THE SCHOOL BELL

Williston Schools / March 10, 2021

A Message from the Administration

The things we cherish and the things we long for

by Director of Student Support Services, Sarah Crum


Winters in Vermont can feel like they may never end, even for those of us who love cozying up next to the fire with a good book or braving the elements for that powder ski day! There is a point when you just can’t quite remember what solid ground looks like. As we come upon the year benchmark for Covid-19 in Vermont and its impact on our lives (for each of us that date may be a little different, for me it is March 8th, schools shut down starting March 18th), it certainly feels like it has been a long time since we have stood on solid ground. But just when I begin to doubt my footing, I notice the days are markedly longer, the bird song is becoming more prevalent, and the edges of the snow banks are softening a little more each day.


In the winter, I give myself permission to slow down, become more quiet, take on less. The days are too short, the weather too brutal, the energy too precious to spend. An hour outside snowshoeing, sledding, building forts can feel like a full day and only warm baths and copious amounts of hot chocolate can re-energize you. We tend to hunker down, look within and occupy ourselves with things that help us pass the time through these fallow months.


If this sounds familiar, you are in good company. I did a quick survey of our school community to find out what things folks tapped into to keep them going through both the actual winter and this wintering pandemic we have all been in. There seemed to be three main categories: Finding ways to connect, learning new things, and making time for things that are important to us:

And then, with the first hints of spring, we are suddenly re-energized. Now begins a time that is hopeful and anticipatory. We start making plans and imagining what we will do when three feet of snow no longer block the way. Being able to look forward is a key element to supporting our mental health. It allows us to imagine the world we want to be living in, set goals, and find purpose in our lives. Looking forward can be for momentous life changes or for the little things we experience each day. Overwhelmingly, it seems people are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends in person, but here are their words:

I hope this list of things to cherish can help you remember something worth holding onto from this long winter. And if you hadn’t picked something to look forward to, hopefully there is something in this list that will resonate with you and keep you hopeful for things to come.

_________________________________________

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

WCS 5-8 graders create online read-alouds for Williston K-4 graders!

If you have a young Williston student at home who would like to listen to a picture book read by a Williston middle school student, visit:

https://sites.google.com/cvsdvt.org/readalouds/home


(For student privacy and copyright, these read alouds are on a CVSD access-only site. Students and staff with a cvsdvt.org email can login to hear the read alouds.)


Williston middle school students have been busy creating read-alouds for Williston K-4th graders in Library Essential Arts classes! Using only a chromebook, a picture book, and headphones, 5-8 students have:

  • photographed picture book pages with their chromebooks;
  • edited the photos & put them in a Google slideshow;
  • used Screencastify to capture their slideshow and audio reading the book;
  • edited the screen capture and uploaded the video to a Google site;
  • made an origami invitation to a Williston K-4 class to listen to their audiobook.

Listen to a favorite picture book anytime, read by a Williston middle school student!

Dear CVSD Community members and voters,

A heartfelt thank you for your continued support of the Champlain Valley School District’s students and schools. The CVSD FY22 Budget passed overwhelmingly. In this year, a year that has tested the creativity, patience, and tenacity of each and every one of us, the community came together in support of public education.


As the CVSD Board moves out of the planning and development phase of the budget cycle and into the implementation, rest assured the Administration and the Board are committed to increasing in-person learning.


While the voting process for this year is complete, I welcome you to continue to engage with us each month at the CVSD monthly board meeting. Meeting details, ZOOM log-in, and agendas can be found: https://www.cvsdvt.org/Page/604 or reach out to me: kbowen@cvsdvt.org.


Wishing you and your families continued good health and happy spring.

Kindly,

Kelly A. Bowen

How to Store and Wash Masks

Store your cloth mask properly and wash it regularly to keep it clean. Consider having more than one mask on hand so that you can easily replace a dirty mask with a clean one. Make sure to remove your mask correctly and wash your hands after touching a used mask.

Read More

Big picture

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

ABS Library Seeking Reusable Bags

Do you happen to have any spare reusable shopping bags to donate for our school library? We would LOVE your help! Kids tote their library books to and from homes each week, and ours are a bit worse for wear.


ABS LIBRARY MOTTO: No limits, no fees, no fines. Curiosity is Welcomed Here!

Part 2 Summer Camps 2021 - Information

New Food Benefit Program for Families

We are excited to share a new food benefit program with families. An email went out about this on Monday, February 8. We wanted to reach out in school newsletters as well to help inform families about this opportunity.

  • There is no change to the current free breakfast and lunch for everyone 18 and younger. No action is necessary to continue to get free meals.
  • 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.

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

Reminders from the Health Office:

What Families Need to Know About Gatherings

Allen Brook School Morning Arrival Time Reminder

This message is for families who drop off their students at Allen Brook School in the mornings:

Thank you for adhering to our morning arrival time window, which is 7:50 am to 8:10 am.

Students should arrive at or after 7:50 am.

This allows time for school buses to depart and staff scheduled to assist with student arrival to be in place.

In the hopefully rare occasion a student arrives before 7:50 or after 8:10, they should enter school via the front doors and stop in the office to have their temperature taken.

We appreciate your efforts to arrive during the scheduled time.

We also appreciate our staff for enduring the weather and ensuring student safety during the morning drop off.

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

Allen Brook School

497 Talcott Road, Williston, VT

802-871-6200

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.

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.

Click here for a list of designated stops.

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.

ABS Library website

Reading is an Investment

Four Winds

Hello Curious Scientists!


How are you doing? We would love to hear how Four Winds presentations are going this year. Please take a quick moment to fill out our Mid-Year Check-in Survey.


We may have a couple more weeks of winter, but there is still a lot to do outside!

Take a look at the latest Four Winds Presentation on Birds of a Feather! Just click the link!


If you are looking for something to do over the February staycation, try some of these amazing units! Click on the links below to find fun facts, photos, hands-on activities, games, read alouds, science episodes, and even the videos of the beloved puppet show! Enjoy!


Unit 1: Spiders

Unit 2: Tremendous Trees.

Unit 3: Predators and Prey

Unit 4: Skulls and Teeth

Unit 5: Birds of a Feather

Bonus: Winter Exploration Ideas

The theme for the year is Structure and Function.


Stay tuned for our future lessons on Owls, 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

March 19 - Parent/Teacher Conference / No School


Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break

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.

March Menu