CVSD Update

May 19, 2021

A Note from Superintendent Pinckney

Dear Friends and Families,

In every school system, in every era (pandemic or not), this time of year always seems like a gearing-up to wind down. There is so much to do before the year ends and so much to do to end the year. Thank you for your part in helping us make it a positive and memorable experience for each and every student.

This issue of the newsletter has many important details about upcoming events, as well as information about summer programming and return to school in the fall. I’m highlighting them here so that you can get a quick view, but please do read the entire newsletter to get the details.

  • Summer Programming - CVSD is providing expanded programming for invited students in all CVSD schools. If you believe your student is in need of this programming but have not received an invitation, please contact your child’s teacher

  • Masking - CVSD follows the VT Department of Health and CDC guidance - ALL individuals must wear masks in school at this time.

  • WEDNESDAY Early Release Days K-8 next year - students will be dismissed one hour early on Wednesdays for staff professional development, team collaboration, and other essential work. This is a change from prior years when the early release was on Tuesdays.

  • K-8 Chromebooks and iPads must be returned to the school by June 10th. (June 16-17 for VLA)

While this year has been challenging, it has also presented us with many opportunities to think about things in different ways. This has resulted in positive changes for CVSD. The summer programming which had always been a local school initiative is now a cross-district collaboration resulting in more and better opportunities for all of our students. The assessment system that was put in place to ensure that we would know where each student was in literacy and math is a much better, more authentic way for us to measure. The focus on social-emotional well-being was always something we cared about and were working on, but working remotely caused us to dig in deeper to find more and better ways to connect with our students and staff. And finally, our Covid Emergency Recovery (Response) Plan provides an excellent mechanism for us to provide specific focus on, and assessment of, social-emotional well-being, student engagement, and academic proficiency. CVSD will be ready to start the new year with renewed energy and enthusiasm for its mission.

Elaine Pinckney

Response Planning and Summer Programming

CVSD Covid Response Planning

In compliance with state requirements for recovery planning, CVSD is in the process of developing plans to address students' needs precipitated by the pandemic-induced disruptions to educational institutions. As part of this planning process, we will be seeking stakeholder feedback from students, caretakers, families, faculty/staff, and others in order to inform the planning process and application of federal funding associated with the district's response plan. We are currently developing mechanisms by which we will seek and gather such input, so please anticipate those opportunities to engage in this process in the coming months.

Summer Programming

An especially immediate component of our recovery planning includes using the upcoming summer as an opportunity for re-engagement, relationship building, and academic programming for students who need it. We realize that for many families, summer is already filled with activities and may include travel or connecting with family and friends. Others may still be looking for opportunities for your children. We are in the process of developing a couple of opportunities and we are partnering with several other local organizations to try to provide a myriad of options for families.

Here are a few details about some of the different programs you may be hearing about:

  • K-8 Academic camp: 8am-12pm, Monday through Thursday, 7/12-8/5

    • This camp is for students who are referred through your local school and you will receive an invite to fill out a registration if your child is referred

    • There will be a large focus on building classroom community, following routines, and some literacy and math instruction

    • The program serves students from all K-8 schools and is located at two sites (Shelburne and Williston).

  • SEL camp: 8am-12pm, Monday through Thursday, 7/12-8/5

    • This camp is for students who receive significant behavioral and social-emotional supports during the school year and are referred by their school

    • There will be a large focus on social-emotional wellness, peer interactions, and self-regulation

    • Students will be from across the CVSD district (Williston, Hinesburg, Charlotte, Shelburne, St George)

  • CVU Workshops: If you have a rising 9th grader, CVU is offering several workshop opportunities

  • Community Summer Opportunities: many of these are being offered in each town and around Vermont. See some of those here on the Vermont Afterschool site.

We have expanded these opportunities for this summer so students who may not have previously been offered summer programming may receive an invite this year. If you aren’t interested, you can let your child's teacher know.

If you ARE interested in one of the school-based opportunities and you haven't heard from your school, please reach out to your child's teacher.

Whatever your plans are this summer, we hope that you find it is full of engagement and connection, and that you are able to take advantage of fleeting sunshine, warm weather, and the growing season we call summer in Vermont!

Questions About Getting Together Socially

We are hearing that there are questions and some confusion about masks, getting together socially, and other gatherings. Cindy Cole, CVSD's Director of Psychological Services, shares some thoughts below.

As the State of Vermont and the United States are opening up after a year or more of lockdown, quarantining, and now post-vaccination (for some), it can be confusing to figure out when it is safe to get together, what safety measures to take, and how to go about having conversations with others about their guidelines and comfort level. Respecting the decisions and guidelines others are following is an important start to the conversation. Before getting together, consider whether the people you are meeting are following the rules of masks, distancing, and hand hygiene? And are they exposed to others who may have Covid or are at high risk if they do contract Covid-19?

