Williston School District /January 13, 2016

A Message from the WSD Administration

Time to Think

by Greg Marino

It’s difficult for me to believe that we are already half way through January. With the snow finally flying a bit, it now feels like the climate is matching a bit better with the calendar. Watching the snow fall, even if for just a few seconds, can be a very similar experience to that of staring into a roaring fireplace; it can be quite hypnotic and can lead to a quick, but deep, reflective few moments of thought. Like I’m sure is the case for many of you these days, I find it rare to get many of these moments but know they are important. Today I am writing about a different kind of think time, something called Private Reasoning Time (PRT).

As many of you know, WSD teachers have been engaged in professional development in recent years related to Best Practices in Mathematics. This is a research based and pedagogy-centered approach to helping teachers develop habits of instruction that help all students “make sense” of mathematics. Every teacher of Math in Williston has participated in this professional development. At the center of the work are several key “Habits of Mind” and “Habits of Interaction” that teachers and students engage in on a daily basis and encourage productive math thinking and conversation, and that ultimately lead to each student making their own sense of the math. Research indicates that when students engage in these habits and become the “sense-makers” in the Math classroom, the learning is deeper and sticks better.

One of these habits is called Private Reasoning Time. This is a very simple concept but I have seen first hand how powerful the results can be when used regularly in the classroom. Many of us are used to the following dynamic in the classroom: picture a group of students in a classroom. This scenario works for any age student, including adults. The teacher asks a question. After a second or two, a few students in the class raise their hands. One or two seconds more go by and a few more hands go up. The teacher calls on a student with a raised hand, asks for their response, and either gets the “expected answer” or moves on to someone else who had their hand raised. At the end of the sequence perhaps two students and the teacher were really involved in the instructional moment. But, what were the other students thinking? Were they engaged with the question? Who knows? Continue reading
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SPARK 1 Thursday After School Enrichment Session 4

The 4th session of Spark Thursday After School Enrichment, an after-school applied learning program for students in grades 5-8, will be offered on January 21, 28, February 4, 11 & 18. These small group classes will be facilitated by school faculty and staff. Click here to read about session 4 offerings.

Please access the link to the sign-up form below by January 14th.

Sign-up form

Learn to Ski / Ride Program starts this Friday!

The program begins Friday, Jan. 15.
Equipment info for students riding the bus to Cochrans
All non-ski/ride gear must be left in the assigned area of the schools before students board the bus to Cochran's. No packs or equipment can remain on the bus.
Pickup at WCS for bus riders at 5:15pm
Pick up for those riding the buses back from Cochran’s will be in the front of Williston Central School. Pick up at WCS is no later than 5:20pm. Buses will plan to arrive by 5:15pm each week. Parents should not park in front of the school or in the bus area. Buses and equipment truck needs to be able to enter that area.
Parents picking up their children at Cochran’s must do so by 4:45pm and MUST SIGN THEIR CHILD OUT at the lodge.
Participants who will be staying at the mountain or who will be picked up by a parent later must have a note each week stating this. The note must be given to the classroom teacher to be given to the bus driver.
Cancellations- to check on cancellations call 871-6109
Click here for more information


Click here for the FAP home page and meeting minutes.

Follow us on Facebook at:

Questions? Email or visit the school webpage and find us on the quick links.

BIG BASKET Raffle Fundraiser - APRIL 2, 2016

The Big Basket Raffle and Silent Auction is the Williston school district’s largest community fundraising event of the year, bringing in between $7,500 and $10,000 each year for educational programs. Between 50 and 60 themed baskets are prepared for this event and 25+ other items are bid on at the Silent Auction table. Several hundred people attend each year. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2016.

Area Businesses: We start with asking our Basket Raffle Planning Committee members to outreach area businesses for donations (merchandise or gift certificates). The donations are for the various themed baskets or for the Silent Auction table. Over 80 area businesses helped last year. This is not anything that anyone else needs to help with, just those on our Planning Committee. If you have some suggestions for this, please send an e-mail to

Family Contributions: Families purchase items for the themed baskets that are in classrooms. Each classroom teacher receives a basket with a theme. Baskets are placed in each classroom for 3 to 4 weeks. Then everything is collected and volunteers assemble everything into beautiful baskets for the raffle. We are going to place the baskets in classrooms right after February break.

