Mt. Holly School considers multi-age classrooms; Ludlow Elementary to get 2nd custodian

By Jasmin Gomez
©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Lauren Fierman, superintendent of the Two Rivers Supervisory Union, told the members of the board of the Ludlow-Mt. Holly Unified Union School District on Wednesday night that the schools system is still anticipating in-person teaching come fall.

“Our expectation is that we will be having school in the fall that looks much more like pre-pandemic world than the pandemic world, and we’re all pretty pleased about that,” Fierman said.

Fierman also revealed that once Gov. Phil Scott lifts the state of emergency order, schools will no longer have to follow the Agency of Education’s safety and health guidance regulations.

“However, the AOE has encouraged us, given that we are just about at the end of our school year, to continue with those restrictions till the school year actually ended. That means kids and adults wearing masks in our buildings and making sure they are keeping at least a 3-foot distance,” Fierman said.

Combined classes, updated teaching methods at Mt. Holly

Mt. Holly Principal Craig Hutt Vater presented the multi-age cohort model that the school is recommending for the fall. Multi-age cohorts will combine grades 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6. Hutt Vater said the school is looking to update its teaching methods to be more equitable and accessible for all students.

“What we’re finding is when we adjust the learning conditions to be more in sync with the known laws of brain-based learning, that learning actually improves. When we meet them (students) where they are and teach them in small groups, kids can actually access their education much more effectively,” he said.

Hutt Vater says that there are four main advantages to multi-age cohorts:

  1. Equalizing class size.
  2. Ensuring equity.
  3. Creating a sustainable structure for the school as student numbers increase or decrease.
  4. Helping all learners to grow and learn.

Hutt Vater said that cohorts would be determined based on the strengths and weaknesses of students.

Hutt Vater said that Mount Holly School is hosting a public forum for parents and families about the cohorts via Zoom beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15. The school will then decide if it will be implementing cohorts after the meeting.

“We are still continuing to try and hear from parents and incorporate their feedback into the planning and preparation we are doing,” hesaid.

Ludlow Elementary to get a second custodian

At the last meeting, Karen Trimboli, principal of Ludlow Elementary School, asked the board to consider hiring a second custodian at LES. After a long discussion, the board decided that they would like to have Todd Parah, the incoming TRSU maintenance coordinator, look over the numbers to make a recommendation.

Parah told the board that he met with the custodians at each school and spoke with other custodians in similar districts and is recommending that LES hire another full-time custodian while Mt. Holly needs a part-time custodian.

“I really don’t believe after speaking with both gentlemen that they would be asking for help if they didn’t need it. I don’t think it is something they are hoping to get. It’s something they actually need in their building,” said Parah.

Based on Parah’s recommendation, the board voted to hire a full-time custodian at LES and a part-time custodian at MHS.

At the end of the meeting, the board thanked Trimboli, who is retiring at the end of the school year, for her years of service in the school.

Fierman said, “I’ve watched you over the past three years, Karen, be a tireless advocate for your students, for the families and for the staff. You’ve helped them through countless difficult times, all sorts of challenging transitions … I’ve watched you care for your school and care for your students with a level of fierceness that is really wonderful to see.”

There will not be a LMHUUSD School Board Meeting in July. The next meeting will be on at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9 at Ludlow Elementary School in the Professional Development Room.

In other news:

  • Mount Holly School and Ludlow Elementary are wrapping up their school year. Both schools will be holding their 6th-grade graduations on June 16.
  • The state approved the district’s recovery plan.
  • There will be a retreat for LMHUUSD and the Green Mountain Union School District to agree on procedures, goal setting and expectations. Fierman is still looking for a place to hold the retreat.


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Filed Under: Education News

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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