THE SCHOOL BELL
Williston Schools / January 6, 2021
A Message from the Administration
by Sarah Crum , director of Student Support Services
Have you ever woken up on one of those snowy mornings in Vermont when you can actually hear the silence? The whole world slows down to the pace of snowflakes falling. Evidence of the previous days’ outside activities are erased and everyone pauses, knowing accomplishing anything is going to take a while. If I am lucky, I wake up before the rest of the house, make myself a warm cup of tea, and settle in to just listen to the silence. My heart rate and breathing seem to slow down, but I notice each beat and breath. I find that I can breathe more deeply, big inhales and long exhales as the world is slowly covered in its blanket of snow. And then the house awakes and soon there is outdoor gear and shoveling and uncovering vehicles and places to go and things to do. I’m pretty sure my heart keeps beating and I keep on breathing, but I don’t notice them anymore.
In some ways, that is what this last break felt like. We weren’t traveling or doing any of the usual holiday hustle and bustle. Work, school and sports were on hold. I chose to breathe in and listen to the silence and I found myself needing to exhale.
Our daily lives take on a pace that is unimaginable. We wake early and are off to school and work, then to afterschool activities, dinner, laundry, homework, did anyone walk the dog? Sometimes, it feels like we can’t quite catch a breath. Fortunately for us, our miraculous bodies keep that breathing going even when we ignore it. And it is a vital process: inhaling the oxygen that brings energy to all our cells, and exhaling the carbon dioxide waste our cells have produced in their hard work. What I don’t often appreciate is the importance of the exhale in creating the space I need for a really energizing intake of oxygen. If I take the time to really notice my breathing and I can focus on emptying my lungs all the way, I have more room for that deep inhale my body really needs.
If 2020 taught me nothing else, it taught me this. There have been a lot of things I have had to learn to let go of: expectations, routines, traditions. Some of these, like visits with family, have felt really hard to miss. But in the process of letting go, we found new ways to connect, new routines to practice, new traditions to start. Now that 2020 is behind us, we can collectively exhale: empty out the tragedy, the missed opportunities, the isolation, the chaos. And just when you think it is all out, see if you can exhale just a little more, let go of that last little bit, and make some more room in there. Because 2021 is here, we are ready to breathe it in. I have a hunch it is going to be pretty energizing.
Welcome back, Williston! We are happy to see you.
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Updated Health Screening Questions
In order to be in compliance with state regulations and to keep our teachers, staff, and students safe, all families with children participating in in-person learning agreed with and signed a certification at the beginning of the school year that they would attest to 4 questions about their child's health before sending students to school. As a result of the Governor's current Executive Order, we have updated the required questions. Please review the questions in the image below with your family before sending students to school.
PARKING LOT SAFE DRIVING REMINDER
We are reminding all parents and caregivers who drop off or pick up students to be extra mindful about your driving in the school parking lots. We are asking that all drivers please drive with extreme caution, courtesy, and at slow speeds. We have noticed some dangerous situations pop up as a result of distracted driving or elevated driving speeds. We thank you for your help in keeping all students, staff, and drivers safe.
What to Know About Potential Hill Road Closings for Buses Due to Road Conditions
On the occasions it is determined a Williston school bus will not be driving on a hill* road during the morning pick up, we hope to be able to contact families early enough for you to get students to a stop at the start of the hill to catch the bus. When the hills are closed in the morning, it includes hills on the preschool bus routes. Alternatively, during the afternoon bus runs, we will contact families to advise you that the bus will need to drop children off at the start of the hill, and you can meet the bus there if necessary. If no one arrives to meet younger students, they will be brought back to school until arrangements are made for them to be picked up. Please talk with your bus drivers to let them know if you are comfortable letting your child walk home from the drop off location.
We will use the Connect 5 automated calling system to send a voice message to families on the hill roads.
*These are the hill roads: Butternut, Highlands, Porterwood, Oak Knoll, Rabbits Run, Evergreen, Fortier, Douglas, Yantz Hill, lower River Cove, Meadow Ridge, Ledgewood, Bayberry, Terrace, Jasmine, Wild Ginger, French Hill, Sunrise Drive, Sunset, Lincoln, Chaloux, and Walker Hill.
CVSD Early Ed Preschool Lottery
Champlain Valley School District School-Based Early Education Programs Preschool Lottery is coming soon!
The CVSD School-based Early Education Programs are now accepting applications for a random preschool lottery drawing for the 2021-22 school year. Our part-time, partial days, preschool classrooms are 5 STARs, licensed early education programs that provide play-based, developmentally appropriate environments for all children in an inclusive setting. Our curriculum is based on the Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) and Teaching Strategies Gold. We believe that a diverse classroom offers opportunities for adults and children to practice acceptance and compassion and also provides a broad range of learning experiences.
Our programs closely follow the CVSD school calendar. Students who will be age 3 or older by September 1, 2021, but not yet 5 years old, are eligible to enter the lottery for our programs.
All applications must be received by February 5, 2021. You can download an application here: Early Education Lottery Application. More information is available on our CVSD Early Education Website also. Students will be selected via a lottery and families notified in early March.
Sleds for Allen Brook
I am not looking for expensive sleds. If you have any you are not using or would like to donate to the PE Department please drop them off at ABS. Thanks so much for considering a donation.
ABS First Annual T-Shirt Design Contest
**Orders are due this Friday, January 8th**
The Winners of Our First Annual ABS T-Shirt Design Contest were:
Ajla Osmancevic and Anna Dagesse.
