Williston Schools / March 17, 2021

Reminder - No School Friday March 19

A Message from the Administration

From Empty Rooms to Full Hearts

by Lead Principal Greg Marino

It was a year ago this week when our lives changed so dramatically. It has been a very surreal experience living through the different anniversaries over the last week or so. For me, there has been such a mixture of feelings and emotions. On the Wednesday of this very week last year, the CVSD LEAD team met together in the CVU library for a day of processing, planning, designing, and constructing what school would look like for our kids and teachers in the coming months after learning about the school closure just days earlier. Looking back on that day now, It’s both inspiring and dumbfounding. We really had no idea what would unfold for us in the months to follow. I remember arriving for the meeting early on that day and walking into the room. I noticed right away that the space had been thoughtfully set up in a very large circle of tables to allow plenty of social distancing and for all of us to see each other. The moment struck me enough to snap this picture which I was able to go back and find on my phone. You might be thinking, “who takes a picture of an empty room - what’s the big deal?” I think what moved me in that moment to take this picture was the feeling the room setup evoked in me. I felt a sense of reassurance that we were very much in this work together - that we were quite literally circling up around a problem and situation that none of us had any experience with. Individually, none of us quite knew what we would do. But all of us believed together that we would do whatever it would take.

Peeking back at my google calendar that week I noticed the meetings with teams of teachers the very next day, scheduled so that we could provide as much information as we could from the previous day’s Leadership work and to begin to tap into the collective creativity, expertise, and spirit of our faculty and staff. It was both inspiring and exhausting - two repeating themes from the last 12 months for sure. This spirit was reminiscent from that of the previous day at CVU, but seemed to multiply and strengthen with each conversation. Yes, we were scared, unsure, worried about our students, our families, the uncertainty ahead, but it was clear we were in it together. We were circling around what had to be done, reassured by our collective strength. I continue to be inspired each day by the strength, resilience, creativity, expertise, and heart of our learning community.

This note is not a victory lap - there is lots more to do, and we know there has been real pain, hurt, and injury for so many of us. It is, however, an opportunity to celebrate and be grateful. Celebrate the latest case-data for the virus. Celebrate the accelerated rates that vaccinations are occurring in our community. Celebrate the gradual relaxation of some of the State restrictions while the days become brighter, warmer, and longer. Celebrate that our K-6 students are learning in-person with their peers 4 days / week. Celebrate that we are in the process of bringing back our 7-8th graders for more in-person instruction in just a few short weeks. And perhaps most importantly, to celebrate the spirit of this learning community.

I leave you with a very different picture than the one at the top of this post. It’s a snapshot of the team of spirited souls who braved the icy waters of our first-ever Penguin Run event last weekend, helping to raise over $21k for the Special Olympics of Vermont. The feeling and spirit we felt at this event epitomizes all that we have to celebrate.

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WCS Part Time Employment Opportunitues

9:00am - 12:00pm, 4 days / Week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

WCS is seeking adults to help supervise 5-8th grade students while they engage remotely in their Essential Arts classes.

This would involve two 40-minute periods of 16-20 students in a classroom

Duties would be related to supervision and safety, not instruction.

Students would be engaged on their Chromebooks with their remote instruction.

4 day commitment is preferred, but not required.

Please contact Liz Neeld if interested (

WCS Seeking Lunch/Recess Aides

Williston Central School is looking for energetic and organized candidates to serve as part of a team to supervise our lunches and recesses for students in grades 3-8.

The Recess and Lunch Monitors will help build and sustain a positive and orderly environment

during recess. They will be supported by paraprofessionals from each grade level who help

provide supervision of students during recess. This is an hourly position and does not include

benefits. The typical hours are between 10:45am-1:15pm.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Monitoring student behavior during lunch and recess periods to ensure safety and acceptable conduct

  • Adhere to our safety guidelines from the AOE and DOH

  • Direct the movement of students to and from the recess areas

  • Correct or redirect unexpected behavior and communicate any serious concerns to the

school behavioral coach

Please contact Liz Neeld if interested (

Intra-District K-8 School Choice

Children entering grades K-8 who live in the towns of Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George and Williston may exercise school choice. Our goal is to both allow options for families and also make balanced class sizes to provide a positive learning environment for all of our children. Processes for intra-district choice of school will be guided by the needs of students, space availability, and existing resources. Given this, we will work to meet as many families’ needs as possible. Guidelines and Application

WCS 5-8 graders create online read-alouds for Williston K-4 graders!

If you have a young Williston student at home who would like to listen to a picture book read by a Williston middle school student, visit:

(For student privacy and copyright, these read alouds are on a CVSD access-only site. Students and staff with a email can login to hear the read alouds.)

