Williston School District /April 13, 2016

Monday, April 18th - Friday, April 22th SPRING BREAK - NO SCHOOL

A Message from the WSD Administration

Williston Runs ...

by Greg Marino

It is certainly a welcome site to see the sunshine after some dreary and wet Vermont spring days. If you’re like me, the longer days and warmer sun bring about the urge to get out and get active in the beautiful great outdoors. Even though many Vermonters are full-year outdoors-people, it’s so nice to be able to get outside and exercise without the added ritual of bundling up with layer upon layer of insulation. As a lake Champlain and fishing enthusiast, this is also the time of year when I begin to daydream a bit about those coming days in the warm sun with feet in the water and fishing pole in hand. Another energizing sign of Spring in Vermont is to see the flood of people outside taking to the hiking and fitness trails, bike path, or just playing ball in the yard. It’s in our nature as human being to want to be outside. It is beneficial to our bodies and minds in so many ways. Breathing the outdoor air, feeling the sunshine on your skin, noticing the bright buds on the bushes and trees, hearing the sounds of Spring all around you, the birds, the rambling brook - are all natural therapies and the absolute best medicine for a weary body and soul.

With this in mind, I hope everybody will consider joining me by participating in the Williston Runs 5K event this year on May 14th at the community park behind WCS. I understand that this year’s event will include the chance to participate as part of a 2-3 person team. (Of course individuals can still opt to run the entire 5K on their own). What a great new opportunity for people to participate in this event. Last year, it was a family affair for the Marino’s and we had a great time. My two youngest daughters were very kind about not letting their dear old dad fall too hard behind! It was a special way to spend a few hours as a family and a great feeling of accomplishment when we were done. This year’s course has also been changed and is now completely contained within Williston Community Park. For guys like me (not a professional runner), that’s good news because the course will be flat! It should also be easier for all of the enthusiastic spectators to watch the race as it progresses.

I don’t think I have mentioned the important detail that this event is a significant fundraiser for our amazing FAP organization which does so much to support our schools. That’s really just an added bonus for participating in an amazing community-building event that will make you feel great! Registration is now open for the May 14th event. Paper registration forms are available in the offices at both schools and online registration can be found at

I am looking forward to participating in this event again this year and hope to see many of you there. The theme of this message aligns nicely with our school break next week. For many families this means more opportunities to get outside and be active together. I hope your week contains at least a few of those special moments enjoying Vermont’s great outdoors as a family.
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Early Release-Late Start Prof. Development/ Educational Improvement

Administrators from all our CSSU schools recently shared our proposal for a 2016-17 CSSU professional development model that includes weekly early release/late starts in exchange for adding 4 student days. In order to provide more details, we have prepared this document.

What do we mean when we say professional development (PD) for faculty/staff?

Professional development provides the training, resources, and practice to ensure that our educators offer the highest quality of instruction, assessment, and curriculum for our learners. While the value of professional learning is of great importance in the CSSU community, it is also a requirement according to the Vermont Agency of Education. As found in the Education Quality Standards, all Vermont schools must engage in professional learning for all professional staff and embedded into the school day (2121.3).

What is the current model for Professional Development?

The CSSU 2015-16 calendar has seven full in-service days, three of which were held before the first day of school. The remaining days were/are in November, February, and June. These are non-student days.

Why change the current model?

The model of full in-service days was never optimal. However, when the work consisted of learning about new programs and implementing them, there was a better fit. Today, teachers are expected to continually learn, apply, reflect, and re-adjust the implementation of all they are doing. So too, we expect them to “chunk” learning in small doses for their students, ask students to apply that learning, constantly check for understanding, and make necessary instructional adjustments. Our current Professional Development model is not consistent with this approach to teaching and learning. Meeting for full days every three or four months does not support teachers’ ability to continually reflect and adjust their instruction based on student needs. Read more

Early Release Question & Answer Session

The Williston Administration and School Board invite you to attend an informal Question and Answer session about the Early Release Professional Development/ Educational Improvement Model on Thursday, 4/14, at 5:00-6:00 pm in the WCS Dining Room.

8th Graduation and Graduation Planning

8th grade graduation will take place on Thursday, June 9th beginning at 6:30 pm! More details and ticket information will be sent home after the April break.

