Williston Schools / February 3, 2021

A Message from the Administration

What Kids Can Do

by Sarah Crum, director of Student Support Services

Some kids can dance; they have rhythm and beat and can move in ways that make you want to jump right in. Some kids can sing and when they share their song, you wonder how anything so breathtaking is made. Some kids can make anyone they encounter feel as though they belong in that place at that time. Some kids can see patterns and build structures out of tiny little Legos that show they not only must have seen the final masterpiece but also must have known all the moves it would take to get there. Kids laugh and play, they adjust and grow, they make connections and categorize. When they need to, kids can stand strong and they can bend.

Schools have always made an effort to report out on student skill development using decades of research and local collaboration to determine what is formally assessed. We have identified what we believe to be the important and transferable skills that kids can do. And I think we can all admit that those items, while important, never tell the whole story. This year, that is especially true.

If we think about how much our students have grown compared to where they were this time last year, I know there isn’t a tool that could capture the breadth of their learning: they can manage a “work day” from their home, they’ve mastered new technology, they manage their time, they can identify how they are feeling. They wear masks and have learned to adjust communication so they can still ask questions and connect with others even though it is harder to read people’s expressions. They follow cleaning protocols and wash their hands exhaustively; they know how long 20 seconds is. They learned to learn music, art and PE right in their regular classrooms, they can pivot between live in person instruction and remote learning on a dime. They still need and follow routines but they relearned every routine they ever knew about school. They learned when they needed a break and how to ask a question when there wasn’t someone standing right there. They have persevered during a time of considerable loss.

These skills kids have developed in this unprecedented time may not be reflected in their entirety on the report cards that come home. We have not developed assessments that measure how to live in a world with great social and political unrest while simultaneously enduring a global pandemic. They aren’t behind, it is a different experience and capturing that will require us to assess differently. We do this by meeting the children in front of us and listening to what they have to say and I see our teachers doing that everyday. Each day that our students arrive at school, I am continually amazed but what they can do. They are resilient and responsive and they have learned to navigate life in this uncertain world. These were not skills written on our traditional report cards. But those skills will forever be reflected in what this generation of kids can and will do when they face the world in front of them.

Reminders from the Health Office:

What Families Need to Know About Gatherings

8th Grade Student & Parent Night



To 8th Grade Parents and Students of the Class of 2025

Join us virtually for

8th Grade Student & Parent Night

Champlain Valley Union High School

Online Thursday, February 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Hosted by Principal Adam Bunting

and the CVU Student Council

This evening will provide you and your child an introduction to the academic and elective programs they will experience in the 9th grade.

We’ll be live at:

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Local Pediatrician: Stay Strong!

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Christmas day my husband, children and I gathered with my parents, who live locally. A week later, on Saturday January 2nd, we all underwent COVID testing as recommended by the Vermont Department of Health. I was impressed to receive our negative results within 36 hours and woke my children on Monday morning to tell them they could go back to school. They were so excited that it felt like Christmas morning again.

I feel so lucky to live here in Vermont where I continue to feel safe sending my three children to school and childcare. Despite rising numbers of COVID cases our schools and childcares continue to be one of the safest places in our community. Yes, transmission within a school setting has been seen, but it has been minimal and there is little evidence that schools contribute meaningfully to community spread. This is because the safety protocols in place are effective. It is also due to an incredible amount of work on the part of the entire school and childcare administration, teachers and staff. They are burning the midnight oil, and beyond, to keep our children safe.

If schools and childcare are not the risk then how are children getting COVID? Many pediatric cases are acquired from infected adults in the home. Other known risks are family gatherings, travel out of state, sleepovers, birthday parties and indoor playdates. We feel safe with people we know, we take off our masks and let down our guard. Knowing this risk we must limit these activities to protect ourselves and protect those educating and caring for our children.

There is hope on the pandemic horizon. There are two vaccines available that are safe and effective. As a physician, I feel grateful to have been vaccinated and I desperately want everyone to have access to the COVID vaccine as soon as possible, though the supply of vaccine is limited at this time. Vermont has announced the decision to distribute COVID vaccine based on age groupings and I can imagine this was devastating news to those working in schools and childcare centers. The American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter is actively advocating that school and childcare staff be prioritized for the vaccine and we will continue to do this advocacy.