We will be using these 2 designs for our new Allen Brook School shirts and sweatshirts.
Orders must be placed by January 8th. Any questions, please email Nicole Pfende at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to view the t-shirt/sweatshirt design
Click here for the order form
WCS Drama Department Announcement
We are saddened to announce that due to the pandemic there will be no spring musical this school year. However, the WCS Drama Department is still very much alive and well and looks forward to putting on a production next year, either in the fall or in the spring! Please stay tuned for more information coming this spring about next year's production!
Attention WCS Families
Important: Changes to Student Pick-up Procedures at WCS
SPECIAL NOTE: New pickup time for STERLING HOUSE and new pick-up location for KALEIDOSCOPE HOUSE
TO HELP WITH TRAFFIC FLOW AND AVOID THE BACK-UPS WE HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING, please be sure to arrive at the designated pick-up time for your WCS student. Your help with this is greatly appreciated. If everyone chips in with this effort, we will all be rewarded with a safer and quicker experience. THANK YOU.
New Ice Rink
The Ice Rink at Williston Community Park (beyond Williston Central School) has undergone updates and improvements thanks to Recreation and Parks Director, Todd Goodwin, and his staff.
Please respect the rink and the guidelines while enjoying your activities and time outdoors!
· New rink area is 60x60 feet with boards and liner.
· Be mindful and careful of the liner and clips; the plan is to reuse them each year.
· Temporary fencing has been put up around the rink. There is an opening for the entrance to the rink near the warming hut.
· When the entrance is open this indicates that the ice is safe and ready to use.
· When the fence is closed, the rink MUST NOT be used!
· Please be patient. The weather and temperature may fluctuate and compromise the ice.
· Hockey goals are in the warming hut for your use. Please put the goals back in the warming hut after use to prevent them from freezing in the ice.
· Lights are on a timer until 9:30pm. A panel with a button to turn on the lights is on a pole next to the rink.
Help us spread the word to all students and families. Respecting this new space (the making of ice, the boards, liner and temporary fence) will ensure fun and longer use for all!
Thank you, and happy skating!
-Williston Physical Education Staff
From IT - Adobe Flash Comes to a Close
Adobe is no longer supporting Flash at the end of 2020. Some computer applications and websites may no longer work. FasttMath is one example. We are shutting it down and it will no longer be available after 12/22. We are reviewing other applications with our vendors to see what else may be impacted. This information may be helpful to know about sites that you and your children possibly use at home.
Extra Masks, Winter Clothing
With the colder weather, having the right clothes for recess and outdoor learning is necessary. Please ensure your children come to school with jackets, gloves, hats, snow pants and boots .
A big reminder to parents to send in an extra mask because masks are getting wet at recess.
In addition, we hope families can ensure all students have a spare set of clean, dry clothes at school, as we are not able to share clothing safely this year.
WCS Procedures for Dismissing Sick Students
We have had some incidents when students bypass the Health Office, either calling home from the classroom or texting/calling from their cell phones and then going home sick. We just want to remind WCS families and students of our school procedure for going home sick.
If a student is feeling sick in school, they first need to see the nurse. If students want to call parents and go home, this has to be done from the Health Office. They cannot use their cell phones to arrange to be picked up without the nurse knowing.
If students are going home sick, they will be asked to present a pink Nurse’s pass at the front office that indicates that they have permission from the Health Office to go home. If they don't have a pass, the front office will send them to the nurse to complete a health assessment and obtain the pass even if parents are already waiting for them in the car. A nurse might then call parents to develop a plan.
Thank you for your support and understanding and please reach out to us if you have any questions.
WCS Nurses: Maria, Carol and Samantha
Maria Kapetanovic, RN, BSN, MSN/Ed
Carol Albertelli, RN, BSN
Samantha Usher, RN, BSN
Happy New Year! We hope you and your families are well, enjoying the snow and the increased daylight! Here is a new collection of ideas to explore with your family, students or classes. Hopefully it will inspire everyone to put on winter gear and head outside to discover the beauty of nature in winter!
New! Four Winds Winter explorations
Click on the links below! You will find fun facts, diagrams, photos, activities, and even the videos of the beloved puppet show!
The theme for the year is Structure and Function.
Our first unit explores Spiders.
The second unit investigates Tremendous Trees.
This third unit compares Predators and Prey!
New! Winter explorations
We will also offer an outdoor, socially-distant (but in-person!) lesson, including the puppet show and related activities, at ABS once a month on a Wednesday at 10:30am.
See the dates below if you are interested in joining us!
1/27 - Skulls
2/17 - Birds of a Feather
3/17 - Calling All Owls
4/21 - Defenses
5/19 - Bees
Deb & Amanda, Your Four Winds Williston Coordinators
Visit the Williston Four Winds Blog
Four Winds Nature Program in Williston
Here are three different visual timelines to the contact tracing that show important dates for cases and close contacts:
test positive but do not have symptoms
close contacts with someone who has tested positive
Social Gathering Q&A from the Health Office
Jan 18 - No School/Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Feb 22-26 - No School / Winter Break
Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break
Child Find Notice
Champlain Valley School District (CVSD) 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.
CVSD 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, (Williston Central/Allen Brook Schools – 878-2762) or the Director of Student Support Services, Meagan Roy at 383-1234 or email@example.com.
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.
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.
Monthly Fitness Fun
School Nutrition Program
Monthly Fitness Fun
CVSD School Board
COVID-19 CVSD Links
CVSD School Board
Recreation & Parks Offerings