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eNews Week of Jan 27, 2020

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Administrators’ Message

Two messages from Superintendent Sheila Soule

Hope you have a great week.

Stephanie, Ed, & Jay


A Word on the ANWSD Budget for FY21

At the January 13, 2020 meeting, the board approved a district budget in the amount of $21,842,594. This budget represents a decrease from last year’s overall spending by -1.35% and will impact taxes by an expected 2.17%. This budget repurposes the Addison Central School for alternative education and consolidates the K-6 students from that campus into the Vergennes Union Elementary School. It represents the most efficient model for maintaining the quality of programming within and across the schools and provides much-needed space for alternative education which will allow it to grow and expand. In this budget, we are able to maintain all programs and co-curricular offerings at the Middle and High School. Repurposing the Addison Central School in this way, ensures these costs do not continue to compound and grow, requiring even more painful reductions next year.

While none of our budget options will completely relieve us from the fiscal challenges ahead, this budget puts us in a much better position next year as we begin the FY22 budget cycle. The other budget scenario considered would have placed an undue burden on our taxpayers across all five communities as the resources are stretched to continue to operate only four classrooms in the Addison Central School by duplicating services already being offered elsewhere. The Addison Central School students can be accommodated at the Vergennes Union Elementary School with only one additional teacher added.

Now that we are certain of the grade configurations represented by this budget scenario we look forward to turning our attention to the activities planned to ensure a successful transition. We are planning many activities such as school visits, buddy classrooms, shared learning experiences, and more. These activities will help students from the two schools bond with one another and helps to ensure there is an excitement building for the changes ahead. In addition, the administration will do what is necessary to ensure our staff is also fully prepared and supported through the next phases of the change.

To learn more about this budget,  please attend the Annual Meeting on February 24, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in the Vergennes Union High School library. Voting will take place at the usual town voting places on March 3, 2020.


From the Superintendent

I wanted to let parents and guardians know that I have tendered my resignation as Superintendent effective June 30, 2020. I want to thank the ANWSD Board for selecting me as Superintendent in the Spring of 2018. Our work in these two years has set the stage for greater student achievement, enhanced school safety,  improved curriculum development, purposeful professional development planning, shared leadership, and focused systemic PreK-12 continuous improvement. The board, faculty, and staff have been supportive in advancing these initiatives during this time. These priorities will be no less important as the community continues to face the fiscal realities of declining enrollment and the impacts on the schools of ANWSD. I am appreciative of the opportunity provided to me to grow as a school leader, and I am grateful for this experience. I am proud to have served this unique community and will do everything I can during the next 5 months to ensure a smooth transition for the district. 


Sheila M. Soule
Superintendent of Schools


Middle School News & Info

8th Grade Parent Information Night - VUHS Library - February 6th, 6:00-7:00 PM

  • Join us to learn more about high school and have your questions answered as your 8th grade student begins the process of transitioning to grade 9.


High School News & Info

Grades 11 & 12

Drive for Excellence

Qualifying students have the chance to win a new car or one of three $1,000 scholarships. Deadline to register is April 15, 2020 and report cards are due by Monday, April 20, 2020. Students will need to bring a signed release to Mrs. Vincent in the School Counseling Office in order for report cards to be submitted. Students can pick up a release in the School Counseling Office or here. Requests for report cards are due no later than April 16 to be sure the deadline is met.


Grade 11

College/University Open Houses

This time of year there are many campus open houses and visit dates for juniors. See more information here. Please stop in the School Counseling Office with any questions.


Grade 12


There are scholarships available for application at this time. Scholarships are posted on the School Counseling web page here and updated on a regular basis.

VSAC Scholarship booklets have been distributed. More information about VSAC scholarships can be found on the School Counseling Scholarship webpage and/or here.

The Red Sox Foundation Scholarship is now available. As long as three VUHS students submit applications for this scholarship, one VUHS applicant will receive a $1,000 scholarship.  Information is on the scholarship page and/or here.

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines

Roger Sheridan Memorial Scholarship 1/27/2020

Elks Legacy Scholarship 1/31/2020

VT-NEA Maida Townsend Scholarship 2/1/2020

New England Red Sox VT Scholarship 2/7/2020

VSAC Scholarships 2/12/2020


School Calendar Reminders

January ANWSD Board/Committee Meeting Schedule

February 1 - High School Mid-Winter Ball - Vergennes Opera House - 8-11 PM

February 5 - 2020-2021 Course Information Given to Grades 9-11 Students

February 6 - 2020-2021 Course Information Given to Grade 8 Students

February 6 - 8th Grade Parent Information Night - VUHS Library - 6:00-7:00 PM

February 14 - Course Request Sheets Due in the School Counseling Office

February 17-21 - Winter Break - No School

February 24 - ANWSD Annual Meeting - VUHS Library - 6:00 PM


Congratulations to Grady Devoid, Presidential Scholar Nominee 2020 - Career Technical Education Category

Grady was honored at a ceremony at the Vermont State House on January 14th. The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes students for academic success, artistic and technical excellence, community service and leadership. Way to go, Grady!


