February 8, 2021
Superintendent Elaine Pinckney
Dear Friends and Families,
It’s hard to believe that we’re past the half-year mark and that February vacation is right around the corner. Even in a pandemic, time flies. Looking back, I can say that it has been a journey of continuous improvement. CVSD is proud of the work we’ve done during this unprecedented year. We developed a stand-alone Virtual Academy for our students and families who preferred fully on-line learning. We developed a robust curriculum and assessment program that crosses every model of learning. We brought back our K-6 students for four-days per week in-person instruction, and we continued to find ways to make all of our students' experiences engaging, meaningful, aligned with our curricular objectives, and grounded in sound social-emotional practices.
After the February break, Charlotte Central School will welcome back their 7th and 8th graders to four days per week of in-person instruction. Charlotte is able to do this because of their size and because they have the space and staffing to make it happen. This decision comes as a result of weeks of discussions, problem-solving, and planning on the part of the CCS faculty and administration, and in collaboration with all CVSD Middle-Level principals. If the social distancing guidance were to change for this grade level group, or other means of achieving 6 feet social distancing for this age group were to present themselves, we would immediately start planning to bring more students back to our other K-8 schools.
Our ability to keep any of our students in school hinges on the general health and safety of our greater community. While we did see an upswing in cases after the holiday break, the numbers were low enough and spread out enough to negate the need for widespread school closure. We know this is because our families and our staff followed the safety guidance. We are grateful. Today I ask you again to be vigilant. I know that we’re all wishing and yearning for the family and friend vacation away, but the time is not right. If you do travel during the upcoming vacation, please quarantine upon return. Send your students back to school only after you’ve received a negative test or have quarantined for fourteen days without COVID symptoms. I thank you in advance for your adherence to the VT Department of Health and Agency of Education guidance.
We have started the search for a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. After a failed attempt last spring, the board convened a subcommittee to review our hopes and expectations for the role, to review the job description and make important changes, and to determine the appropriate position level. This work is complete and the position is being posted in our usual venues as well as on national job board sites specifically focused on recruiting minority candidates. We anticipate filling this important position in early spring and expect the selected candidate to begin their tenure at CVSD on July 1. This will be a giant step forward in our equity and diversity work. Our experiences this year have served to underscore the need and importance of having a director-level position to coordinate and direct this work. While our work in this area continues at every level of the organization, we are all looking forward to expert direction.
I wish you all the best.
CVSD is committed to and will maintain the Virtual Learning Academy option throughout this school year.
CVSD Proposed Budget for the 2021-2022 School Year
The letter referenced below is contributed by Kelly Bowen, CVSD School Board member and chair of the Finance Committee.
Dear CVSD Community Members and Voters,
FY22 budget season is upon us. While many voters may cast early ballots, for those who prefer to vote in person, TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2021, is your chance to vote on the FY22 Proposed CVSD Budget and school-related Articles. (Articles and Ballot Questions refer to the same thing.)
As Finance Committee Chair, I am pleased to report that your District Administration and School Board are optimistic and future-focused. We developed the FY22 budget with a goal to return this August to the familiar in-person 5-day per week instruction.
There are NINE ARTICLES for voter approval this year. This letter will be the first in a series of communications to highlight the FY22 Budget Articles to help you prepare for voting. Find further information on the CVSD website: www.cvsdvt.org/budget.
~ Kelly Bowen
This includes FAQs, the CVSD Annual Report, details about the School District's ballot articles, and more!
The newly formed CVSD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team has been working hard to increase diversity, equity & inclusion practices throughout CVSD. Here are some updates we are proud to share with our community:
We have formed school-based (both student and staff) DEI teams that are meeting regularly.
Coaches are consulting with school administrators to offer more DEI resources to staff & community members.
We supported school librarians in bringing hundreds of diverse books to K-4 classroom libraries, along with resources and tools to promote conversations about identity, ability, and race.
Our Coaches completed a racial equity facilitator training, sponsored by the Equity Literacy Institute, and have since been invited to attend an advanced level training this spring.
Our team is Implementing district-wide professional development to address Black History Month and Black Lives Matter in the months of January and February, with on-going work for the remainder of the year and beyond.
We are providing resources and advocating for increased awareness and implementation of anti-bias, anti-racist, and ability inclusion teaching practices across our district.
Our leaders consulted with school counselors and Sam Drazin- we began the process of providing schools with the Changing Perspectives Disability awareness curriculum.
Our team leaders are attending monthly Courageous Conversations Sessions with a small group of administrators and Central Office Leaders.
How you can support us:
Join your community DEI group and help in the planning for more collaboration with your local school.
Share resources among yourselves- if you need some, reach out to your local school’s DEI coach.
Ask questions. Accept discomfort.
Uplift voices historically excluded populations.
View the CVSD DEI website directly from the District's website under Our District, or access it under District News on any school's site.
The CVSD DEI Team
Yasmin Gordon- CVSD.
Vicki M. Nelson - CVSD
Meagan Roy - CVSD Central Office
Katie Bedell - CCS
Cara Clopton - ABS/WCS (PreK-4)
Ryan Batche- WCS (5-8 )
Ainaka Luna - HCS
Robyn Suarez - SCS
Bageshree Blasius - CVU
Christina Deeley - CVU
Updated Health Screening Questions
Reminders About Gatherings
Please keep this in mind now and when planning activities for the upcoming February school vacation week.
- Vermonters are currently not allowed to socially gather with people they don’t live with. This includes gathering both inside and outside, and in public and private spaces.
- The Health Department strongly advises against non-essential travel, even within Vermont.
- All travel to and from Vermont AND travel to other households within Vermont requires quarantine.
- Visitors to Vermont can only socialize with the people they are traveling with. They cannot gather with Vermonters in their home or elsewhere.
Students are not allowed to gather with people they don’t live with. Students who participate in multi-household social gatherings are excluded from attending in-person instruction and required to complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test. Please, follow these steps to protect others:
- Get tested as soon as you can. Find out where to get tested here.
- Quarantine. Your child now needs to complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test result, as long as they do not experience symptoms.
Day 1 of quarantine is the day after you return from travel or the day after you last gathered with someone from another household.
Quarantine means staying home and away from others. Do not go to work or school, or out to do errands or recreation. This helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before a person knows they are sick, or if they are infected with the virus and don’t have symptoms.
CVSD parent, local pediatrician, and advisor to CVSD's COVID-19 team shares a letter to parents and guardians