Adam S. Burrows
Superintendent of Schools
Voluntown Public Schools
195 Main St
Voluntown CT, 06384
Phone: (860) 376-9167
A message from Adam S. Burrows Updated November 8, 2017
Dear Faculty, Staff, Parents, Community Members, and above all, Students,
It is an honor to serve as the part-time Superintendent of Schools of the Voluntown Public School System since the 2005-2006 school year. I find myself looking forward to each day that I am scheduled to work in Voluntown with the outstanding faculty, staff, parents, community members, and above all the students. To me, it is apparent that Voluntown is a community that wants to maximize the expenditure of each tax dollar, but also values education and makes a sincere effort to maintain excellent educational opportunities for our youth. It might be a small school system, but there are unique features that, in my opinion, make our successes the best-kept secret in Connecticut.
Our Voluntown Board of Education is comprised of seven (7) elected members and have regular meetings on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Office known as the “white house”. Citizens have an invitation to watch each meeting held in public. Agendas and minutes of all meetings are posted on our voluntownct.org website. Each agenda is structured to include a time for citizen’s comments; approval of the minutes of the previous meeting; approval of bills; approval of a detailed function/object report of all expenditures, encumbrances, and remaining budget balances in every account; administrative reports; committee reports; old business; and new business. The Board of Education decision-making process follows rules requiring a motion, second of the motion, discussion, and then a vote for action. A majority vote is required for approval.
The annual budget development process includes collaboration between the Board of Education and the Board of Selectmen in developing reasonable budget requests that have been approved at annual town meetings over these past several years. Voluntown is also unique because our school enrollment continues to remain constant. We have not seen the declining enrollment facing other communities. This consistency brings stability to the budgeting process with maintaining appropriate class sizes and the number of faculty and staff members.
Our school system is small but we utilize a number of cost saving approaches. We are part of state consortiums to benefit from purchasing materials at bid prices similar to larger school systems. Our heating fuel and electricity purchases are developed in cooperation with the town to secure the best prices. We have participated in creating a regional school calendar to coordinate transportation and professional development opportunities.
Voluntown Elementary School is a Pre-K through eighth grade school. A building project completed in 2000 included additional space for an early childhood and a Junior High School wing to allow for appropriate space for a comprehensive educational program. We annually publish student/parent handbooks to explain information about the varying academic, social, emotional, physical, and development for pre-school, elementary, and junior high school students.
We applied for and received our first School Readiness grant in 2006-2007 and the funds have been used annually to maintain our Pre-School program for three and four-year olds. Full-day kindergarten was established in 2007-2008. This early childhood initiative means that first grade has now become the fourth year of school for a majority of our students. Our comprehensive elementary school program for grades one through fourth allows students to make an effective transition to our middle and junior high school programs. The fifth through eighth grade curriculum helps prepare our students for high school. The school system also provides bus transportation.
Our eighth graders have the opportunity to select from several approved designated high schools. These are NFA (Norwich Free Academy), GHS (Griswold), Norwich Tech, Ellis Tech, Killingly Vo-Ag, The Marine Science Magnet High School, and the Magnet School at Quinebaug Community College. The Board of Education budgets for tuition and transportation to the designated high schools.
Our curriculum development and implementation is completed through a locally developed decision-making process that actively includes a wide range of curriculum committees that meet on a regular basis each school year to review English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Specials (Art, Music, Physical Education, Computer Lab, and Library), and SRBI or Scientifically Researched-Based Interventions. We also network with regional services such as EASTCONN and LEARN, and other school systems. The State Department of Education website also has detailed and updated curriculum information on its web site.
A special Community Conversations program brought together almost 90 participants on December 2, 2013 to gather ideas about “coordinating our activities for educating our youth now and in the future”. This information allowed the Board of Education to develop and publish the next Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. This event also enhanced the efforts to work with a wide range of Voluntown organizations that continually meets on a regular basis to coordinate activities. Representatives from the Boards of Selectmen and Education, Youth Service Bureau, Library Board, Recreation Commission, Economic Development Council, churches, seniors, and other organizations have worked together in creating a calendar of events as well as plan special programs. A Community Conversation is scheduled for Monday, March 5, 2018 to review priorities and publish a Strategic Plan for 2018-2022. The Voluntown Elementary School has been a key site for holding community events.
Adam S. Burrows
Superintendent of Schools
After a comprehensive search process, the Voluntown Board of Education during 2005-2006 appointed Adam S. Burrows as Superintendent of Schools. He was Principal of Center School in Old Lyme from 1985 to 2005. He was the Director of the Integrated Day Program as well as Assistant Principal of the Joel School in the Clinton Public School System from 1978 to 1985. He served as a school counselor in Glastonbury from 1971 to 1978 and prior to that he was an elementary school teacher in South Windsor, Connecticut.
Burrows received his Bachelors Degree in Education from Gorham State Teachers College in Maine, a Masters Degree in School Guidance from Central Connecticut State University, a Sixth Year Certificate in Education Administration from the University of Connecticut and completed the Superintendent Certification program at Southern Connecticut State.