Addison Independent Students of the Week

Every other week a well-deserving VUHS senior is selected as an Addison Independent Student of the Week. These students are actively involved in the community and working hard to make the most of their education. Be sure to check out the Monday edition of the paper to learn more about our most recently recognized outstanding seniors, Brianna Billings and Jeffrey Stearns. Congratulations Brianna and Jeffrey!


Environmental Club

The VUHS Environmental Club: Green Team is looking for more students (and adults) to further its cause Meetings are during high school callback on Wednesdays in the library. Please stop by and see what’s it’s all about. More information here.

If anyone is interested in helping with composting at VUHS, please contact Jay ([email protected]). There are a number of different ways to get involved.


Career Center Open House - Thursday, February 6th 4-7 PM

Check out all the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury has to offer students. See more information here.


VT Cookie Love Cookie Dough Fundraiser - Class of 2021

Are you interested in buying local cookie dough or supporting the VUHS Class of 2021? Look no further than your local juniors! 1 and 2.5-pound tubs are available for $11 or $22/$25. All sales are due to junior advisors or officers by Monday, February 3rd, and the dough will be available for pick up on Tuesday, February 11th. For more information, contact the junior class officers at [email protected].


Lifeguarding Class

Interesting in becoming a certified lifeguard? See information here about a class being offered in our area.


Opiate Epidemic Education Opportunity

Hardly a week goes by that there isn’t a news story in Addison County that in some way relates to opioid drug use and its effects on individuals and our community.  The Vermont Department of Health (VDOH) reported 89 opioid-related fatalities in Vermont in the first 10 months of 2019. In response to this public health crisis, VDOH and the Hannaford Career Center are partnering to offer a series of workshops, starting February 11, aimed at building understanding and community resilience to respond to this epidemic.

This workshop series is an opportunity to learn and share about the opiate crisis, signs of opioid addiction, the effect of opioid addiction on people and their families, and what you can do to help.  The three-class series is recommended for anyone who wants to make a difference in their community – parents, grandparents, educators, healthcare professionals, social workers, employers and anyone who has felt confused, scared, or frustrated by the use of opiates in our communities.  Each session incorporates participatory opportunities so people can share their own experiences and ideas if they choose, including guest perspectives from emergency service first responders. Dinner is provided.

To register for this series, contact Denise at the Hannaford Career Center (382-1004). Space is limited. Workshops Scheduled 6:00-8:15 PM on February 11, 18, and 25. For more information, click here or contact Len Schmidt at 382-1005.


School Choice Information for School Year 2020-2021


Vergennes Union High School, along with all other Vermont high schools, participates in a statewide system of high school choice. Under this system, students from VUHS may apply to transfer to any other high school in the state. For the 2020-2021 school year, the maximum number of students eligible to transfer to another school is limited to fifteen (15). The actual number will depend on the number of students selected in prior years that are choosing to continue their enrollment at other high schools.

To apply to participate in the program for the 2020-2021 school year (grades 9-12):

  • Complete an application here or from the VUHS School Counseling Office;

  • All applications must be signed by a parent or guardian;

  • File the application with the School Counseling Office no later than March 1, 2020.

Notification of decisions to all students who have applied to participate will be no later than April 1, 2020. Additional school choice information, including a timeline, is available from the School Counseling Office or by contacting Jay Stetzel ([email protected]).

If selected to attend another high school, students shall be guaranteed enrollment in that receiving school until graduation as long as they remain residents of the Addison Northwest School District and are not subject to expulsion as a result of the receiving school’s policy and federal and state law.


Summer Programs 2020

It’s not too early to be making plans for summer. The school counseling office will receive a variety of summer opportunities over the next several months. Click here to access a list of these opportunities for students currently in grades 7-12. We are not specifically endorsing any of these programs (because we are not familiar with all of them) and encourage you to further research any in which your student might be interested. As we receive additional program information, we’ll add it to this document, so check back weekly.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Summer Expeditions - Learn more here.


Commodore Parent/Teacher Group

Our meetings are on the 4th Monday of the month from 6:30-8:00 PM in the VUHS library. The next one is Monday, January 27th.

Our new email address is [email protected] and you can find us on Facebook at:


VUHS Athletics

VUHS is the first high school in the state to offer an automated live video stream of it's athletic events! Thank you to the Vergennes Boosters Club for the purchase and installation of this camera system. Vergennes Athletics continues it's advancement forward and our Boosters Club is a major reason why. Please consider offering your support by joining the Boosters Club. They meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7-8 p.m. If you are interested, please contact Kirsten De La Cruz, Booster Club President ([email protected]).

To view upcoming events live, please click here. The link is also on the VUHS website on the Athletics page. Thank you and enjoy the games!



Want to learn more about VUHS?

Don’t forget that you can also check out the new school website! There are lots of great resources and contact information for families and students.