The board of trustees at The Mountain School at Winhall (MSW) met on May 9 to discuss its next steps to secure space for the 2013-14 academic year and beyond. It was the first regularly scheduled meeting of the board since the April 2 special town meeting, when Winhall voters rejected the sale of the community building to the school. At last week’s board meeting, there was a unanimous belief that the school should proceed with negotiating a new short-term lease with the Winhall School Board that is fair and reasonable for both parties and in line with lease agreements for similarly used spaces in Bennington County. The current lease is due to expire on June 30.
Although disappointed by the vote, the board remains committed to owning our own facility, a key component of the school’s long range plan. MSW has seen significant enrollment growth in recent years while the quality of the academic program and the achievements of its students continue to rise. In 2013, MSW students scored well above Vermont state averages in standardized tests. This is a testament to the Mountain School’s quality because recently The American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Vermont second among all states for academic achievement in its most recent rankings. Additionally, the National Association of Educational Progress scores ranked Vermont among the top five in the country in both fourth- and eighth- grade math and reading scores.
MSW fourth-graders scored 10%-12% above the state average in reading and math, and eighth graders scored 13% above the state average in reading and math. MSW also had 85% of its students scoring at/above grade level in writing, 19% above the Vermont average of 66%.
MSW remains committed to serving the students of Winhall, Stratton, and surrounding towns and is proud of its growth as a school and a learning community. We also feel a deep obligation to continue to make the community building available to all citizens of Winhall and various town functions. We look forward to continuing to meet our founding principles of social equity and academic excellence.
Chair, Board of Trustees