THE SCHOOL BELL
Williston Schools / February 17, 2021
Enjoy the Winter Break! No School February 22-26
A Message from the Administration
by WCS Principal Jacqueline Parks
COVID is wearing thin for everyone. We see it in our students, our faculty and our families. Everyone is tired, yet doing their best to stay positive and move ahead with learning, work and life in general. Thankfully, the vaccine is making its way out into the community and this is providing many of us with hope.
Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” and as “a feeling of trust.” Hope also implies that there is the possibility of something better in the future which we all desperately need during the darker times. The research indicates that hope can help us manage stress, anxiety and cope with adversity. This in turn can help us to make healthy wellness choices.
Talking about a hopeful future in which COVID is not at the forefront can be very beneficial to students (and all of us) as it allows them to picture something beyond the pandemic. Of course, students of different ages will have different ideas of what they hope for in the future. When asked about a post-COVID hope, our middle school students often name seeing their friends and extended family again, going shopping and playing sports. They are yearning for the normalcy of their pre-COVID lives.
As we move into late February, let’s all incorporate some more conversations about hope into our lives. It will help remind us all that there is a future in which COVID is not controlling our lives and remind us that having hope helps us to remember that the future will be better.
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering it will be happier.” Alfred Lord Tennyson
New Food Benefit Program for Families
We are excited to share a new food benefit program with families. An email went out about this on Monday, February 8. We wanted to reach out in school newsletters as well to help inform families about this opportunity.
- There is no change to the current free breakfast and lunch for everyone 18 and younger. No action is necessary to continue to get free meals.
- Every enrolled student who qualifies for free/reduced meals is also entitled to an additional $60 - $100 per child per month - retroactive to September.
- Many families who did not qualify for free and reduced meals last year may qualify this year due to a change in family circumstances. Because meals are free for everyone, you may not have completed the application. In order to get this additional benefit, you will need to apply now.
- Families who were qualified last year are automatically enrolled. You do not need to do anything but are being asked to check the 'head of household" name and address so the electronic-benefit-card gets delivered to the right person/house.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, and INCLUSION
From our Williston Schools Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coaches, Cara Clopton and Ryan Batche
In the Williston Schools we believe that the work for racial equity and justice needs to be ongoing and continuous and cannot be limited to individual lessons or actions during a particular time of the school year. We offer these resources for families and caregivers to support the engagement in conversations about racial equity in your homes.
10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids about Race
Talking About Race
Learn More About the CVSD Proposed Budget
We know that many of you are voting early or doing your best to get informed prior to voting on Town Meeting Day on March 2nd. This video provides just the information you need about the school district's proposed budget for the 2021-2022 school year. Vsit the budget page on our website for additional resources and information. https://www.cvsdvt.org/budget
School Budget Vote
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.)
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. Read more at this link and find further information on the CVSD website: www.cvsdvt.org/budget.
FY22 (2021-2022) Budget Documents
CVSD Informational Meeting: Monday, March 1, 2021, 5:00pm
Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 2, 2021
You may either vote in person in your town on March 2, or contact your Town Clerk to request an absentee ballot ahead of time.
You may also go to https://mvp.vermont.gov/ to arrange for a ballot.
Ballots will not be mailed unless you request them.
*St. George residents - your Town Meeting date has changed, but voting on the School District's articles will still take place on or before March 2.
CVSD Mid-Year Check-In: Share Your Thoughts!
We are excited to launch this Thoughtexchange to check in with you mid-year. Your thoughts about the first half of the year and suggestions for the second half will be reviewed as we plan for the remainder of the school year. We want to know what is important to you and what is going well.
This exchange will be open until February 21, 2021. Please share your thoughts and then rate the thoughts of others. See the tips in the Thoughtexchange to assist you.
Thank you for sharing your perspectives with us!
The Champlain Valley School District Administration
PARENT IN: Consent & Respecting Boundaries
H.O.P.E Works’ mission is to end sexual violence, to promote healthy relationships and prevent all people from harm. This week our focus will be how to teach our children about consent and respecting boundaries. Two very important concepts that help nurture healthy relationships amongst middle school students and adolescent children.
Late childhood and early adolescence is a time when children get messages about relationships and consent from tv shows, movies, social media, and friends. This makes an ideal time for parents to have conversations with children about consent. Talking with your child now will encourage open and honest communication as they mature and enter relationships.
What is Consent?
Consent means asking someone for their permission to do something and accepting their answer.
Consent shows up in kids’ lives when they ask peers if and what they want to play, if they want to sit together at lunch, or on the bus, if they'd like to share school supplies, toys, food etc.
Helping kids to ask for consent and accept rejections in everyday life builds a foundation for practicing consent in intimate relationships as they get older.
Ask yourself: What message is my child getting about relationships and consent? What messages do I want them to get?
Let your child know they can come to you with questions about consent and relationships.
Answer their questions honestly and encourage honest conversation about respect and safety
For example, you could tell your child “Everyone’s body deserves respect” or “if someone hurts us, it’s okay to talk about it.”
Teach Respect for Boundaries
Teach your child that consent means always respecting others’ boundaries
Boundaries are a person’s right to choose what is comfortable for them.
