Williston Schools /October 14, 2020

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A Message From The Administration

by ABS Principal Angela Filion

Ahhhhh the great outdoors! The quote above really spoke to me as we have been spending a great deal of time making connections with each other and with nature! The outdoor environment encourages skills such as problem solving and negotiating risks which are important for child development. We are fortunate to have a beautiful campus at ABS of which we have been taking advantage of since our return to school. Teachers have been adapting their lessons and being very creative and resourceful by expanding the learning beyond the classroom walls.

The weather has been very cooperative with us so far but we recognize that the colder days are on the horizon. We do plan to continue to expand beyond the classroom and get out as much as possible as we change seasons! P.E. will remain outside when possible as well. It will be very important for families to send proper attire for all kinds of weather as we move into the colder days. Research shows that healthier and happier children do better in school, and that education is an important determinant of future health.

We are very committed to getting all of our students back in school for 4 days as swiftly and safely as we can. Since we have entered into life during the pandemic, technology has increased children’s sedentary time. We are striving to find the balance between providing students with outdoor and play exploration, social emotional well being, gathering baseline data to see how students are doing academically, and monitoring the amount of technology use needed in order to access learning. At the helm of all of this is the overall safety and well being of our students, faculty, and staff.

In the coming days we will be adjusting to having our students at full capacity. We will be asking in advance for your patience as we navigate this transition. We will be monitoring our systems and procedures and may need to make some shifts along the way. For example, we anticipate having to shift our temperature checks to indoors as the days grow colder. We may also need to make some adjustments to our arrival and dismissal procedures. We recognize that there is a lot of communication and correspondence that needs to take place in order for us to remain aligned as the guidelines and procedures change and evolve. We appreciate your partnership as we move forward and as always the admin team encourages you to reach out to us directly with any questions you may have. We are very excited to have ALL of our students back together next week! We've got this!

Read previous submissions here.

1st and 2nd grade Transition Notes - 4 Days / week

Details about 1st and 2nd graders retuning to school 4 days / week.

Picture Make up Days Scheduled

Photographers will be back in the schools to take pictures of staff and students who didn't have their pictures taken yet.

Allen Brook School: Friday, October 23, from 8:30 to 10:30 am.

Williston Central School: Tuesday, October 20 between 8:30 and 9:30 am, and Friday, October 23 at 11:30.

Remote VLA students are encouraged to have their photos taken at whichever date and place works best for them.

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CVSD Community Input Welcomed

The CVSD School Board encourages you to get involved and share what’s on your mind as we begin the budget process for the 2021-2022 school year. This budget will be presented to voters before and on Town Meeting Day, March 2, 2021.

While this has been quite the unusual year, the board and administration are planning around a return to normalcy for the 2021-2022 school year. Are there parts of our current experience that we should continue? Thanks to federal and state funding, we are optimistic we will be starting next year on sound financial footing. Should this change, what areas of the budget do you believe are important to protect? We invite you to join us in the discussion.

We are excited to launch this Thoughtexchange to include you in our budget planning process. As we begin to plan for next year’s budget, we want to hear what is important to you and what we should prioritize within our district. Some areas to consider are curriculum, instruction, facilities, and school safety. If you have any other thoughts or topics that are important to you, please share those as well.

This exchange will be open through October 23, 2020. Please share your thoughts and then rate the thoughts of others.

Your voice is important and valued. There are at least 3 ways to get involved:

  • Join the virtual CVSD Community Budget Forum on October 27 to discuss what you value most in our schools. Find out about CVSD’s financial outlook. Gain an understanding of our budget process.

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

Feel free to get in touch with the School Board at any time:

What: CVSD Community Budget Forum

When: Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 6:00 pm

Where: Online via Zoom

Information about how to join the forum will be posted on the Budget page of our district’s website and communicated through school newsletters.

Contact us:

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First & Second Grades Transition to Four In-Person Days

Now that we have successfully opened schools in the hybrid model, our hope is to incrementally transition elementary students to more in-person school days. Kindergarten has begun attending school in person four days a week, and we plan to follow with our first and second grade students back with a begin date of October 19th.

