Meeting May 21, 2013 Minutes 05.21.13 click here

In attendance JamesNagle, Wayne Bell, Kathleen Brenigar, Sue Gee, Meg O’Donnell, Betsy Memo,Lindsey Halman, Maura Kelly, Brenda


Anti-Bullying ConferenceDebrief

  • Everything came together to get 66 registered participants who were not VAMLE members and 80 participants in total. Budget was projected at 100, but it turned out to be a success.
  • For professional development the thing that is being asked for is regional workshops for parents, students and other community members
  • they also were stating that they would like to see more professional development around MSNAB
  • The conference was able to draw participants from all over the state and from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • A lot of administrators and counselors participated in the conference.
  • James wondered if we could have a breakdown of the positional that the people that participated and their role within the schools
  • It was apparent that schools are needing to develop holistic programs to wrap around all stakeholders for an anti-bullying within their schools
  • Lindsey felt it was powerful to end the day with students, however, she felt like they could not really state how their program was able to curb bullying within their bullying.
  • For our strategic plan we may want to think about some goals that we want to set for the coming year and also use this feedback to be intention around our planning.
  • We feel that this should be an annual event from VAMLE
  • It would be really great if we could build students into the program where students are taking workshops both alone and with students throughout the day.
  • Griffin Thomas- a student who is organizing a student conference around anti-bullying and hazing through the secretaries office. A thought is that it would be nice to have some of those students who go to that conference be facilitators at our conference.
  • Brenda said that NELMS is going to be creating leadership workshops in each state around student leadership. Perhaps we could do something in conjunction.
  • Wayne went back to seeing the need for PD around MSNAB and seeking more information around it. James stated that we should look at MSNAB and use that as a framework and a lens using the matrix to work through the culture piece in the next conference so participants could see how we would use the document to apply to their work. We may find a need from counselors and administrators and be able to meet their needs in creating a strand for them at MGI
    • Betsy said that there really is not much out there for conferences for councilors.
  • Sue mentioned that she saw a wonderful presentation by Malcom from courage 2 care which is research based and seeks to develop empathy from students. This could be a great workshop for next year.
  • It could be great to tap into student councils at the middle level to get those students to come out for trainings and act as leaders within their schools
  • Angela Maiers does work around passion and is a very engaging presenter and it is a call to action around the idea that “you matter”
  • Next steps: this year the communications committee were the ones who moved this conference forward because they are regular attendees of our meetings. Meg suggested that we may need to look at our committee structures and our strategic plans - - Should we make our committees more task oriented?                  
  • Joe suggested renaming it to relationships. We also were wondering if we should move the conference to VTC or somewhere outside of Chittenden County and try and match it to college spring breaks.    
  • We should try and push the audience to try and reach more councilors        
  • Joe mentioned that one of the indicators of Green Mountain Star is culture and if we align our work to that language then we would be able to help encourage     participants    


Strategic Planning

  • In looking at the strategic plan we are needing to re-draft our goals to match what is happening within our organization.
  • Brenda suggested that we create a focused strategic plan to help guide us in our work and make sure that the goals match up to the mission



* To provide a networkof resources for Vermont Educators

* To publish importantlearning research and examples of best middle level practices Jamessuggested that we take is our since we are not currently publishing

* To support theimplementation of the Vermont Framework and Grade Level Expectations Common Core in the context of early adolescent development, learning needs,and excellent programs

* To serve as a resourceto parents Through our partnershipswith VSAC

* To be an advocate formiddle level at the state and local level and stay current on the trends at thenational level


  • Lindsey wanted to add the importance of advocacy for the middle level at the state level. We need to look into how we can have a voice and a place representing the middle level at state level hearings. For example what would the impact of flexible pathways on middle level.


  • Ken was historically that person, however we need to add someone else in that role.


  • James suggested that we focus on the goals together but create a committee to go through the strategic plan to realign the committees.
    • we will need to create a committee who has the finger on the pulse of what is happening at Montpelier because things happen so fast around legislation
  • James makes a motion that we make a committee to review the goals and objectives within the strategic plan to review with the entire board in the future. Besty seconded. Lindsey asked the question to make sure that Sue is a part of this discussion in the strategic planning Sue said that she would like to be a part of this. Motion passed unanimously.


