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Message from the Superintendent

March 9, 2018

Dear MMMUSD-CESU School Community,

Many of our students at the middle and high school levels are energized and engaged in discussions regarding school-based activities on March 14, 2018.  March 14th has been set as a day of protest across our country in response to tragic school shootings. These sad and troubling events have students and community members stressed, scared and very concerned for the safety of students and school personnel.  Our school system has been grappling with the best way to support students and prepare for this day of protest. The process has been challenging as we have students at different age and developmental levels. In addition, there are community members who are advocating for a district-wide walkout and others who do not want any activities to occur on the 14th.  Our administrators are left with difficult choices and a delicate balance to achieve. We want to support student voice, civil discourse and civic opportunities without the perception of endorsing a partisan political position. Moreover, and most important, we are committed to ensuring students are safe and respected. Therefore, I offer the following guidelines that align with Vermont Secretary of Education, Rebecca Holcombe’s, guidance:

  • Unplanned and unsupervised walkouts are not authorized or appropriate.

  • Students have the right to use their voices to advocate for the things they believe in, as long as they don't disrupt the learning environment.  

  • Any planned activities must be supervised, age appropriate and voluntary.

  • Diverse activities must be offered in order to meet the needs of students and families.  

  • All school employees are required to fulfill their job responsibilities.   

  • Plans must be communicated to families.  

  • Students must be safe and supported in a non-partisan manner.   


The response to recent tragic events has been significant.  Students are speaking out and want to be heard. We have an opportunity to listen and show them how much we respect their perspectives and positions.  As educators, we strive to promote civil discourse, critical thinking, evidence-based decision making and the democratic process. By listening and acknowledging different points of view we can bring about meaningful, positive and lasting change.  This must be done in a thoughtful and developmentally appropriate manner.


Our students, administrative team and staff value and appreciate your support as we work to keep the school community safe and navigate contemporary social issues that are affecting our schools and communities.  


Best regards,

John R. Alberghini, Ed.D