Friday, May 22, 2020

Bobcat Bulletin: May 22, 2020



I applaud all of you for continuing on, for supporting your kids' learning, and for partnering in this uncertain and totally upside-down time. I am proud of the work our teachers have done, and so impressed with our students, your kids.

Community News/Opportunities

Please note that the opportunities/events listed below are not specifically endorsed or screened by school staff. As always, families should use their own standards and review processes to determine appropriate activities.

The Vermont Foodbank is thrilled to announce the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. We will be partnering with The Abbey Group, the State Emergency Operations Center, and the Vermont National Guard to distribute boxes packed with fresh, nutritious food to people in need from May 15th through the end of June, with the possibility to continue beyond that.

The Abbey Group will provide boxes of chicken, produce, and dairy products for the distributions held by the Vermont National Guard throughout the state. They will provide enough food at each distribution to serve 1000 households.

For the first several distributions, they will also provide non-perishable food boxes from FEMA. Distributions are currently scheduled through the rest of May in Berlin, Peru, Middlebury, Thetford, Morristown, Burlington, Brattleboro, Swanton, and Lyndonville.

We need your help promoting locally! Please click here to see the full schedule and help us spread the word to anyone who could use this assistance. We would prefer that you direct people to that link for the most up to date distribution details as this is a new program and details are emerging as we speak. This will ensure that everyone has access to the most accurate information possible.

Thank you!


 Green Up Day is Saturday May 30 and we encourage all to get outside and Green Up! 
Please encourage kids and teachers too join the fun and make a lesson out of it by reporting how much trash kids picked up = how much weight = how they helped their environment. If schools report their data to me including the following - I will run the data and give an environmental champion report card to all schools who participate and a prize to the school with the most trash picked up!  Just have your teachers email the data to greenup@greenupvermont.org
SCHOOL  
TEACHER  
HOW MANY STUDENTS 
HOW MANY BAGS OF TRASH COLLECTED
Pick up Green Up bags at your town designated locations found here: https://greenupvermont.org/town-contact-list

• Green Up Day Love Video Contest
Do your students love to be in front of the camera? Have individuals or small teams (allowable by safe governance)  create their own Green Up Day 30 second commercial, or statement on what Green Up means to them, or how they participate in Green Up Day. Email the movie files to greenup@greenupvermont.org with a note that states the student name and grade, school name and teacher’s name. We will choose a statewide winner and with approval from all parties feature it on our social media channels. Your video could be next year's TV commercial! Prizes will be awarded.

• An APP for working together while apart!
Green Up Vermont has an app that allows Vermonters to build teams, connect with instant messaging, plan trash pick up routes, drop trash pins on roads they have picked up, and even a leader board for friendly competition on how much trash has been picked up by team. This can be done as classes or a groups - anyway you like. It is socially distant.  Find the apps here: 
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.greenupvermont.app

• Plogging for those who love to run!
Plogging is a Swedish activity (developed in 2016) that combines the act of picking up trash and jogging. Have kids with lots of energy or who would normally be running track, playing lacrosse, spring soccer, softball, baseball or any other sport this spring season try their luck at Plogging. Encourage teams to use the APP mentioned above  and reach out to other schools for a Plog-off. Just think of how many miles of VT roads we could get cleaned up and how FUN it would be. Encourage teams to log their miles and send them into this email greenup@greenupvermont.org and I will report the results in marathon fashion. 



VT PBS Resources:


NASA Kids Club (PreK- Grade 4; STEM). On this site, you will find games of various skill levels for children pre-K through grade 4. These games support national education standards in STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


NASA Aeronautics for PreK (PreK; STEM). A collection of six STEM learning modules based upon children’s books. Each module focuses on a single children's story book, followed by a STEM thematic lesson, including topics associated with gliders in nature (form and function), balloons (sinking and floating, weight), parachutes (fluid thickness and drag), kites (surface area and lift), helicopters and airplanes (force and thrust), and world flyers (geography and global trade).


Recommended Space Books for Kids, 2019 (Birth-Young Adult; STEM and ELA) The 2019 recommended space-themed book list for kids of all ages from Planetary Society's Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla.


Storytime from Space ​and Space Station Explorers (PreK-Grade 3; STEM and ELA) Astronauts read children’s books about space from space to children on Earth!






From Local Motion:


Want to bike more, but not feeling "right" about taking your kids on a bike with you? A little concerned about safety, their behavior, being prepared, or what gear you need?


We'll cover riding with all ages. We've got a great interactive (and short!) webinar for you on Wednesday, May 27 at 12-12:30 pm! You can ask questions and get answers from seasoned "bike parents"--Doug, from SKIRACK, and Melanie, the Founder of Bristol's human-powered parade and member of the Bristol Safe Routes to Schools Task Force. They will have great tips and tricks and loads of experience with their own children, and will also talk about the bike gear they use to keep their kids safe. FREE!

Register here: https://bit.ly/FamilyBike1

School Board Updates



Dear HUUSD Community,

The HUUSD school board met remotely on Wednesday evening, May 13 and made several big decisions that we’d like to share with you.

1. The Board will present a budget for voter approval on June 16th.
Although there had been some conversation in the VT legislature over the last several weeks that would allow school districts to adopt a default budget without a public vote, it appears that such initiatives have stalled, probably through the summer. The HUUSD Board decided to hold an election, in accordance with the COVID guidelines published by the Secretary of State’s office, on June 16th. We will be strongly encouraging early voting (requesting ballots by mail) and will be sharing more specifics about how to safely access your ballots in the coming weeks.

