Williston School District /May 11, 2016

A Message from the WSD Administration

Social Emotional Learning

by Carter Smith

Our school wide State mandated standardized assessment SBAC (Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium) is almost behind us for this year. I know that academics are important and can form the basis for a successful life. Non-academic learning is important also - learning about yourself, learning to have empathy, learning how to improve and maintain emotional and physical health. At Williston and other VT schools we try to balance academic with non- academic learning. The research literature often uses the term Social Emotional Learning - SEL.

You know about VT Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Williston and other school in our Supervisory Union have been raking in state wide recognition for the success of our PBIS programs, which look somewhat different at different grade levels, but share the same philosophy - a proactive, school-wide, systems approach to improving social and academic competence.

For students with significant and identified social skill issues Williston uses an evidence- based program based on the work of Michelle Garcia Winner called Social Thinking. We are beginning to use this work with entire classrooms instead of just individual students who struggle with social skills. My favorite book of Michelle Winners is Thinking About You, Thinking About Me. Students on the Autism Spectrum have difficulty understanding that other people have perspectives that are different from their own. I know a few adults, actually, that struggle with this. I sometimes leave the book on a table in the living room when they visit. “Really, someone else might be thinking something different from what I am thinking? Imagine that!”

Anyway, there is evidence that we can do both - teach academics and teach social and emotional skills. In fact, research is showing us that by implementing effective social and emotional programs we can raise student test scores. Students who have more confidence perform better. CASEL 2008

I am sure that we will continue to have a strong emphasis on academic achievement at Williston, as we should. We likely will continue to engage in standardized assessment to measure academic performance as a school system. Hopefully, we will continue to work to develop students who are healthy socially and emotionally, who have a strong sense of self, care about each other and understand each other's perspectives.

It turns out achievement and social emotional health are related.

Not sure what we can do about those adults that need a course on social thinking. Maybe our children can teach them!

Unified District Informational Hearing (June 6) and Vote (June 7)

Legal voters of WSD are invited to vote on Article 1 for the purpose of forming a unified union school district to be named the Champlain Valley School District. Voting will take place at the Williston Old Brick Church on Tuesday, June 7, from 7 am - 7 pm.
An informational hearing will be held for the purpose of reviewing Article 1 on Monday, June 6 at 7 pm, at Williston Central School.
Click here for the full warning for the vote.

Thank you for the Appreciation!

Thank you to everyone who took time to send compliments, thank you notes, desserts, and other gestures, including preparing and setting up the breakfast(s)!

Thank you to Gardenside Nursery

We would like to thank Gardenside Nursery on Webster Road in Shelburne for donating a beautiful Autumn Blaze Maple Tree for our Arbor Day celebration on Friday, May 6th. The tree is planted to the north of the playground.


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.

What is Williston Families as Partners?

There has been a great deal of conversation lately, both in “real life” and on social media, surrounding what the role of FAP is in our schools. As parents and families you are automatically a member of Williston FAP, as we are all partners in our schools. Each year this group of volunteers works hard to have a positive impact in our schools - enhancing this already strong school system we are fortunate to be a part of - through Field Trip & House Activity funding, Educational Grants, Speaker Series, and more. The Williston Families as Partners Top 5 areas of focus are: Communication, Community, Educational Support, Family Support and Fundraising.

How is FAP Structured to support our schools and families? As outlined in our by-laws: The Families as Partners Advisory Council (FAPAC) is the governing body for the FAP and is comprised of FAP Representatives from each House, a School Board member, teacher representatives from grade levels K-2, 3-4, 5-8, and Related Arts, School Administration, and Student Services. The FAPAC meets monthly to share updates and address topics pertaining to Williston schools.

A strength of this model is that there is direct involvement on a monthly basis from a number of representatives of the school - including teachers, administration and student services, as well as a School Board representative, in addition to the parent/family representatives. This helps improve communication between families, the school, and the community as everyone is hearing the same conversation and can pass input directly to their respective groups.

What is the role of FAP in policy and administrative changes? The role of FAP in terms of policy and changes is one of communication. We promote any forums or public input sessions, pass along any concerns voiced directly to the FAPAC, and act as a conduit for information between families and the schools. While members of FAPAC are encouraged to voice their concerns as well as those of families, the organization itself serves to communicate all sides of an issue - and as we represent 1000 students and their families, it would be impossible to take one specific stance on any given issue.