ABS and WCS Team/Teacher Assistant’s Roles Have 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.

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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.

While volunteers are not able to join you in a classroom this year, we have put together an amazing Google Slides Tremendous Trees Presentation for you. In it, you will find everything that we would typically share in a Four Winds lesson including fun facts, diagrams, photos, activities, and even a video of the beloved puppet show!

We would love to hear from you! 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

What to Expect about Schools Reopening

The guidelines support school programs to stay open and provide a safe, healthy, and fun place for your children to grow, learn, and play. Information for parents can be found at the Health Department's website.

From the Health Office

What Families can Expect When a Student is Sick

Symptoms such as cough, runny nose, and upset stomach can be caused by many different germs or health conditions. This fact sheet from the VT Dept. of Health can help you prepare in case your child gets sick. Click here for full document.

COVID-19 Health Resources

CDC recently released a COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit to help support parents, caregivers,
and other adults in identifying children and young people’s social, emotional, and mental health challenges and helping to ensure their well-being.
The resources kit has age-group specific web pages that provide a glance at some of the challenges faced by young children (0-5 years), children (6-12 years), adolescents (13-17 years), and young adults (18-24 years) during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as

  • changes in their routines
  • breaks in continuity of learning
  • breaks in continuity of health care
  • missed significant life events
  • lost security and safety (including violence).

Check out the new VHD video How Contact Tracing Slows the Spread of COVID-19.

Here are three different visual timelines to the contact tracing that show important dates for cases and close contacts:

Maria Kapetanovic, RN, BSN, MSN/Ed

Williston Health Office


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

WCS Library News

Enter to win a book by Vermont middle grades author Lindsey Stoddard!

Vermont author Lindsey Stoddard has written several well-reviewed books for middle grades. Her book Just Like Jackie, was on last year's Vermont Middle Grades Book Award list.

Her recent book, Right as Rain, is a Vermont 2020 Book Festival Great Read and Kirkus Best Book of 2019. Vermont students can enter to win one of five signed copies of this book by watching this video interview with author Lindsey Stoddard, and then completing this form:

The survey form will close on October 16.

This book is available to check out on our digital library Sora.

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.

Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

VLA Tips and contacts

Troubleshooting your Device:

When questions arise about the device you are using (won't start, camera doesn't work, etc.), please fill out this Helpdesk Form and someone will be in touch with you soon. Please do NOT directly email anyone in IT to request help as the department all works together and uses the Helpdesk system to respond to requests and needs.

Troubleshooting Digital Tools & Resources:

When questions arise with the accounts you are using (Google, IXL, Seesaw, and others), please reach out by email to Tim O'Leary, Virtual Learning Academy's Digital Learning Leader:

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Parents will be asked to certify that each day they will take their child’s temperature, monitor their health, and NOT send them to school if any of these are true.

All students will have their temperature taken prior to entering the building.

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ABS Arrival and Dismissal Time

Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can now arrive between 8:00 to 8:15 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.

October Menu

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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.

CVSD Guidance

We hope you find time to review the wealth of information available on our Champlain Valley School District website .

Superintendent's Update (Oct. 2)

CVSD Reporting Dashboard

CVSD COVID-19 Symptomatic and Positive Cases Guide. This can also be found on the Health page of our updated Reopening Site. The guide includes information on when to keep your child home from school, when a test may be needed, what happens when there's a positive test in school, and much more.

Student and Family Emotional Support

School Counselors offer tips and suggestions to help maintain emotional well being.

Upcoming Events

Mon, Oct 19 - 1st & 2nd graders transition to 4 in person days/week

Tues, Oct 20 - WCS photo make up day 8:30-9:30

Fri, Oct 23 - Photo make up day - ABS 8:30-10:30, WCS 11:30-12:30

Mon, Oct 26 - 3rd & 4th graders transition to 4 in person days/week

Tues., Oct. 27 - CVSD Community Budget Forum, 6 pm

Tues, Nov 3 - No School

Nov 23-27 - No School / Thanksgiving Break

School Handbook

The school handbook has been updated for 2019-2020