March 26, 2021
Superintendent Elaine Pinckney's Message
Dear Friends and Families,
The earliest flowers are peeking up through the remaining snow, a visible reminder that we’ll soon be in the last phase of this school year. While this year has challenged us, it has also taught us to be more flexible, to lead with greater compassion and patience, and to appreciate what we have.
CVSD Administrators have been working overtime the last few weeks to creatively and safely bring back our 7th and 8th graders for more in-person instruction. Shelburne Community School students will be back in school for 3 days per week beginning this Monday, March 31st. The decision to go this route came after Principal Sivo held a community forum to explain the differences between a 3 and 4 day week for students. He followed up with a parent and student survey, and while the choice wasn’t unanimous, the majority favored the three-day model. Williston Central School 7th and 8th graders will return for four days per week instruction beginning on Monday, April 5th. On that date, all CVSD K-6th students will be in school 3 or 4 days per week. It is important to note that each school has its own set of challenges and complexities to work through as they make these changes to a well-established framework.
Meanwhile, all of our schools have planning teams in place to determine if and how they might bring students back for 4 1/2 days once the social distancing guidance is changed for Vermont. The Agency of Education and the VT Department of Health are working on a revision to the current guidance, which still recommends 6 feet of social distancing for Grades 7-12. While this change has been discussed for weeks now, making the change somewhat dependent on the Vermont COVID context. Yesterday, Vermont had 251 cases -the highest number of cases ever. We in CVSD have had more cases in the last two weeks than we’ve had since last November. It certainly gives us pause. Still, if the numbers recede and the guidance is changed, we will have done the work necessary to respond.
Last week, we were told by the Agency of Education that we would need to participate in the Spring statewide standardized assessments - the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA). This testing will be on top of the math and literacy assessments we have been administering this year. We know that our own assessments will be more helpful to us as we determine individual student needs and plan for our response. Please see more information about the SBAC and VTSA administration elsewhere in this newsletter. You will hear more about this in the upcoming weeks.
As we close out another week, we cannot help but reflect on the horrific recent acts of violence that have occurred in our country. The increasing frequency of violent attacks against Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander people is disturbing and reminds us of our obligation to stand up against racism, wherever and whenever we find it. We condemn this violence unequivocally and stand in unity with our Asian American community as we denounce hatred, bigotry, and racism in all its forms.
We know that this work is the work of our schools. Our schools and classrooms must be places where our staff, students, and their families feel safe and know that they belong. Establishing a deep sense of belonging is fundamental to our work. We are committed to providing a safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment for all students and employees.
CVSD is committed to and will maintain the Virtual Learning Academy option throughout this school year.
Spring Statewide Standardized Assessments
Travel and Social Gatherings - Current State Policy
Here are some highlights from this page from the VT Department of Health about Travel and Gatherings:
We continue to follow the Governor’s travel guidelines. Currently, if it has been 14 days since you received your final vaccine dose, you do not need to quarantine when you travel to or return to Vermont. However, since children aren’t vaccinated, they (as well as all non-vaccinated adults) will need to quarantine if traveling to or returning to Vermont. As you know, state travel policies are subject to change.
Note: Households with children are not considered “fully vaccinated households” because children are not vaccinated.
Fully Vaccinated Individuals
- May gather with other fully vaccinated people or households and do not need to wear a mask or stay 6 feet apart when gathering.
- May gather with up to two unvaccinated people or households at a time. The gathering can also include other vaccinated people or households. If you gather with people from more than one unvaccinated household, or with someone who is at higher risk of severe COVID-19 or lives with someone at higher risk, everyone should wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart.
If you are not fully vaccinated:
- You may gather with fully vaccinated people or households. You don’t need to wear a mask or stay 6 feet apart, unless someone is at higher risk or severe COVID-19 or lives with someone at higher risk.
- You may gather with one other unvaccinated person or household at a time. Fully vaccinated people or households can also be at the gathering. Everyone should wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart.
Outside No-contact Activities
- You can participate with anyone. Must stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with and wear a mask at all times.
- Do not gather at trailheads, access areas, or other outdoor facilities before or after the activity.
Health Screening Questions
Online Video Meeting Reminders
Please be aware of what may be visible behind students in video meetings.
If your student sees something that is concerning, they should talk to their teacher separately.
Please keep in mind that students attending video meetings are at school in a class with others. We need to respect the privacy of all students. Please refrain from taking photos of your child's class in a video meeting. We ask that you share this information with your child(ren) as well.