THE SCHOOL BELL

Williston Schools /November 11, 2020

A Message from the Administration

by Allen Brook School Principal Angela Filion
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"Gratitude-the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness."

I have been thinking about this word A LOT lately! Last year around this time I wrote a short segment on gratitude, and I have realized that what I am grateful for has significantly changed in a year's time.


I am grateful to be serving the Williston community and the Allen Brook School in person. I am grateful that we are in one of the safest places in the world right now. I am thankful to see and hear kids learning and playing together each day. I am grateful that myself and my family is healthy and thriving. I am thankful for everyone's patience and flexibility as we navigate circumstances we have never had to work through before. I am grateful for this amazing weather we have been having so we can be outside breathing fresh air.


I did a little research to find out the benefits of having gratitude and came across a study done by two psychologists/professors from Indiana University. Joshua Brown and Joel Wong found indications of how gratitude might work on our minds and bodies. In this study they had some participants focus on writing gratitude letters (click the link to learn more). Here are some insights from their research suggesting the psychological benefits of expressing gratitude.


They found that writing gratitude letters produces better mental health by shifting a person's attention away from toxic emotions. When you write about how grateful you are it becomes harder for you to ruminate on your negative experiences. if you decide to write a letter of gratitude to someone, but you’re unsure whether you want that person to read the letter, write it anyway. You can decide later whether to send it. The act of writing the letter can help you appreciate the people in your life and shift your focus away from negative feelings and thoughts. If you participate in a gratitude writing activity, you may not feel the benefits from it right away. Be patient and remember that the benefits of gratitude might take time.


Gratitude letter writers showed greater activity in the medial prefrontal cortex when they experienced gratitude. This bit of research was interesting to me as it was found three months after the letter writing began in the study. This indicates that expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. This suggests that practicing gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line, and this could contribute to improved mental health over time. Want to learn more? Take this gratitude quiz and try these gratitude practices! It may be fun to spend some time over the Thanksgiving break to write gratitude letters with your children and send them to loved ones if you aren't able to see them over the holidays. Happy Writing!

Read previous posts

Important info about Thanksgiving Week Meals

Meals are FREE for all children 18 and under. There will be one meal distribution Thanksgiving Week on Monday 11/23 from CCS, HCS, SCS, and WCS. CVU students can pick up meals from any of the K-8 schools. We will be sending out three days of meals which you can order starting at 11:00 AM Friday 11/13 through 8:00 AM on Monday 11/23. Here is the link to the CVSD Food Services Page where you can order meals from your local K-8 school. The pick-up window is expanded to 10:00 - 11:00 AM on Monday 11/23 only. Delivery is available thanks to many volunteers from Williston and Hinesburg School staff and the Rotary Club of Shelburne, Charlotte, and Hinesburg.


We hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Your CVSD Nutrition Services team

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Allen Brook School's First Annual T-Shirt Design Contest

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School Following Thanksgiving Break

The School District is aware that there has been a great deal of speculation, rumor, and on-line discussion in our community and around the State about the status of schools immediately following the Thanksgiving break. We want Williston families to know that at this time, CVSD has no plans to preemptively close or declare remote schooling for the days and weeks following the Thanksgiving break. With this in mind, families should expect that school routines will be maintained throughout this period for the benefit of all of our learners. Of course, as this pandemic has required since its inception, we will continue our work to be prepared for every contingency as we have learned how quickly things can change.


For those considering plans to travel outside of Vermont, please be aware that there are new travel restrictions put in place by Governor Scott that would require you to quarantine for up to 14 days upon your return to Vermont (see below). We encourage families to reference the travel guidance on the VT DOH website. Obviously, we all need to work together to help keep our schools open and safe for in-person learning.

From the Vermont Dept. of Health

TRAVELERS MUST QUARANTINE

Non-essential travel to and from Vermont now requires quarantine.


The State of Vermont has suspended its leisure travel map and implemented a mandatory quarantine for anyone returning or traveling to Vermont. Learn more about the changes(link is external).

If you travel out of Vermont whether for a day trip or longer, there are quarantine requirements. You must quarantine in Vermont when you return for 14 days. If you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19, you also have the option to seek a PCR test on or after Day 7 to end quarantine early with a negative result.

If you are visiting outside Vermont for a longer period, and you will travel back to Vermont in a personal vehicle (including a rental vehicle or private plane), you may complete either a 14-day quarantine or if you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative PCR test in the state where you are visiting. Continue to quarantine from when you receive your test result until you travel to Vermont. You may then enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions.

Vermonters must follow travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for the states they plan to visit.

Learn more about quarantine and see tips about quarantining when you share a home.

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PCR Testing Sites

There are quarantine requirements in order for your student to return to in-person learning.

Only PCR testing can be used to test out of quarantine, rapid testing results will not be accepted. Please see below for a list of available testing sites.


