THE SCHOOL BELL
Williston Schools / January 20, 2021
A Message from the Administration
By Jacqueline Parks
Some families may be wondering why our Wednesday schedule continues to be different from the other in-person or remote days of learning. It may surprise you to know that Wednesdays are one of the busiest days for educators in this world of hybrid learning during the pandemic.
Wednesdays begin with remote learning for students. This includes a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) check-in followed by some small chunks of academic time. This wraps up for students and teachers by 10:30 am. Middle school students do have some optional remote clubs and office hours that they can access for extra help from teachers, if needed. This weekly remote learning time also keeps our K-6 students who come to school 4-days per week in the habit of remote learning. It allows them to practice using the remote codes and links to access their learning in the event that they need to pivot to a remote learning program for a period of time.
Teachers transition to professional development and school meetings for the remainder of the day. There are many new organizational tools that we are asking our educators to maintain, so that we can easily access the information we need when there is a positive COVID-19 case. For example, each team and program area have a google slide deck that centralizes all of the key information such as class lists, arrival/dismissal plans, seating charts, etc. While this information was available in the past, it was not centralized in an easy to access manner. Each time we have a positive COVID case we use the slide decks to respond in a timely way.
Teachers are also constantly analyzing the layout of their space and making adjustments that meet distancing requirements and allow for instruction to happen in a natural way. These layouts can change with the content being taught. Additionally, we have seen more students moving into Williston and each time we add to a classroom the layout needs to be assessed and sometimes adjusted.
Professionally, teachers are also learning about new tools and common assessments that can be delivered flexibly in a remote or in-person classroom setting. Some of these include the IReady Reading Assessments, the social-emotional learning assessment called “Close Gap”, and the STAR assessment for reading and mathematics. These help us keep a close watch on student learning and needs. Additionally, they are spending time adjusting the curriculum in a way that prioritizes the most powerful concepts and skills. All of these professional tasks take time to learn and to embed into instruction.
So, Wednesdays are a full day for us with all the topics I listed above and many more that I did not share. It certainly demonstrates how we are balancing instruction, safety and professional learning that supports our educational system during the pandemic.
Superintendent Search Input Sessions
The CVSD community may recall from the announcement last summer that Superintendent Elaine Pinckney is retiring at the end of June. The search process for a new superintendent is underway and the Champlain Valley School District’s Board of Directors welcomes the community’s input.
As part of the superintendent search process, the School Board is interested in seeking input from parents and the community in regard to the attributes of the community and school, the issues the new superintendent will face, and what qualities stakeholders would like to see in our new superintendent.
Zoom meetings for the CVSD Community will be held with the Superintendent Search consultant on these dates:
January 26 7:00-8:00pm
January 28 7:00-8:00pm
January 29 12:00-1:00pm
The information needed to access the Zoom meetings is posted on the District’s website.
An online survey will be posted on the District’s website as well. The survey will be open from Saturday, January 23 to Sunday, January 31. The compilation of all comments received will be published soon after the survey closes.
* There will be separate input meetings for teachers, administrators, support staff, and high school students.
We thank you so much for your valuable input!
Learn to Ski/Ride Program Announcement
The Williston Learn to Ski and Ride Program is now on!
The program will be offered January 27- March 10.
Registration is now open!
Register on the Town Department of Rec. website at- https://www.willistonrec.org/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=30204
8th Grade Student & Parent Night
CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UNION HIGH SCHOOL
To 8th Grade Parents and Students of the Class of 2025
Join us virtually for
8th Grade Student & Parent Night
Champlain Valley Union High School
Online Thursday, February 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Hosted by Principal Adam Bunting
and the CVU Student Council
This evening will provide you and your child an introduction to the academic and elective programs they will experience in the 9th grade.
We’ll be live at:
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.
PARKING LOT SAFE DRIVING REMINDER
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.
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.
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.
Being a teen can be tough.
