THE SCHOOL BELL

Williston Schools /April 7, 2021

A Message from the Administration

Belonging

by Sarah Crum, director of Student Support Services


One of our most universal human traits is the longing for connectedness. We crave relationships and will go to great lengths to create and maintain them. These relationships fulfill one of our most basic human needs: the need to belong.


During this pandemic, some of us feel we lost our usual ways of connecting and maintaining those relationships. But for many in our community, that feeling of belonging has long been out of reach. As we emerge from this pandemic, we can use this moment to reflect on the environments we previously created and strive to become a better version of ourselves by focusing on inclusion and belonging.


A first step is to treat each other with dignity. Dignity can be defined as “the state or quality of being worthy to belong” (Cobb & Krownapple, 2019). Each of us has dignity because each of us is human. When we build a community with this foundational understanding, we can truly build an inclusive environment. For decades, we have focused on achievement and access as ways to support students in fulfilling their potential. Now it is time for us to also focus on building a culture of belonging. Belonging is “the extent to which people feel appreciated, validated, accepted, and treated fairly within an environment” (Cobb & Krownapple, 2019). When belonging is prioritized, the benefits are vast.


In our quest for belonging, we sometimes mistakenly assume that the things we have in common create a sense of belonging. We focus on finding attributes that are similar, striving towards the same achievement standards, identifying agreed upon values in an effort to build a sense of community that we can identify with, claim as our own. However, inherent in that approach is the formation of criteria that allows some members in and excludes others. By identifying what allows some of us to belong we have inadvertently identified what keeps others out.


As a society, we have an opportunity as we emerge from a year of living in a pandemic. We will need to redefine many of the systems we became accustomed to and re-examine both our priorities as well as our approaches. Rather than shaping individuals to fit into our environment, we want to build an environment that “affirms the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members” (Cobb & Krownapple, 2019). We have the opportunity to join together in our quest to create a positive environment in which all persons are able to thrive and to become the best version of themselves. In order to do this, we must come together around a vision of the world we want to live in. I can’t think of a better time to do this than now, not only because we have already shed many of the common practices we once relied upon, but also because our children deserve it.


This reflection is based on the recent reading of Belonging through a culture of dignity: the keys to successful equity implementation. (2019) by Floyd Cobb and John Krownapple.

ABS - Reminder for Safe Drop Off & Pick Up

We are sending this out again, as we have been getting parent feedback indicating that this routine can at times be a safety concern. Please be sure to do your part during our arrival/dismissal procedures so we can ensure a safe environment.


● Please drop off and pick up your child at their team’s designated location ensuring that you leave space for the other team locations.

● Parents must remain in vehicles for drop-off

● Please arrive between 7:50 and 8:10

● Please drive attentively, slowly, and safely, following directions of school staff

● For safety, all students must exit the passenger side of the vehicle

● Temperature taking will happen once your child enters the school

● Your child must have their mask on when entering the school


Please refer to this map for the correct location to drop off/pick up your student:

Arrival /Dismissal Map / Diagram

ABS Library - Red Clover Winner

And the Vermont Red Clover 2021 winner for Allen Brook School is...Crab Cabe: Turning the Tide Together by Andrea Tsurumi! Thank you for reading our 10 nominated picture books together.

https://sites.google.com/cvsdvt.org/abs-library/red-clover-book-award

WCS Employment Opportunities

Williston Families,

We currently have a need for additional staff to help support our students now that we have them all back to 4 days a week of in-person learning at Williston Central. The position will start immediately and run through the end of the school year. The pay rate is $15/hr.


Classroom Monitor: This position involves monitoring 3 essential art music classes while the teacher instructs the class remotely on M,T,Th, F between 9:00 and 12:00 each day.


Lunch/Recess Aid: We have several lunch/recess blocks between 10:45 and 1:30 on M, T, Th, F. This position involves being part of a supervision team that oversees the lunch recess periods for each house. Days and times can be flexible depending on your schedule.


If you are interested in either of the two positions, please contact Greg Marino, at gmarino@cvsdvt.org

Big picture

Hello Rad Jazz Cats, Epic Humans, and Snickerdoodles!

The ABS Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Committee is supporting staff and students in the use of gender-neutral language. In the Williston Schools, we believe that it is important to use language that is both inclusive and affirmative. In calling a group of students "boys and girls" or "guys," we are speaking to them based on assumed gender identity. In many instances, we may not know an individual's gender identity nor the gender identity of everyone in the group. Our goal is to be increasingly mindful about the words we choose when addressing groups of people, especially our students. See below for examples of some inclusive language featured on our "Bee Inclusive" bulletin board.

Superintendent and Director of DEI Search Updates

The searches for both our new Superintendent and the CVSD Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are well underway. We have updated both headlines on the District's website to provide information about the process and current status.

Superintendent Search

Director of DEI Search

Stay tuned for more information as each process reaches its conclusion.

Education Law Workshop for Families of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Students

April 17, 2021 3-5pm via Zoom


Are you the parent of a D/deaf, hard of hearing or DeafBlind school-aged child in Vermont? Have you ever wondered what your child’s school is required to provide by law? Does your child qualify for compensatory (make-up) services due to COVID?


