Fierman to LMH board: Fall classes ‘most likely’ entirely in-person Some online courses will be available

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

By Jasmin Gomez
©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

At the Ludlow Mount Holly Unified Union School District meeting on Wednesday, May 13, Two Rivers Supervisory Union Superintendent Lauren Fierman announced that “we are most likely to be entirely in person in the fall.”

Fierman clarified that being in-person does not mean that some online courses cannot be offered, but teachers will have to obtain an online teaching endorsement, which had been waived during the Covid-19 year of 2020-21.

Also, the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative, a statewide program, is now offering classes for students in kindergarten through 6th grade. “If people have an interest, we can help support some of that,” said Fierman.

Fierman also said that a recovery plan for TRSU students is currently being developed. The plan addresses three of their needs:

  • mental health and social-emotional well-being
  • student engagement and
  • academics.

Starting June 2, Ludlow Elementary and the Mount Holly school will move from remote to in-person learning on Wednesdays. Both principals have noted that online students are beginning to trickle in, and students and teachers are excited to have them back.

“At LES, we are really looking forward to having the kids five days,” said Karen Trimboli, the principal of Ludlow. Trimboli also said they are planning ways to say goodbye to remote learning and to promote a sense of normalcy for students. Sixth graders at both schools will also be celebrating “step-up day” in person with a parade to follow, as they get ready to attend middle school elsewhere.

Trimboli is encouraging all parents to consider the continuation of learning programs this summer, and they are not just for catching up with school. “We want to expand it to those students out there who just want to do something a little different with their learning, try something new, create a personal learning plan for that time,” she said.

LES seeks 2nd custodian

Trimboli is asking the board to consider hiring a second custodian for Ludlow Elementary, which is 4,700  47,000 square feet and also houses TRSU specialized programs.

These programs combined take up a whole section of the building and half a hallway with   equipment that needs to be moved and cleaned along and the rest of the school. In the fall, said Trimboli, the cafeteria will be in use, which will also need to be cleaned.

“One man cannot do that job to clean that building,” Trimboli said.

When they were looking at the budget in January, a second custodian was accounted for, said Trimboli. “It said we’re budgeting for two custodians for LES, one for Mount Holly, and there would be the supervisor … at some point, it was taken out,” she said.

After a long conversation about the addition of a custodian, many of the board members were curious about the square footage of the TRSU specialized programs, rooms and facilities used, and the formula used to decide how many custodians are necessary. Ultimately, the board decided that Todd Parah, incoming TRSU maintenance coordinator, should look over the data and staffing patterns and recommend how they should move forward. 

And in other news:

  • Test wells have been drilled at the Mount Holly School to collect data to find where the PFAS is coming from. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances  — PFAS — are a group of man-made chemicals are known to cause damage to human health, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. They were found in the water supply for the school back in 2019.
  • Fierman is looking for a facilitator to arrange a Strategic Operating Plan meeting where the Ludlow-Mount Holly Unified Union School District board and the Green Mountain Union School District board can meet together. This meeting will allow the Two River Supervisory Union Board to come together and agree on general goals.
  • Eight children are interested in the TRSU Elementary School Choice program. With only a limit of six, board member David Venter moved to allow all eight students the program despite the set agreement. The board voted to allow the students into the district.
  • Parents requested that LMHUUSD pay for the tuition for their child to attend Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Rutland. MSJ is now a school choice option for students, and tuition can be covered by the student’s “sending town.” The board voted to approve the payment of tuition.
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Filed Under: Covid 19 CoverageEducationEducation NewsFeaturedReopenings

About the Author: Jasmin Gomez is senior at Castleton University majoring in Studio Art and Media and Communications, while minoring in Graphic Design. She lives in Mt. Holly.

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  1. Diana Chimbolo says:

    There is a misprint. The building is 47,000 sq feet.