Volunteer Hours: This event requires the assistance of lots of volunteers beyond just those on the planning committee. We will create a sign-up link and start circulating that next month. Support is needed for creating and wrapping the baskets, setting up the gym and cafeteria, bringing in desserts and beverages, selling raffle tickets at the event, and cleaning up after the event. Please consider volunteering!!!

Empty Baskets: Lastly, if you were one of last year’s lucky basket winners and want to donate the empty basket back to school for us to use again this year, please drop that off in the Main Office of either Allen Brook School or Williston Central School. Thank you so much.

Committee Members: Becca Ashford, Emily Ponce Downing, Mary Jo Dubois, Sarah Francisco, Dana Hark, Ben Leonard, Karen Maklad, Carrie Murray, Lyn Porter, Amber Rich, Wendy Ruggles, Lori Saladino, Debbie Underhill, Shani Varricchione, Karen Wyman

Williston Runs for Education

**Save the Date**

Saturday May 14, 2016

Currently Seeking Event Sponsors

Lots of sponsorship opportunities available!

For more information please contact

Sue Scheer at

Visit our website

Like us on Facebook

WCS School Counseling Newsletter

Click here for the WCS School Counseling Newsletter
Read about:
  • Brainology,Developing a Growth Mindset with our 5th Graders!
  • PLPs – Personal Learning Plans for 7th graders
  • School Counseling Classes for all Students (3-8)
  • 8th Graders and their transition to CVU

3rd/4th Grade Chorus Concerts

The 3rd/4th grade chorus concerts will be on

Wednesday, February 3rd at

2:00pm and 6:30pm in the WCS auditorium.

The musicians are required to wear concert attire* for both concerts.

The musicians need to arrive at WCS at 6:10pm for the evening concert.

*What is concert attire?

Boys: long pants, shirt with collar, and a tie

Girls: dress or skirt of appropriate length, or dressy pants, with an appropriate top

Shorts, t shirts, hats, athletic wear, flip flops, and jeans are not appropriate.

Please do not wear them.

Please look for a permission slip in your child's take-home folder this week. Contact me with any questions or concerns.

Book Donations Needed

My name is Jocelyn Kaplan. I'm ten years old and I started a charity called Nourish the Love of Reading. Nourish the Love of Reading helps kids who can't afford to buy their own books. We bring the books to the food shelf where kids can pick and choose as they please. The food shelf doesn't just have food, but also has pet food and art supplies. It used to have only 3-4 books but we've donated approximately 800 books. It's really helpful because it's nice to have your own book to keep and not simply borrowed from a library. If you'd like to donate your outgrown books, there's a box in the front hallway of WCS. We are hoping to promote literacy for all Vermont children. Thank you for your help.

Skiing and Snowboarding Freestyle Club for WCS

Hello my name is Beckett Pintair. For my eighth grade challenge project I am offering a Skiing and Snowboarding Freestyle Club for WCS. We will meet Friday afternoons at Cochran’s Ski Area following ski/ride lessons during the free ski session. The Freestyle Club is open to kids who are signed up for Cochran's lessons, are at level seven or eight, and want to learn basic freestyle. In addition, this group will brainstorm ways to raise money through community service in the hopes of providing Cochran’s with a new rail. We will also have some area ski/ride professionals come in and teach us freestyle basics, from shaping jumps to grinding rails. This will be a great team building experience and a lot of fun! This club will be supervised by Mr. Alex Pintair. He can be reached at: If you are interested in joining, please email me at:

Click here for the permission form.

Join the WCS Penguin Plunge Team!

We need YOU to join our Williston Wildcats Penguin Plunge Team! This is our 6th year having a school team participating in the Penguin Plunge. The Penguin Plunge is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics and all the participants jump in Lake Champlain! It is very cold but lots of fun. The date is Saturday, February 6th and it takes place at the Burlington Waterfront. We want students, teachers, staff, parents, and siblings on the team! Please email Jessica Haskins at or Jodi Bartley at if you have questions.
If you are interested in joining the team, please sign up on line at
Make sure to select the "Williston Central School Wildcats" team. Be a part of your school's team and support a great cause!

Winter Weather

Now that cold weather has arrived, please be sure children are dressed warmly and have proper outdoor clothing for recess. Jackets, hats, gloves or mittens, snow pants, and boots will keep students warm so they can enjoy their time outside.
Lunch and recess times at Allen Brook School have been extended by five minutes (now 25 minutes each). Recess will be outside as long as the temperature is above zero degrees (including wind chill).