For example, “ it sounds like your friend didn’t want to sit beside you on the bus today. Sometimes you don’t want to sit beside me and that’s okay. Everybody gets to make choices about what’s comfortable for them.”
Teach How to Ask for Consent
Help your child to think about how their actions may make another person feel and to ask questions if they don’t know.
Everyone has different boundaries, and no one should ever feel pressured to do something that they aren’t comfortable with.
Model Asking for Consent
Show your child ways to ask for consent by modeling the words and actions yourself.
Model respect for boundaries by asking your child for consent and accepting their answers, like when asking for a hug or sharing information about them with others or on social media.
Use teachable moments to talk about consent and respect.
For example, “I could tell your guidance counselor that grandma died if that’s okay with you”, or “It’s okay if you don’t want a good night hug.”
By teaching consent and respecting boundaries at an early age, it helps your child be safer and understand how to be respectful to others and their boundaries in person and on social media. Promoting honest and open communication is key to healthy relationships.
*National Sexual Violence Resource
Allen Brook School Morning Arrival Time Reminder
This message is for families who drop off their students at Allen Brook School in the mornings:
Thank you for adhering to our morning arrival time window, which is 7:50 am to 8:10 am.
Students should arrive at or after 7:50 am.
This allows time for school buses to depart and staff scheduled to assist with student arrival to be in place.
In the hopefully rare occasion a student arrives before 7:50 or after 8:10, they should enter school via the front doors and stop in the office to have their temperature taken.
We appreciate your efforts to arrive during the scheduled time.
We also appreciate our staff for enduring the weather and ensuring student safety during the morning drop off.
Do you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, 2021?
Kindergarten Registration for Fall, 2021 is underway at Allen Brook School.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
Allen Brook School
497 Talcott Road, Williston, VT
Updated Health Screening Questions
In order to be in compliance with state regulations and to keep our teachers, staff, and students safe, all families with children participating in in-person learning agreed with and signed a certification at the beginning of the school year that they would attest to 4 questions about their child's health before sending students to school. As a result of the Governor's current Executive Order, we have updated the required questions. Please review the questions in the image below with your family before sending students to school.
PARKING LOT SAFE DRIVING REMINDER
We are reminding all parents and caregivers who drop off or pick up students to be extra mindful about your driving in the school parking lots. We are asking that all drivers please drive with extreme caution, courtesy, and at slow speeds. We have noticed some dangerous situations pop up as a result of distracted driving or elevated driving speeds. We thank you for your help in keeping all students, staff, and drivers safe.
What to Know About Potential Hill Road Closings for Buses Due to Road Conditions
On the occasions it is determined a Williston school bus will not be driving on a hill* road during the morning pick up, we hope to be able to contact families early enough for you to get students to a stop at the start of the hill to catch the bus. When the hills are closed in the morning, it includes hills on the preschool bus routes. Alternatively, during the afternoon bus runs, we will contact families to advise you that the bus will need to drop children off at the start of the hill, and you can meet the bus there if necessary. If no one arrives to meet younger students, they will be brought back to school until arrangements are made for them to be picked up. Please talk with your bus drivers to let them know if you are comfortable letting your child walk home from the drop off location.
We will use the Connect 5 automated calling system to send a voice message to families on the hill roads.
*These are the hill roads: Butternut, Highlands, Porterwood, Oak Knoll, Rabbits Run, Evergreen, Fortier, Douglas, Yantz Hill, lower River Cove, Meadow Ridge, Ledgewood, Bayberry, Terrace, Jasmine, Wild Ginger, French Hill, Sunrise Drive, Sunset, Lincoln, Chaloux, and Walker Hill.
Hello Curious Scientists!
How are you doing? We would love to hear how Four Winds presentations are going this year. Please take a quick moment to fill out our Mid-Year Check-in Survey.
We may have a couple more weeks of winter, but there is still a lot to do outside!
If you are looking for something to do over the February staycation, try some of these amazing units! Click on the links below to find fun facts, photos, hands-on activities, games, read alouds, science episodes, and even the videos of the beloved puppet show! Enjoy!
Unit 1: Spiders
Unit 2: Tremendous Trees.
Unit 3: Predators and Prey
Unit 4: Skulls and Teeth
Unit 5: Birds of a Feather
Bonus: Winter Exploration Ideas
The theme for the year is Structure and Function.
Deb & Amanda, Your Four Winds Williston Coordinators
Here are three different visual timelines to the contact tracing that show important dates for cases and close contacts:
test positive but do not have symptoms
close contacts with someone who has tested positive
Social Gathering Q&A from the Health Office
Feb 22-26 - No School / Winter Break
March 1 - CVSD School Meeting, 5 pm zoom Informational Meeting Warning and Zoom Information
Details: https://cvsdvt-org.zoom.us/i/98936025245 Meeting ID: 989 3602 5245 Phone Participation: 1-646-876-9923 Passcode: 528121
March 2 - School Budget Vote
Apr 19-23 - No School / Spring Break
Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can arrive between 7:50 to 8:10 am (all grades). Walkers are welcome as early as 7:40, when the buses are arriving. Click here for full document.
Please visit the Food Service website for the remote learning days order form and more information.
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.
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.
Monthly Fitness Fun
School Nutrition Program
Monthly Fitness Fun
CVSD School Board
COVID-19 CVSD Links
Recreation & Parks Offerings