Williston Schools /September 27, 2017

A Message from the Administration

Responding to Childhood Trauma

by Carter Smith

Beginning next month Williston Schools will be embarking on a school-wide year-long training on responding to childhood trauma.

In 2009 there was a large scale national study that looked at Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs. One of the primary authors wrote, the most important findings of the study is that “adverse childhood experiences are surprisingly common even in the earliest years, are generally unrecognized, can be identified during childhood by history from children and caretakers, and can start to manifest their damage as ill health and somatization during childhood itself.” (Vincent J. Felitti, MD Academic Pediatrics 2009;9:131-2)

The medical and mental health communities are beginning to understand how to deal with ACEs. Williston has been working with Northeast Family Institute ( NFI) and their Director of Outpatient Services, Dave Melnik over the past year to train a representative group of 15 educators at Williston Schools to begin to better understand the effects of childhood developmental trauma and how to support these students. We now know that one in four children has been exposed to a traumatic event. We have learned that these children's brains may be wired differently. Children are not choosing these behaviors, their brains go to “fight or flight” in response to events that may trigger them to react. We learned that relationships are key, setting routine and limits are important, but punitive responses are not helpful. We like to remember to “connect before you correct --- it’s all about relationships!”

Many of us in the education community and the mental health community see this as a crisis that needs to be addressed. We are making an effort to address it at Williston Schools as well as in Champlain Valley School District. Even the legislature, thanks in part to our State Senator Ginny Lyons, is making it a priority. H504

We will keep you posted about our work on becoming better informed about and more sensitive to childhood trauma, and, in the end, more responsive as a school system.

Grades 5-8 Curriculum Night/Learning Expo

WCS, 5th -8th Grade Curriculum Night and Learning Expo has been moved from Thursday, 9/28, to Wednesday, 9/27, 6:30pm

Child care is available. Click here to sign up.

Fall Fest & Community Breakfast

Please join us at WCS on Oct. 7th from 8:30-10:30am!

Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, coffee, & juice for breakfast!

Music! Touch-A-Truck! Crafts!

Adults $8 / Seniors $6

Students $5

Under 4 FREE

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Families as Partners

September meeting minutes and upcoming news and events


The FAP Craft Show is scheduled for Saturday, November 4th. We are seeking a few more folks to serve on the Craft Show Committee to assist with customer event promotion and volunteer coordination. Help us to continue to grow this event! This is the 26th year of the Craft Show! Please contact Karen Olson and Paula LeBlanc at to be part of this successful school fundraiser.

Digital Citizenship presentation

Join Bonnie Birdsall and FAP for a Digital Citizenship presentation on Tuesday, October 10th from 6:00-7:30 PM in the Williston Central School Dining Room.

From Common Sense Education: "From cyberbullying and photo sharing to digital footprints and online safety, the Connecting Families program helps parents address important topics and have meaningful conversations with their kids about making great choices in their digital lives."

Join Bonnie Birdsall, Williston's Digital Learning Leader, for an interactive discussion using materials from Common Sense Education's Connecting Families program. You'll get a glimpse into what we're doing in our schools to help our students be safe, kind, and responsible online and what families can do at home to support that.

~ Bonnie Birdsall has been an educator in the Williston Schools for more than 20 years, as a first/second grade teacher and for the past 9 years as the Digital Learning Leader. She has helped our schools become Digital Citizenship Certified from Common Sense Education and works with teachers and students to promote positive online choices.

Updates/Changes to Students' After School Plans

Please be sure to inform the office, teachers, (and Part 2, if applicable) whenever there is a change to your child's schedule.

Williston Central School Procedures and Practices

Please read the procedures and practices linked here in order to help us create the best learning environment for your children.

Way to Go - Ride the bus, walk, bike/roll, or carpool

PLEASE ride the bus, walk, bike/roll or carpool (with more than just your family) THIS Friday, 9/29/17.

Way to Go is designed to get EVERYONE at school (students​, families and staff) out of private cars and practicing healthier and more efficient travel choices.

​TWO MEETING SITES FOR FRIDAY morning and afternoon:

​Greg Marino and Chris Sedic-Lawton will be at Coyote Lane and the bike path to ABS @ 7:30 a.m. and will begin walking at 7:40 a.m. (return walkers will meet in the library at 2:35 and will walk at 2:40 and should be picked up by parents by 3:00).

