THE SCHOOL BELL

Williston Schools /November 4, 2020

A Message From the Administration

By Jacqueline Parks

The election results are not completely in, but Williston Schools have already been thinking about how to talk with our students about our democracy in action. Schools are a microcosm of society with students and families coming from varying viewpoints. Part of our job is to help our students navigate different opinions and viewpoints about all sorts of issues in our community and the world, including politics and the election of our President. Additionally, we need to consider the developmental stages of our students and determine how this impacts our conversations with them. So, the question becomes, how do we do this?


Thankfully, much of the equity work and professional development that teachers have engaged with offer some helpful strategies. Additionally, WCS spent a lot of time curating resources to support educators in this complex work. Here are some of the highlights from a few resources we found.


  • Re-establish the values of inclusive classrooms by reaffirming values such as respecting each other’s identities.

  • Teachers should engage in self-reflection about their own identity around political issues to become clear on any potential biases.

  • Promote an atmosphere of tolerance and dialogue as a way to understand each other’s points of view.

  • Create space for students to ask questions, describe how they are feeling and what they are thinking.

  • Be prepared to be factual, challenge assumptions and dispel rumors with unbiased sources of evidence.

  • Make empathy and perspective-taking a classroom goal.


We all know this is a difficult period of time for our community. COVID-19, with all of its challenges added to our daily lives, and the election atmosphere are certainly contributing factors. We encourage everyone to take care of their families and themselves and continue to work collaboratively with our schools to ensure we are maintaining the physical and social emotional safety of our students as they engage in their learning.


School Following Thanksgiving Break

The School District is aware that there has been a great deal of speculation, rumor, and on-line discussion in our community and around the State about the status of schools immediately following the Thanksgiving break. We want Williston families to know that at this time, CVSD has no plans to preemptively close or declare remote schooling for the days and weeks following the Thanksgiving break. With this in mind, families should expect that school routines will be maintained throughout this period for the benefit of all of our learners. Of course, as this pandemic has required since its inception, we will continue our work to be prepared for every contingency as we have learned how quickly things can change.


For those considering plans to travel outside of Vermont, please be aware that there are travel

restrictions put in place by Governor Scott that would require you to quarantine for up to 14 days upon your return to Vermont if you have traveled to a red or orange zone. We encourage families to reference the travel guidance on the VT DOH website. Obviously, we all need to work together to help keep our schools open and safe for in-person learning.
Big picture

Physical Education Weather Reminder

As the weather changes and gets colder, we want to remind families that the Physical Education staff is planning to be outside with PE classes as a first priority. PLEASE DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE TEMPERATURE AND CONDITIONS... (jackets, hats, gloves, etc).


We recommend bringing in or keeping a few extra pairs of socks, gloves, or mittens in a cubby or backpack. Additional layers (snow pants or boots) would be acceptable for PE if needed. If younger students need snow pants for recess, they should wear snow pants to PE. Fresh air and movement is good for us all; let's be safe and prepared for the weather!


- Cathy Kohlasch, Lynn McClintock, Dustin King, Lyn Porter

VISION SCREENING FOR STUDENTS

Health Offices at WCS and ABS are starting to test students’ vision next week. Vermont schools are required by the State to test students’ vision in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th grades.

Contactless vision photoscreening will be done through the Lions KidSight program on November 9th and 12th (ABS) and November 10th and 13th (WCS).

Vermont Lions KidSight program uses a photoscreening digital device called a SPOT to objectively check for vision problems. The photoscreener is like a large camera. It takes a picture of your child’s eyes. With that and the measurements obtained from the images, SPOT can detect a number of potential eye conditions.

If we find a problem, we will send you a referral letter. If your child’s SPOT results form states “Complete Eye Exam Recommended” at the top right of the page, it is a referral and we recommend that your child visit an eye care professional.


Please, contact the Health Office at your child’s school for more information or if you have any questions.


Allen Brook School Library October 2020

Part 2 November Vacation Camp

Part 2 will be open for November Vacation Camp on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th, 7:30AM - 4:00 PM for both school-aged and early years students. Due to decreased enrollment this year, we need to consolidate our school-aged offerings to Allen Brook School (Williston), Hinesburg Community School, Richmond Elementary School, and Union Elementary School (Montpelier). Early years students are able to register at RES. All Part 2 students are eligible to participate in our vacation camp and you can choose which site works best for your family.

