Friday Notes

December 18, 2020

This is our last Friday Notes of 2020; we will be back in January of 2021!

Thoughts As We Move Into Christmas Break

While we still have a day and a half to go, I think we can safely say we made it to Christmas break! We would not have made it this far without your full cooperation and assistance. Returning to school for in-person learning, five days per week, has been a significant undertaking and has involved many moving parts. Your family has been instrumental in our success. Thank you!

At the time of this publication, Governor Scott's order regarding multi-family gatherings is still in effect. We recognize the hardship this creates and we fully understand the sacrifice this entails. However, we also know that we all must do our part to keep our school open and our community healthy. Keeping our community healthy means one of two things: either avoid multi-family gatherings, or quarantine/test appropriately if you do engage in a multi-family gathering.

On January 4th, Mrs. Nordenson and I will be asking the parents of students at drop-off to confirm that families followed Governor Scott's order (just as we did on November 30 after Thanksgiving break). This is for the peace of mind of our families, students, teachers, and staff.

Please note: we are not trying to pry into your personal lives, nor do we seek to judge/condemn your decisions. That is not our role! We are simply confirming that it is safe for your child to be at school and that the directives provided by both the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Education are being followed.

A few notes for families who will be quarantining:

  • Please communicate with the school if you will be quarantining and provide us with the relevant dates that inform the details of your family's quarantine period. It will be most helpful for you to communicate this information BEFORE you depart for Christmas break.
  • Providing work and lessons with limited planning periods is quite taxing on teachers, who are also carrying a full instructional load with the students who are physically present. All lessons and work will be uploaded in your child's Google Classroom by 3:30 each afternoon. Please ensure that your child is viewing lessons and completing assignments.
  • We recognize that keeping up with the work is challenging - please keep in mind that by doing so, your child will return to school seamlessly, feeling prepared.

2020 has been a year of adjustment. We could easily ruminate on all of the sacrifices, hardships, and frustrations that COVID-19 has brought us. It's easy to do, as there have been many! However, as we approach the new year, let's shift the focus and energy to the blessings that the new year will bring us. A fresh start, which includes encouraging advancements in science, which means access to resources that will help mitigate this invisible, yet hugely impactful, virus. I am hopeful and encouraged. On behalf of the entire school, I wish to thank you for allowing us the privilege to work with your children and family on a daily basis. As I mentioned in a previous publication, students are meant to learn in school and teachers are meant to teach in school. You have allowed us that opportunity and we are so thankful and grateful that your children are part of our BJAMS family. They are such an incredible blessing to us.

Bishop John A. Marshall School wishes you a blessed Christmas season. May we revel in the glory of Christ's birth, recalling the simplicity of His arrival and the witness of wise men and angels, rejoicing in the coming of our Savior.

With appreciation,

Carrie Wilson

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BJAMS Lights Up the Night - THANK YOU!

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make the first-ever BJAMS Lights Up the Night a gigantic success! We wish to especially thank Michelle Tomlinson, our coordinator, for her vision and organization. We would also like to thank our special guests, Santa and Rusty DeWees! We can't wait to make this an annual BJAMS tradition!
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First Trimester Honor Roll

Click here to read the honor roll recipients!

The Great Cubbie Clean Out!

Please remind your student(s) to bring home all snow gear (coats, hats, mittens, boots) on Tuesday, December 22. We also recommend that students in grades 3-8 bring home textbooks and workbooks, should circumstances over the Christmas break require an adjustment to your family's plan or our school's plan.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Did you know it’s easy for students and adults to become dehydrated in the winter? People often feel less thirsty during cold weather months and our masks tend to decrease our thirst. Please encourage your children to hydrate at home before coming to school and don't forget to remind them to hydrate after school - increased hydration will keep our students healthier! This is also great advice for adults!

Reminder: Tacky/Festive Christmas Sweaters and PJs Next Week!

On Monday, December 21, we invite students to wear their tackiest (or cutest/festive!) holiday sweaters, sweatshirts, and shirts! On Tuesday, December 22, we invite students to wear their cozy jammies for our half-day of school before we depart for Christmas break.

Reminder: Classroom Christmas Parties

Some classes will be hosting Christmas parties next week. To continue our adherence to safety protocols, please note the following:

  • All donated food must be packaged by the manufacturer in unopened, original packaging - unfortunately, we cannot accept homemade treats, even if individually wrapped.
  • Your child's teacher will let you know what foods to avoid, due to allergies/sensitivities.
  • The teacher will distribute all food items at the Christmas party, wearing disposable gloves.
  • Juice pouches/boxes work best, if providing drinks.

Breakfast and Lunch Menus

Breakfast and lunch menu items will be populated for online ordering in your Family Portal > Student > Lunch after January 1st.

The full calendar-style version of each menu will be posted in your Family Portal > School > Resource Documents when Staff returns on January 4th.

'Pop Up' COVID Testing Available in Morrisville!

Did you know that pop up testing is available in the Northgate Plaza, seven days a week? Log on to the Vermont Department of Health web site to schedule your test! Please note: this is for routine/surveillance testing. Those with concerning symptoms need an ordered test through Copley Hospital.

