March 12, 2021
Superintendent Elaine Pinckney
Dear Friends and Families,
One year after having to close our schools due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are reminded of what a long, challenging journey it has been. But, the news of vaccine availability for all our faculty and staff in the near future and the prospect of having all adult Vermonters at least in line for a vaccine by May, floods us with hope, joyful anticipation, and optimism. This is an important step forward in getting back to “normal”.
At this point, we have been notified by the Agency of Education that 1000 Pfizer vaccines will be available to our faculty and staff at CVU on Wednesday, March 17. These vaccines will be administered by the Vermont National Guard and will be available to educators in neighboring districts as well. And while 1000 doses do not meet the CVSD demand, I am told that this will not be the only option for our teachers. Other clinics are scheduled and more will be scheduled in the near future.
It is important to know that the vaccine’s full effectiveness kicks in two weeks after the final dosage. For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, this is a six-week timeframe from the first vaccine and it is a four-week timeframe for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For us, this means that all faculty and staff who choose to be vaccinated at our school-based clinic will not have achieved the vaccine’s maximum effectiveness until late April.
While the vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing infection is key to our return to normal - both in the state and in our schools- it is not the only hurdle to returning to full-time in-person schooling. Vermont’s Safe and Healthy School Guidance still requires 3 feet social distancing at the elementary level (K-6) and 6 feet social distancing for our middle and high school students. We are in regular communication with the Agency of Education and we continue to monitor any changes closely. We will not compromise the safety guidance, but when it is safe for our students and faculty and staff to be within 3 feet of social distancing and the guidance is changed by the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Education, we will make the appropriate adjustments. Until then, we will continue to be driven by the science. We do expect health guidance to change as the Vermont COVID context improves and as more Vermonters are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the Champlain Valley School District continues to find ways to bring more students back while adhering to all safety guidance. Seventh and eighth-grade students at Hinesburg Community School will begin four-days per week in-person instruction beginning on Monday, March 29th. Seventh and eighth-grade students at Williston Central School will begin 4-days per week in-person instruction beginning on Monday, April 5th. Shelburne Community School is still reviewing the impacts of a 3-day in-person week vs a 4-day in-person week for its seventh and eighth-graders. They want to ensure that they are providing the very strongest option for their students. Parents will be involved in making this decision. This has been a huge undertaking for our principals who spent the vacation week figuring out how they could abide by the guidance, manage the current schedule, and bring in seventh and eighth-graders. I am so grateful for their perseverance, diligence, and creativity. It is important to know that bringing back 7th and 8th graders may require changes to the Essential Arts and World Language schedule. Parents will receive more detailed information from the respective administrations soon. CVU will maintain its current schedule.
Jeff Evans, Director of Learning and Innovation, and Meagan Roy, Director of Student Services, in compliance with new state expectations, are leading our administrators in the development of the CVSD COVID Educational Response Team plan. This plan will assess our students in their social-emotional development, their academic development, and their engagement in learning. Mr. Evans will coordinate this work and ensure that we know at the individual student level where each student is vis-a-vis each element. Dr. Roy will work with a sub-group to ensure that our district-wide summer school program is also focused on these three main elements and provides opportunities for remediation for all who need it.
Spring is around the corner. The days are longer. We are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel and we await with joyful anticipation, as you do, the day when we truly are back to normal.
Be well -
CVSD is committed to and will maintain the Virtual Learning Academy option throughout this school year.
Results of the Mid-Year Thoughtexchange
This Thoughtexchange included 3 participant groups: parents/guardians, faculty/staff, and high school students. The high school student group came on board later in the survey window. Each group was able to add, view, and rate the thoughts of others in that group. We have generated separate reports for each group.
- Parents/Guardians 553 participants, 596 thoughts, 17,880 ratings
- Faculty/Staff 141 participants, 135 thoughts, 2,942 ratings
- High School Students 127 participants, 84 thoughts, 1,266 ratings
- Positive recognition for school staff
- Appreciation for following COVID protocols
- Getting students outside
- Thoughts about grades 7-8, Wednesdays, and more in-person instruction
Thank you for participating!
Health Screening Questions
Congratulations to the Newest CVSD National Board Certified Teachers!
CVSD has the highest number of national board certified teachers in any district in Vermont.
Learn about the Penguin Run that took place at WCS last weekend, from the CVSD Story, our blog! Thank you to Peter Booth at CVU, Greg Marino in Williston, and a host of others for their collaboration and efforts to make this happen and support of Special Olympics Vermont.
An HCS student marks a great achievement with Typing Club and was very proud.
CCS "Morning Show"
Part of the routine at CCS is the morning announcements, filled with fun facts and lots of humor. This kick-off to each morning is created by the CCS Student Council and their advisors, Dave Baird and Matt Lutz.