Williston Schools /September 17, 2020

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A Message From The Administration

by ABS Principal Angela Filion

As I look at the photo above I am reminded of how much has changed since last year. In this photo we are gathered together in the gym for one of our monthly assemblies, holding hands, singing, and spreading joy! Although we aren't able to do many of our traditions and routines this year, the one thing we are ALL feeling here at Allen Brook is the joy of seeing students back in school with us! I often try to remind myself and our faculty/staff of the why we do this work. The why is that we know kids belong IN school learning and growing. The why is seeing a moment when a child figures something out for the first time or helps a friend who is struggling. The why is sharing our ideas and wonderings. I am overwhelmed with pride at how hard everyone has worked together to get us to the reopening of school. Thank you to the parents who have been patient with us while we navigate new systems, procedures and technology glitches. You have trusted in us that we will take good care of your children during these new and unusual times. Some of you have even released your child to us without ever stepping into our school building and that says a lot about your faith in us as educators. Thank you to the teachers and support staff who walked back into this building in August after being out for many months to prepare for the arrival of our students. You have shown us your innovative thinking, your persistent mindset, and your dedication to serving our young children and families. Thank you to our community members who have stepped up to volunteer your time to do temperature checks, make us children/adult masks, being present during arrival with our police dog Duke, and for working together to bring our community back to some sense of normalcy. I know I say this often but it truly does take a village! Please enjoy some photos of some creative/innovative ways we have prepared for our 2020-2021 year...covid style!

Allen Brook School Arrival and Dismissal Time Changes

Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can now arrive between 8:00 to 8:15 am (all grades). Walkers are welcome as early as 7:40, when the buses are arriving. Click here for full document.

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NOTES for Student Drop Off at ABS:

  • WALKING to school is encouraged - ABS Parents must accompany their child(ren)

  • Parents must remain in vehicles for drop-off

  • Please arrive at the appropriate time for arrival as indicated above

  • Please drive attentively, slowly, and safely, following directions of school staff

  • *Temperature taking will happen in drive-up fashion

  • Your child must have their mask on for temp-taking

  • Please have students on the passenger side of the vehicle and roll down window for temp-taking. If more than one student is in the vehicle, the temp-taker will walk around to the other side of the vehicle for temp-taking

  • After temp taking, pull up and look for drop-off zone

  • For safety, all students must exit the passenger side of the vehicle

Arrival Map / Diagram
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Allen Brook School Student Pick-up Notes:

  • Parents should remain in vehicles for Pick-up

  • Please drive attentively, slowly, and safely, following direction of school staff

  • Please arrive at the appropriate time for dismissal as indicated above

  • For safety, please have students enter on curb-side of the vehicle only

  • ABS Pick-up Map / Diagram

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NOTES for WCS Student Drop Off:

    • WALKING to school is encouraged. Walkers / Bikers must visit temp-taking station before entering the building.

    • Please arrive within the designated time windows

    • Parents must remain in vehicles for car drop-off

    • Please drive attentively, slowly, and safely, following direction of school staff

    • *Temperature taking will happen in drive-up fashion (Except for walkers / bikers)

    • Please have students on the passenger side of the vehicle and roll down the window for temp-taking. If more than one student is in the vehicle, the temp-taker will walk around to the other side of the vehicle for temp-taking

    • After temp taking, pull up and look for drop-off zone

    • For safety, all students must exit the curb side of the vehicle

    • Arrival, Drop off Map / Diagram

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WCS NOTES for Student Pick-up:

Kindergarten Transition to 4 days of In-Person Instruction

As mentioned in the CVSD district newsletter on August 13, the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Education relaxed their rule around social distancing. For students under the age of 10, the new guidance allows between 3 and 6 feet social-distancing.

Now that we have successfully opened schools in the hybrid model, our hope is to incrementally transition elementary students to more in-person school days. We will begin this process on October 5 with Kindergarten students transitioning to fully in-person schooling for 4 days per week (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday) and maintaining remote instruction on Wednesdays each week.

