Williston School District /January 20, 2016

A Message from the WSD Administration

When Helping Hurts

by John Terko, ABS Principal

David Cutler, a high school history teacher, writes, "It’s never easy seeing a child experience distress, but well-meaning adults too quickly and too often rush to the rescue. There are times to intervene, but we must be more judicious in knowing when to let a child cope with failure on his/her own. Otherwise, we will raise a risk-averse generation whose members lack resilience and the crucial ability to rebound from failure."

It’s important for children to learn merely for the sake of learning, which includes the healthy sense of fulfillment that comes with acquiring skills and knowledge. If we as adults incentivize learning and performance with promises of a new video game, clothes and cars, we may be conditioning a child to expect something in return for their learning achievements. Perhaps this comes from an overemphasis in our culture on grades as the measure of achievement, rather than celebrating new learning and investigations and struggles that students work through along the way. What we want is a society that focuses on growth and maturity as we work our way through life’s ups and downs.

No adult wants to see a child paralyzed by stress and anxiety. Those are powerful emotions, which if unchecked can sometimes lead to an array of larger health issues. However, at times, adults can be overly eager to mitigate unease rather than let the child rise above their own self-doubt. Unfortunately, the world at large is neither as compassionate nor understanding, and we must be cautious about demonizing stress and anxiety that, in healthy amounts, assist not only with productivity, but also with the larger learning process.

We need to love and care for our children as they continue to learn how life works. As much as it pains us to see some children struggle, often the best thing we can do for them is understand the situation and let them work through it. Otherwise, they will constantly rely on support in college and in the workplace, where a lack of confidence and self-reliance might hinder success.

Cutler, David. "When Helping Hurts." Edutopia. George Lucas Educational Foundation, 12 Jan. 2016. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.


Thanks to grants from the National Endowment for the Arts & the Vermont Arts Council and our Families as Partners, we are very excited to have teaching artist, Gowri Savoor ( ), leading us in lantern making workshops from Feb 1st through the 10th. Each Kindergarten through 2nd grade child will construct a paper or vellum lantern geared towards his/her age. Then, we will have a short lantern parade for children and families followed by cider, cocoa and cookies on Wed. Feb.10th; rain or shine but hoping for a bit of snow on the ground. Our theme for this celebration is “Winter’s Peace”. To engage the children in visions of winter, we will be reading Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner with art by Christopher Silas Neal. Leading up to the residency, our art projects will be inspired by this and other books. Kindergartners are already focusing on winter while creating their clay snowmen. Anything that you can do at home to help your child to become observant of characteristics particular to winter will help them form ideas for surface decorations on their lanterns. Continue reading...


Click here for the FAP home page and meeting minutes.

Follow us on Facebook at:

Questions? Email or visit the school webpage and find us on the quick links.

BIG BASKET Raffle Fundraiser - APRIL 2, 2016

The Big Basket Raffle and Silent Auction is the Williston school district’s largest community fundraising event of the year, bringing in between $7,500 and $10,000 each year for educational programs. Between 50 and 60 themed baskets are prepared for this event and 25+ other items are bid on at the Silent Auction table. Several hundred people attend each year. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2016.

Area Businesses: We start with asking our Basket Raffle Planning Committee members to outreach area businesses for donations (merchandise or gift certificates). The donations are for the various themed baskets or for the Silent Auction table. Over 80 area businesses helped last year. This is not anything that anyone else needs to help with, just those on our Planning Committee. If you have some suggestions for this, please send an e-mail to

Family Contributions: Families purchase items for the themed baskets that are in classrooms. Each classroom teacher receives a basket with a theme. Baskets are placed in each classroom for 3 to 4 weeks. Then everything is collected and volunteers assemble everything into beautiful baskets for the raffle. We are going to place the baskets in classrooms right after February break.

Volunteer Hours: This event requires the assistance of lots of volunteers beyond just those on the planning committee. We will create a sign-up link and start circulating that next month. Support is needed for creating and wrapping the baskets, setting up the gym and cafeteria, bringing in desserts and beverages, selling raffle tickets at the event, and cleaning up after the event. Please consider volunteering!!!

Empty Baskets: Lastly, if you were one of last year’s lucky basket winners and want to donate the empty basket back to school for us to use again this year, please drop that off in the Main Office of either Allen Brook School or Williston Central School. Thank you so much.

Committee Members: Becca Ashford, Emily Ponce Downing, Mary Jo Dubois, Sarah Francisco, Dana Hark, Ben Leonard, Karen Maklad, Carrie Murray, Lyn Porter, Amber Rich, Wendy Ruggles, Lori Saladino, Debbie Underhill, Shani Varricchione, Karen Wyman

Williston Runs for Education

**Save the Date**

Saturday May 14, 2016

Currently Seeking Event Sponsors

Lots of sponsorship opportunities available!

