The Bobcat Bulletin
Welcome back, Ms. Cobb!
In light of Mr. Farrell’s decision to retire at year’s end, the three Essex Town principals, along with Superintendent Beth Cobb, have met repeatedly over the last several weeks to discuss potential changes in the leadership structure for Essex Elementary School and Founders Memorial School. Given the size of both buildings, it was agreed that the three principal arrangement should remain intact.
After weighing the pros and cons of various options it was decided that Ashley Gray, EES Principal, would remain in her current role and that Wendy Cobb, current FMS Principal, would serve as co-principal in both buildings, focusing on aligning Special Education and intervention services across both schools.
This new setup leaves the principal role at FMS open and we have already begun the process of looking for a new leader to fill the vacancy left by Wendy’s new assignment. Please keep an eye out for information from the district office regarding this process.
Winter Break Reminder
Traveling During February Break
The guidance from the Vermont Department of Health has not changed in regards to out of state travel. All travel to and from Vermont requires quarantine, with the only exception being essential travel. The Health Department and the CDC strongly recommend not traveling right now. If you choose to travel, you must quarantine after your return home.
You have two options:
Quarantine for a full 14 days
Quarantine for 7 days and then schedule a COVID-19 test. The quarantine can end after receiving a negative PCR test result.
If your family needs to quarantine, be sure to let the school know what dates your student will be out of school.
Joanna Psaros, RN BSN
School NurseFounders Memorial School
Ph 802 857-6304
EWSD Free Meals
The EWSD Child Nutrition Program will continue to provide FREE meals for the rest of this school year! On January 29, EWSD surpassed half of a million meals served since COVID hit.
There is no pre-ordering, registration, or sign up necessary, just show up at any of our open sites listed below. The meals are intended for children 18 and under, but the child does not have to be with you to receive them.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to EWSD Senior Child Nutrition Manager Scott Fay at email@example.com or 857-7263.
Funds for Groceries Available!
Families that qualify for free/reduced meals might also be eligible for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) funds!! In order to meet one of the qualifications to receive these additional P-EBT funds, families MUST first have an approved free or reduced meal application on file. If you have not submitted an application yet, please consider doing so by going to MySchoolApps.com or visiting the EWSD Child Nutrition website for more information on qualifying.
If you already have an approved application on file from last school year or this school year, you do not need to submit another application.
For more information please visit this list of frequently asked questions on P-EBT benefits.
If you have questions about the free and reduced meal application, please contact the EWSD Child Nutrition Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 802-857-7333.
Remote Wednesdays to Continue
Dear EWSD K-5 Families,
In December we shared that our K-5 schools would transition to a four-day week of in-person learning starting on January 4 and that we would reassess the model in February. We wanted to share that K-5 schools will continue to take part in remote learning on Wednesdays.
We understand that remote Wednesdays are a hardship for many families and we are all doing our best to stay open for in-person learning. We are fortunate to live in Vermont, where our COVID cases rank among the lowest in the nation and our safety protocols are working.
While it’s clear at this point in the school year that everyone, families included, has been doing their part to make this school year safe and healthy for our students, the pandemic is still with us and continues to threaten the continuation of in-person instruction. As we said in December, our goal is to maximize in-person instruction without risking us needing to go fully remote.
The EWSD believes that in-person instruction is best for our students and we are thankful for every day we have them in our classrooms. We know our system has been able to sustain in-person learning due to our remote Wednesdays. With the four-day week of in-person learning, we have been able to maintain the services and supports that all of our children need, from meal services to custodial coverage.
We intend to continue to monitor the data and look to reassess again in April if five days a week is possible and sustainable. From our experience in the fall with COVID, the warmer weather may again provide more opportunity with open windows and more outside learning to return to full in-person. While moving to five days a week is not guaranteed, we know it’s preferable and in everyone’s best interest as long as it can be safe and sustainable.
Going forward we ask everyone to remain vigilant. It’s clear that when our families and staff follow the quarantining guidelines from the Vermont Department of Health we all contribute to having low numbers of positive COVID cases in our schools. By following state guidelines and our own protocols, we can continue to slow the spread of the virus and maximize in-person instruction.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at: email@example.com
Bus Drivers Needed!
Come work for STA/Mountain Transit!
This is a great job for parents of school-aged kids, folks looking for a partial-retirement job, individuals looking to grow a career in the commercial driving industry, or anyone who wants to give back to our community.
Let Mountain Transit tell you why:
- Paid Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training: Class B license with Passenger and School Bus endorsements. To get this license on your own can cost up to $7,000, here we will pay you. The only thing we do not pay for is your physical license.
- Great Pay: After you get your CDL and endorsements, the minimum pay at Mountain Transit is $20.50 per hour. Yes, that is right, starting at $20.50 an hour!
- Newer vehicles: All vehicles used here are 10 years old or newer, this keeps down mechanical repairs.
- Earned time off: You will earn time off that will accumulate.
- Safety: Safety is our main goal, including in these unusual times, CDC protocol is followed to a T.
Our goal is to get the working force working again. In South Burlington there are 256 people collecting unemployment, Burlington there are 689, Essex 266, Colchester 288, Milton 166, and Winooski 155. We need you and you need us. Come and see what we are all about here at Mountain Transit.
Click on this link, then click 'Vermont,' then click 'Milton.' Hiring for the Essex garage site starts at the Milton offices. Or you can also call 802-893-1334 if you are interested.
Founders Memorial School News
Please remember that district policy requires all family members coming to school for either pick up or drop off must wear masks. We here at FMS spend all day wearing masks, so we know all too well the hassle of this requirement. However, we also know that the scientific community says that wearing a mask is the number one preventative measure we can take to minimize the spread of COVID.
Thank you to all for helping us stay safe and open!
Sledding Party with Mrs. Mack's 3rd grade class!
This time we went sledding behind the middle school. It was perfect weather, students were safe, and fun was had by all! It was a great way to celebrate all our hard work in 3rd grade. ~Mrs. Mack
SEL WITH SIERRA SMITH
Movement Pathways at FMS
Founders Memorial School has added Movement Pathways in each grade-level hallway! A Movement Pathway is a regulation tool that uses a series of systematic movements for improving self-control, focus, and cognitive functioning. Our SEL Team, in collaboration with our Physical Therapist, developed unique pathways for each grade-level hallway. These are made to be used as a whole class during transitions or for individuals when they need some extra movement throughout the day.
Check these articles out for more information about the science and evidence behind Movement Pathways.
Black History Month
To honor Black History Month in the library, students in grades 3, 4 and 5 have all read and discussed The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson. This beautiful poem chronicles over 400 years of black life in America. As it began as a video on ESPN's The Undefeated, all students watched the original video performance before reading the book. The book was a Caldecott, Newbery Honor, and Coretta Scott King Award winner, and also a Red Clover nominee this year. As a follow-up lesson, many students have also read and discussed Julius Lester's Let's Talk About Race. Students have participated in engaging and respectful literature-based discussions.
African-Americans Featured in The Undefeated - books in the library
African-Americans Featured in The Undefeated - digital resources
Black History Resources in the FMS Library
Over break, and anytime, don't forget about Sora and your student's ability to borrow ebooks and audiobooks! The Sora app can be downloaded on any iOS or Android device, and there are thousands of popular choices in the EWSD digital library.
Student Book Suggestions
Students are invited to suggest a book for the library! Requests are evaluated for quality and age-level, but students who recommend books that are added to the FMS library are the first to be notified. We are always happy to lean on the expertise of our students!
Contact Sara Jablonski at firstname.lastname@example.org with any library questions!
Founders Memorial School
Follow fmslibraryvt on Instagram!