We understand that for some families this information might lead you to consider a switch from hybrid to fully-remote or vice versa. Please indicate your preference for your child below to assist us with planning.

We ask that Kindergarten families please respond to this survey by Monday, September 21 at noon.

Celebrate Kindergarten!

To celebrate this special milestone of beginning kindergarten, we invite you to enjoy a storywalk at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. Come and read about a confident little boy and his first day of school, in the book The King of Kindergarten, by Derrick Barnes.

When: Saturday, Sept. 19 from 10am-2pm OR Weds, Sept. 23 from 2-6pm

Where: On the lawn next to the Town Library

Surprise!: Kindergarten students will receive a special goody bag, complete with a hardcover copy of the book and information on registering for your first Library card!

Click on this link for more details: Celebrate Kindergarten Flyer

We look forward to seeing you!

Student Photo Days Sept. 25 and 29

Student pictures are scheduled to be taken on the following days:

Friday, September 25

Tuesday, September 29

VLA students will be invited to come for pictures. Times will be shared soon.

Online ordering site for schools

Passwords are as follows:

WCS - wcs20

ABS - abs20

Allen Brook School Student Attendance

Kindergarten families should contact Laura Gigliotti (, Jodi Blaine ( and your classroom teacher to report absences. We appreciate hearing from you before 8:30.

Grade 1 and 2 student absences should be emailed to,, and the classroom teacher.

For VLA students, please email your teacher and

The ABS office phone is 802-871-6200.

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.

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Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

VLA Tips and contacts

Troubleshooting your Device:

When questions arise about the device you are using (won't start, camera doesn't work, etc.), please fill out this Helpdesk Form and someone will be in touch with you soon. Please do NOT directly email anyone in IT to request help as the department all works together and uses the Helpdesk system to respond to requests and needs.

Troubleshooting Digital Tools & Resources:

When questions arise with the accounts you are using (Google, IXL, Seesaw, and others), please reach out by email to Tim O'Leary, Virtual Learning Academy's Digital Learning Leader:

Williston Families As Partners (FAP)

Williston Families As Partners (FAP), Williston’s “PTA” organization, provides a forum for parents, teachers, administrators, and community members to actively discuss activities, events, and programs in the Williston schools. The participation of teachers and administration differentiates our FAP from a typical PTO/PTA and helps further promote our children’s health, well-being, and educational success.


FAP Rep duties vary from house to house, but here are some of the most common activities and functions (an FAP Rep won’t necessarily do all of the things listed);

Liaison between the teaching staff and parents

Inviting interested parents to attend monthly FAPAC meetings

Serving on various FAPAC sub-committees


FAP Advisory Council Monthly Meeting, held remotely

Communicating with House parents and teachers (approximately 1 hr/month)

Four Winds

We hope your school year is off to a smooth start. Four Winds recognizes the challenges that we all face as we try to figure out how best to serve students during this time.

The Four Winds Program has traditionally been presented by volunteers in the classroom. While we are not able to offer this option right now, we wanted to continue the Four Winds partnership. This year we are subscribing to the Four Winds Nature Institute's Nearby Nature from Home. All of the resources, activities, and explorations can be accessed by teachers and families from school and remotely. There are five days worth of flexible and family-friendly activities provided to encourage students to get outside and have some hands-on interaction with nature. We will be sending the links to these materials next week.

The theme for this year is Structure and Function. We will compare different physical and behavioral characteristics of organisms and think about how it affects their ability to live and grow.

In September, the focus will be on Spiders! We will take a close look at their special structures (like spinnerets, legs, eyes). We will also compare spiders that trap their food in webs versus those that hunt their prey.

Thank you for continuing this positive school, parent, and community partnership with Four Winds.

Have a great school year! Your Four Winds Williston Coordinators, Deb & Amanda

Four Winds Nature Program in Williston




Parents will be asked to certify that each day they will take their child’s temperature, monitor their health, and NOT send them to school if any of these are true.

All students will have their temperature taken prior to boarding the bus or entering the building.

