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Filling in the gaps in communication

Hopefully everyone is safe and somewhat stabilized at this point.  For those of you who are not subscribed to Front Porch Forum, or who don't live in the village itself, there have been some gaps in communication from the Moretown School Board to you.  

Thank you to a parent who recently brought this to my attention.  My apologies, we are remedying this now and will make sure all updates going forward go through this Family/Parent email list and through 411 as appropriate, as well as Front Porch Forum.  Please do subscribe to Front Porch Forum, as it is an excellent tool to share information from fellow residents, select board, highway department, school board, Llbrary, etc.

Here is a status report:


  • The first day of school has not yet been established.  We have an aggressive goal of Tuesday, September 6, but frankly, that may be too optimistic.  Duane Pierson continues to work hard for that goal however.


  • We understand that this creates a childcare issue for most of you, and we also understand that uncertainty is a difficult component to deal with around this issue.  With that in mind, I will share that there is a high probability that we can start school on or before September 13.  Whether that means mid or late next week is a possibility, it is too soon to tell.  Duane will keep you updated.  It is our goal to open the school ASAP, and to communicate with you as soon as we know more about when that will be.


  • Depending on how the recovery and clean up progress, there is a possibility that we begin school at a different location (Harwood), and then move to MES later.  I find this option unlikely to be necessary or useful, but it is a contingency plan that Duane and Brigid Scheffert are exploring.  Duane and I feel that if that gets the kids started just one or two days earlier, it is not worth the logistical challenges it presents.  Additionally, we do not see much educational value to day one and two (for instance) being offsite and then moving back.  This plan would be explored further if we hear from our recovery contractors that there is a significant hiccup in the schedule for establishing a safe/clean facility for kids and staff (like a week delay for instance).


  • We have professionals drying/cleaning/repairing damage now, and the highest priority is that when your kids return to school, it will be a safe/clean school and grounds.  All carpet and wet porous surfaces (wall board, etc.) will be removed and disposed of. Even the soiled mulch in the playgrounds is being replaced.  In fact, I expect that when it comes to flooring schoolwide, our school will come out better than before the flood.


  • We plan on replacing much of the carpet in the school with something other than carpet.  Classrooms will continue to have carpeted areas (with new carpet), but I expect you will not see carpet in hallways again.  Again, depending on the demolition/recovery schedule, we may open a safe clean school with a bare concrete hallway.  We will not delay school further simply because we have not yet installed tile, or refinished the concrete, as long as there are no safety or health concerns.  If necessary, that work can continue during a future school break.


  • Virtually all costs are covered by our insurance coverage with the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust, who has been phenomenal and supportive partners throughout this crisis.


  • Again, I will make sure that Duane or I post updates to this email list frequently, but please join Front Porch Forum.  It is an essential and efficient way to stay informed on all town issues, not just this crisis.


  • Lastly, I want to thank Duane Pierson for his incredible, calm leadership throughout this event.  From his assistance in the evacuation efforts, to his oversight of the school recovery process.  Yesterday, he and his wife could be seen on tractors in the playgrounds removing contaminated mulch.  I have never seen him panic, or show anything but the utmost confidence that we will come out of this stronger!  Thank you, Duane!


Kaj Samsom is chair of the Moretown School Board.


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