For more information please contact

Sue Scheer at

Visit our website

Like us on Facebook

Juvenile Sexting and Disorderly Conduct via Electronic Means

A Panel Discussion and Presentation for Parents

Sponsored by the Williston Central School and the Williston Community Justice Center

When: Thursday January 28, 2016

6:00-8:00 pm

At the Williston Central School Auditorium

Click here for more information.

ABS PBIS Swarm Celebration

Our Next PBIS Swarm Celebration is a Schoolwide Mismatch Day!

Friday, January 29th

Encourage your children to wear mismatched clothes to school on mismatch day! Stripes with polka dots, clashing colors, plaid with flowers, mismatched socks or name it!
Have fun helping your kids pick out their outfits!

3rd/4th Grade Chorus Concerts

The 3rd/4th grade chorus concerts will be on

Wednesday, February 3rd at

2:00pm and 6:30pm in the WCS auditorium.

The musicians are required to wear concert attire* for both concerts.

The musicians need to arrive at WCS at 6:10pm for the evening concert.

*What is concert attire?

Boys: long pants, shirt with collar, and a tie

Girls: dress or skirt of appropriate length, or dressy pants, with an appropriate top

Shorts, t shirts, hats, athletic wear, flip flops, and jeans are not appropriate.

Please do not wear them.

Please look for a permission slip in your child's take-home folder this week. Contact me with any questions or concerns.

Book Donations Needed

My name is Jocelyn Kaplan. I'm ten years old and I started a charity called Nourish the Love of Reading. Nourish the Love of Reading helps kids who can't afford to buy their own books. We bring the books to the food shelf where kids can pick and choose as they please. The food shelf doesn't just have food, but also has pet food and art supplies. It used to have only 3-4 books but we've donated approximately 800 books. It's really helpful because it's nice to have your own book to keep and not simply borrowed from a library. If you'd like to donate your outgrown books, there's a box in the front hallway of WCS. We are hoping to promote literacy for all Vermont children. Thank you for your help.

Skiing and Snowboarding Freestyle Club for WCS

Hello my name is Beckett Pintair. For my eighth grade challenge project I am offering a Skiing and Snowboarding Freestyle Club for WCS. We will meet Friday afternoons at Cochran’s Ski Area following ski/ride lessons during the free ski session. The Freestyle Club is open to kids who are signed up for Cochran's lessons, are at level seven or eight, and want to learn basic freestyle. In addition, this group will brainstorm ways to raise money through community service in the hopes of providing Cochran’s with a new rail. We will also have some area ski/ride professionals come in and teach us freestyle basics, from shaping jumps to grinding rails. This will be a great team building experience and a lot of fun! This club will be supervised by Mr. Alex Pintair. He can be reached at: If you are interested in joining, please email me at:

Click here for the permission form.

Connecting Youth SAP Counselor at WCS

Hello, my name is Kelly Fitzpatrick and I am the new Connecting Youth SAP Counselor at Williston Central School. I will be at WCS Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the remainder of the 2015/2016 school year. I am a Vermonter and have lived here all my life. I live locally with my husband and our teenage son. I also have 2 grown children and a granddaughter.

Some of my duties as the SAP at WCS are as follows:

  • Deliver the Life Skills Curriculum to 7th/8th Grade students

    • A research-validated substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors.

  • Organize and direct VKAT group

    • A group of student leaders to help educate peers on the dangers of tobacco.

  • Individual support 1:1 for students who struggle with or at risk for substance use/abuse or mental health issues.

I am very excited to get to work and would welcome any questions or comments you may have. You can call me at (802) 871-6079 or email me at kfitzpatrick I look forward to the remainder of the school year and many more.

Join the WCS Penguin Plunge Team!

Calling all Penguins! Learn more about the Penguin Plunge and sign up at WCS on Friday, January 22.
7:45 – 8:30 AM – Sign up table in the lobby at WCS with Penguin Plunge Information and games.

11:40 to 12:45 – There will be a recess assembly on Friday, 1/22 as well. Come to the auditorium to watch Penguin Plunge Video, register, get stickers, Tattoos, T-shirts, Penguin Suit from11:40 to 12:45

We need YOU to join our Williston Wildcats Penguin Plunge Team! This is our 6th year having a school team participating in the Penguin Plunge. The Penguin Plunge is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics and all the participants jump in Lake Champlain! It is very cold but lots of fun. The date is Saturday, February 6th and it takes place at the Burlington Waterfront. We want students, teachers, staff, parents, and siblings on the team! Please email Jessica Haskins at or Jodi Bartley at if you have questions.
If you are interested in joining the team, please sign up on line at
Make sure to select the "Williston Central School Wildcats" team. Be a part of your school's team and support a great cause!