Here are some questions typically asked:

  • Is your family comfortable with us getting together to hang out/ride bikes/play ball, etc.?

  • Would we be inside or outside? (safer to continue physically distancing)

  • Will masks be worn? (CDC guidance says that it is safe, however, some establishments and places still require them. It's always best to ask.)

  • How many people will be at the gathering? (small is better and safer)

  • How long will we be together? (best to start with shorter periods of time)

  • Are the adults vaccinated?

We found these talking tips on the Vermont Department of Health's website. They help us think ahead about the questions we might be asking and offer suggestions on how to have these conversations with friends and family before getting together.

Masks Are Still Required in Vermont Schools

With the recent change from the CDC about masks, we wanted to make sure there wasn’t any confusion. All students and adults are still required to wear masks at school and school-sponsored events.

Governor Scott announced that Vermont will be adopting the latest CDC guidance stating that fully vaccinated people can now participate in most indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.

However, there are many exceptions to the guidance and the way it will be applied in Vermont, including in schools. The Vermont Agency of Education stated on Friday that for now, all Vermont schools should continue to follow the masking guidance contained in A Strong and Healthy Year: Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools. This story from WCAX may be helpful; it reminds us that most of our students are still not fully vaccinated..

If there is an update or there are any further changes, we will be sure to let you know.

2021-2022 School Year Calendar

Additional details, like the early release days on Wednesdays, will be added soon.

Early Release Days Shift for the 2021-2022 School Year

Prior to this school year, CVSD released students in our K-8 schools every Tuesday an hour earlier than the usual dismissal time. For the upcoming school year, we will reinstate the early release as part of the regular schedule, however, it will shift to Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays. This time allows for professional development, collaborative teaming, and other important work with our faculty and staff.

Starting with the 2021-2022 school year, K-8 students will be dismissed one hour earlier on Wednesdays. Preschool schedules will be posted. More specific dismissal times will be provided by your schools.

Big picture

The calendar may be slightly different for CVU.

Big picture

From the CVSD DEI Team: (Diversity Equity Inclusion)

Please read our CVSD DEI Team PRIDE statement. It was also read at the last School Board meeting by DEI coach, Katie Bedell. Rep. Taylor Small and Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak made a video message in support with the message "We stand with you!"

Returning Student Devices to School

As the end of the school year approaches, we want to alert families that ALL K-8 school-provided devices - Chromebooks or iPads and their respective charging cords - need to be returned to school by June 10th. Most of these devices, which pre-COVID were always in the buildings, have been going back and forth between school and home, and in some cases, remaining at home, for more than a year. Our industrious IT staff needs to access each and every device to check on the status and condition and provide any needed repairs. Please return all devices, along with the charging cord, to your child’s classroom teacher(s) by June 10th.

If your child attends the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) please return their device and charging cord to their brick and mortar school on June 16 or 17. This was detailed in a recent letter to VLA families.

If your child will be participating in a summer school-based program that requires a Chromebook, one will be provided to them at that time. Other possible device needs for the summer will be determined soon and a check-out system will be in place. Watch for future communications!

Thank you for your help and understanding.

CVSD ReOpening Site

This site has important information about COVID-19 and our schools.

CVSD ParentIN Survey for Parents/Caregivers of Students in Grades 6-12

Parents and caregivers with children in grades 6 - 12 are encouraged to take the 5-minute survey at the link below by the end of May. We want to learn from you. Help us improve resources for CVSD youth and families AND be entered in a raffle to win one of 3 possible $50 grocery store gift card prizes.

CVSD Parent Survey link

More info: ParentIN CVSD is working with the Champlain Valley School District to better understand the perspectives and needs of parents and caregivers of tweens and teens in our district.

Your honest opinions on the questions in the survey are appreciated. Your answers are completely anonymous and will not be used to identify individual respondents in any way.

Results will help us evaluate current programs and plan new ways to support youth and families in our area. If you have any questions about this survey, please reach out to Amy Sayre at or 802-482-6290.

In appreciation of your time, at the end of the survey, you will find a link to be entered into a raffle for a chance to win one of three $50 gift cards to a grocery store of your choice! The contact information you provide for the raffle is kept separate from the survey response and cannot be tied to your survey answers.

Contact Us

Reach out through any of the channels below or use this link in this Contact Us button to access our Help form.

Champlain Valley School District

Serving the communities of Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George, and Williston