of creating our next 
five year MVSU Strategic Plan.

Professional growth has always been a priority for the District. Educators in the Elementary, Middle and High Schools are continuing to develop the skills necessary to meet the Literacy and Math goals for proficiency. The Unified Arts Team is looking to create integrated learning experiences that link their coursework with those of content area teachers. A group of secondary teachers created rubrics and scaffolding to embed greater creativity in assessments. Principals and Directors have attended national conferences as participants and presenters. 

On World Teachers Day, each teacher and staff member who has served 10, 20, or 30 years in this district received a marble or brass apple. Inscribed on the apple was a recognition of their years of work, and in the case of 20-plus year employees, the award also included their name and years of service. We have six team members who have been with us for more than 30 years. They are Jamie Gidney (BA), Jenny Hewitt (BA), Sharon Groblicki (BA), Lisa Kaija (RES), Tim Brennan (WUHS) and William Chamberlain (WUHS/MS). It was great to celebrate with the students these amazing teachers and staff members, and to finally formally recognize their contributions. 

Woodstock Union HS/MS principal’s report

By Principal Garon Smail

I am privileged to present a glimpse of the achievements of the students, faculty, and staff at Woodstock Union High School and Middle School. During the 2022-23 academic year, we endeavored to provide personalized, authentic, and student-driven learning experiences for 450 students in grades 7-12. Our student body comes from the seven communities within our district—Barnard, Bridgewater, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Reading, and Woodstock—and 14 other communities across the region. We were proud to receive recognition for our college preparation program. Our school received AP Honor Roll Silver from the College Board (one of only two Vermont schools to earn this recognition), acknowledging commitment to equitable access to advanced coursework. The Advanced Placement program includes16 classes across seven subject areas. GreatSchools.org honored the high school with a College Success Award for dedication to guiding students through successful college enrollment and transition.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Public Schools completed a comprehensive review of our program, including a multi-day visit as part of the decennial accreditation process. The Commission commended many aspects of our school, including “the variety of learning opportunities that are personalized, authentic, and student-driven,” “the professional culture that demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement,” and “the safe, positive, respectful, and inclusive culture in the school.” In addition to engaging in the accreditation process, teachers worked collaboratively to map the curriculum by subject area or program across grade levels while considering Portrait of a Graduate connections and reviewing curriculum with an equity lens.

We continued our commitment to flexible pathways and community collaboration through many partnerships, including with Artistree, AVA Art Gallery, the Green Mountain Club, Hall Art Foundation, Kiss the Cow Farm, League of Women Voters, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, NuVu Innovation School, Pentangle Arts, Thompson Senior Center, the U.S. Forest Service, and many more. These partnerships supported numerous programs, including career exploration, job shadowing, CRAFT and C3, and arts and civics education. Vt. Senate Majority Leader Alison Clarkson, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger ‘88, and elected officials from both parties from our sending towns met with social studies classes. We are grateful to the organizations and individuals who offered their time and resources to enrich our students’ experiences.

More than 80% of our students participated in athletics and other extracurricular activities, showcasing excellence on and off the field. Several athletic teams, including a unified sports team, competed in state championships, securing four championship titles. The math and scholar’s bowl teams won regional and state competitions. The Yoh Theater delivered multiple remarkable performances, enriching our school community with artistic talent. The Social Action Club organized its third Leadership Summit for Social Justice, underscoring the importance of student voice and leadership. Our international travel and exchange programs returned after a three-year pandemic-induced hiatus, with 20 students traveling to Spain and France. Seventeen seniors earned the state-endorsed Seal of Biliteracy, acknowledging global competency and the ability to communicate across cultures.

I extend my deepest gratitude to the community, and we eagerly anticipate another year of achievements at Woodstock Union High School and Middle School.

The Prosper Valley School report

By Principal Aaron Cinquemani

The 2023-2024 school year ushered in continued energy and growth at The Prosper Valley School. We enthusiastically welcomed our incoming 5th grade class, bringing our total student enrollment in grades 5 and 6 to 76 students.