Williston middle school students have been busy creating read-alouds for Williston K-4th graders in Library Essential Arts classes! Using only a chromebook, a picture book, and headphones, 5-8 students have:

  • photographed picture book pages with their chromebooks;
  • edited the photos & put them in a Google slideshow;
  • used Screencastify to capture their slideshow and audio reading the book;
  • edited the screen capture and uploaded the video to a Google site;
  • made an origami invitation to a Williston K-4 class to listen to their audiobook.

Listen to a favorite picture book anytime, read by a Williston middle school student!

How to Store and Wash Masks

Store your cloth mask properly and wash it regularly to keep it clean. Consider having more than one mask on hand so that you can easily replace a dirty mask with a clean one. Make sure to remove your mask correctly and wash your hands after touching a used mask.

Read More

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From our Williston Schools Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coaches, Cara Clopton and Ryan Batche:

In the Williston Schools we believe that the work for racial equity and justice needs to be ongoing and continuous and cannot be limited to individual lessons or actions during a particular time of the school year. We offer these resources for families and caregivers to support the engagement in conversations about racial equity in your homes.

10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids about Race

Talking About Race

ABS Library News

Hello Sunshines!

Has YOUR super reader chatted with you about RED CLOVER picture books? Each spring every ABS child hears 10 new picture books during library lesson time, then gets to vote in APRIL for their favorite one. Kids all across VERMONT participate, too! I wonder which author and illustrator will win THIS school year?

You can listen to Mrs. Clopton read aloud these books here:

ABS Library Seeking Reusable Bags

Do you happen to have any spare reusable shopping bags to donate for our school library? We would LOVE your help! Kids tote their library books to and from homes each week, and ours are a bit worse for wear.

ABS LIBRARY MOTTO: No limits, no fees, no fines. Curiosity is Welcomed Here!

New Food Benefit Program for Families

We are excited to share a new food benefit program with families. An email went out about this on Monday, February 8. We wanted to reach out in school newsletters as well to help inform families about this opportunity.

  • There is no change to the current free breakfast and lunch for everyone 18 and younger. No action is necessary to continue to get free meals.
  • Every enrolled student who qualifies for free/reduced meals is also entitled to an additional $60 - $100 per child per month - retroactive to September.
  • Many families who did not qualify for free and reduced meals last year may qualify this year due to a change in family circumstances. Because meals are free for everyone, you may not have completed the application. In order to get this additional benefit, you will need to apply now.
  • Families who were qualified last year are automatically enrolled. You do not need to do anything but are being asked to check the 'head of household" name and address so the electronic-benefit-card gets delivered to the right person/house.
Please see this letter for additional information. If you need assistance applying, look for the contact information in the letter or contact your school.
Reminders from the Health Office:

What Families Need to Know About Gatherings

Allen Brook School Morning Arrival Time Reminder

This message is for families who drop off their students at Allen Brook School in the mornings:

Thank you for adhering to our morning arrival time window, which is 7:50 am to 8:10 am.

Students should arrive at or after 7:50 am.

This allows time for school buses to depart and staff scheduled to assist with student arrival to be in place.

In the hopefully rare occasion a student arrives before 7:50 or after 8:10, they should enter school via the front doors and stop in the office to have their temperature taken.

We appreciate your efforts to arrive during the scheduled time.

We also appreciate our staff for enduring the weather and ensuring student safety during the morning drop off.

Kindergarten Registration

Do you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, 2021?

Kindergarten Registration for Fall, 2021 is underway at Allen Brook School.

Please submit registration paperwork, (preferably printed double sided) including proof of residency, birth certificate and immunization record.

Questions? Email or call 802-871-6200

Allen Brook School

497 Talcott Road, Williston, VT


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.

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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.

ABS Library website

Reading is an Investment

Four Winds

Hello Nature Explorers!

How are you doing? We would LOVE to hear from you and see how Four Winds presentations are going this year. PLEASE take a moment to fill out our Mid-Year Check-in Survey.

Spring is here! Are you hearing birds and owls outside? Take a look at the latest Four Winds from Home Presentation - Calling All Owls! Just click the link!

If you missed the previous lessons, check them out! They are full of fun facts, photos, hands-on activities, games, read alouds, science show episodes, and even the videos of the beloved PUPPET SHOW! Pick and choose the activities that are right for you!

Unit 1: Spiders

Unit 2: Tremendous Trees.

Unit 3: Predators and Prey

Unit 4: Skulls and Teeth

Unit 5: Birds of a Feather

Unit 6: Calling All Owls

Bonus: Winter Exploration Ideas

The theme for the year is Structure and Function.

Stay tuned for our future lessons on Defenses and Bees!

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

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.

Click here for a list of designated stops.

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.

Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

Hybrid Learning Website

Hybrid Learning Schedules, Tech Support info and more

Upcoming Events

March 19 - Parent/Teacher Conference / No School

April 5 - 7th and 8th grades return to school 4 days/week

Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break

ABS Arrival and Dismissal Time

Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can 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.

March Menu