THE SCHOOL BELL

Williston Schools /October 28, 2020

No School Tuesday, November 3

A Message From the Administration

Snow in October, Yes - that’s about right.

by Lead Principal Greg Marino


It’s snowing outside. Yikes! Though I was surprised, and a little chagrined, to see the snowflakes last night and the thin layer of ice crystals on the steps of my back porch this morning as I walked my dog, I guess I should not have been. I was reminded by a colleague this morning that “it always snows in October”. I did a little research about this and my colleague is correct for sure. According to weather-us.com, on average, Burlington receives approximately .3” of snowfall during the month of October over the course of what adds up to about half a day. This is out of an average total of 54 1/2 days of snowfall per year, and 81.2" of annual snow accumulated. So last night’s snow showers were just another reassuring reminder that the predictable things about our world are there to be noticed and to hold onto.


Another predictable October occurrence is the preparations for the next year’s school budget. Though it is just late October, this is the time when schools are busy grappling with the budget planning for the school year to come. As part of this process the CVSD School Board and administration seek to engage our parents and communities in discussion about school budget priorities. To this end, the School Board hosted a virtual community budget forum last night to share District programmatic foci for the coming year, to field questions from attendees, and to gather input to help inform the priorities for the budget. Though this virtual forum was sparsely attended, you can still engage in the process by accessing the Budget Thought Exchange platform on the CVSD Website through this Saturday, October 30. I strongly encourage you to take a few moments to engage in the virtual exchange on this platform and let your voice be heard. You will also be able to see what ideas and priorities have been trending with the participants so far. Our leadership team has already begun to look at the exchange to inform our thinking and planning and we will do so again after the platform closes on October 30th.


3rd-4th Grade in four days / week:

It has been so exciting and energizing to have our 3rd and 4th graders back in Williston Central School this week (with the exception of our students who are in the CVSD Virtual Learning Academy, VLA). Kudos to our students, faculty, and staff for all of their hard work and preparation in support of making this a successful transition. As was the case with our ABS 1st and 2nd graders last week, I am sure we will have some tired students and educators by the time we get to Friday. Though when I talk to teachers about this exciting transition there is also a glow that comes over them when they begin to share how it feels to have their classroom communities back together again. One teacher shared that there were audible squeals of excitement from students when they saw peers this Monday who, in some cases, they had not seen since last March. Of course, we are still working out some of the logistical details related to having full classrooms again, while adhering to the guidelines of the VT Department of Health.


Temperature Taking for Students Arriving by Car:

As our ABS families experienced this week, WCS will be moving the morning temperature-taking procedure indoors starting on Monday, November 2nd. While drop-off locations and timing will remain consistent, students will proceed directly into the nearest school entrance and will have their temperatures taken just inside the doors. This shift is expected to help in achieving more accurate temperature readings as the outdoor air temperature continues to drop.


As always, I am grateful for our partnership in this most critical adventure of educating our children. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or concerns.

ABS Update on Procedures

An update on drop off/pick up procedures

Big picture

Thanksgiving Travel

As you can imagine, there is a lot of conversation about Thanksgiving travel and the possible need to quarantine. If you are traveling outside of Vermont, please be aware that there are travel restrictions put in place by Governor Scott that would require you to quarantine for up to 14 days upon your return to Vermont if you have travelled to a red or orange zone.


We have been notified that the Vermont Agency of Education will be providing guidance regarding travel of families and staff for the upcoming holidays by the end of October. We will share this information with you at that time. Obviously, we need to work together to ensure adequate staffing and a safe and healthy school environment.


You can view the current cross-state travel information from the state online.


Also, please see the latest update from the Department of Health on COVIS-19, which includes information about Halloween, flu shots, case information, and more.

Important message from the Health Office

We kindly remind you to please submit your child’s Informed K-12 health form. This week we will be sending email reminders to those families who did not complete the form. If you receive a reminder - can you please take time to complete this form about your child’s health.

You will receive an email from: WSInformedK12@cvsdvt.org with Williston Schools via Informed K12' via WSInformedK12 in the subject line.

This form needs to be filled out every year and this information is needed to care for your child when they visit the Health Office.

Thanks so much!!

Williston Schools Health Office


Share Your Thoughts about the School Budget

Please share your thoughts and rate those of others on the CVSD Budget Thoughtexchange by October 30. We have extended the deadline so that everyone has the opportunity to share thoughts and rate those of others before and after the Budget Forum on 10/27.


You are also invited to attend all future budget meetings. The full schedule of meetings can be found on the district’s budget page on our website

Williston Central School Flipgrid Candidate Forum

The Social Studies Committee has a long history of hosting a candidate forum every two years in our auditorium. This year, since an in person forum was not possible, we used technology to bring the students and candidates together. Flipgrid is an app that uses video to engage discussion. Students in 5th-8th grade studied the offices, issues, and candidates and prepared questions for the forum. Each house selected a few questions to ask the candidates and those students recorded their questions on Flipgrid. We then sent the candidates that agreed to participate a link to reply to each question. The attached video is the compilation of those questions by the students and the responses from the candidates for several statewide offices and the House of Representatives.

https://www.wevideo.com/view/1895869410

Part 2 November Vacation Camp

Part 2 will be open for November Vacation Camp on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th, 7:30AM - 4:00 PM for both school-aged and early years students. Due to decreased enrollment this year, we need to consolidate our school-aged offerings to Allen Brook School (Williston), Hinesburg Community School, Richmond Elementary School, and Union Elementary School (Montpelier). Early years students are able to register at RES. All Part 2 students are eligible to participate in our vacation camp and you can choose which site works best for your family.