Preschool Lottery for 2016– 2017 School Year

The Williston School District is now accepting applications for a lottery for community peers for the 2016–2017 school year Allen Brook Preschool program. To have your child’s name included in the lottery, please pick up a questionnaire at Allen Brook School or Williston Central School, or print one off the school website and return it to the school by Friday, February 19th. Community peers must be 3 years old, but not 5 by Sept. 1st. Our preschool classes are Monday through Thursday mornings or afternoons.
Names will be drawn for a limited number of available peer slots on Friday, February 19th. Families of students who are drawn through the placement selection will be notified by phone within two weeks of the drawing. Click here for an application.

Health Office Links

WCS: 871-6170, 871-6171 /Maria Harlow, RN, Carol Albertelli, RN/ABS: 871-6248/Sylvia Love, RN

8th Grade Yearbook

WCS 8th Graders - your 2015-2016 Yearbook Quote and Baby Photo is due by Thursday, 1/14/2016.

Click this Link For Form:

Don't forget to order your 2015-2016 yearbook.

Every school year is full of memories. Don't miss this year's!
Now through 3/2/2016, get your yearbook for $30.00.

Four Winds Nature News

Click to see this month's Nature News


Allen Brook and Williston Central School Physical Education are trying to find ways to engage our students in making healthy choices outside of school. This program is for all of ABS and WCS 3rd and 4th Grade. We want to help our students learn to become healthy fit individuals. The Monthly Fitness Fun Calendar is a way to encourage your child to make healthy choices outside of physical education. This is a completely optional activity for your child and family. Click here to continue reading.
WSD Facebook Page

The Facebook page will enhance communication, tell the amazing story of Williston, and be another place to access the School Bell. We will use this page to post other exciting news and/or happenings.

Athletics link

Williston School District Physical Education Department

Upcoming Events

FAP Meeting / Thur. Jan. 14 / 8:15-10:15

Continental Math Meet, gr. 3 / Thur. Jan. 14 / 8:15-8:45 am / WCS

Continental Math Meet, gr. 4 / Thur. Jan. 14 / 9-9:30 am / WCS

Continental Math Meet, gr. 5-8 / Thur. Jan. 14 / 9:45-10:15 / WCS

School Board Budget Mtg. / Fri. Jan. 15 / 7:30 am-8:30 am / WCS Dining Rm.
Cochrans Ski & Ride Program / Fri. Jan. 15 /
NO SCHOOL / Mon. Jan. 18 /

8th Gr. Parent/Student Info Night at CVU / Wed. Jan. 27 / 6:30-8:30pm / CVU

Social Media Presentation / Thur. Jan. 28 / 6-8 pm

3/4 Chorus Concert / Wed. Feb. 3 / 6:30 pm / WCS Auditorium

FAP Meeting / Thur. Feb. 11 / 8:15-10:15

Click here for athletics
More Upcoming Events on the School Web Calendar

Check out upcoming school events and dates on the School website Calendar!

Dorothy Alling Memorial Library Programs

Click here to access the DAML web site listing of events.
Click here for the Bell listing of DAML events scheduled for children.

Click here for the DAML newsletters.

Recreation & Parks Offerings

Youth/Teen Open Gym- Click on the link for the schedule-

Winter Adventure Camp at Common Ground Center- Starksboro. Would your child love to spend two days at Common Ground Center exploring the outdoors? If so, register them now to join the staff for two fun filled days in the snow! With 700 acres to explore we’ll snowshoe, track and learn about wildlife, sled, play games and build snow forts in the outdoors! Between outdoor activities they’ll warm up inside the lodge with board games, crafts and hot chocolate. Morning and afternoon snacks are provided, participants must bring their own lunch, sled and winter clothing. Grades: 3rd-6th, Tuesday and Wednesday, February 23rd & 24th, 8:30am-4:30pm. $90 per child.

Babysitters Course- This Red Cross Babysitters Training provides individuals with information and skills necessary to provide safe and responsible care for children. Training in leadership, professionalism, basic care, safety, safe play and basic first aid will be covered. Ages 11-15 yrs., Wednesday, Feb. 243, 9:00a-3:00p. $100. Instructor: Karl Hubrich

Click here for the Recreation & Parks website.
January Newsletter
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Williston School District

Allen Brook School and Williston Central School