Redrafting Committee:Sue, James, Kathleen and Meg will work on this


Conference Committee:Lindsey, Betsy, Ryan, Sue, Meg and Maura will work on this committee (Mary willhelp out when she can)


Next Steps: At the nextmeeting we will have had a google hangout meeting and come up with an actionplan


We will hold oncommittee work until we have a strategic plan to guide our work. We will worktoday within our new committees until we have the new document to guide ourwork.


Executive DirectorReport


Lindsey made a motion gointo an executive meeting and Kathleen seconded and it was passed to review theexecutive director performance report.


Executive session.


At 11:57 we returnedfrom executive session.


Mary made a motion torecommend the acceptance of the salary of the executive director and Jamesseconded the motion and it was unanimously passed.


Sue returned to the roomand Meg thanked her for all of her work and the amount of work and her missionin moving our organization forward. In looking at her contract we willrecognize that we will offer Sue 10% plus a bonus of $1,000 for the fundsbrought in this year and we will increase her salary 5% next year effectiveJuly 1, 2013. We will check the numbers for next year.


Sue was taken abackfeeling like $1000.00 is a lot of money, however she accepted. We will task Suewith monitoring what happens at the state level and keep the board membersinformed in how we can participate and have a voice at the state level.


Business Meeting




Maura Kelly - Secretary

Ryan Becker - Treasurer


Both have offered tostay on for another year.  Mary made the motion and Lindsey seconded andboth positions passed.


Amy Demarest hasaccepted a position at the Snelling Institute and she has put in a letter ofresignations.


Kathleen will go out andrecruit a teacher or two for the Northeast region of Vermont to serve on theboard.


Approval of at largemembers Penny, James, Kathleen Brenigar, Mary, Monica McEnenery, Pam Arnold andKathleen Flemming from VSAC. Lindsay made the motion to approve all of these atlarge members Maura seconded the motion and it was unanimously passed.


We will have a VAMLEreception at the institute on Monday night to help with recruitment.



Secretary Report: Maura

There was no discussion.James made a motion to approve the minutes, Kathleen seconded and they werepassed unanimously.


We broke for lunch from12:15-12:44


We returned to themeeting to discuss the financial report.


We had a good year basedon having an accurate list - - with the correct principal on the list. InDecember and January we sent hard copies to the schools which increased therevenue.


Things we need to do:

  • identify schools who are not on our list and start to develop a list of new schools for membership and contact them early before the invoices go out. We will also target private middle schools.


  • Private memberships come from MGI
    • We need to plan accordingly for our budget to reflect MGI being outside of Chittenden County to have fewer individual memberships
  • We decided that in March we would stop sending hard copies of the invoices. 2 e-invoices and 3 hard copies.
  • We canceled our gotomeeting membership and will use google hangout from now on.
  • We allowed Delina to renew her quickbooks membership for the next 3 years
  • We must have a formal request from MGC to be transferred into their accounts the John Duval Scholarship.
    • We need to pass a resolution and send a letter asking to transfer the money to MGC for the scholarship.
  • Joe made the motion and Lindsey seconded the motion to pass a resolution to direct the president and the treasurer to transfer the entire balance of the John Duval Scholarship to the Middle Grades Collaborative. The motion passes unanimously.

Joe motioned to approvethe financial report, Kathleen seconded and the motion was passed.  


Executive Report



  • 80 were in attendance and 66 were non-members


53 schools were sent asecond hard copy of the invoice and with those we received an additional 30dues collected. This year we had 82 schools who were members of VAMLE. Wereceived more schools this year than we did last year.


As a board we will seekout schools that were members, however they are no longer members and surveythem in the form of an exit interview asking how we could better serve them ifthey were a member. We will create a google form to solicit this information.


We are going to create aplan to entice new schools with some type of benefit- - these would be schoolswe never have served who have middle schools, i.e. private school.


  • Kathleen wondered if we needed to create a small task force to create a plan for us to follow to try and encourage membership
  • Meg asked if anyone would like to make a motion to create a committee that would focus on membership as long as it is needed. This would establish a process in how we solicit memberships. Kathleen made a motion James seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.


Sue went to NELMS andthe reception was lively with young teachers who did not know much about VAMLE.NELMS offered two free registrations, one for the summer and one for next fallas well as maple syrup and Sue donated books from ASCD that she has received asa members.