The first parent graduation planning meeting will be held on Thursday, May 5th from 6:00-7:30 pm in the dining room. We invite all 8th parents to attend! At the planning meeting, we will brainstorm and determine a theme and then get organized into subcommittees to plan the decorations and the reception. One parent volunteer will also be needed to work on the graduation program that is handed out.

Please email Jackie Parks ( if you are planning to attend the meeting on May 5th. Thank you!


Click here for the FAP home page and meeting minutes.

Follow us on Facebook at:

Questions? Email or visit the school webpage and find us on the quick links.

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SPARK 1 Thursday After School Enrichment Session 6

The 6th session of Spark Thursday After School Enrichment, an after-school applied learning program for students in grades 5-8, will be offered on April 28, May 5, 12, 19, & 26. These small group classes will be facilitated by school faculty and staff. Please access the link to the sign-up form below by April 25th. Sign-up form

Read more

Placement Process for 2016-17

It's that time of year when the school starts planning for next year's student placements. If your child is in one of the grades that will be transitioning to a new team and teacher next year (Kindergarten, grade 2 or 4), we would like your input to help us make better decisions on behalf of all the children.
To find information about the placement process and the input form, please click on this link or go to the school's web site ( and click on the headline link or navigate to the School Counselor page.
We look forward to hearing from you by April 15.

School Rule = Pokémon cards stay at home!

We have this school rule because POKEMON cards interrupt and impact the learning environment with stealing, trading, students changing their minds about trading, unfair trading...

We expect that all students leave their POKEMON cards at home.

WCS Students Win "People's Choice" Award at 3D VT Olympiad

While most students were sleeping in on the March 25 Parent-Teacher conference day, ten Voyager students were at school by 7am to board a bus for Randolph. There, they represented WCS at the High School and Middle School Olympiad of Architectural History in Vermont at Vermont Technical College.

This pilot group of students met after school with Voyager teacher Aron Merrill and WCS librarian Ellen Arapakos to learn the history of two village buildings: The Old Brick Church and the Stovepipe Corner Schoolhouse. They took measurements & photos, created presentations of their research, and modeled the buildings using SketchUp software. On the day of the Olympiad, students placed their 3D printed scale models on the large map of Vermont and spoke to judges about the history of the two Williston buildings. They came away with the "People's Choice" award and won themselves each a pair of argyle SketchUp socks.

A big thanks to Bonnie Birdsall & all the parents who made the trip to Randolph & supported us!

Students: Tyler Davis, Addison Hunter, Peyton Jones, Emma Kim, Caydance Newton, Josh Perkins, Addison Urch, Ethan Varricchione, Colin Zouck, Matt Zych

WSD Staff Awards

Williston is honored to have many staff that are recognized as leaders in the field of education. We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of our award winners from this year.

Kevin Hunt:

Kevin Hunt was named Project Ignite Teacher for our school for being innovative and creative with the use and inclusion of digital tools through his Personalized Learning Plan work with middle level students.

Bonnie Birdsall:

Bonnie was honored with the “ISTE Making IT Happen” award here in Vermont for her commitment and innovation in educational technology. From ISTE’s site about the award: The Making IT Happen award honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students.

Sharon Davidson:

Sharon was the winner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Education Award. Sharon was honored and presented at their National conference in San Diego,CA. She spoke about technology and Kindergarten and how it is possible.

Lyn Porter:

The Eastern District Outstanding Professional Service Award is a non-discipline specific award given annually to a maximum of six recipients who best exemplify exceptional and outstanding contributions to the field of health and physical education. They demonstrate leadership service at the district and local, state and national level. Lyn has also been named President of the Eastern District Association of Physical Education, Health, Recreation and Dance for the upcoming year.

The Enigma of Adolescence: Decoding our 21st Century Youth

An evening for caregivers and professionals
DAY/DATE: Wednesday, May 4th
TIME: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM (doors open at 6 PM)

PLACE: CVU Auditorium

FEE: In-kind donation of $5 or $10 towards CVU scholarships

Parenting and working with millennial youth is both a challenging and rewarding venture. Advances in brain science have improved our knowledge of adolescence, while the explosion of digital media has shaped our interactions with today’s youth. In this talk, Dave Melnick, LICSW will focus on three areas that will help adults better understand and succeed with our adolescents. Read more

Four Winds Nature News

Click to see this month's Nature News

ABS Recess Volunteers

Allen Brook School is inviting interested parents to learn to assist with recess. This is a volunteer opportunity to organize, supervise and play a group game. Behavior intervention training (including recess rules) will be provided.