In order to run all of the sites listed above, we need to have at least 15 students sign up for each site. Based on previous years’ enrollments, we are fairly certain we will exceed this threshold, but wanted you to be aware if enrollment is low, we will need to do a further consolidation of sites we are able to offer.

Registration will open Friday, October 23rd at 9 AM and will be closing on Friday, November 13th at midnight. After Nov. 13th, your tuition will be non-refundable. Sign-ups after registration closes on the 13th will be based on availability and there will be an additional cost.

During these times of uncertainty, it remains our goal to provide high-quality child care that also gives a space for your children to have FUN! Due to the many complexities and new regulations that COVID brings, we will be staying at school during vacation camp instead of going on field trips.

Click HERE FOR THE LINK to sign up for both school-aged and early years. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to provide some options for necessary child care. As always please feel free to reach out with any and all questions.

Learn to Ski/Ride Program

There will be a program offered this year, some details are still being worked on. The program will be on Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30p at Cochran’s starting in January- specific date to be determined. Busing may be available, but we are still working with school on this. Registration will open in December. An email will go out to last year participants. Registration info will be listed in the Bell with links. Watch for more information in the next couple of weeks.


Equipment Return-

If you have equipment that you borrowed from last year’s program and your child is Not doing the program this year or they must be re-fitted for equipment for this year’s program, please return the equipment to make it available for another participant.

Equipment return dates and times are Thursday, November 5- 5:00-6:00pm and Friday, November 6- 3:00-4:00pm. If your child is going to do the program and the equipment fits, hold on to it and wait for the email to register!

ABS & WCS Team/Teacher Assistants' Roles Changed

We have begun our transition to incorporate the teacher/team assistant into a blended role that incorporates paraeducator responsibilities. Beginning this year, teams have a part-time teacher/team assistant to support them. In the past these have been full-time positions. During the other half of their day, teacher/team assistants are working with students in the paraeducator capacity. As a result, please be aware of the following:

  • Messages for students that come in during the day will not be as fluidly and as quickly delivered as in the past.

  • The response time for teacher/team assistants to return emails and calls will not be done in the same timeframe as in previous years.

Thank you for your patience as we work to combine these roles together within our system!

WCS West Entrance (Tennis Court/Bell Tower/After Hours) Drop-Off Updates (10/14/20)

  • Drop off begins at 8:00 am and ends at 8:20 am for these entrances; If your student arrives after 8:20 am, please use the front drop off temperature check station.

  • For efficiency, cars should pull up to the volunteer(s) for the temperature check and then pull forward before letting their student exit the car.

  • Bikers and walkers should go to the nearest person checking temperatures before entering the building.

  • If you have more than one student, please drop all students in your vehicle off in one location after having their temperatures checked.

Four Winds

We are continuing the Four Winds partnership to encourage scientific learning and hands-on, outdoor exploration whether you are learning in the classroom or remotely.

The theme for the year is Structure and Function. Our focus for the month of October is Tremendous Trees. The embedded links will take you to the resources provided by the Four Winds Nature Institute.

We have put together an amazing Google Slides Tremendous Trees Presentation. You will find fun facts, diagrams, photos, activities, and even a video of the beloved puppet show!

Feel free to email, visit our website, or share your findings and photos on our Padlet.

Be curious!

Deb & Amanda, Your Four Winds Williston Coordinators

Link to September - Spider Presentation

Link to the Williston Four Winds Padlet to share findings

Visit the Williston Four Winds Website

Visit the Williston Four Winds Blog

Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

Upcoming Events

Tues, Nov 3 - No School

Nov 23-27 - No School / Thanksgiving Break

Dec 23-Jan 1 - No School / Early Winter Break

Box Tops Reminder

Please send clipped Boxtops for Education in with students to ABS or WCS. The first submission is November 1st. Thank you. Also check out the Box Tops App.

Welcome to CVSD IT Help Desk Portal

Please use this ticket process for technical support. As tickets come in, one of our technicians will be assigned to work that ticket and will reach out to you within 24 hours either by telephone or email.

Child Find Notice

Champlain Valley School District is required by federal law to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities. The process of locating, identifying and evaluating children with disabilities is known as child find.


Champlain Valley School District schools conduct Kindergarten screening each spring, but parents may call to make an appointment to discuss their concerns at any time. As the school district of residence, CVSD has the responsibility to identify and provide services to any child with special needs who may require special education and related services in order to access and benefit from public education.


If you have, or know of any CVSD resident who has a child with a disability under the age of 21 or a child who attends a private school located in Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George or Williston, Vermont, we would like to hear from you. Sometimes parents are unaware that special education services are available to their children.


Please contact the School Principal (Charlotte Central School – 425-2771, Hinesburg Community School – 482-2106, Shelburne Community School – 985-3331, Williston Central/Allen Brook Schools – 878-2762) or the Director of Student Support Services, Meagan Roy at 383-1234 or mroy@cvsdvt.org.

ABS Arrival and Dismissal Time

Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can now arrive between 7:50 to 8:10 am (all grades). Walkers are welcome as early as 7:40, when the buses are arriving. Click here for full document.

School Meals

Please visit the Food Service website for the remote learning days order form and more information.


We are excited to be able to serve your children hot food at school once again as well as continue to offer grab and go and delivery of meals for those students who are learning remotely. CVSD will be able to continue to offer free meals for all children 18 years of age and younger as we start school.


If your student has special dietary requirements please let us know. We will be happy to make reasonable accommodations (prepare a vegetarian version, substitute gluten free grain, bread or crust, soy milk or offer an alternate meal) to make sure they can have something nutritious and delicious to eat.

November Menu

Access to School Buildings

Access to the school buildings this year is by appointment only for contract tracing reasons, please contact the person you would like to meet with to schedule an appointment.
School Handbook

The school handbook for 20-21 is under construction.