Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 30

When parents are provided with multiple ways
to help, they not only become more invested in
school initiatives, but also begin to own the
work in tandem with educators and students.
these industries have faced challenges lately.
In an increasingly digital world, SMS is miles
away from cellphone reception, and the cozy,
art-lined building is in need of upgrades.
One key factor allows SMS not only to
address these concerns, but also to rise above
expectations and meet the needs of the 21st
century students it serves. SMS has strong,
committed partnerships. The partnerships-
specifically those serving SMS after
school and in the summer-fall into three
categories: partnerships with parents, with
sponsors and funding sources, and with the
community. These connections thrive because
they hold meaning for students, center on
high-interest initiatives, and tie into the
larger community's values.
After-school and summer programs
provide opportunities not always available
within the school day, so strong partnerships
are essential to their success. An exploration
of Shrewsbury and its partnerships reveals a
school that makes the most of the resources
around it and tailors its programs to
represent a true community school.

of the original homesteads and farms still
operate, providing the school with maple
syrup for the breakfast program, fresh
vegetables for the snack program, and milk
from the local dairy farm for lunch.
With many of the one-room schoolhouses closed or in need of extensive repair,
the current Shrewsbury Mountain School
was founded in 1974, with an addition
built in 1987. SMS currently serves 80
students. The town has about 1,000 people,
many of them seasonal residents who
take advantage of the quiet surroundings
and the close proximity to Killington and
Okemo Mountain. However, the town is
beginning to see a shift in this demographic
as more young families purchase homes in
Shrewsbury. Many of these young parents
attended SMS themselves and want the best
possible programs for their children. This
combination of multigenerational stakeholders and energized forward-thinking
parents drives the partnerships at SMS.

Rooted in History

Despite competing interests and busy
schedules, every parent is invested in his
or her child's education. When parents are
provided with multiple ways to help, they

After its founding shortly after the
Revolutionary War, the town of Shrewsbury
had 15 one-room schoolhouses. Several

30

Principal * Special Supplement * 2018

Parent Partnerships:
Empowering Key Stakeholders

not only become more invested in school
initiatives, but also begin to own the work
in tandem with educators and students.
Adrienne Raymond, a Shrewsbury school
board member and parent who has been
partnering with the school for more than 25
years, believes, "What sets Shrewsbury apart
is the accessibility. Parents are welcomed
into the school constantly and are made to
feel as if they can not only help, but come
up with their own initiatives and implement
them to improve the school."
When Shrewsbury's playground needed
an upgrade, parents were asked to help raise
funds for the new equipment and install it
once it was delivered. Parents and teachers
organized work weekends to put everything
together and mulch underneath. SMS asked
parents to choose among organizing events,
fundraising, contributing financially, or getting together to set everything up in order to
provide opportunities for individuals to help
in the way that best fit their strengths. The
playground is used daily by the after-school
program and seasonally by the summer
program. It is open to the public whenever
school is not in session.
Parents also partner with SMS through
the school's winter sports program. Because
skiing and snowboarding are so important to
Vermont's culture and economy, many area
elementary schools offer a program in which
students are released early once a week in
winter and are taken to the mountain, where



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018

Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover2
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 1
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