Annual Message to the Citizens of Rutland City
Peter Mello, President, Board of School Commissioners
Mary E. Moran, Superintendent of Education
TO THE CITIZENS OF RUTLAND CITY:
Rutland City Public Schools is a learning organization that provides an outstanding educational opportunity to 2800 students at seven schools, two alternative sites, and the Stafford Technical Center. Our superior faculty and staff members focus on the needs of each and every child on a daily basis. Our new District Mission Statement concludes with this pledge/belief: “Every Student, Every Day.” What follows is a basic and brief report on the status of the system.
Northeast and Northwest Primary Schools each serve approximately 270 students in the Early Essential Education Program (EEE) through Second Grade. The Pierpoint Primary Learning Center, located at the former regional library, houses students in grades K-2 in a multi-age program and is part of the Northwest/Pierpoint Primary School community.
The Rutland Intermediate School, located on Library Avenue, serves approximately 650 students in Grades 3-6. The Rutland Middle School, also located on Library Avenue, serves 360 students in Grades 7 and 8. Rutland High School, on Stratton Road, serves 1050 students. Approximately 250 students attend the full time program at the Stafford Technical Center, and over 800 adults take part in our Adult Education Program. Stafford programs continue to support educational and training opportunities for both the youth and adult populations of Rutland County.
The number of tuition students attending Rutland High School from Rutland Town, Mendon, Chittenden, Danby, Hubbarton, Ira, Middletown Springs, Mt. Tabor, Pittsfield, Plymouth and Stockbridge remains strong. Continued progressive programming, including a large the number of Advanced Placement and honors courses, an infusion of modern technology, the YES Plan and many additional offerings in the Fine Arts, have contributed to the consistent attractiveness of Rutland High School as the most popular school of choice for parents and students in the tuition-paying towns.
The Rutland High School Howe Center Campus serves 45 high school students in an off-campus alternative education and service-learning program designed to prevent students from dropping out of school. The SUCCESS School, located on Allen Street, serves approximately 50 students in grades K-12 who have had difficulties in adapting to a traditional classroom and school environment. This is a model program, which is conducted jointly by the Rutland City Schools and Rutland Mental Health Services. SUCCESS combines academics, adventure-based learning, work and community service, and therapeutic services for students and their families in a way that better meets their needs, both in school and in the community.
We also offer an extensive co-curricular program for students from grade 3 through grade 12. In addition to a comprehensive athletics program, there is a wide range of clubs and activities that support student learning and development and keep our children active and safe in the after-school hours of each day. The Rutland City Fine Arts program is one of the finest in the nation, and has been recognized as such on two recent occasions. We invite citizens to attend the many music and theatrical performances of our students both in the schools and at the Paramount Theater, and to attend the various visual art displays around the community and at the Chaffee Art Gallery. In addition, the nationally recognized Tapestry Program serves over 600 children in after-school and summer programming offering extensive enrichment, tutorial, counseling, cultural and recreational opportunities. The Tapestry Program was just awarded a major competitive federal grant to support its continued service to our children.
Each school in Vermont strives to achieve, and is measured against, the Vermont Grade Expectations (GEs). The GEs are standards for all students that are measured in a number of ways. First, the state mandates that students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 be assessed using the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP). Students in grade 2 are mandated to take the Vermont Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA). For 2008, the Rutland City Public Schools as a district and each school individually achieved Vermont’s targeted standard, known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), for “all students.” Students are also assessed using local tests and in class evidence of progress toward the same Grade Expectations. These assessments are used to design instruction and target intervention, or extra help, for students in need.
The health and well being of our students is at the forefront of our thoughts. After all, a healthy student will achieve more academically than a student carrying a number of risk factors. The 2007 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey contains information about the health and lifestyles of students around the state and within the Rutland City Public School district. We monitor the data from this state-generated survey as well as local data to organize our health and wellness resources in support of students and families in Rutland. We are extremely proud of our ongoing relationships with community health and wellness agencies including Rutland Mental Health, Rutland County Head Start, the Department of Child and Family Services, the Rutland Regional Medical Center, and Rutland’s Police and Fire Departments.
Your school district continues to operate in a mode of continuous improvement with a focus on professional development and student achievement. We are currently in the third year of a major focus on student literacy Pre K through grade 12. In addition to ongoing projects, teachers and administrators have recently developed a comprehensive, four-year, K-12 literacy plan.
Rutland City Public Schools strive to offer an outstanding learning experience at a reasonable per pupil cost to the city taxpayers. For this school year the district’s per-pupil cost is 8% below the state average for all districts, as is shown on the FY08 State education property tax bills. It is important to note that our district ranks 62nd of the 62 school districts in the Vermont in spending on administration. In Rutland, we offer an outstanding educational opportunity for all of our children at a lower cost than the majority of the school districts in the state.
We look forward to continuing to work with you, our staff, and the students and families of Rutland City as we strive to provide the very best possible education for our community. “Every Student, Every Day”
Should any reader wish to learn more about the Rutland City Public Schools and education in Vermont, please access the following web sites: