By AMY REX
Safe and supportive is the foundation of a school where every student develops the academic and social/emotional skills necessary to be successful in our global world. Beyond opportunities to learn, schools, must now be prepared to provide specialized medical, social and mental health services. This new order requires appropriate space, equipment and training. It requires a budget that adequately endorses our most notable needs. More importantly, it requires the school and community to be collaborative partners; that is to collectively see and create a bright future. This article is the second in a series to provide the Milton community with an inside look at the MTSD proposed budget and to understand the rationale for changes so that we may collectively serve our most precious asset, our children.
Part 2: Positions to Promote a New Era in Education: The MTSD building and district administrators engaged in a very robust budget development process from September – December. One goal was to identify needs for programming that would help us move the needle on our continuous improvement plan. The three areas of that plan are related to improving: student achievement, the social/emotional health of students, and school climate. Each of the positions below address one or more of these areas for improvement. They will help us achieve the vision of learning we have for all our students to be successful now and in the future.
English Language Learner Teacher (.50 FTE) – The recommended ratio of ELL Teacher to English Language Learner is 1:25. In the 2019-2020 school year we are projected to have approximately 60 ELL students in pre-K-12.
MES/MMS Restorative Practices/Harassment and Bullying Coordinator (1.00): Vermont Agency of Education is recommending restorative practices approach, a systems approach to harassment and bullying prevention and as a way to improve school climate. To ensure success, a targeted position that could provide prevention and intervention support, training and outreach is necessary. It would also minimize school counselors’ participation in investigations, a conflict of interest for them professionally.
MHS English Teacher (1.00): A full-time English teacher would fill the gap that exists in section numbers and also right size classes. At this time, there are sections with 28-30 students. We would also be able to offer more variety of classes especially for seniors as they prepare for college and career readiness.
MHS Pathway Coordinator (1.00): This position would ensure that personalized learning opportunities are available and accessible to all students on and off site. This person would be responsible for coordinating the state mandated personalized learning plan process through the teacher advisory curriculum planning. They would also be the school to career liaison, forging partnerships with local organizations for students to access job shadows, internships and school to work programs while earning credit for graduation. Milton is one of the few high schools that does not have a position dedication to Flexible Pathways, and this is putting our students at a disadvantage.