  • Your local Kinney Drugs:

    • Shelburne: 802-985-0008

    • Hinesurg: 802-482-4886

    • Burlington: 802-864-8154

    • Essex Junction: 802-878-5351


  • ClearChoiceMD South Burlington: 802-448-8205

  • UVM Drive thru at Fanny Allen: 802-847-5440

  • Your student’s Pediatrician’s office can be contacted for further advice


If you have further questions or would like more information regarding travel/quarantine requirements, please call the Vermont Department of Health: 802-863-7240. You can also contact your child’s school nurse. Thank you for your help in keeping our schools open and our school communities safe and healthy.


Williston Central School Health Office

802-871-6170


Allen Brook School Health Office

802-871-6248

Physical Education Weather Reminder

As the weather changes and gets colder, we want to remind families that the Physical Education staff is planning to be outside with PE classes as a first priority. PLEASE DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE TEMPERATURE AND CONDITIONS... (jackets, hats, gloves, etc).


We recommend bringing in or keeping a few extra pairs of socks, gloves, or mittens in a cubby or backpack. Additional layers (snow pants or boots) would be acceptable for PE if needed. If younger students need snow pants for recess, they should wear snow pants to PE. Fresh air and movement is good for us all; let's be safe and prepared for the weather!


- Cathy Kohlasch, Lynn McClintock, Dustin King, Lyn Porter

Williston Community Food Shelf

The Williston Food Shelf is hosting their annual "Turkey Drive" on Saturday, November 21 from 8 - 11 am at the Food Shelf (400 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 130, behind the Williston Coffee Shop).


Turkeys and gift cards can be dropped off on Saturday, Nov. 21. Gift cards can be mailed to the Williston Community Food Shelf, P.O. Box 1605, Williston, VT 05495.

Your kindness is appreciated.

VISION SCREENING FOR STUDENTS

Health Offices at WCS and ABS are starting to test students’ vision next week. Vermont schools are required by the State to test students’ vision in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th grades.

Contactless vision photoscreening will be done through the Lions KidSight program on November 9th and 12th (ABS) and November 10th and 13th (WCS).

Vermont Lions KidSight program uses a photoscreening digital device called a SPOT to objectively check for vision problems. The photoscreener is like a large camera. It takes a picture of your child’s eyes. With that and the measurements obtained from the images, SPOT can detect a number of potential eye conditions.

If we find a problem, we will send you a referral letter. If your child’s SPOT results form states “Complete Eye Exam Recommended” at the top right of the page, it is a referral and we recommend that your child visit an eye care professional.


Please, contact the Health Office at your child’s school for more information or if you have any questions.


Part 2 November Vacation Camp

Part 2 will be open for November Vacation Camp on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th, 7:30AM - 4:00 PM for both school-aged and early years students. Due to decreased enrollment this year, we need to consolidate our school-aged offerings to Allen Brook School (Williston), Hinesburg Community School, Richmond Elementary School, and Union Elementary School (Montpelier). Early years students are able to register at RES. All Part 2 students are eligible to participate in our vacation camp and you can choose which site works best for your family.

In order to run all of the sites listed above, we need to have at least 15 students sign up for each site. Based on previous years’ enrollments, we are fairly certain we will exceed this threshold, but wanted you to be aware if enrollment is low, we will need to do a further consolidation of sites we are able to offer.

Registration will be closing on Friday, November 13th at midnight. After Nov. 13th, your tuition will be non-refundable. Sign-ups after registration closes on the 13th will be based on availability and there will be an additional cost.

During these times of uncertainty, it remains our goal to provide high-quality child care that also gives a space for your children to have FUN! Due to the many complexities and new regulations that COVID brings, we will be staying at school during vacation camp instead of going on field trips.

Click HERE FOR THE LINK to sign up for both school-aged and early years. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to provide some options for necessary child care. As always please feel free to reach out with any and all questions.

Four Winds

We would encourage you to take a look at the amazing Four Winds presentations and try some of the hands-on activities whether you are at school or at home!


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 time we are comparing Predators and Prey!


We will also offer an outdoor, socially-distant (but in-person!) lesson, including the puppet show and related activities, at ABS once a month on a Wednesday at 10:30am.


See the dates below if you are interested in joining us!

12/9 - Predators & Prey

1/27 - Skulls

2/17 - Birds of a Feather

3/17 - Calling All Owls

4/21 - Defenses

5/19 - 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

Visit the Williston Four Winds Blog

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.

**Students who live on or off Rt. 2 (Williston Rd) east of the 4-way intersection at the Federated Church should be picked up from school, as the bus will not drive toward French Hill in bad weather.

Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

Hybrid Learning Website

Hybrid Learning Schedules, Tech Support info and more

Upcoming Events

Nov. 9 & 12 - Vision Screening at ABS

Nov. 10 & 13 - Vision Screening at WCS

Nov. 17 - Budget Meeting

Nov 23-27 - No School / Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 1- Budget Meeting

Dec. 15 - Budget Meeting

Dec 23-Jan 1 - No School / Early Winter 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 mroy@cvsdvt.org.

ABS Arrival and Dismissal Time

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.

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.

November Menu

School Handbook

The school handbook for 20-21 is under construction.