Thursday, September 27, 2007

Update on threat of school closure

On Tuesday, October 2, the Agenda Committee of the School Board will vote whether or not to recommend to the whole school board a motion affirming that the District should keep open all six elementary schools. If this proposal is voted down, that would indicate a desire to close one or more schools, most likely Barnes and/or Wheeler

The full school board could vote on this proposal as early as Tuesday, October 9.

The Lawrence Barnes PTO is asking people to sign the open letter below, and also encouraging Barnes parents to attend the upcoming School Board and Committee meetings:

Tuesday, October 2nd

Tuesday, October 2nd

Tuesday, October 9th

All meetings are at Ira Allen Building, 150 Colchester Avenue (Map »)

For more information, or to get more involved, contact Heather Riemer 865 3048, Siobhan Donegan 864 0984, or Sara Osaba 363 1901

Open Letter to Burlington School Board: Reaffirm Commitment to Six Elementary Schools

Over the last two years hundreds of Burlington residents have spoken out for their vision for our city’s elementary schools. Throughout the debate it has been clear that community members, parents and voters have supported sustaining six neighborhood schools. In 2006 a referendum overwhelmingly passed supporting maintaining six neighborhood elementary schools.

Our understanding is that the Burlington School Board is considering a motion to affirm the School Board’s commitment to all of our neighborhood schools.

We hope that this is the first step in bringing our community together around improving our schools. We believe that any plan to close one or more schools would continue to divide our community.

We encourage the Agenda Committee and the full School Board to move forward by taking the threat of a school closure off the table and by voting to maintain our six neighborhood schools so that we can work together to make our schools better for all of Burlington’s children.

Betsy Allen-Pennebaker
Kit Andrews
Lindol M.Atkins Jr.
Joanne Beaubien, Parent, Edmunds Elementary & Edmunds Middle
Jen Berger
Donna Bister
Vince Brennan
Karen Bushey
Richey Bushey
Jessica Butts
Marrisa Caldwell
Maria Chomentowski
Kevin Corcoran
Julia Curry
Lillian Dean
Art Demarais
Haijma Deng
Siobhan Donegan
Carina Driscoll
Paul Fleckenstein
Jim Flint
Claire Gestner
Charles Goodnight
John Grimm
Rebecca Grimm
Robin and Steve Guillian
James Haslam
Brendan Hatch
Suzanne M. Hebeler
Jane Geffken Henderson
Nancy Hier
Paul Hobbs
Genevieve Jacobs
Ashley Jerome
Rachel Jolly
Kate Kandelstein
Bret Kernoff
Ariane Kissam
Brenda Kissam
Jonathan Kissam
David Kreindler
Tristram Kuniz
Cate Lamb
John Leddy
Ted and Winnie Looby
Jason P. Lorber, State Representative
Charley MacMartin
Cherie Marshall
Christine Massey
Nicole J. McMillan
Linnie Miller
Jessica Anne Morley
Rebecca Moseley
Emma Mulvaney-Stanak
Megan Munson-Warnken
Tamara Musgrove
Kathy Olwell
Meghan O'Rourke
Sara Osaba
Jodi Ouellette
Melissa Parker
Karen Paul, Burlington' Future
Christopher Pearson, State Representative
Megan Peek
Becky Rabin
Leslie C. Richards
Heather Riemer
Colin Robinson
Jennifer Shewmake
Rachel Siegel
Rebecca Smith, BEA President
Kate Spence
Justina Starr
Rebecca Taylor
Tiffany Tillman
Andrew Tomczak
Kathy Valloch
Wayne Warnken
Beth Wasmund
Rachel Weston, State Representative
Julie Winn
Meredith Woodward King
Carol Ann Wooster
Dylan Zeitlyn

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

From this week's Seven Days

Meet the parents who are buying into the Old North End's schools features Barnes parents Barb Prine, Heather Riemer and Adoul Methiang.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007

Community meeting on National School Lunch Program September 17

The Lawrence Barnes School PTO invites you to a community meeting to discuss the Farm Bill (and its impact on school food) with John Tracy, Field Representative for Senator Patrick Leahy's Office.

DATE: Monday, September 17, 2007
TIME: 6:00 pm
PLACE: Lawrence Barnes School Community Room

In late September or early October, the Farm Bill will be debated and voted on in the Senate. Senator Leahy's vote is critical to improving the nutritional health of all Americans, strengthening the food assistance programs, and developing farm and food policy that promotes healthy eating.

We hope to convey to the Senator that Vermonters want food assistance programs (like the National School Lunch Program - NSLP) to provide foods that ultimately promote good health and prevent disease. Greater representation of (and therefore increased federal funding for) fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be the NSLP's absolute top priority.

Why should we care?

The foods served on our children's school lunch trays are enormously affected by the Farm Bill. Under current legislation, fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies, in spite of ample nutrition research demonstrating that these foods are vital for lifelong health promotion.

Children across the US (as well as across Vermont) simply do not consume enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and yet we know these foods are key in preventing long-term chronic disease. While meat and full-fat dairy products have continued to be heavily subsidized and provided in school lunches nationwide, we have witnessed a skyrocketing increase in diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and other diet-related illnesses, often starting at a younger and younger age. Serving truly health promoting foods through the NSLP would make a HUGE difference in countering this trend.

Please join us for this important opportunity to share our concerns.

You need not be an expert on the Farm Bill to attend. Feel free to come and just "listen and learn." Simply showing up will demonstrate that the issue is important to you as a Vermonter. There definitely is "strength in numbers," so if we do have a strong showing we can better ensure that our message will be solidly conveyed back to Senator Leahy, and that hopefully his vote (and others) will result in improved nutrition for Vermont children and families.