ST. ALBANS CITY — St. Albans City born and educated Stacie Rouleau is the new Dean of Students at St. Albans City School (SACS).

A teacher at SACS for over 20 years, Rouleau is taking over for Georgie Andrews, who retired from her role as assistant principal in June.

With this new position, Rouleau said she is looking forward to continuing her relationships with families and service providers. “I was able to do that in Bridges, but this position is going to allow me to have a much wider scope and bigger partnership with families and their part of the education of their children,” she said.

Rouleau facilitated Bridges, an alternative classroom for children with difficulties self-regulating their behavior, since its inception four years ago. The program came about when a group of SACS staff developed a school improvement plan.

“One of the things we were seeing was that kids needed an alternative placement that didn’t look like punishment,” she said. “When you are experiencing trauma … or something’s going on and you need something extra, you shouldn’t be punished for that.”

Rouleau said Bridges is designed for students who aren’t necessarily having difficulties in school academically and don’t need to be on an individualized education program (IEP), but for those who are having problems socially.

She said when the program began, there was “no real road map” to follow because it was one of the first of its kind in Vermont. “My goal was to have [the students] in the classroom as much as possible and sort of provide a home safe base for them to come to when they knew they were getting out of control,” she said.

Since then, the program has expanded and requires two full-time teachers to run. Students have responded positively to Bridges, with some actively wanting to join, according to Rouleau.

For more on Rouleau’s work at City School and her new role, pick up a copy of the weekend Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.