SCS Weekly Newsletter 9.26.22

September 26, 2022

Principals' Message

Dear SCS Families and Caregivers,

With our second full week of school under our belt, we're getting into the swing of things here at SCS. As is typical with the start of every new school year, we need to live through the new schedules, routines, and practices to make slight adjustments along the way until we hit the sweet spot - and, we think we're there! Our revised dismissal plan had everyone leaving the building by 2:55 this past week (which meant our drivers were on-time for their second bus run at other schools) and lunch and recess are going smoother (transitions, new ID card system, and timing). We have also completed many of our beginning-of-year activities - evacuation safety practices, bus safety trainings, student school photos, K-4 author visit, and our PTO dynamic dates fundraiser kick-off! Our mentoring programs are getting up and running (CY Mentoring 5-8, Everybody Wins! K-4), our Nearby Nature volunteers have started teaching in classrooms, we're starting our 8th-grade student mentoring program, we're bringing back our SCS FoodSmart program, and more!

SCS is buzzing with the sounds of teaching, learning, and connection-building. Now that teaching teams have established positive learning communities, and students are ready for learning, we've been gathering fall baseline data on all of our students. Our fall assessment schedule begins in mid-September and will continue throughout October. Keep a lookout for communications from your child's teacher on setting up 15-minute family conferences between now and our November break to hear how your child's year is starting out.

Our current SCS staffing reality is that we are actually in better shape than others throughout the state/nation - we have almost all of our classroom teachers, special educators, and most of our para positions filled (at this point). Unfortunately, we do have vacancies we are hoping to fill as soon as possible. (If you have any leads for us, please contact the school - thank you!)

  • (1) Long-Term Sub Classroom Teacher
  • (1) Communications Specialist (Para)
  • (1) Maintenance Technician
  • (1) Custodian (evening)
  • (2) recess coordinators
  • (2) lunch coordinators
  • (1) permanent building guest teacher/sub
  • (1 or 2) crossing guards for AM/PM

The place we're really feeling the pinch is in the daily staff coverage needs - for regular staff absences. We could really use more subs/guest teachers to fill in for various positions daily. With a limited crop of guest teachers, the morning often involves a timely shuffle of figuring out who is going to cover for whom. Anyone who comes into the building via the School Street side has seen us filling in as crossing guards, and we've also acted as subs, cafeteria coordinators, and recess coordinators throughout the year. Similarly, we have had to pull in our paraprofessionals and interventionists as guest teachers on a daily basis.

This greatly impacts our ability to provide the additional support services to students that we have been able to offer in the past. Teams are working on getting consistent schedules up and running with our interventionists and service providers, but our staffing situation is making that effort a particularly challenging one. To maintain our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) plan, this means there may be some changes in how EST (Educational Support Team) Plans are developed. EST Plans focused on behavior and social-emotional learning needs will continue as-is with support from our behavior teams. Academic EST Plans will likely be maintained and managed within the classroom and on-team. At this point, our greatest priority has to be the instruction offered to ALL students and differentiated instruction within the classroom. We hope to get back to a place where we can offer additional intervention services to every student who could benefit from them, but that's not realistic given our current staffing reality.

This is where we need your help! We're looking for anyone who can contribute their help, whether part-time, full-time, short-term, or long-term. Here are some ways we could really use your help...(Please reach out to the school if you can help us out.)

  • Donating TIME - Get added to our guest teacher/sub list (flexible schedules), volunteer - reach out to your classroom teachers to ask what would be helpful

  • Donating MATERIALS - We could use vacuums for our grade level teams to use to help out our custodial team in maintaining the building, or donating funds to our Angel Fund (checks can be written out to SCS, in the memo write Angel Fund, and they can be turned into our main office)

We're also trying to take care of our staff in other ways: we're not overscheduling meetings during our early-release Wednesdays, bringing in treats and coffee whenever we can, and recruiting older students to help with transitions for younger kids. To ensure a smooth start to the staff workday, please be reminded that the School Street parking lot is for faculty/staff parking only. There is no parking in the fire lane in the School Street lot. If you are parking, please use the Davis Circle loop or the 'visitor parking' spots in the lot near the large playground by the gym. This is true for both morning dropoff and afternoon pickup. The one exception is the handicapped spots near the north side of the School Street lot, which are for handicapped parking only. The small school bus and trailer that have been camped out in the lot all year will be moving to make sure we have enough spots for faculty and staff.

Despite all the challenges of running a school in 2022, it's been an awesome year so far. We're looking forward to welcoming all our families and caregivers back into the building with a retooled open house later this fall. More details to come! Thanks for all that you do to support our amazing school community.

Take care,

Alison, Brett, & Emily

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Much More To Follow - Please Continue Reading!

CVSD Update

Feel free to check out the latest updates from the Champlain Valley School District in the monthly newsletter shared earlier in September. There's a message from Superintendent Sanchez, updates on strategic planning and virtual town halls, and details on some fun free family events coming up.

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

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. Those with students in grades 6-12 will soon receive a survey via email.

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.

Want to Get Involved?

Please consider joining the Shelburne Community School PTO community. All are welcome! Visit their website for details.

Still Need More Information?

Find upcoming events, library resources, athletics information, the monthly lunch menu, teacher teams, curriculum information, CY Mentoring, School Counselors, transportation, and more on the SCS website.

Access Information on the CVSD Website

Find information about monthly School Board Meetings, community forums such as the DEI Town Hall, and more on the district calendar.

See the year at a glance on the 2022-2023 K-8 School Year Calendar.

The CVSD Mission is to develop citizens who learn, think, live, contribute, and pursue excellence. See The CVSD Story.

Shelburne Community School Administration

Alison Celmer, PreK-4 Principal

Brett Cluff, 5-8 Principal

Emily Cogan, Director of Special Education