This year multiple new place-based learning initiatives were introduced, enabled by a generous anonymous grant received. A challenge course was constructed, presenting immersive opportunities for team building and personal growth activities. Students also benefited from a hands-on maple sugaring unit utilizing our new and improved on-campus sugaring pan, arch and stack.

Sincere gratitude is due to both The Prosper Valley School Trust and the WES/TPVS PTO for their stalwart financial assistance and community volunteer efforts, allowing our cherished learning programs to thrive. Their stalwart support for experiential learning deeply aligns with our school’s vision.

In addition, the annual Harvest Supper was resurrected in 2023 after being called off due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It was a huge success! It is always the first Saturday of October so mark your calendars now.

Finally, we are thankful for the anonymous donation of telescopes and telescope parts to our Horizons Observatory which considerably increased astronomy education access. Such a wonderful investment in the Horizons Observatory enables meaningful learning experiences for not only our students but for families, and the larger community.

Moving forward, our students and faculty will continue harnessing our unique campus resources — the observatory, greenhouse and garden, sugar shack, the challenge course and trail system — to sustain interdisciplinary education programs that engage learners in our curriculum through the local environment. We remain committed to leveraging our extraordinary human and environmental assets for the enrichment of current and future students. Go Dragons!

Woodstock Elementary report

By Principal Maggie Mills

During last year’s 2022-2023 school year, there were 251 PreK-4 students enrolled at Woodstock Elementary School. This year, we were thrilled to expand our PreK program yet again to include five classrooms for a total of 66 PreK students enrolled in our school. The 2023-2024 school year opened with an enrollment of 253 students in grades PreK-4. We are happy to serve the children of Bridgewater, Pomfret, Plymouth, and Woodstock as well as those attending via school choice from Barnard and Reading. Our teacher retention over the past year has been very strong, and our staff remains dedicated to our mission to provide a strong foundation and foster perseverance and belonging.

Here are some programmatic highlights from the 2022-2023 school year:

In the fall of 2022, many teachers at WES began piloting new literacy programs with the goal of identifying a district-wide literacy program that will better meet all students’ learning needs. In addition, many WES teachers engaged in a year of intensive training in best practices in literacy instruction through the LETRS program.

All students in grade K-4 resumed taking Spanish two or three times a week. The student response to learning about Spanish language and culture has been enthusiastic.

In October, we reintroduced the tradition of a WES Halloween Parade around the Green and were accompanied by parent musicians for a jazz/blues/funk parade.

Our students participated in fall and winter Walk and Roll to School events sponsored by Local Motion.

Our school librarian, Joyce Yoo Babbitt, launched a wildly popular weekly 3-minute podcast that featured student voices promoting great books.

In December, all students in grades 1-4 were able to travel to Dartmouth College for education day at the basketball arena and attend a women’s basketball game.

In the new year, students, staff, and families participated in a Winter Wishes kindness and empathy challenge, where people were encouraged to send positive notes to one another through an inter-school mail program.

In March, our PTO helped launch an effort to reinvigorate parent and caregiver volunteerism in the school to great results, and the PTO pulled off a successful new tradition, a spring carnival, “The Spring Fling.”

Spring also saw the renewal of our traditional in-person talent show, “Show Your Stuff,” which featured the talents of students and staff on stage at the Town Hall Theater.

Our fourth grade students rounded out their time at WES shining as members of a Shakespeare company performing Hamlet through Northern Stage’s BridgeUP: Theater in the Schools program.

We are grateful for community partners such as Artistree, Billings Farm, Yoh Theater, and Pentangle Arts who graciously invite us to their programming, and more broadly we are thankful for our community’s ongoing engagement with and support of our school. We are proud to be a part of this community.

Killington Elementary School report

By Principal Mary Guggenberger

The 2022-2023 school year was filled with joy in teaching and learning.  Current enrollment for grades Pre-Kindergarten through grade 6 is 117 with students coming from within the school district and from Pittsfield.

Parents and Educators Aligned for Killington Students (PEAKS) celebrated the culmination of their mission to support the playground expansion project with the installation of the donor-recognition brick walkway from the bridge to the playground.  The Grand Opening of the playground took place during an ice cream social prior to the first day of school on Aug.  28, 2023.  A final opportunity to purchase a brick for the walkway was extended through the fall of 2023.  Thank you to all of the contributors who participated in this fundraising event and to PEAKS for their tireless efforts in supporting a safe play place for all students at KES.