  • Sue suggested that we sponsor her membership of $89.00 to ASCD to continue getting books to give away at NELMS
  • It agreed that the VAMLE board would pay for the ASCD registration be paid out of the July 1, 2013 budget
  • Ashely will be taking the Vermont position on the NELMS board.

Sue offered acommendation to Delina for her diligent work on our books.


Scholar-Leader Dinner

  • We have 40 registered schools which is typical for the event and we will have two high school  speakers and we need to get middle level students to introduce the speakers.  
  • There is still time for schools to sign up for scholar leader


Budget for 2013-2014

  • We will make the correction to the budget to reflect the 5% increase of Sue salary
  • We will also make a new VAMLE brochure to reflect our new goals so we will increase our printing budget
  • We will send Sue to the AMLE conference
  • Sue will make adjustments and then we will review it again the next time we meet.


Mary made a motion toaccept the directors report, Betsy seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


NELMS Report


Kevin Briggs will be thenew President of NELMS and there will be a new representative to fill hisvacancy on the board and they will add another position on the board to allowfor larger representation for Vermont on the Board.


There were a lot of newteachers at the Annual Conference. We had discussed that we would have oursummer annual meeting at the NELMS conference.


There still is time forschools to register for the Scholar Leader Dinner. Each state does the dinner alittle differently. Vermont is the last school to have their dinner every year.


NELMS has have a lot ofdiscussion around membership and trying to come up with a plan to stay currenton how to create memberships and they have been working on creating value forthe membership. They are attaching a $100.00 voucher to all memberships to beused for NELMS events.


New Hampshire is doing ajoint mailing in soliciting for membership so they will get a discount fortheir membership if they register for both NELMS and NHAML.


Things that are comingup:

Starting in the fallthey will partner with Key to Literacy to do a writing institute with followup.


Annual conference willbe 3/31-4/1/2014 Nancy Doda will possible be one of the Keynote speakers


Collaborative Report


MGI will take place6/24-28 because we are out of Chittenden County the numbers will be lower butit is projected to get about 75 participants.


Two schools willparticipate in Gear Up and there will be 8 strands offered. At this time itdoes not look like embeded literacy will have enough participants to beoffered. We have a loose evening schedule.


On Monday night we willhave a reception hosted by VAMLE


Tuesday night there is aconcert on the green


Wednesday night therewill be a workshop on computational thinking and how that leads into computerprograming. It will be offered as a choice session targeted to the adultparticipants. Gear Up students will participate in this.


Thursday will be 30th anniversarybbq and we are trying to come up with something special around that


There will be a choicesession around the use of a learning module based online to support the actionresearch and two people will be monitoring it.


Conference will be 1/11at UVM for participants to present their action research.


Dorms are open Sundaynight for participants and staff.


Sue brought up the ideaof creating a memorial award for Ken Bergstrom to honor an outstanding middlelevel teacher. VAMLE would head the award and present it. We felt it would bebest to present it at either the conference or at MGI. Sue will map out acriteria for the award in draft form and send it to us.  


Scholar Leader Prep

Review of our agenda - -we have two more items.....scholar leader and proposed meeting schedule for2013-2014 calendar.


Jobs at Scholar Leader

June 3, 2013


reader                  Maura

set upplaques            Betsy

registration               Betsy, Lindsey, Meg

marshall - get kidslined up        Ryan? Ken, Lindsey


We wondered if we shouldhave a VAMLE table. We will have a VAMLE table just in case the board members acannot fit into their school’s table.


Board Meeting for NextYear


Thursday September 12 -The Edge Academy team at Essex Middle School 10:00-3:00

Thursday November 14 -Peoples Academy 9:30-3:00

Saturday January 11 -MGI Conference Lunch meeting 10:00-3:00   

Thursday February 13 -VPA office in Montpelier 10:00-3:00

March Conference week ofMarch 3-7 (whenever Davis Center is available)

Thursday May 22 - MountAnthony 10:00-3:00


Google Hang Outs:

Strategic Plan Committee-- mid-July, to be determined, possibly July 16 or 17

Membership Committee--July 16 at 10am

Conference Committee --July 25 at 9:30am.