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As students return to school wearing masks, there may be a few occasions in which they see a peer who is not wearing a mask. This is because the AOE's Safe and Healthy Schools guidance acknowledges that students who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons will not be required to do so. Any children who are not wearing masks have received approval through a very individualized district and school process. We will help all children understand that there are very few exceptions about mask-wearing, but that they may occasionally see someone who is not wearing a mask. That person has permission and will be treated with kindness and understanding.

The CDC recommends facial coverings in settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Adults doing drop-off and pick-up should wear facial coverings.

Below are the Vermont Department of Health guidelines on masks and school. We are NOT allowing anyone to wear a mask with a valve or vent. We are allowing gators as long as they are double ply/layered and 1 ply(see below) is not effective.

"Masks with Exhalation Valves or Vents The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory
droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. However, masks with one-
way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can
result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does
not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others.
Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an
exhalation valve or vent."

"Can students and personnel wear neck gaiters? There was one well designed study
that showed 1 ply gaiters are not effective at preventing the spread of the virus."

University of Vermont's Children's Hospital video link on

Masks and Kids: What You Need to Know

How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Masks (Centers for Disease Control)

What Families can Expect When a Student is Sick

Symptoms such as cough, runny nose, and upset stomach can be caused by many different germs or health conditions. This fact sheet from the VT Dept. of Health can help you prepare in case your child gets sick.

School Meals

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.

We will start the year by offering 2 lunch choices per day and one breakfast meal per day. We hope to expand our offerings in the future and we will keep you informed as we make changes. Students in school and those learning remotely will have the same menu options but use different methods to order meals.

September menu

In School Meals: Teachers will be taking students’ lunch orders in school on in-person days. Students will have the option of choosing between our hot or cold lunch meal. Breakfast will be available to students on their way to their classroom.

If you feel you may be eligible for meal benefits, please fill out this online form and submit it to the school.You will be notified if you qualify for free or reduced priced meals. Even though meals are currently free for all, this is likely to change later in the fall. Also, this information is used to determine the amount of federal assistance the school receives each year to support learning. If your situation changes you can apply at any time.

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.

Please contact your food service director if you have questions.

Thank you. We look forward to serving students again at school and to continuing to provide meals for the families in our communities.

Remote Learning Days Meals

Our distribution days for meals for remote learning days will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Monday each child will receive 2 breakfast meals and 2 lunch meals. (4 Meals)

On Wednesday each child will receive 1 breakfast meal and 1 lunch meal (2 Meals)
On Thursday each child will receive 2 breakfast meals and 2 lunch meals. (4 Meals)

Williston Remote Meals:

Please only sign up on these forms for the days your students will need meals at home. You can come to your school to pick up meals between 10-10:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can also request delivery of meals on the form and we will deliver meals to your home. By requesting this option, you are giving us permission to deliver meals to your home. Please place a cooler near your front door for us to place the meals in to keep them safe and cold. Some items will need to be reheated at home. The instructions will be on the labels.


We are so happy to be starting Fall Sports Monday 9/14. Boys and Girls Soccer, Field Hockey and Cross Country. Please visit the WCS Athletics site for more information! Registration is open and all athletes must be registered prior to the first day of practice. A current (within two years) Well Exam-Sports Participation Clearance Form (signed by your physician) must be on file to participate.

Masks must be worn for all sports. All athletes must bring their own water bottle. Athletes will participate only on the days they are in school. Each sport will be designated an outdoor meeting space next week.

Any questions please email Nadine (

WCS Band News

To start the year, the WCS band program will welcome all returning band students and students new to our school that have experience playing in band. Students will be offered 3 choices which are described in this newsletter.

We are gathering information in order to inform our scheduling.

If you have not already, please indicate your preference by filling out this form .

DAML Closed

Dorothy Alling Memorial Library is closed and will not be open for students to use for any after school plans.

Libraries at ABS and WCS

Our amazing librarians at both ABS and WCS have been busy working on getting our libraries opening safely, click here to see a slideshow with more information and access the links.

The slides below can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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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.
Student and Family Emotional Support

School Counselors offer tips and suggestions to help maintain emotional well being.

School Handbook

The school handbook has been updated for 2019-2020