Washington Central Story

WCUUSD Community Newsletter

Check out our new format!

I've learned a lot from our community forums, surveys, and informal conversations so far this year. Two themes that emerged about our district communications: 1). You'd prefer fewer emails with more robust messages, and 2). You'd like a newsletter format that is more easily viewable on mobile devices. This matches some changes I've been interested in making so that my letters can be meaningful and useful for all of you.

With that in mind, I hope you will enjoy this new format. You can expect a newsletter two times each month - on or around the first of the month, and on or around mid-month (with adjustments for school breaks). Feedback is always welcome - you'll see a link at the bottom to share your thoughts!

- Meagan Roy, Superintendent

In this issue...

  1. Some information about snow days
  2. School spotlight - Berlin's return to All School Meetings!
  3. Information about the Families of Color Affinity Group
  4. Update from our Humanity & Justice Coalition
  5. Upcoming Board meetings

Snow & Inclement Weather Days!

As we saw on Wednesday, winter has arrived! Although we've had an amazing stretch of warm days this Fall, we are now in the time when we need to watch the weather. Here are some reminders for families and caregivers about our inclement weather practices.

During my school tours as part of my hiring process, a common question I would receive from students was "What's your snow day philosophy?" I thought it might be helpful to share my answer with all of you! There are two things that drive my thinking as it relates to snow days:

  1. Our students benefit from being in school and learning with our amazing faculty and staff, and,
  2. Our students need to be safe

Sometimes it feels as though those two things work in opposition; but together they guide my decision making. You can be assured that I rely on a team of people to understand the current conditions in each of our towns (including the bus company, our road commissioners and our Operations Manager). Our goal is to make a decision as early as conditions allow us to do so. We use our Emergency Messaging system to push out the notification. And, our closures are communicated to the Vermont Broadcasters system so you can also find them on the various news and radio outlets.

I will be conducting a test message of our system on Tuesday the 22nd, midday. This will be a good opportunity for you to know whether or not your information is up to date in the Infinity Campus Parent Portal! Please contact your child's school if you don't receive the message.

Let it snow...but only on the weekends!

School Spotlight!

Berlin's All-School Meeting for October

This year, all of our schools have been rekindling some of our favorite in person traditions. I was able to visit one of Berlin's All-School Meetings in October. What a fun tradition! All students and faculty gather in the gym. Each month a classroom leads the school in a presentation or activity - in October it was Mrs. Turcotte's second-graders sharing their learning about continents. Mr. Boynton's Q&A got some students talking about what they wanted to share with families and caregivers at parent conferences. I even had a chance to hear the entire school recite the Bobcat Cheer. And, the meeting culminated with volunteers untangling themselves from the "human knot".

Thanks for letting me join, Berlin!

Families of Color Affinity Group!

Update from our Humanity & Justice Coalition

The Humanity & Justice Coalition met on November 1st to to begin our work for the school year. We reviewed the four areas of focus identified last year and noted what is happening so far to address each one:

  1. Hosting affinity groups for parents and caregivers of color and students of color: The group had its first meeting. An invitation has been sent to all elementary schools for inclusion in their newsletters (see the link above!). In addition, an invitation will be sent to all six schools to gauge interest in other parent affinity groups. U-32 Social Worker, Jamie Spector, is ready to partner with parents to organize other affinity groups.
  2. Committing to professional learning regarding equity, humanity and justice: Educators in Washington Central are participating in book groups throughout the year to engage us in deepening our collective knowledge and apply our new learning in our respective roles. All faculty members are invited to attend. There have been two meetings to date during our contractual inservice time. The Coalition is going to review New Staff Trainings to ensure they are guided by the vision statement, as well as conduct a review of our district mandatory trainings.
  3. Reviewing and critiquing our policies, procedures, curricula and instructional practices so they reflect and align with our Humanity and Justice Vision Statement: This summer a group of administrators reviewed all of our district student/family handbooks and conducted a review. Changes were made to this year's handbooks; and, this work is ongoing.
  4. Advocating and participating in statewide practices that are aligned with our Humanity and Justice Vision Statement. Through statewide professional organizations we will actively engage in work related to the revision of the Education Quality Standards, the implementation of Act One (Vermont's law relating to ethnic and social equity standards for public schools) and diversifying the educator workforce.

The Coalition meets in person at U-32 from 5:30-7:00 on the first Tuesday of each month. If you are interested in being part of the Coalition, please complete the HJC Member Interest Survey.

- From Co-Facilitator, Ellen Cooke

WCUUSD Board Forum

Wednesday, Dec. 7th, 6:15-7:15pm

321 Lightening Ridge Road

Plainfield, VT

We are resuming our pre-pandemic practice of rotating amongst our schools for our community forums, and are excited this month to be at the Calais Elementary School. We will be joined by guest presenter Lucinda Garthwaite for a presentation about our Equity Scholar in Residence Program, and how this is connected to our broader Humanity and Justice Work.

Check out our website for more information: https://www.wcsu32.org/domain/272