KES faculty are committed to strengthening capacity in teaching mathematics and reading.  KES teachers in grades K-5 engaged in over 40 hours of intensive training in best practices in literacy instruction based on the science of reading.  Likewise, KES math teachers in grades 5 and 6 joined the Woodstock middle and high school teachers to create essential agreements in teaching mathematics consistently across the district. 

KES continues to support educational opportunities for learning including:  instrumental music lessons and band, Four Winds Nature Program, student leadership, Starbase, Trailblazers Ski Program, writing and art contests, and PEAKS annually sponsored One School One Book.  KES partners with the Town of Killington to offer a state-licensed after school program available to PreK – 6 students Monday through Friday, 3-5:30 p.m., allowing qualifying families to apply for subsidized payments for the program. 

KES is extremely grateful to the entire Killington community for the dedication and support of our students.  Please visit our website at: kesvt.org to find photos and newsletters to learn more about our school community.

Barnard Academy report

By Principal Melissa Zoerheide

Barnard Academy is the learning environment for 73 students currently enrolled in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 6.  We have multi-grade classrooms where students access high quality instruction from experienced teachers.  Our faculty, staff, students, and families value being part of a community, engaging in outdoors experiences, and academic growth.

Last spring our performing arts put on a musical “A Salute to Broadway” with outstanding acting from all grade levels Kindergarten through 6th grade.  This fall the performance was “A Christmas Carol” created to highlight singing and dancing from all grade levels and holiday traditions. Our STEM classes are inventive and creative hands-on activities focused on building, programming and experimenting. Our 5th and 6th grade students have traveled regularly to The Prosper Valley School to build teamwork skills on the new challenge course. Our physical education classes include gymnastics, skateboarding, skating, and many traditional sports.  We have enjoyed the experience of Walk-to-School days from the town hall.  We held field trips to Boston Museum of Science, VT Institute of Natural Science, Woodstock ski/snowshoeing, local hikes, Plymouth State Park, Marsh-Billings National Park, the zoo, and Bethel Fish Hatchery.  We have also held a Fire Safety Day, a Band Concert, and a Field Day.

Our teaching staff in grades K-4 engaged in over 40 hours of intensive training in best practices in literacy instruction.  There is enthusiasm and commitment to the highest standards of reading and math instruction.  We are supported by a quality interventionist and a Social Emotional Learning teacher to provide students a multi-tiered system of support.

We welcome family and community involvement with the school in the shared commitment to all students’ success. The Barnard Educational Endeavor Society (BEES) and the Barnard Education Fund continue to support our school to go further with innovative and exceptional learning experiences. Thank you for the support!

Reading Elementary School report

By Principal Brandon Hill

The Reading Elementary School experienced a year full of enriched learning opportunities for both students and staff in the 2022-2023 school year. Current enrollment for grades Pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade is 34, with students coming from multiple towns within the MVSU district and Weathersfield.

Over the course of the 2022-2023 school year, RES faculty took part in a multitude of activities that increased their skills as educators with the overall goal of benefiting student learning and growth. All RES educators participated in the LETRS program, which is an intensive training in best practices in literacy instruction based on the science of reading.

The core academics at RES are also supported with genuine experiences that connect our school to the surrounding communities. In the past year, students engaged in artist residencies with the Saint Gaudens National Historical Park sculptor, visited Sculpture Fest in Woodstock, traveled to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, and participated in hands-on learning with the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. Students have also made meaningful connections within the Reading community by partnering with a local resident to plant and harvest pumpkins behind the fire department, collaborating with the town librarian to carve pumpkins, and visiting the renowned Hall Art Foundation.

These experiences would not have been possible without the support received from the generosity of donors in our school and community. Both the Hall Art Foundation and the Reading PTO are exceptional supporters of our school. The support allows for RES students to partake in learning opportunities directed at growing as a whole.

Finally, we are grateful to parents and the larger community for their support of our students. Together, as a team, we create a safe, welcoming environment that allows all students to prosper.

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