THE SCHOOL BELL
Williston Schools / March 3, 2021
A Message from the Administration
by ABS Principal Angela Filion
This month I would like to celebrate! I know that it may seem like we don't have much to celebrate these days given our current circumstances. We can very easily find ourselves feeling discouraged, worried, and overwhelmed with all that we have going on and trying to anticipate what our future will look like. In our focus on the future, we often forget to relish the present. We get bogged down, feel more stress and experience more fatigue. We lose enthusiasm for our goal and maybe even forget to enjoy life. That’s why it’s important to celebrate our successes, both large and small.
Many people get hung up on the term ‘celebration.’ A celebration doesn’t necessarily mean a grand event. It can be as simple as an acknowledgement you give yourself. Celebrating our success is more about taking time out to reflect on our journey. A number of studies have found that this approach to life brings significant benefits, including improved physical health and better coping strategies. People who take time to reflect on and celebrate their successes are generally more optimistic, take better care of themselves and tend to be less stressed. If you think you don’t have anything to celebrate, think some more. There is much in life to celebrate: firsts, transitions, milestones, and even the tiniest goals achieved. You can celebrate the first signs of spring, your kids’ transition back to school, or the times you spend together as a family. You can even celebrate moments when you cross tasks off your to-do list (this is one of my favorite celebrations). The ways we celebrate can be just as varied. You can soak in a hot bath, treat yourself to an extra 15 minutes with a good book or call a good friend who can connect with about your joy. Some people find it rewarding to jot these moments in a special notebook.
Take time today to contemplate what you have to celebrate, then go and celebrate it. Over time, you’ll find your new approach will also lead to a new way of thinking — a way that recharges your batteries, that boosts your morale and your confidence and that carries you through to your next celebration. I leave you with many celebrations I have been able to capture here at ABS. These photos shed some light on all the wonderful reasons to highlight the success of our students, faculty/staff, and community! Remember to celebrate!!!
ABS Library News
Has YOUR super reader chatted with you about RED CLOVER picture books? Each spring every ABS child hears 10 new picture books during library lesson time, then gets to vote in APRIL for their favorite one. Kids all across VERMONT participate, too! I wonder which author and illustrator will win THIS school year?
You can listen to Mrs. Clopton read aloud these books here: https://sites.google.com/cvsdvt.org/abs-library/red-clover-book-award
ABS Library Seeking Reusable Bags
ABS LIBRARY MOTTO: No limits, no fees, no fines. Curiosity is Welcomed Here!
Part 2 Summer Camps 2021 - Information
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
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 email@example.com 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
March 19 - Parent/Teacher Conference / No School
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
CVSD School Board
Recreation & Parks Offerings