Parenting teens isn’t exactly easy, either.
That’s why we created ParentIN – to empower parents and caregivers of Champlain Valley School District students with the support they need to help their children make healthy choices. Reported substance usage among CVSD students drastically increases each year from 6th to 12th grade. We want you, and your child, to be prepared for what’s to come. ParentIN offers evidence-informed educational tips and resources, community engagement events, and facilitated meet-ups aimed at helping our kids live substance free lives.
You know a lot about your child; we know a lot about preventing substance abuse.
We are IN this together.
And here is the video link:
CVSD Early Ed Preschool Lottery
Champlain Valley School District School-Based Early Education Programs Preschool Lottery is coming soon!
The CVSD School-based Early Education Programs are now accepting applications for a random preschool lottery drawing for the 2021-22 school year. Our part-time, partial days, preschool classrooms are 5 STARs, licensed early education programs that provide play-based, developmentally appropriate environments for all children in an inclusive setting. Our curriculum is based on the Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) and Teaching Strategies Gold. We believe that a diverse classroom offers opportunities for adults and children to practice acceptance and compassion and also provides a broad range of learning experiences.
Our programs closely follow the CVSD school calendar. Students who will be age 3 or older by September 1, 2021, but not yet 5 years old, are eligible to enter the lottery for our programs.
All applications must be received by February 5, 2021. You can download an application here: Early Education Lottery Application. More information is available on our CVSD Early Education Website also. Students will be selected via a lottery and families notified in early March.
Sleds for Allen Brook
I am not looking for expensive sleds. If you have any you are not using or would like to donate to the PE Department please drop them off at ABS. Thanks so much for considering a donation.
From IT - Adobe Flash Comes to a Close
Adobe is no longer supporting Flash at the end of 2020. Some computer applications and websites may no longer work. FasttMath is one example. We are shutting it down and it will no longer be available after 12/22. We are reviewing other applications with our vendors to see what else may be impacted. This information may be helpful to know about sites that you and your children possibly use at home.
Extra Masks, Winter Clothing
With the colder weather, having the right clothes for recess and outdoor learning is necessary. Please ensure your children come to school with jackets, gloves, hats, snow pants and boots .
A big reminder to parents to send in an extra mask because masks are getting wet at recess.
In addition, we hope families can ensure all students have a spare set of clean, dry clothes at school, as we are not able to share clothing safely this year.
FWNI has also provided a collection of Winter exploration ideas for your family, students or classes to try. Hopefully it will inspire everyone to put on winter gear and head outside to discover the beauty of nature in winter!
Click on the links below! You will find fun facts, diagrams, photos, activities, and even the videos of the beloved puppet show!
The theme for the year is Structure and Function.
Our first unit explores Spiders.
The second unit investigates Tremendous Trees.
This third unit compares Predators and Prey!
New! Our fourth unit uncovers Skulls and Teeth!
You can also take a look at this collection of Winter explorations
As of right now, we are postponing our outdoor, socially-distant (but in-person!) lessons. We will let you know when we will resume these gatherings.
Stay tuned for our future lessons:
February - Birds of a Feather
March - Calling All Owls
April - Defenses
May - Bees
Deb & Amanda, Your Four Winds Williston Coordinators
Here are three different visual timelines to the contact tracing that show important dates for cases and close contacts:
test positive but do not have symptoms
close contacts with someone who has tested positive
Social Gathering Q&A from the Health Office
Feb 22-26 - No School / Winter Break
Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break
Child Find Notice
Champlain Valley School District (CVSD) 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.
CVSD 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, (Williston Central/Allen Brook Schools – 878-2762) or the Director of Student Support Services, Meagan Roy at 383-1234 or email@example.com.
Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can now 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.
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.
Monthly Fitness Fun
School Nutrition Program
Monthly Fitness Fun
CVSD School Board
COVID-19 CVSD Links
CVSD School Board
Recreation & Parks Offerings