As per our bylaws: The organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan. - The organization shall not – directly or indirectly – participate or intervene (in any way, including the publishing or distribution of statements) in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office; or devote more than an insubstantial part of its activities to attempting to influence legislation by propaganda or otherwise. The organization shall work with Williston schools to support the improvement of education in ways that will not interfere with administration of the schools.

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Volunteers Needed for Williston Runs!

There are several opportunities to help with the Williston Runs for Education event this weekend. Shifts range from 1 to 2 hours in length. Help is requested for set-up on Friday evening (May 13), and various shifts on Saturday morning (May 14). Select the time and task that works for you!

Please sign up for a volunteer shift at:

Note: you will need to provide your email address in order to sign up for a shift, but you will NOT need to create an account.

Many thanks!

Williston Schools Night at the Ballgame!

Summer will be here before we know it. Plan to spend an awesome night with friends and family at a VT Lake Monster baseball game, and support our schools.

FAP is selling discounted tickets. New this year – Reserved seats – just $7!

Picture with Champ, Field of Dreams, 50/50 raffle, great promotions and more!

Check out the details about the game here

More info and order form here

Send the order form and payment to the front office of either school by May 31st or order online here

Or come see us this Saturday at Williston Runs for Education or Williston Little League Hit-a-thon.

Upcoming Concert Dates

Monday, May 16 - CSSU Jazzfest for Stage Band 7 pm in the CVU theater

Wednesday, May 18 - 5th-8th grade concert day (school day and evening performances)

Evening times:

Thursday, June 2- Beginner Band Concert - (school day and evening performances)

Evening time:

  • 6:30 pm please arrive at 6:00 to warm up.

Grade 3/4 Chorus Concerts

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

Wednesday, June 1st at 2:10pm 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 contact Mrs. T-H with any questions or concerns.

Lunch / Recess Aide Opening for Fall

Allen Brook School is seeking an energetic, child-centered adult to provide supervision to our elementary students during lunch and recess during the 2016-2017 school year. We are looking for candidates who can work as part of a team, will provide positive reinforcement and redirection, and follow established protocols to keep children safe and happy. This is a daily position from 10:45 am to 1:30 pm for students in grades K-2. The position starts late August 2016.
Interested candidates can submit an application to Cindy Pavlik, Allen Brook School, 497 Talcott Road, Williston, VT 05495;
2016-2017 School Calendar

Click to view next year's school calendar.

Maturation Program for Gr. 4 Students

During the month of May, the 4th grade students will study an important lesson on the early stages of puberty, which many 4th graders are beginning to experience.

The Always Changing Program helps boys and girls:

  • Understand the physical and emotional changes they experience during puberty, and
  • acknowledge these changes as a normal part of growth and development.
  • Learn the physiology of their bodies and correct terminology for parts of the reproductive system.
  • Understand that personal hygiene is each individual’s responsibility.

In addition, the program helps girls:
  • Understand the menstrual cycle.
  • Understand what to expect during a period.
  • Learn how to manage periods while continuing with normal activities.

The Always Changing Program is based on national research and consultation with school nurses, health educators, parents and medical professionals. The program has been a trusted resource for over 25 years and has been taught to millions of students nationwide.

The program will be taught by the student’s classroom teacher or a familiar teacher on house, and/or school nurse and school counselor. If you have any questions, please contact the Health Office at 871-6170.

**If you do not wish to have your child participate in this lesson and/or view the maturation video, please inform your child’s teacher or school nurse.

The video can be screened by parents by clicking on the link provided:

Flash is required to view this video. If you have problems viewing the video, please contact the Health Office.

Maria Harlow, RN, BSN & Carol Albertelli, RN, BSN

WCS Health Office; 871-6170

Student Cafeteria Accounts

The end of the year is quickly approaching and we need to make sure all student accounts are in good standing before the last day of school. If you have a negative balance please settle your account and plan ahead for future purchases before 5/13/2016.

