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Calais All School Wellness Walk

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School Start Time Being Examined

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A WCSU School Start Time Subcommittee has formed to explore the possibility of changing the start time of schools in Washington Central, primarily motivated by research showing that later start times are particularly good for teenagers.
There’s no specific proposal on the table yet, but several possibilities are being considered including:

  • Swap high school and elementary start times,
  • Move both high school and elementary starts later, or
  • Start both high school and elementary at the same time.

This TED talk by a sleep researcher, a ten minute long video, talks about the benefits of later start times and recommends at least 8:30 am for high school.

There is far less research on how younger children are affected by school start times, but if you want a deeper dive into that for teenagers a number of articles and papers are linked here.

According to one participant, even without details of a specific proposal, the mood of those attending the two community meetings held so far has been supportive of a change.

It looks like an online survey should be out in May to try to get a broader sense of how people feel about this issue.

The next meeting is April 23rd at 5:30 at U-32 (room 128-131).

Meet the Candidates at Rumney

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Please join us for a “Meet the Candidates” evening at Rumney Memorial School on Thursday, February 22, 6:30-8:30 pm.

Rumney school board candidates Alison Cornwall, Carolyn Kiniry-Roberge, Chris McVeigh, and Kevin Stephani will offer their views on key issues. The panel will be moderated by Susan Clark, Middlesex Town Moderator.

The evening will include candidates’ responses to questions, as well as informal time to share cider and cookies and chat with the candidates.

If you have a question or topic you’d like the candidates to address, feel free to email it to Susan ahead of time, or bring it to the event.

Hosted by the Middlesex Town Meeting Solutions Committee.
Questions? Please contact Susan at sclark@sover.net or 802/223-5824.

Ksepka Receives Child Nutrition Award

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Washington Central Supervisory Union Data Manager/Transportation Coordinator, Michelle Ksepka, has received the 2017 Child Nutrition Administrative Leadership Award.

This recognition is presented to those who demonstrate outstanding leadership in support of child nutrition programs that ensure students are fed well within their school systems. Recipients understand the importance that proper nutrition plays in student success and have supported programs in their field of work.

In the nomination for the Child Nutrition Administrative Leadership Award, Business Manager Lori Bibeau and Superintendent Bill Kimball stated: “Michelle is our food service champion. When Michelle takes a new role, she always goes beyond to implement the work and provide support to others, as needed. Although Michelle’s hard work is behind the scenes, she makes a difference in the smooth operation of the food programs. Michelle is the unsung hero for the WCSU Food Programs.”

On October 19, 2017 Michelle accepted the Child Nutrition Administrative Leadership Award during the annual meeting of the School Nutrition Association of Vermont. Pictured left: Michelle Ksepka with Erica Dolan, President-Elect, School Nutrition Association-Vermont.

New Report Cards

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The elementary report card has been revised in order to better align it to Student Learning Outcomes. This video provides a 10-minute overview of the changes you can expect to see on the new report card.

Click HERE to view the video.

Rumney Spellers Come Up Big

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Congratulations to the Rumney spellers and their coach Lynne Woodard who recently won the regional spelling bee. Their next stop will be the state spelling bee on November 18th. Good luck!

Rx Take Back Day

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Washington County Sheriff W. Samuel Hill, in cooperation with the DEA, has coordinated six Collection Sites within Washington County for the safe disposal of unused prescription medications.

October 28, 2017, 10:00 am-2:00 pm

Parent Up for Prom and Springtime

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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

Education is Changing

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How do we know what they know now?

What would it be like to drive around in a car from 1920? It probably wouldn’t work very well.  And it wouldn’t make much sense. Interestingly, we are currently using an educational system very similar to what was used over 100 years ago.

We have been very rooted in our traditional educational system which doesn’t necessarily serve the modern learner. Therefore we are trying to build a new system of education in Vermont that among other things can answer the question: “How do we teach students to be ready for jobs that might not even exist yet?”

For over a century, students have received a high school diploma based on the accumulation of credits earned for passing courses. This system has not necessarily ensured that students are actually ready for college or the job market. And many graduates leave high school unprepared to succeed. But, educators in Vermont think there is a better way.

Student Learning Outcomes

That is: Proficiency Based Graduation Requirements (PRGR) that are based on Student Learning Outcomes (SLO, see graphic page 1). Beginning with the graduating class of 2020 (today’s ninth graders), students will graduate, not based on credits received for passing courses, but based on proficiency.

U-32 principal Steven Dellinger-Pate says, “We really want our kids to be prepared to assume their role in society. To be a contributor to our community, graduates need more than just knowledge, they need transferable skills, or soft skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.”

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