History of the EWSD
On July 1, 2022, the Essex Westford School District officially turned five years old. We are celebrating this year and thank our parents, staff, and community members for your support during this journey. This is not just the EWSD’s anniversary, but our anniversary, because we wouldn’t have made it to where we are today without you!
The following is a brief history of the District from when it was first imagined, all the way up to today.
March of 2015: A group of 20 residents representing the communities of Essex Junction, Essex Town, and Westford gathered to consider the question, “Should our communities create a unified school district?”
June 30, 2015: After drafting articles of agreement as required by the Vermont Agency of Education, a committee voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to create a unified union school district, made up of Chittenden Central Supervisory Union and the Essex Town School District, to be presented to voters in November 2015.
November 3, 2015: Each of the three communities voted ‘yes’ to form a unified school district, with the total votes tallying 2,576 yes, and 513 no.
November 10, 2015: Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin held a press conference at Essex High School to recognize Chittenden Central Supervisory Union and the Essex Town School District for joining to become the first unified union school district under Act 46 in the state of Vermont.
July 1, 2017: The newly formed Essex Westford School District opened its doors and Beth Cobb joined the District as its first superintendent. Beth began leading the District through the process of developing a new vision, which was a critical step in developing EWSD’s first Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP). The work outlined in the CIP is the result of a year-long engagement process with community members, students, staff, and leadership beginning with the development of a vision.
The EWSD worked with Voices for Education to help ensure that everyone in the community had a voice in shaping the new district during the summer of 2017 and on June 5, 2018, a new vision was adopted:
Growing hearts and minds, for a better today and tomorrow: every day, every way, every one
April 4, 2019: The EWSD announced that a new logo had been created for the District by a Center for Technology, Essex student.
August 29, 2019: For the first time, the EWSD offered bus routes for K-8 students who live in Essex Junction.
March 15, 2020: Governor Scott announced that statewide school closure would occur no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the pandemic, the EWSD had to quickly pivot and offer online learning opportunities to all students, which included creating the EWSD Virtual Academy.
The EWSD would welcome K-5 students back in-person five days a week starting on October 5, 2020.
The District distributed its 1,000,000th free meal during the pandemic in October of 2021.
June 15, 2021: The EWSD Board voted in favor of an equity policy for the District.
October 1, 2021: The District completed its first comprehensive Facility Condition Assessment. The assessment and final report were prepared by industry experts and provides the EWSD with extensive information on the current condition of all of the District's capital assets (buildings, systems, and infrastructure).
December 15, 2021: The EWSD partnered with YouthTruth as part of a climate survey project for students, staff, and families over the following two years. YouthTruth is a national nonprofit organization that supports hundreds of schools and districts across the county by conducting anonymous surveys on a school/district’s behalf.
June 15, 2022: Summit Street School and Hiawatha Elementary were recognized by Solution Tree for their sustained success in raising student achievement. The successful implementation of the Professional Learning Communities at Work ® process was a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of its students. They are two of only approximately 200 schools and districts in the United States and Canada to receive this honor, and they are the only model PLC schools in the state of Vermont.
July 1, 2022: EWSD's five-year anniversary!