The 2022/2023 BSD calendar has been approved by the Burlington Board of School Commissioners! Our first student day will be Wednesday, August 31st, in alignment with the other districts in our region. Barring changes from Snow Days, our anticipated final day will Wednesday, June 14, 2023.
BSD is implementing the voluntary Vermont Agency of Education antigen Test to Stay (TTS) program.
TTS is used when unvaccinated students are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 while they were in school. The intention of TTS is to allow students who would otherwise be required to quarantine to remain in school; keeping in mind that vaccinated individuals who are close contacts are not required to quarantine.
TTS is only for students who are not fully vaccinated and who are: (1) asymptomatic, and; (2) identified as close contacts of a positive case that they encountered at school. It replaces the need for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals to quarantine and miss school days, however, students who are not fully vaccinated are still expected to quarantine at home, including in the evening and on the weekends.
How can my student participate in the Test to Stay program?
In order for your student to participate in the Test to Stay program, please complete these two forms:
- Test to Stay Consent Form – parent/guardian consent for student participation
- SimpleReport – reports the results of testing to parents/guardians
How does the Test to Stay program work?
If you have consented for your student to participate in the Test to Stay program, you will receive a notification from your student’s school if they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case.
In most cases, TTS will start that same day or the next morning, with your student receiving a rapid antigen test at their school. Students will be given a rapid antigen test in the school building. It takes 15 minutes for us to get the results
- If your student tests negative, they may remain at school and participate in school-sponsored activities that only involve students from your school.
- If your student tests positive, they will be considered positive for COVID-19 and will need to enter a period of isolation for 10 days.
Daily antigen testing will continue on school days for seven days after the last exposure; if “Day 7” falls on a day when school is closed, we will test students the first day back as their last test. (This does not apply to long “breaks” of school when a PCR test would come back first.) If your student develops symptoms at any point, inform the school, seek a PCR test right away, and keep your student at home and away from others.
Your student will not be tested on the weekends, but needs to remain in quarantine, meaning they should not participate in other activities, go to the grocery store, or spend time with friends and others outside of their household. It is important to note that this Test to Stay program is only for attendance at school or on-campus school-sponsored activities. Any unvaccinated student identified as a close contact is expected to quarantine for all other activities, aside from medical appointments, for a total of 14 days with the option to test out of quarantine with a negative PCR test result on or after day 7 from last exposure. While participating in Test to Stay, close contacts take rapid antigen tests for a total of 7 school days, and if negative all 7 days may leave quarantine. Test to Stay participants may not attend school activities that involve students from other schools, such as sports or scholastic competitions.
If at any point your student develops symptoms:
- Do not send your student to school and keep your child home.
- Call your student’s health care provider or make an appointment through the Vermont Department of Health to schedule a PCR test.
- If your student is having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
- If your student doesn’t have a provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in your area.
- People with mild illness can treat their symptoms at home: help your student get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take fever-reducing medication if needed.
Still have questions?
School districts across Vermont are entering into “Budget Season” and Burlington School District (BSD) is pleased to announce a new budgeting model that will place more control of school budgets in the hands of principals and school communities. The District’s new “Equitable Budgeting and Staffing Model” strives to allocate resources based on student enrollment and need, seeks to build school-based engagement, and creates a new equity allocation for schools to use in efforts to close the opportunity gap. Leaders will share how budgeting will look different this year at a virtual “Equitable Budgeting Kickoff” event on October 4th at 6 PM over Zoom. Changes have also been laid out in a new BSD Budget Development Guide.
“I’m really pleased to be embarking on this new way of thinking about funding schools,” said BSD Superintendent Tom Flanagan. “We’ve spent the last year working with district leaders, teachers, students, and stakeholders on a model that is fair, predictable, equity-focused, and empowering for principals who know their buildings and student needs better than anyone.”
New to the budget process will be the Recognizing Injustice and Seeking Equity (or RISE) Allocation that each school will receive. After determining baseline staff models and resource needs, each school will receive an additional sum of money designed to help schools implement ideas and strategies designed to close the opportunity gap that exists in BSD. RISE Allocations will be based on a weighted pupil formula based, in part, on the Pupil Weighting Factors Report prepared by the Vermont Agency of Education in partnership with the University of Vermont, Rutgers University, and American Institutes for Research. Once funds for schools are determined, school leaders will work with School Advisory Groups to identify focus areas of needs and create proposals to address those needs.
