Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Message from Jeanne Collins, Superintendent

Dear PTO Leaders:

Welcome back to school! Thank you for your leadership supporting our schools in so many different ways. I've heard great things about back-to-school activities supported by our PTOs. Your work really helps us to connect and communicate with families.

One of the ways we will continue to welcome all families and strengthen partnerships to support all students' success is through our family-school partnership teams. These teams include PTO liaisons, so that efforts are well-coordinated with PTO's/Boosters and we can maximize our efforts.

As we kick off the year, our school leaders will work together to focus on what it means to be a welcoming school, to effectively engage all families and how to evaluate our communication and activities so we can continue to improve.

This year, Dawn Moskowitz will return as a quarter-time family school partnership coordinator and Kathy Mathis as a part-time partnership developer. Dawn and Kathy will work closely with Dan Balon and our Diversity and Equity Office, and Lindsay DesLauriers at the Parent Information Resource Center to assist our teams. I'm thankful for PIRC's ongoing support and I'm also happy to share that Champlain College has generously sponsored a family partnership VISTA, Kiley Phelan, who will be able to help coordinate Champlain students to work with a few of our schools as well. We hope that we will be able to continue to grow this partnership in the future.

We have secured some grant funds for most of our family-school partnership teams, and will continue to work to identify resources.

All of the draft plans family-school partnership teams developed last year, as well as training materials, information about the partnership program and a contact list of team members, are easily accessible at

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me, or to connect with Dawn at or 802-318-5892.

Strong family-school partnerships are part of our ongoing work on inclusive, welcoming, culturally responsive schools that support all students' success. With your help, we keep improving.

Again, many thanks.

Jeanne Collins
Superintendent of Schools
Burlington School District
150 Colchester Ave.
Burlington, VT 05401
"When parents and teachers collaborate on behalf of children, they create windows of light for the generations that follow."

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