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New MRPS School Board Sets Priorities


The Montpelier Roxbury Public Schools Board met the day after the annual city meeting and completed a full agenda. Two new members of the board, Marilyn Turcotte and Scott Lewins, and the two re-elected members, Jim Murphy and Jill Remick, joined the rest of the board in hearing Superintendent Libby Bonesteel’s updates, organizing officers and committees, and developing indicators for success for achieving the board’s priorities.

Bonesteel reported that PCB testing for hazardous air quality was completed at Main Street Middle School and Union Elementary with results expected from the state in four weeks. According to the state, Montpelier High School and Roxbury Village School will be tested in two years, based on the age of those buildings. 

Board actions included determining the officers and committees of the board. Continuing their officer roles are Murphy as chair, Mia Moore as vice chair, Jill Remick as parliamentarian, Rhett Williams as clerk, and Remich as CVTCC Advisory Board member.

Board members participate on two to three committees, which meet regularly and in addition to scheduled board meetings. Established board committees are finance, negotiations, facilities and energy, policy, equity, and superintendent evaluation. During this meeting the board added board evaluation to the superintendent evaluation committee. The board also created a superintendent advisory committee and a communications committee. Information on school board committees is available at www.mrpsvt.org/committees.

The board established three priorities and worked on indicators of success to allow them to, as Bonesteel stated, “know we are succeeding when”:

  1. Closing the academic achievement/opportunity gaps: Indicator — Every student is meeting academic proficiency regardless of identity or socioeconomic status and has equitable access to the opportunities they need and desire to succeed.
  2. Students belong, safety, and wellness: 
  3. Connection and accountability with our community: Indicator — As a first step the new board communications committee will move forward with actions as the board recognizes that “this is a weak area” in their work, according to Emma Bay-Hansen.
The board will continue to develop indicators of success in upcoming meetings.

Career Center Budget Approved

Voters in the 18 towns in the Central Vermont Career Center School District, which includes Montpelier, approved the new entity’s $4.1 million budget request. The combined vote was 6,535 to 1,806. Lyman Castle won a three-year term as a Montpelier-Roxbury director.