For 8th grade students there will be NO CHARGING AT ALL ALLOWED for the remainder for the school year. Students may continue to use their accounts as long as there is a positive balance, otherwise purchases must be made with cash. Please make sure any outstanding balances are paid before 5/13/2016 and plan ahead for any future purchases. At the end of the school year, all positive balances will automatically be transferred to CVU. (You must maintain a positive balance at all times to make any purchases at CVU. They do not allow any charging at all.) If your graduating 8th grader is not going to go to CVU next fall, please let us know as soon as possible. In that case, we will attempt to transfer any remaining balance to a younger sibling in our district. If that is not possible, we will automatically refund any balance $10 or greater. If your student's balance is less than $10 you may request a refund in writing or by email to Scott Wagner. Any un-requested balances will be transferred to the WCS Sunshine fund account on 6/24/2016. Thanks and have a great summer!Scott Wagner

8th Grade Challenge Projects

Solo Piano & Guitar Performance with Isaac Goldman

Tuesday, May 24th 7:00pm

WCS Auditorium


Isaac will play a mix of classical, jazz, pop, and bluegrass music, all categories that he has been studying all year long for his eighth grade challenge project.

Collecting Sports Balls for King Street Center
Hello my name is Nick Fife and I will have a collection box in the front lobby of WCS for collecting Soccer balls, Basketballs, Footballs and Playground balls for the King Street Center in Burlington, VT. The collection will be happening from the 9th of May to the 23rd May.
Four Winds Nature News

Click to see this month's Nature News

Parents Expectations During a School Emergency

Please familiarize yourself with these expectations (also available on the school web site ( and follow them in an emergency.

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

Health Office Links

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

Upcoming Events

FAP Meeting / Thurs. May 12 / 8:15 am / WCS Dining Room
Williston Runs for Education
/ Sat. May 14 / 8 am - 11:30 am / WCS

CSSU Jazz Fest / Mon. May 16 / 7 pm / CVU

Parent Night - Incoming Kind. / Tues. May 17 / 6:30 pm / ABS Cafeteria

CY Mentoring BBQ / Tues. May 17 / 6:30-8 pm / WCS

Upper House Concert Day & Art Show / Wed. May 18 / 5:30 &7:30 / WCS Auditorium

Bookmobile at ABS / Thurs. May 19

Harmony Reading Restaurant / Thurs. May 19 / 5:30-7:30 pm / ABS

ABS Art Show / Wed. May 25 / 6-8 pm / Allen Brook School

Parent Orientation to Middle School / Wed. May 25 / 6:30-7:30 / WCS Auditorium

Equinox Reading Restaurant / Thurs. May 26 / 5 pm / WCS

NO SCHOOL / Mon. May 30

Grade 3/4 Chorus Concerts / Wed. June 1 / WCS Auditorium

Beginner Band Concert / Thurs. June 2 / 6:30 PM / WCS Auditorium

J. Stein Class Celebration / Thurs. June 2 / 5:30-6:30 pm / ABS

Fun Day / Mon. June 6 / WCS

Informational Hearing on Article 1 / Mon. June 6 / 7 pm / WCS Auditorium

Vote: Article 1, Unified District / Tues. June 7 / 7am-7pm / Old Brick Church

8th Gr. Graduation / Thurs. June 9 / 6:30 pm / WCS New Gym

Last Day / Fri. June 10 / early dismissal

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

Summer Camp Registration- Camp registration is open. Take a look at the Camp Guide and Camp Grid to plan a great summer for your children. Summer Camp Guide- Summer Camp Grid and Camper Info/Health Form-

New Camps Added- A series of Music Camps have been added to the Summer Camp offerings; Online Music Games, DIY Musical Instruments, Making Music with GarageBand, Let’s Play Recorders!, Music, Music Everywhere!, and Scientific and Crafty Music. Check out these new camps on the website.

Track and Field Program- Participants will learn the basics of running, jumping, throwing, and relays. There will be meets with other area Rec. Depts. and a state meet. Great program for those who love to run, jump and throw. Ages 7-15, aging date 12/31/16, Mon & Wed, June 15- July 23, 6:15-7:45pm. $50

Youth Fishing Clinic- This 3 hour program includes information such as fish identification, parts of the rod and hook, lures & bait, and how to stay safe while fishing. Everything they learn will be put to use as they get the opportunity to fish. Instructors: The Fly Rod Shop Staff. Grades 1st-8th, Saturday, June 25, 9:00am-12:00pm. $40

Click here for the Recreation & Parks website.
Click here for this months Rec. newsletter.
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Williston School District

Allen Brook School and Williston Central School