At this time of intense COVID fatigue, we must continue to make sacrifices to protect our community until the vaccine is available to all. Continue to wear your mask, socially distance, and avoid crowded places. If you gather with anyone out of your household, travel out of state, or have any symptoms of COVID, please stay home and arrange testing. If you or your family member gets COVID please follow the Vermont Department of Health testing and quarantine guidelines to reduce its transmission. We must continue to do our part to prevent the spread of this disease. Our community, schools, childcare centers and children are counting on you. We’ve got this.

Thank you,

Leah Costello, MD FAAP

Timber Lane Pediatrics

Penguin Plunge 2021

This year’s Penguin Plunge is going to look a little different. We invite all students, parents, guardians, and staff members to join our efforts by either taking the icy challenge or making a donation to support our brave plungers.

Last year, our 46 fearless plungers raised over $17,000 – placing us second amongst other schools across the state. Ironically, CVU took first! Our goal this year is to raise $25,000.

The Penguin Plunge is a Special Olympics event that supports sports training and competitions, health screenings, and leadership opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

These fundraising efforts also support our very own Unified Sports Teams. Last year our Unified Bowling Team proudly represented Williston, bringing home two bronze medals, four silver medals, and three gold medals from the Champion Schools Bowling tournament in Barre.

If you’re interested in taking the challenge or making a donation, please click here Questions can be directed to Ashley Sutton – Ashley is a Special Educator at WCS and co-coaches our Unified Sports team.

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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 by February 12, 2021.

Questions? Email or

call 802-871-6200

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.

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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.

CVSD Early Ed Preschool Lottery

Champlain Valley School District School-Based Early Education Programs Preschool Lottery is coming soon!

The CVSD School-based Early Education Programs are now accepting applications for a random preschool lottery drawing for the 2021-22 school year. Our part-time, partial days, preschool classrooms are 5 STARs, licensed early education programs that provide play-based, developmentally appropriate environments for all children in an inclusive setting. Our curriculum is based on the Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) and Teaching Strategies Gold. We believe that a diverse classroom offers opportunities for adults and children to practice acceptance and compassion and also provides a broad range of learning experiences.

Our programs closely follow the CVSD school calendar. Students who will be age 3 or older by September 1, 2021, but not yet 5 years old, are eligible to enter the lottery for our programs.

All applications must be received by February 5, 2021. You can download an application here: Early Education Lottery Application. More information is available on our CVSD Early Education Website also. Students will be selected via a lottery and families notified in early March.
ABS Library website

Reading is an Investment

Extra Masks, Winter Clothing

With the colder weather, having the right clothes for recess and outdoor learning is necessary. Please ensure your children come to school with jackets, gloves, hats, snow pants and boots .

A big reminder to parents to send in an extra mask because masks are getting wet at recess.

In addition, we hope families can ensure all students have a spare set of clean, dry clothes at school, as we are not able to share clothing safely this year.

Four Winds

Hello Scientists! We hope you and your family are well and enjoying the snow! Our January Four Winds Presentation on SKULLS is complete and ready for you to enjoy! Just click on the link!

FWNI has also provided a collection of Winter exploration ideas for your family, students or classes to try. Hopefully it will inspire everyone to put on winter gear and head outside to discover the beauty of nature in winter!

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 third unit compares Predators and Prey!

New! Our fourth unit uncovers Skulls and Teeth!

You can also take a look at this collection of Winter explorations

As of right now, we are postponing our outdoor, socially-distant (but in-person!) lessons. We will let you know when we will resume these gatherings.

Stay tuned for our future lessons:

February - Birds of a Feather

March - Calling All Owls

April - Defenses

May - 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

Feb 1-12 - Kindergarten Registration (registration paperwork)

Feb 11 - CVU 8th Grade Student/Parent Night 6:30-7:30 (

Feb 22-26 - No School / Winter Break

March 1 - CVSD School Meeting, 5 pm zoom Details: Meeting ID: 989 3602 5245 Phone Participation: 1-646-876-9923 Passcode: 528121

Passcode: cvsd11

Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break

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.

February Menu