In order to run all of the sites listed above, we need to have at least 15 students sign up for each site. Based on previous years’ enrollments, we are fairly certain we will exceed this threshold, but wanted you to be aware if enrollment is low, we will need to do a further consolidation of sites we are able to offer.

Registration will open Friday, October 23rd at 9 AM and will be closing on Friday, November 13th at midnight. After Nov. 13th, your tuition will be non-refundable. Sign-ups after registration closes on the 13th will be based on availability and there will be an additional cost.

During these times of uncertainty, it remains our goal to provide high-quality child care that also gives a space for your children to have FUN! Due to the many complexities and new regulations that COVID brings, we will be staying at school during vacation camp instead of going on field trips.

Click HERE FOR THE LINK to sign up for both school-aged and early years. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to provide some options for necessary child care. As always please feel free to reach out with any and all questions.

Learn to Ski/Ride Program

Equipment Return- If you have equipment that your child borrowed from last year’s program and your child is Not doing the program this year or they must be Re-fitted for equipment for this year’s program. Equipment return dates and times are this Thursday, November 5- 5:00-6:00pm and Friday, November 6- 3:00-4:00pm. If your child is going to do the program and the equipment fits, hold on to it and wait for the email to register!


Ski/Ride Program Info-There will be a program offered this year, some details are still being worked on. Here is what is known so far, the program will be on Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30p at Cochran’s starting in January- Specific date to be determined. Busing may be available, still working with school on this. Registration will open in December; email will go out to last year participants and registration opening will be listed in the Bell with link.

Williston Community Food Shelf

The Williston Food Shelf is hosting their annual "Turkey Drive" on Saturday, November 21 from 8 - 11 am at the Food Shelf (400 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 130, behind the Williston Coffee Shop).


Turkeys and gift cards can be dropped off on Saturday, Nov. 21. Gift cards can be mailed to the Williston Community Food Shelf, P.O. Box 1605, Williston, VT 05495.

Your kindness is appreciated.

Four Winds

We hope that you have been able to enjoy some of the fall weather! We would encourage you to take a look at the amazing Four Winds presentations and try some of the hands-on activities whether you are at school or at home! Just 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.

Our next unit will compare Predators and Prey! Stay tuned!


We will also offer an outdoor, socially-distant (but in-person!) lesson, including the puppet show and related activities, at ABS once a month on a Wednesday at 10:30am. See the dates below if you are interested in joining us!


12/9 - Predators & Prey

1/27 - Skulls

2/17 - Birds of a Feather

3/17 - Calling All Owls

4/21 - Defenses

5/19 - 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

Visit the Williston Four Winds Blog

Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

Hybrid Learning Website

Hybrid Learning Schedules, Tech Support info and more

Upcoming Events

Tues, Nov 3 - No School

Nov 23-27 - No School / Thanksgiving Break

Dec 23-Jan 1 - No School / Early Winter Break

Welcome to CVSD IT Help Desk Portal

Please use this ticket process for technical support. As tickets come in, one of our technicians will be assigned to work that ticket and will reach out to you within 24 hours either by telephone or email.

Child Find Notice

Champlain Valley School District is required by federal law to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities. The process of locating, identifying and evaluating children with disabilities is known as child find.


Champlain Valley School District schools conduct Kindergarten screening each spring, but parents may call to make an appointment to discuss their concerns at any time. As the school district of residence, CVSD has the responsibility to identify and provide services to any child with special needs who may require special education and related services in order to access and benefit from public education.


If you have, or know of any CVSD resident who has a child with a disability under the age of 21 or a child who attends a private school located in Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George or Williston, Vermont, we would like to hear from you. Sometimes parents are unaware that special education services are available to their children.


Please contact the School Principal (Charlotte Central School – 425-2771, Hinesburg Community School – 482-2106, Shelburne Community School – 985-3331, Williston Central/Allen Brook Schools – 878-2762) or the Director of Student Support Services, Meagan Roy at 383-1234 or mroy@cvsdvt.org.

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.

November Menu

Access to School Buildings

Access to the school buildings this year is by appointment only for contract tracing reasons, please contact the person you would like to meet with to schedule an appointment.
School Handbook

The school handbook for 20-21 is under construction.