Dear Parents/Guardians

While we continue to have cases of COVID in our schools daily, the numbers are starting to decrease a bit. It is hopeful that trend will continue. We are slowly getting supplies from the state for Test at Home and will distribute them according to guidance as needed. We also will use any other testing tools we have available to us to test at school when we need to. We are hoping to move away from closing classes as we work together to respond quickly to the many cases that continue to arise. 

I have been asked by a parent when we will revisit the mask mandate as well. That will be revisited by the state (agency of education and department of health together) on Feb. 28 and we will wait for their recommendation. For now, masking is still a mandate indoors at all schools. Please help us reinforce this mandate to help us get through the latest variant surge. 

This email covers (updated information on topics from last week)

  • MAEC Climate Survey for RNESU Parents due Jan 31

  • School Budget Information and Annual Reports

  • Superintendent Search Update

  • Vaccination Clinics

  • Updated  School COVID Guidance

  • Veggie Van Go Feb. 7

  • Calendar Notes including 2022-2023 Calendar

  • School Board Meetings 



All RNESU Parents are invited and encouraged to complete the following anonymous Climate Survey for RNESU parents:

This Climate Survey is part of a study being conducted by the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) to understand how RNESU can advance equity across our district, including feelings and experiences of safety, belonging, and equitable access to high-quality instruction and support services. As you are the backbone of our schools, your feedback will be so critical in informing this study.

If you have questions about the survey or the MAEC study, don't hesitate to contact Susannah White, Equity & Engagement Coach, . Thank you for your time and care in completing this important survey.


Barstow and OV School boards have all finalized budgets for voter approval for the coming school year. Read about the budget proposals at the links below and watch for our annual reports to land in your mailboxes and to be posted on our web pages. To learn more and to ask questions, both boards will hold annual meetings in February. Barstow’s will be Feb. 22 virtually at 6:30 pm and Otter Valley’s will be Feb. 23 in person at OVUHS at 6:30 pm.

FY23 OVUU Budget Presentation

Presentation: BUUSD FY23 Budget


The Superintendent Search Committee has narrowed down the candidate field to three candidates  and will be hosting all three in site visits to all schools on Feb. 3, 2021. Watch for information on candidate forums.  RNESU has a web page to keep the community informed about the search process. You can follow it here.


  • Leicester School will have a Vaccination Clinic available for all families on Feb. 8 and March 3. Registration is required through the state site. This is the link to the registration portal. Please register only for the 2/8 clinic. We will schedule your child for dose 2 on the day of the 2/8 clinic as part of the exit process.

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  • Lothrop School will have a Vaccination Clinic Feb 16 from 1-4:15 pm in the gymnasium. Schedule an appointment at 

    • Walkins are welcome. Children under 18 need a completed consent form from a parent/guardian and will not receive a vaccine or booster without that consent. 

  • Please note children 12-18 are now eligible for a booster vaccine. 


Here are the new AOE guidelines as of Jan. 2022:

  • Fully Vaccinated Students should receive 2 tests and use them on the 4th and 5th day after learning of the presumptive exposure. Fully vaccinated for students means completion of the two shot Pfizer series.
  • Not Fully Vaccinated Students should receive 5 tests and use them before coming to school for the next 5 consecutive days after their presumptive exposure.
  • Individuals that have continuous household  exposure should test daily while their household contact is in isolation and for 5 consecutive days after the household contact ends isolation.
  • Positive COVID Test Students that have had COVID in the last 90 days do not have to test or quarantine.
  • Students with any symptoms must quarantine. Students may return to school when they have 2 negative antigen tests, at least 24 hours apart, improved symptoms and no fever for 24 hours.

Please note : When our schools do not have 2 pack or 5 pack antigen tests to send home, our nurses will test at school until our Test to Stay supplies are used up.  

  • Upon a close contact student's arrival at school, they should report to the health office at Otter Valley and to their classroom at the Elementary schools.  

  • Students with symptoms need to stay home. 

  • Asymptomatic presumptive contact students will be tested if consent is given and can remain in school with a negative test. Parents will be called to pick up their child if the child has a positive test or has symptoms.  

  • Parents need to alert the nurse that their child will be arriving for the antigen test.

  • Parents MUST register their children to allow antigen testing at school at the two links provided previously if they haven't already done so. Consent is optional but must be on file if you want your child to be given an antigen test at school. 

  • Second, please click on the link below and fill out that form as well. If you have more than one child, you will need to fill out the links for each. You do not need to provide the student id.


Veggie Van Go is a free fruit and vegetable distribution to all RNESU families and staff.  February’s date will change to Feb. 7, from 10-11 am at the OVUHS parking lot. This event is sponsored by the Vermont Foodbank and is open to all students, families, and staff affiliated with all Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union Schools: Barstow Memorial, Lothrop Elementary, Neshobe Elementary, Otter Creek Academy at Leicester, Sudbury and Whiting., & Otter Valley Middle and High School. There are no eligibility requirements and no reservations needed. 

 Important Reminders:


  • February Early Release Day Feb. 11

  • February break is the week of Feb. 21-25

  • Election Day March 1, 2022. Absentee ballots available at the town clerk offices. 

  • The 2022-2023 calendar has been posted on the RNESU web page at  The first day of school is anticipated to be August 31, 2022.  2022-2023 District Calendar


School Board meetings are open to the public. Meeting information can be found on the district calendar or on the district website,,  

Upcoming meetings:

  • BUU Board meets Jan 31, 6pm, virtual only.

  • OVUU meets Feb 2, 6pm. At OVUHS

  • RNESU meets Feb 23, 5 pm at OVUHS

  • Barstow Budget Informational Meeting Feb. 22, 6:30 pm virtual meeting

  • Otter Valley Annual Meeting Feb. 23, 6:30 pm in person at OVUHS

We are still in a deep freeze- winter is here! Please send students with appropriate winter clothing or speak to your school nurse or principal if you need mittens, coats, boots, etc.

Jeanné Collins, Superintendent of RNESU

School Safety Hotline # (844) 723-3488 or or text to 274637, type in keyword SAFE4VT and then your tip