Dear Barnard Residents,
The Barnard School District Board is wrapping up final business, as the District will terminate as of July 1, 2020, and Barnard Academy will be in the network of campuses governed by the Windsor Central Unified Union District Board.We want to thank you all for your engagement in school district matters, especially for your participation, patience, and support over these past several years as Barnard has navigated Act 46 and merger negotiations. I am encouraged and inspired by the spirit of respect and deep care exhibited by this community even as we have grappled with diverse values and opinions in an environment where much is uncertain. The Barnard community has shown itself once again to be resilient, adaptive, and strong-hearted. I feel honored and privileged to have served the community during this time.
There are several important pieces of news we would like to leave you with.
** Veteran teacher Ingrid Johnson is retiring, after 25 years of service to Barnard children. Ingrid has brought a high degree of professionalism as well as a deep dedication to the education of our young children, and was instrumental in developing the preKindergarten program at BA. She has been a strong advocate and practitioner of outdoor learning, bringing both her love of the natural world and attunement to the ways children can excel in learning and developing within that dynamic framework. Ingrid has shown dedication and essential leadership within BA, and she will be sorely missed by children and staff! We wish her the best in her future, where we know she will continue to express her love of children and nature through meaningful service.
** Principal Hannah Thein is moving on to new ventures, after three years of tireless dedication to the students and staff of Barnard Academy. Hannah has been an avid leader, passionate about Vermont values and giving children the opportunity to engage with and learn from the outdoors. Under her watch, and with a large amount of her own sweat, Barnard Academy has revived the nature trails, instituted regular outdoor learning opportunities, and supported the construction of the yurt; re-vitalized the gardens, installed a pollinator garden, and begun installation of an ‘edible pathway’ along the south side of the building. Hannah was also instrumental in creating the infrastructure for our hot lunch program, which has provided essential nutritional support for our students. Hannah has most centrally been a keen and highly trained leader of teaching and learning, guided by best practices and constant interpretation of student data, supporting the best student experience in the classroom. We greatly appreciate all that she has brought of herself, and wish her luck in her future endeavors.
** Some of you may be aware that Barnard has very strong representation now on the Windsor Central Unified Board. Our very own Bryce Sammel is the Chair of the Board, and Pamela Fraser is Vice-Chair. The fact that Bryce and Pamela were elected into these positions during a time of upheaval and change is a testament to their dedication and fair-mindedness, and to the respect the other Board members have for their work. The Barnard Board is so pleased that we will have these strong leaders at the helm as BA transitions to governance by the Unified Board.
** Some of you may remember an announcement by Pamela Fraser and I that we uncovered two separate errors in education tax calculations. We are happy to report that the VT Legislature included reparation language in the final yield bill, and we will indeed see some money back. Specifically:
The Town of Barnard will receive $48,081.57 for a FY20 equalized pupil counting error, which will be reflected in a reduction of your next tax bill.
The Windsor Central Unified Union School District will receive $276,085.41 in FY21 to address the erroneous FY19 spending penalty.
** Finally, as we enter fully into the Unified District, there will be Annual Reports showing the educational, fiscal, and demographic data of each campus. The first of these reports was compiled by Windsor Central administration this Spring, and can be found here. Barnard Academy shows itself to be strong on all measures, and as we move away from having a separate Board, we know that the Barnard community will continue to participate and remain engaged so that our community and our school remains a strong piece in the Windsor Central elementary school network.
Have a wonderful summer, and thank you for your continued support of Barnard Academy!
Dear Barnard Families:
As you know, I am leaving the principalship at BA June 30th. I am not sure what the future brings (all further complicated by COVID!), but I hope that the future for my husband Niclas and I will bring travel and work in foreign lands again. With big doses of Vermont beauty in our little home in Rochester.
I feel that we accomplished much in the last three years. We shine academically, socially, and we have an incredibly wonderful staff and families. That is what the data shows–and that is what visitors see when they enter the school.. BA is an excellent school–one that rivals the excellent international schools I left and am going back to. There is much to be proud of.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you all, thank you for all the hard work done for our students.
Farewell to the kids, farewell to the parents, and farewell to the teachers. I wish you all the very best. Most of all, I hope the kids keep visiting the nature trail, slide down the hills, and play in the brook and gardens. Such a gift no one should ever take for granted.
It is a strange way to end my time here—the emergency remote learning and the restrictions due to COVID. If you see the little red car in the parking lot, stop and ring the bell. I will come out and say Aloha.