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May 2017

Berlin students celebrate International Compost Awareness Week

in Environmental learning/Student Activism by

On May 16, Berlin Elementary School students led a tour for Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore of the school’s classroom, cafeteria, and outdoor composting system, which has turned more than 60 tons of food scraps into soil products since 2009. Students showed how their composting efforts contribute to healthy soils in recognition of International Compost Awareness Week.

For more, see: http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Vermont-Kids-Earn-A-in-School-Composting-422617594.html

http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/students-are-leading-the-way-in-composting-at-berlin-elementary-school/715154392

http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/1494985498h5m5z7wna6n

Thank you Heidemarie and Steve

in Arts in our schools by

Heidemarie Holmes-Heiss and Steve Owens pose outside Calais Elementary. Both are leaving WCSU at the end of the school year. Heidemarie taught art at Calais and EMES 17 years and Steve taught music at Calais Elementary 25 years. (As of July 1 Steve is going to be the principal of the Albany Community School.) Congratulations and we’ll miss you!

Act 46 Update

in Educational Funding by

What is Act 46 and why should I care about it?

Act 46 is a law passed by the Vermont legislature in 2015, inspired by concerns about rising property taxes, declining student enrollments, and a growing achievement gap among students. It requires Vermont school districts to explore new governance structures.

The WCSU board organized a summer study committee, of representatives from each town, in June 2015, to research Act 46. In September 2015 a formal Act 46 Study Committee was appointed with equal numbers from each member town and voting members.  Recognizing the far-reaching nature of any recommendation to change the nearly fifty-year-old governance structure, committee members determined that a final recommendation would require the support of a supermajority—nine of the 11 voting members. The committee could not agree on a recommendation that was supported by the required supermajority, after eighteen months of work. The committee disbanded.
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Parent Up for Prom and Springtime

in Uncategorized by

Parents can share health, safety, & legal info with kids about alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs

By Central Vermont New Directions Coalition

As kids grow up from elementary, middle, high school and on through college, parents continue to play a vital role when it comes to the decisions their children make. Parents can let them know they are worried about alcohol and drug use and do not approve of underage drinking, vaping, or smoking. Even when you think they aren’t listening, your words and actions have a big impact on choices kids make. Are you wondering what to say? Here are some tips from Parent Up Vermont and more information is available online.

Be a positive role model

If you drink, be aware of why and how often you drink in front of your child. Show positive ways to handle stress. Don’t make casual comments about “needing a drink to relax” after a difficult day. Don’t drink and drive.

Provide nonalcoholic drinks at your adult parties. Don’t pressure others to use alcohol if they don’t drink.

Don’t have your children serve drinks in your home, and don’t ask them to get you a beer from the fridge.

If you don’t use alcohol, explain to your children why you have made that choice.

If you have a family history of drug or alcohol problems, or mental illness, talk about it with your child in the same way you would any other chronic disease, like heart disease or cancer. The key is to match the amount of information with the context of your child’s questions and your child’s maturity level. It’s best to avoid recounting your own youthful experimentation because your child may get the wrong idea that it’s harmless. Keep Reading

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