Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Berlin Voting


Your vote does make a difference, please take the time to find out about what’s on the ballot this year and cast your vote.

Deadline for becoming a registered voter for this years’ Town Meeting is February 25th at 5pm Contact Rosemary Morse, Town Clerk, at 229-9298

The Berlin school budget presentation is accessible on line – the link is on the main page of the school website http://www.berlinschool.org There’s also a link for the details as to what is on the Australian ballot this year and the agenda for the 10am Town Meeting.

The Town & School Report is back from the printers. Copies went home to each elementary school family. Copies can be picked up at the Town Office, Berlin Elem. School, SW Rentals, and the Chamber of Commerce on Stewart Road

Pre-town meeting, your final opportunity to hear about items on Australian ballot will be held on Monday, March 2nd 7pm at Berlin Elementary. U-32 will have an informational meeting regarding their budget at 6pm Monday, March 2nd at U-32 in Room 131.

Both the Berlin Elementary School budget and the town budget will be on Australian ballot this year. Also on the ballot is the U-32 budget and requests from other community organizations. The polls are open from 10am – 7pm, Tuesday, March 3rd at the Berlin Elementary School.

Absentee Ballots can be requested between now & March 2nd –if you’ll be out of town or may have trouble making it in to vote on March 3rd, please request one from the Town Clerk.

Berlin Town Meeting will take place at 10am on Tuesday, March 3rd at Berlin Elementary.

The Berlin Volunteer Fire Dept.WILL be offering lunch 11am on Tuesday, March 3rd. Take a brown bag lunch back to work with you or eat at the school. Corn chowder or minestrone soup, a sandwich (tuna, egg salad or ham), beverage & dessert all for only $4.

Berlin Dogs will be able to be registered at Town Meeting this year (dogs must be licensed by April 1st) The cost is $7 for a dog that has been neutered or spayed and $11 for those that haven't been. Please note that our Town Clerk, Rosemary Morse, will only be registering dogs when the actual Town Meeting is not going. Bring proof of current rabies vaccination and if it’s the first time registering, the spay or neutering certificate.

Please contact your school board members or the principal with questions regarding

the Berlin School budget

Berlin Elementary Board of School Directors:

Linda Beaupré, chairperson 229-4580

Jonathan Goddard 223-7876

Amy Brewer 223-3259

Vera Frazier 229-0074

Jonathan Boyd 229-9517

Charlie Watson, BES principal 223-2796 x120

Berlin representatives on the U-32 School Board are:

Mark Berry 479-2686

Mike Stridsberg 223-1948


Berlin Elementary School currently has 222 students enrolled preK – 6th grade. Preschool is offered two mornings a week for 3 year olds and two days a week for 4 year olds

There are 2 classrooms for grades K- 6 although in 5th & 6th grade classes are combined.

Berlin Elementary employs about 43 people. This includes 15 classroom teachers (preK-6), teachers for art, music, PE and a librarian, 2 special educators and a part time SLP (speech language pathologist), a part time reading specialist, a part time technology person, 9 paraeducators, a guidance counselor, a nurse, 3 custodians, 2 kitchen staff, two administrative assistants and the principal.

The curriculum includes reading, writing, math, social studies, science, physical education, library, technology, music, art, and guidance. For foreign language, which is now a part of the state’s grade expectations, we hope to add a part-time teacher. Currently the 5th year U-32 French & Spanish students visit us and share these languages with us. Please note that this doesn’t meet the state requirements and may not be possible in the future.

The Parent Teacher Neighbor Association (PTNA) shares the cost of our Arts Enrichment program which brings performances and artist residencies to our school along with taking our K-6 students to a performance either at the Barre Opera House or Flynn Theater.

5th & 6th graders sell popcorn for snack time twice a week, raising money for a field trip to Boston every other year. This year they also made & sold quick breads & held a 50/50 raffle to raise money

Our kitchen feeds about 140 students and 10 adults a healthy lunch each day, while about 50 students are served a healthy breakfast daily.

The proposed budget for Berlin Elementary School for 2009-2010 is $2,852,220. This is a 4.57% increase ($124,764) from the current budget. The increase in taxes from the Berlin Elementary and U32 budget will be 2 cents, or for example on a homestead appraised for $100,000 a total of $20. When you include the Common Level of Appraisal and Act 68, it becomes a 8.5 cent increase or $85 on a homestead appraised at $100,000.

Most items in the school budget are controlled by contracts leaving very little that we have control over. In order to make significant cuts such as the governor has suggested, teachers and/ or paraeducators would need to be cut, which would reduce services to children.

Households with adjusted annual income below $114,000 may qualify for a prebate to ease their tax burden. It’s estimated that 90% of Berlin residents qualify for this. You must apply yearly. VT Homestead Declaration & Property Tax Adjustment application: https://secure.vermont.gov/hd/index If you don’t have internet access, you should be able to find the form at the post office or your local library.

Our families are fortunate to have Kid Watch, a before and after school child care program located at the Berlin Elementary School. Kid Watch also offers programming on most inservice and vacation days.

Building changes - last year Phase I was completed which included wheel chair accessible doors in most classrooms off the Learning Center, installation of walls where there had been collapsible partitions, along with adding security doors for our hallways. Phase II is postponed although it is all work needed. Phase II will complete the wheel chair accessible doors, make the fire & safety alarms and PA system available in all the rooms, clean duct work, make exterior doors open by swinging out (currently they swing in), changes to the sink & water fountains including their height, and other code compliance. Eventually there will be a separate bond vote to have this work done.

The temporary building at the back of the Berlin Elementary School parking lot was installed by and paid for by Washington Central Supervisory Union to house seven early education employees who work throughout the district. When WCSU moves to their new location, these employees will join them.

Please vote!

To find information about Berlin go to:

The town website: http://www.berlinvt.org;

the school websites: http://www.berlinschool.org and http://www.u32.org and

Corinne’s blog of events and news from Berlin & beyond: http://socialenergy.blogspot.com

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