Shari Carr will be at Cornerstone Drive/Talcott Road (the shopping plaza) @ 7:30 a.m. and will begin walking at 7:40 a.m. ​(return walkers will meet in the library at 2:35 and will walk at 2:40 and should be picked up by parents by 3:00).

​There will be a participation tally sheet that goes to the ​Way to Go! School Challenge website!

Developmental Screening for Children ages 3-5 years

Do you have concerns about your child’s development? Allen Brook School is offering a developmental screening for children ages 3-5 years. A screening can be used to determine if children are learning basic skills and meeting developmental milestones. Early childhood professionals will engage in activities which will allow them to observe the way your child plays, learns, speaks, and moves their body. Each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace, but sometimes concerns can arise, and it is helpful to identify these concerns as early as possible to in order to get necessary supports in place.

Friday, October 27th from 9:00 - 11:00. Pre-registration is required.

Please call Victoria Francis, Early Childhood Outreach Educator,

at 871-6240 to schedule an appointment.

(* If you have concerns about a younger child and would like to request a screening, please call us.)

Recommendations for outdoor school activities from the Health Office

This applies when students go on outdoor field trips to hike, camp, have a day of fun at the beach, outdoor classrooms, “Forest Fridays”, “Monday in the Woods” … etc.

· It is best to send children in long sleeves and long pants especially for activities that take place in the woods. This will help keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay, especially if pants can be tucked into socks.

· Bug / Tick repellent of your choice, applied at your home, is also recommended, but not required. Please, note that bug spray should be applied at home and not brought to school in student’s backpacks.

· We recommend that you check your child for ticks as soon as they get home after time outdoors.

Free & Reduced Meal Application

Please click here for information on how to apply for free/reduced school meals (application also included).
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Hannaford Helps Schools

For every 4 qualifying Hannaford Helps Schools items that a customer buys at any Hannaford, they will receive a printout for 3 school dollars at the register.

Customers who earn a school dollars printout at the register with their qualifying purchases will place the printout in the appropriate slot for their local school in the Hannaford Helps Schools collection tower, located at the front of the store that their school is registered with.
Program Information

Between September 1st and November 28, your school has the opportunity to win an outdoor garden made from 100% recycled waste! The participating school that gets the most votes will win the Grand Prize.Click here for more information

Job Openings in Williston Schools

Lunch/Recess Aide at ABS

We are looking for candidates to work as part of a team, provide positive reinforcement and redirection, and follow established protocols to keep children safe. Monday through Friday from 11:15 AM to 1:00 PM for students in grades K-2.

Interested candidates should submit an application or contact Cindy Pavlik,, 871-6203.


Williston Schools are seeking energetic paraprofessionals to join our Special Education team. We are looking for skilled, caring individuals to provide support for individual and small groups of students in academic areas, personal development/behavior, and social cognition. Candidates will be an advocate of inclusive education, problem-solver and strong collaborator, and a positive team member. Ability to promote child growth and foster independence and a willingness to learn are essential. Please note that lifting may be a requirement of this job. If interested please email

Food Service Subs

Join our Food Service Team.

Flexible hours, Training provided, Fun and Friendly atmosphere.

Pick up an application at WCS or ABS

Contact Scott Wagner (871-6198 / if you have any questions.

School Handbook

The school handbook has been updated for 2017-18.

More Links, More information

Upcoming Events

Wed. Sept. 27 / gr. 5-8 Curriculum Night & Learning Expo / 6:30 pm / WCS

Sat. Oct 7 / Fall Festival

Wed. Oct. 11 / Four Winds Training / 8:30-10:30 am / ABS Cafeteria

Thurs. Oct. 12 / FAPAC Mtg. / 8:15 -10 am / WCS Dining Room

Mon. Oct. 16 / Beginner Band Demo / 11 am -11:40 am / WCS Auditorium

Tues. Oct. 17 / CVSD Board Mtg. / 6-8 pm / CVUHS rm. 160

Wed. Oct. 18 / Equinox Open house/breakfast / 7-8 am

Wed. Nov. 1 / Intergen Reading Program / noon -1:30 pm / DAML Library

Sat. Nov. 4 / Craft Fair / WCS

Click here for athletics
Upcoming Events on the School Web Calendar

Tuesday Early Dismissal Times

Every Tuesday Williston School District students will be dismissed early.
Dismissal at Allen Brook School will be at 1:35.
Dismissal at Williston Central School will be at 1:55.

The schedule for Preschool on Tuesdays will be altered. Morning classes will be from 8:00 to 10:15, and afternoon classes will be from 11:15 to 1:30.