If interested, please contact Cindy Pavlik, 871-6203, or

WSD Student Art on Display at DAML

Congratulations to the following students whose art will be on display both on the walls and in several display cases at Dorothy Alling Memorial Library through the end of April.
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Sawmill Studio Enrichment (open to WCS students)

Sawmill Studio teaches young students how to properly use hand tools to build projects of their choice.
Tuesdays April 26-May 24
Click here for flyer
April is Alcohol Awareness Month

You can help your children and minimize the risk of of underage alcohol use by taking a few basic steps. Click above for more information.

Parents Expectations During a School Emergency

Please familiarize yourself with these expectations (also available on the school web site ( and follow them in an emergency.

WSD Facebook Page

The Facebook page will enhance communication, tell the amazing story of Williston, and be another place to access the School Bell. We will use this page to post other exciting news and/or happenings.

Athletics link

Williston School District Physical Education Department

Health Office Links

WCS: 871-6170, 871-6171 /Maria Harlow, RN, Carol Albertelli, RN/ABS: 871-6248/Sylvia Love, RN

Upcoming Events

Horizon Reading Restaurant / Wed. April 13 / 6-7:45 pm / ABS

FAPAC Mtg. / Thu. April 14 / 8:15-10:15 am / WCS Dining Room

Early Release Q & A: Thur., 4/14 / 5:00-6:00 pm / WCS Dining Room

Synergy Family Showcase / Thur. April 14 / 6-7 pm

No School / April 18-22

School Board Meeting / Tue. April 26 / 7-9 pm / CVU H.S. rm. 142

Graduation Planning / Thurs., May 5 / 6:00-7:30 pm / WCS Dining Room

8th Gr. Science NECAP Testing / Tue. & Wed. / May 10 & 11

CSSU Jazz Fest / Mon. May 16 / 7 pm

Parent Night - Incoming Kind. / Tues. May 17 / 6:30 pm / ABS Cafeteria

Jazz Band Concert CSSU wide / Tues. May 17 / 7 pm / CVU H.S.

Upper House Concert Day / Wed. May 18 / WCS Auditorium

Harmony Reading Restaurant / Thurs. May 19 / 5:30 pm

ABS Art Show / Wed. May 25 / 6 pm

Equinox Reading Restaurant / Thurs. May 26 / 5 pm

Click here for athletics
More Upcoming Events on the School Web Calendar

Check out upcoming school events and dates on the School website Calendar!

Dorothy Alling Memorial Library Programs

Click here to access the DAML web site listing of events.
Click here for the Bell listing of DAML events scheduled for children.

Click here for the DAML newsletters.

Recreation & Parks Offerings

Gymnastics- Participants will have the opportunity to learn and use the vault, bars, balance beam, floor exercise and tumble trak. A great program to try out gymnastics. Children will be split into the different age groups. Instructors: Green Mountain Training Center Staff. Ages 4-5, 6-7 & 8-12, Saturdays, Apr. 30- May 21, 10:30-11:30am. $65

GPS Junior Soccer Clinics- Age appropriate curriculum and expert professional coaches will create the perfect environment to develop motor and coordination skills. Players will receive a t-shirt. Instructors: Global Premier Soccer Staff. Room still available in Ages 6-7, 5:30-6:15pm. Fridays, Apr. 29- June 10. $70

Swim Lessons w/The Edge- The lessons introduce swimming techniques and increases safety skills around the water. Following Red Cross guidelines, each level provides a building block for the next. There are a limited number of spots and registration is done through the Rec. Dept. Lessons for ages 6 months thru 11 years. Lessons begin the week of April 25th.

Youth Tennis- Children will learn the fundamental tennis strokes through fun, active drills that teach basic stroke technique including groundstrokes, volleys, serves and overheads. The program is designed for the beginner to intermediate player. The Edge Tennis Instructors. Mon & Wed, May 2-25, K-2nd, 3:00-4:00pm. 3rd-6th, 4:15-5:15pm. $90

Summer Camp Registration- Camp registration is now open. Take a look at the Camp Guide and Camp Grid to plan a great summer for your children. Summer Camp Guide-

Summer Camp Grid and Camper Info/Health Form-

Click here for the Recreation & Parks website.
Click here for this months Rec. newsletter.
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Williston School District

Allen Brook School and Williston Central School