Join Vermont Hands & Voices on Saturday, April 17th from 3pm – 5pm for this free workshop via Zoom to discuss these questions and more. Rachel Seelig, Disability Law Project Staff Attorney, Vermont Legal Aid, will be providing information on the educational impacts of COVID, ADA Title II’s effective communication mandate, and other information pertinent to a D/deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind child’s education. This workshop is focused on parents and families of school-aged children 3-22 years old, but professionals are welcome to attend. ASL interpretation will be provided, and CART can be arranged if requested ahead of time. Pre-registration is required at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9YCHY78 .


Do you have specific questions you'd like answered? You can submit your questions on the registration form if you register by April 12. If time allows, we will have a Q&A time at the end of the workshop.

Meet and Greet for incoming Kindergarten students

We are looking forward to welcoming incoming kindergarten families into our school community.

Despite the pandemic and current state guidelines that have impacted some of our traditional kindergarten transition events, we are excited to to offer a Meet and Greet for incoming kindergarten students. See details and links below.

EVENT: Meet and Greet for incoming K students

WHEN: Weds, April 14 OR Weds, April 28

TIME: 45 minute time slots offered between 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Allen Brook School

WHAT TO EXPECT: Parents will be guided toward our large outdoor tent to meet with Principal Angela Filion to learn about Allen Brook School and have questions answered. The children will be welcomed and escorted into the school to visit a kindergarten classroom where they will listen to a story and participate in some fun activities. Due to COVID parents and guardians are not permitted in the building this year.

Click here to Sign Up for a Meet and Greet time slot

Click here to submit questions (Any and all questions are encouraged...if you're thinking about it, chances are someone else is too!)

We look forward to seeing you at Allen Brook School in the coming weeks.


Kindergarten Registration

Do you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, 2021?

Kindergarten Registration for Fall, 2021 is underway at Allen Brook School.

Please submit registration paperwork, (preferably printed double sided) including proof of residency, birth certificate and immunization record.


Questions? Email absfrontoffice@cvsdvt.org or call 802-871-6200

ParentIN Resource

Amy Sayre is a SAP counselor and ParentIN coordinator for CVSD. She is available online on Wednesday evenings from 7-8 pm to help support parents.


If you have a child who is experiencing anxiety, depression or other social and emotional challenges, Amy will be on hand to offer her support and guidance and be armed with useful resources in the community if you need/want them.


You can pop in for a quick question or to chat through a situation. Amy would love to try to help!

Here is the link to join: meet.google.com/qvq-nwzz-hfm

Intra-District K-8 School Choice

Children entering grades K-8 who live in the towns of Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George and Williston may exercise school choice. Our goal is to both allow options for families and also make balanced class sizes to provide a positive learning environment for all of our children. Processes for intra-district choice of school will be guided by the needs of students, space availability, and existing resources. Given this, we will work to meet as many families’ needs as possible. Guidelines and Application
Big picture

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, and INCLUSION

From our Williston Schools Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coaches, Cara Clopton and Ryan Batche:

In the Williston Schools we believe that the work for racial equity and justice needs to be ongoing and continuous and cannot be limited to individual lessons or actions during a particular time of the school year. We offer these resources for families and caregivers to support the engagement in conversations about racial equity in your homes.


10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids about Race

https://www.embracerace.org/resources/teaching-and-talking-to-kids


Talking About Race

https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race

ABS Library News

Hello Sunshines!

Has YOUR super reader chatted with you about RED CLOVER picture books? Each spring every ABS child hears 10 new picture books during library lesson time, then gets to vote in APRIL for their favorite one. Kids all across VERMONT participate, too! I wonder which author and illustrator will win THIS school year?


You can listen to Mrs. Clopton read aloud these books here: https://sites.google.com/cvsdvt.org/abs-library/red-clover-book-award

Food Benefit Program for Families

Every enrolled student who qualifies for free/reduced meals is also entitled to an additional $60 - $100 per child per month - retroactive to September.

Many families who did not qualify for free and reduced meals last year may qualify this year due to a change in family circumstances. Because meals are free for everyone, you may not have completed the application. In order to get this additional benefit, you will need to apply now.

Families who were qualified last year are automatically enrolled. You do not need to do anything but are being asked to check the 'head of household" name and address so the electronic-benefit-card gets delivered to the right person/house.
Please see this letter for additional information. If you need assistance applying, look for the contact information in the letter or contact your school.

Reminders from the Health Office:

What Families Need to Know About Gatherings

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.

Big picture

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.

ABS Library website

Reading is an Investment

Four Winds

Hello Spring Scientists!

How are you doing? We would LOVE to hear from you! PLEASE take a moment to fill out our Mid-Year Check-in Survey.


Spring is here! Are you hearing birds and owls outside? Take a look at the latest Four Winds from Home Presentation - Calling All Owls! Just click the link!


If you missed the previous lessons, check them out! They are full of fun facts, photos, hands-on activities, games, read alouds, science show episodes, and even the videos of the beloved PUPPET SHOW! Pick and choose the activities that are right for you!


Unit 1: Spiders

Unit 2: Tremendous Trees.

Unit 3: Predators and Prey

Unit 4: Skulls and Teeth

Unit 5: Birds of a Feather

Unit 6: Calling All Owls

Bonus: Winter Exploration Ideas

The theme for the year is Structure and Function.


Stay tuned for our future lessons on Defenses and 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

Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

Hybrid Learning Website

Hybrid Learning Schedules, Tech Support info and more

Upcoming Events

April 5 - 7th and 8th grades return to school 4 days/week

April 14 - Fall Kindergarten Meet & Greet

Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break

April 28 - Fall Kindergarten Meet & Greet

ABS Arrival and Dismissal Time

Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can 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.

April Menu