Preschool Lottery for 2016– 2017 School Year

The Williston School District is now accepting applications for a lottery for community peers for the 2016–2017 school year Allen Brook Preschool program. To have your child’s name included in the lottery, please pick up a questionnaire at Allen Brook School or Williston Central School, or print one off the school website and return it to the school by Friday, February 19th. Community peers must be 3 years old, but not 5 by Sept. 1st. Our preschool classes are Monday through Thursday mornings or afternoons.
Names will be drawn for a limited number of available peer slots on Friday, February 19th. Families of students who are drawn through the placement selection will be notified by phone within two weeks of the drawing. Click here for an application.

Volunteer Opportunity

The WCS/ABS/DAML Lost & Found Volunteer will be retiring this year. This is a great volunteer opportunity for someone wanting to help but not necessarily available during the school day or for someone more comfortable with “behind the scenes” volunteer activities. Items are picked up approximately once a month anytime the school is open. The items are then sorted, returned and donated. This may sound overwhelming, however, a system has been established making this task easy and efficient. No washing of items is required as our donation location takes care of that. Ideal candidate would have several years left in the Williston school system (i.e.: grades K-5) but not required. If interested or for more information contact:

Nicki Layman: 288-9194,

or Dee Goulette: 871-6174,

Health Office Links

WCS: 871-6170, 871-6171 /Maria Harlow, RN, Carol Albertelli, RN/ABS: 871-6248/Sylvia Love, RN

8th Grade Yearbook

Don't forget to order your 2015-2016 yearbook.

Every school year is full of memories. Don't miss this year's!
Now through 3/2/2016, get your yearbook for $30.00.

Four Winds Nature News

Click to see this month's Nature News


Allen Brook and Williston Central School Physical Education are trying to find ways to engage our students in making healthy choices outside of school. This program is for all of ABS and WCS 3rd and 4th Grade. We want to help our students learn to become healthy fit individuals. The Monthly Fitness Fun Calendar is a way to encourage your child to make healthy choices outside of physical education. This is a completely optional activity for your child and family. Click here to continue reading.
WSD Facebook Page

The Facebook page will enhance communication, tell the amazing story of Williston, and be another place to access the School Bell. We will use this page to post other exciting news and/or happenings.

Athletics link

Williston School District Physical Education Department

Upcoming Events

8th Gr. Parent/Student Info Night at CVU / Wed. Jan. 27 / 6:30-8:30pm / CVU

Social Media Presentation / Thur. Jan. 28 / 6-8 pm / WCS Auditorium

District III Music Festival / Fri. Jan. 29 & Sat. Jan. 30

3/4 Chorus Concert / Wed. Feb. 3 / 6:30 pm / WCS Auditorium

Continental Math Meet gr. 3 / Thur. Feb. 11 / 8:15-8:45 am

Continental Math Meet gr. 4 / Thur. Feb. 11 / 9-9:30 am

Continental Math Meet gr. 5-8 / Thur. Feb. 11 / 9:45- 10:15 am

FAP Meeting / Thur. Feb. 11 / 8:15-10:15

Click here for athletics
More Upcoming Events on the School Web Calendar

Check out upcoming school events and dates on the School website Calendar!

Dorothy Alling Memorial Library Programs

Click here to access the DAML web site listing of events.
Click here for the Bell listing of DAML events scheduled for children.

Click here for the DAML newsletters.

Recreation & Parks Offerings

Teen Open Gym- Time change! Open gym will now be Fridays, 6:00-8:00pm for grades 5th-12th. Younger children are welcome with adult/parent supervision. Click for schedule-

Babysitters Course- This Red Cross Babysitters Training provides individuals with information and skills necessary to provide safe and responsible care for children. Ages 11-15 yrs., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 9:00a-3:00p. $100

Click to register-

Winter Adventure Camp at Common Ground Center- Starksboro. Would your child love to spend two fun filled days at Common Ground Center exploring the outdoors? If so, register them now to join their staff for some fun in the snow! Grades: 3rd-6th, Tuesday and Wednesday, February 23rd & 24th, 8:30am-4:30pm. $90

Click to register-

Click here for the Recreation & Parks website.
January Newsletter
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Williston School District

Allen Brook School and Williston Central School