“This is a great step towards our school district and our community living our values around equity,” said Kevin Robinson, Principal of Integrated Art Academy and a member of the Equitable Budget and Staffing Work Group. “I am excited about the possibilities this will offer principals and community members to have more say in how schools are funded, and how those funds may create more equitable outcomes for students.”
The public is invited to learn more about this new Equitable Budgeting and Staffing Model at a kickoff event on October 4th at 6 PM virtually over Zoom; the meeting will also be streamed and recorded on the District YouTube channel.
Visit our Facebook page to RSVP and invite your friends and colleagues. See you there!
Staff Excited to Build on Themes of Equity, Engagement, and Deep Learning
Please join Burlington School District (BSD) in welcoming four new administrators to our school system and congratulating district employees for stepping into support and leadership roles.
“With these hires, Burlington High School (BHS) and Edmunds Middle School (EMS) leadership teams are fully formed and eager to serve our students and families with a focus on equity, engagement, and deep learning,” said Burlington Superintendent Tom Flanagan. “I am very excited about our new leaders. They are mission-driven and they bring a diversity of experiences and backgrounds to their roles that will benefit our district. I am thrilled for our school communities and our students as we enter this school year.”
Nikki Ellis has joined EMS as Assistant Principal (AP). Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Ellis has worked as an ELL/ELA teacher and an Equity Coach in Des Moines Public Schools. After earning a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Drake University, they moved to Boston, Massachusetts with their wife, where Ellis worked as an AP in Chelsea Public Schools. Their passions include anti-racism and the work of ensuring that schools see and value each unique individual student, family, and staff member. Ellis joins Sabrina Westdijk at EMS, who was named Principal this spring after serving as Vice Principal in 2020-2021.
At BHS, Burlington School District welcomes three new APs: Melanee Alexander, Kate Paxton, and Francesca Dupuis. The three administrators will support Lauren McBride, who was named BHS principal after serving in an interim role since January 2020.
Melanee Alexander is an experienced school administrator and program development professional with accomplishments in community development strategies, youth development, and multicultural curriculum design. Her background in corporate philanthropy, international community service, and teaching led her to the Republic of Panama and Costa Rica to initiate partnerships among business, government, and nonprofits to stimulate responsible tourism and income-generating activities. Upon her return to the States, she returned to her alma mater, Brookline High School (MA), as an Associate Dean of Students and English teacher.
Francesca Dupuis, who was promoted from within, is an experienced classroom teacher with ten years of teaching at BHS in the History/Social Studies Department. Originally from Saugus, Massachusetts, Dupuis earned her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education in 2010 at UVM. As a classroom teacher, Dupuis has taught students in all grade levels, advised two clubs, served as Lead Teacher, co-taught with English and English Language teachers, and taken students abroad on five YES trips. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UVM in 2018 with the administrator endorsement.
Kate Paxton comes to BHS in the newly formed role of Assistant Principal of Student Supports. She brings strong teaching and administrative experience, most recently serving as an elementary school principal in Bradford, Vermont. Paxton’s passion for education is grounded in the belief that positive relationships are based upon kindness and respect, and that these relationships lay the foundation for successful teaching and learning. This commitment led her to pursue graduate work in ethics and education at UVM, where she received a Master’s in Educational Studies, and Arizona State University, where she earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Evaluation.
In addition to the new hires at BHS, LeVar Barrino will also take on new and important responsibilities, joining the BHS leadership team as 9th Grade Dean of Students. In this expanded role, Barrino will use his deep connections with students and history of community engagement to support students on their paths for success. Quaron Pinckney, the District Athletic Director, will also join the BHS leadership team. Longtime BHS Assistant Principal Herb Perez has been named the Assistant Principal at Flynn Elementary, BSD’s largest elementary school, and will serve in a support role District-wide for principals needing building, leadership, and/or staff support.
In response to the August 11th update to the Agency of Education’s “A Strong and Healthy Start Guidance,” we have created a tool in PowerSchool that will allow families to complete student health screenings at home each morning before leaving for school. Please check out the video for a look at how to complete the daily form, then login to your BSD PowerSchool account to complete the screening.
Remember, it will be important to complete the screening before 7:30 AM each morning, if possible, because at 7:30 each morning, staff will download a report to see who has completed the screening. Those who did not complete the screening prior to 7:30 AM will have to complete the screening on-site prior to building entry. Once students arrive, staff will verify which students still need to be screened and confirm students are fever-free.