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:
Making time for:
Spending time with my teenagers, getting to know them again, joining their world for a little while and laughing with them
Quality time with my partner, including being active together
More time with my "almost-adult" children. I didn't wish this for them, but it was an unexpected treasure as a parent.
Connecting with distance friends more than ever (thank you Zoom)
- Coming to work daily has been my saving grace
- Working throughout the summer in the kitchen gave a sense of helping the whole Williston community.
Learning to make pasta from scratch and it's become a weekly dinner tradition in our household now. Always a win to find a meal all 5 of us enjoy
Learning to bake sourdough bread and finding out how much people appreciate being given a warm loaf with good Irish butter when they need comfort
Getting kayaks and learning about the great kayak spots in Vermont. Turtles, loons, heron, river otters, spectacular mountain vista view, swimming in crystal clear lakes. Seeing things from the water is so different than being on land. It was one heck of a cool summer!
Making time for:
Listening to audiobooks constantly. Instead of the usual genres, opting for fun, fluffy, beach reads to keep thoughts light and happy.
Taking time in nature with my family, really watching the seasons change and being present for it
Hiking and camping and finding treasured spots
Starting the day early with a yummy cup of coffee and a good stare out the window, followed by a great stretch and a walk to ground myself for the day.
More time in nature, walking, skiing, hiking! We are so lucky to live in this beautiful state!
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:
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Seeing people smile with their whole face, not just their eyes
Seeing students’ smiles without masks; it finally feels like this will happen someday!
Opening up windows, letting the outside world back in
Getting back outside
Seeing family again, especially those who live far away
Sharing a meal with friends
Watching live music
I am so looking forward to visiting a bakery and having a pastry and a coffee with someone close to me :-)
Seeing live music and feeling the energy from thousands of fans who love the band as much as you do.
Spending time with grandchildren, both near and far
Giving my father a hug
I look forward to longer days, warmer weather and green grass!
I'm excited for fishing season and to get out on the lake with my daughter, who has become my favorite fishing buddy.
Something I am looking forward to is having meals (indoors!!) with my extended family again.
I am looking forward to music concerts and traveling.
Hugging my grown children and having meals with all of them together
Intra-District K-8 School Choice
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:
(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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you and your families continued good health and happy spring.
Kelly A. Bowen
How to Store and Wash Masks
ABS Library News
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
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.
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
Talking About Race
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.
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.
Questions? Email email@example.com or
Allen Brook School
497 Talcott Road, Williston, VT
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.
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!
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.
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
March 19 - Parent/Teacher Conference / No School
Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break
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.
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