Contract Tracing

The Vermont Department of Health has let us know that they will not be altering their contact tracing process during Christmas break. Specifically, they will continue to ask schools to issue communications around quarantine to members of the school community identified as close contacts. We certainly hope and anticipate that there will be fewer cases connected to schools during Christmas break, but we wanted to be sure you were aware of this.

Stay Informed with VT-ALERT

Stay up to date on the latest COVID guidance and information by registering for Vermont Alert (VT-ALERT), the State’s emergency notification system. Visit and select the alerts they would like to receive (COVID information is listed under “Health Alerts”). Current subscribers can also update their notifications. Notifications are available via email, text, phone and the Everbridge mobile app.

Food Resources

If your financial situation has recently changed, you may now qualify for Vermont nutrition and food programs, including WIC program (Women, Infants and Children), 3SquaresVT/SNAP, and more. Newer programs such as Farmers to Families and Everyone Eats are helping to fill the gaps. Contact the Health Department, Hunger Free Vermont, Stretch Your Budget, or call 2-1-1 for more information.

Internet Assistance for Families

Listed below are a variety of programs offered by broadband companies that aim to offer affordable connectivity options to schools and student households. Also listed are companies offering connection service in hard-to-reach areas of Vermont and companies working with the government Lifeline program. The list below is not an endorsement of any one vendor or program.

Cloud Alliance: Cloud Alliance provides a community-based fixed wireless internet network for select communities in central and northern Washington County, where internet service may be difficult or non-existent. Contact: (888) 939-2568.

Comcast: Internet Essentials program offers low service fees for student households eligible for public assistance programs. Contact: Customer service, (855) 846-8376.

Consolidated Communications (CC): The Lifeline program is a government benefit program. Eligible subscribers can apply a monthly Lifeline program discount to a qualifying service. After applying and receiving approval, a subscriber may contact CC to add the discount. Contact: USAC (800) 234-9473, CC (844) 968-7224.

Kingdom Fiber: For a limited time, Kingdom Fiber is offering free or reduced-price installation through funding provided by the federal CARES Act. Installations must be completed by Dec. 20, 2020. The offer applies to locations from Hardwick north to Irasburg. Contact: Messages left at (888) 534-2377.

Mobile Beacon: Bridging the Gap works to bring equal educational opportunity for all Americans through their connectivity program.

T-Mobile: Project 10 Million offers subsidized broadband service for student households meeting school eligibility requirements. Service is paid for by the local school. Contact: Ryan Lopes, Government Account Executive, (617) 564-1313,

VTel: The Vermont Telephone Company offers low income customers the VTel Lifeline Program. The government benefit program provides discounts on qualifying service. Contact: USAC (800) 234-9473, VTel, (802) 885-9000.

Payment Assistance for Utility Customers

Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance Program: Vermonters suffering economic hardship from COVID-19 can get help to pay their arrearages for residential and non-residential accounts. The program provides financial support to customers of regulated utilities who may face disconnection of service because of past-due balances.

Vermont Temporary Broadband Subsidy Program: The program provides eligible households with a credit to assist with internet service subscriptions. Residential account holders who have suffered an economic hardship due to COVID-19 and require high-speed internet services for a qualifying need may receive a temporary credit of up to $20 per month toward an internet service subscription. Payments under the program can be applied retroactively to March 1, for already established account, through Dec. 20, 2020.

Programs for Consumers with Disabilities: Vermont offers consumers with disabilities several programs to help stay connected to the telephone system.

Agencies Providing Financial Assistance: Information about state and other agencies that offer financial assistance to consumers can be found on the “Where to Get Financial Assistance” web page provided by the Public Service Department.

ASP Corner

Painting poinsettias

Tis the season...for decorating gingerbread house sugar cookies!

Attention Parents of Eighth Graders!

Considering Rice High School for your soon-to-be graduate? The application deadline is approaching quickly!

Link to apply is here

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Final Installment from the USCCB's Pastoral Letter Condemning the Sin of Racism

Community News

We are excited to announce that Lamoille Family Center has a new seasonal book to share with families at the Story Stroll. These magical woods here at the Lamoille Family Center are a great way to enjoy reading with your children and exploring the beautiful woods at the Lamoille Family Center located at 480 Cady’s Falls Road, Morrisville. You can contact us with any questions at 888-5229 or

The Wizard of Oz

Lamoille Union Middle and High School will stream its popularly acclaimed 2018 production of The Wizard of Oz online, Monday, December 14th - through Sunday, December 20th at 7PM and a 2PM matinee on the weekend.

Streaming tickets are $9 each, and can be purchased online at; search for "Lamoille." You will receive a code to access the performance you choose. Your access code cannot be shared. For more information, look for Lamoille Union Theater on Facebook or Instagram.

Thank you for supporting the Lamoille Union Theater Program, and remember, "there's no place like home."

Coming Up Next

Dec 21 - Tacky (or festive) sweater day

Dec 22 - Cozy PJ day and half day - 12pm dismissal

Dec 23 - Dec 31 - No School - Christmas Break

Jan 1 - No School - New Year's Day

Jan 4 - Return to School

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