April 14, 2021
Superintendent Elaine Pinckney's Message
Dear Friends and Families,
For weeks now we’ve known the social distancing guidance was likely to change to 3 feet for all grade levels. During this time, each of our schools has been reviewing their situations and determining their capacity to make any changes to the number of days we have students in school. In fact, one of our schools increased their number of days during this timeframe. Last Thursday when the changes were formally announced, our administrators gathered to review what their local teams had determined and to engage in collaborative problem-solving, and ultimately, to decide on a collective plan for the remainder of the school year.
After serious deliberation and consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of making a change now, we have made the decision to align all of our K-8 students to a four day per week model for the remainder of the school year as well as provide additional in-person support for students in Grades 9-12 on Wednesdays. We believe the stability and maintenance of predictable patterns this plan provides are important for our students as well as our faculty and staff. Staying the course now provides us the best opportunity to open strong and healthy in the fall.
All year long we’ve responded to the call to bring students back for more in-person instruction. Each time we used specific criteria and our local COVID context/ conditions to determine what we believed to be a prudent and safe way to increase in-school time for our students. In September, we started the school year in hybrid mode (2 days in, 3 days remote) for all of our K-12 students. In October we brought in our Grades K-4 students for four days per week. In November/ December, we brought in our 5th and 6th graders for four days per week. Beginning at the end of March, we started bringing in our Grades 7 and 8 students for four days. At every step, we considered the criteria under which we were operating (the guidance), the conditions within which we were operating (school and community cases), and the system’s ability to function (staffing, busing, food service, etc.).
In the past two weeks, the uptick in COVID cases in our schools has increased significantly. The number of close contacts and the impact this has on the number of students who need to quarantine has seriously challenged our capacity to respond. (Please see the graphs associated with these numbers below.) This uptick mirrors what we see in our own communities. Chittenden County regularly has the highest number of cases in the state. Bringing more students back in now could easily result in having far more students in remote learning as a result of the need to quarantine.
During the last six weeks of school, our energies will continue to be focused on serving our students in the best way possible. Our COVID Educational Response Team (CERT) has been gathering and examining student-level data in order to understand how we can best support each student’s transition to the next school year.
These data measures focus on the three key areas that we know are most important and are required by the state of Vermont for response planning purposes: academic success, social-emotional learning, and engagement. We have stated it before and we’ll state it again now, we will not wait until next fall to “recover” learning. We are meeting the students where they are and we are providing supports and interventions now as well as planning for a robust summer program. You will be receiving additional information about this in the very near future.
As always, thank you for your partnership and support. It takes a school, a village, a community -- in short, all of us - to realize the very best results for our students.
CVSD is committed to and will maintain the Virtual Learning Academy option throughout this school year.
Travel and Quarantine Updates
As part of Vermont's phased reopening plan, there is new travel guidance.
Unvaccinated Vermonters (including children) who have traveled outside the state must be tested within 3 days of returning to Vermont.
● The test you get must be a PCR test, it cannot be an antigen test (also known as a rapid test).
● Find free and fast testing near you.
● You do not need to quarantine while you wait for a result. But if you have any symptoms, stay home and away from other people. (This means your children can attend school as soon as they return to Vermont and continue to attend school while waiting for their test results as long as they do not have any symptoms.)
Vaccinated Vermonters do not need to get tested or quarantine.
People who had COVID-19 within the last 3 months and have recovered do not need to test or quarantine unless they develop new symptoms.
Find out more about what to do when you return to Vermont.
We encourage everyone to continue following health and safety precautions in order to keep our schools open.
Cracking the Code
CVU's Social Justice Alliance
“CVU’s Social Justice Alliance aims to cultivate a community in which each student’s right to equality is guaranteed, a holistically supportive learning environment is maintained, education on human rights issues is abundant, systemic change is implemented to uplift marginalized groups, and all students’ voices are heard and valued.”
Printing Game Pieces
An HCS 6th grader is working with a 1st grade class to design and print missing game pieces on the 3D printer.
SCS students used the laser cutter to create their guiding word.
CVU and the Spectrum SleepOut
32 students participated in the Spectrum SleepOut. They braved the rain to spend the night outside in solidarity with teens in our community who are housing insecure, and their efforts raised $5000 for Spectrum Youth and Family Services!