2. The Board approved a budget for FY21 (the coming 2020-21 school year) of $39,772,342 to put before voters.
In budget conversations in the last couple weeks, the Board sought to balance the enormous financial pressure caused by COVID with the need to preserve core programming in the schools, and to do so without significant changes to our current service delivery model. This budget results in a lower increase in total expenditures over FY20 than the current statewide average and will allow us to provide essential education opportunities to our district’s students next year. The Board is developing a budget fact sheet and list of frequently asked questions to share in the coming weeks.

3. The school board approved issuing annual letters of employment to all support and licensed teaching staff for the 2020-21 school year. 
When the first budget vote failed at Town Meeting Day, the district issued Reduction In Force (RIF) notices to all employees, in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Typically these would remain in place until a budget is passed. COVID has slowed the district’s ability to pass a budget even as it has asked more of our staff. Issuing these letters of employment now allows our schools to begin planning for next year -- to bring some level of certainty to these uncertain times.

We encourage you to share your thoughts with the Board via email to the full Board at cen-huusdboard@huusd.org. We also welcome public comments at the beginning of each meeting (but sometimes there is not time to hear from everyone).

The Board’s next meeting is Wednesday, May 20th at 6:00 pm online. Please visit https://huusd.org/huusd-board to confirm time and place of meetings and to find all board meeting agendas, packets and minutes.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement.

Respectfully,
The HUUSD Board






HUUSD School Budget Vote - Request Your Ballots!
On June 16th there will be a special district-wide election to approve a new school budget for next year. In person voting will be available in each of the six towns, but given current public health concerns, voters are strongly encouraged to request ballots in advance by mail from their town clerk.  To request your ballot, please use the following contact information:


Duxbury: call 244-6660 or email duxtc@myfairpoint.net
Fayston: call 496-2454 or email faystontc@madriver.com
Moretown: call 882-8218 or email townclerk@moretownvt.net
Waitsfield: call 496-2218 or email  waitsfieldclerk@gmavt.net  
Warren: call 496-5224 or email clerk@warrenvt.org
Waterbury: call 244-8447 or email clawrence@waterburyvt.com
  

Thank you in advance for your participation, the HUUSD Board


Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday night edition of Bobcat Bulletin


Moretown Strong

School News:

      Thank you parents and caregivers for everything you are doing to support your child/children during this unprecedented time. Earlier this week, I shared a  Parent Survey with you. If you have not yet completed it, PLEASE take a few minutes to do so. Your feedback at this time will help us continue to make improvements in our work. Thank you for your honesty and time. We ask that this survey be completed by (today) Friday May 15.

End of the Year Activities:

  • Graduation:
    • The 5th/6th grade team are meeting and planning for graduation.  I will share information more  soon
  • Placement and Step Up Day
    • Teams are working on class lists right now.  They should be complete by the in May.  
      • The teams work very hard to build classes, taking into consideration student strengths and needs, learning styles and peer groupings. 
    • We will have zoom/meet Step up day the first week in June- We are working to confirm the date and time for Step Up class meetings.
  • Report cards
    • More information will be forthcoming about report cards in the next week.  In a nutshell, report cards will be narratives that reflect student performance and engagement during the weeks of "regular" school and the weeks of remote learning.  They will be mailed home June 18, 2020.


Library Happenings

Dear Families,


During this period of remote learning I am happy to report you can now return overdue books and request new books. You can see the school’s catalog Here. Once you have some titles and Call Numbers, please fill out this form Moretown Remote Checkout 24 hours in advance of pickup. You will be able to return and pick up books before, during, and after meal pick up (M, W, F.) 8:00am-11:15am. DO NOT WORRY about having overdue books, notices are just reminders for you to know what you have checked out. I will send “overdue” notices home on Fridays so you know what to look for.


Books will be pulled from the shelves by me. I will be using gloves and a mask to pull the books you have requested. Books will be put in a bag with the student's name on it. All returned books will be set aside for 72 hours, wiped down with a disinfectant then scanned back into the library and shelved. Only then can these books be borrowed by others.


This is a work in progress just like many things during this time and I may have to make adjustments but will inform you ahead of time if anything changes. I am SO EXCITED to get this started. You may request books for pick up starting this Friday, May 15. All of this information is available on the school’s website Moretown Elementary School. Please check out the Library web page there are some great resources for families.


Thank you,
Mrs. Willard
Moretown Librarian

I Heart Art
Check out Mrs. Harvey's Blog for updates: https://moretownelementaryart.blogspot.com/

Notes from the Health Office 
Check out the updated nurse's site for information about ticks, its especially important since so many of us are spending lots of time outdoors.  

PTO News

The PTO met by zoom call on 5/14 to confirm officers for the next term.  We confirmed Danielle Kent as President, Hannah Flynn as Vice President, Lauren Fisher as Secretary and Lindsay Staples as Treasurer.  We are grateful to outgoing treasurer Pam Nelson for her hard work over the last several years as treasurer and leader of the winter sports program.  Thanks Pam!  Also thanks to president emeritus Lindsay Staples for staying on as treasurer.

We are looking for more parents to help support the organization and keep the Circus Residency, Skating trip, Morefest, and Winter Sports Program strong.  The PTO fund raises to support these events and help teachers with special projects, such as buying equipment for the Kindergarten Ski Program.

Our next meeting is by Zoom on Tuesday June 2 at 530 PM and we would love your ideas and energy to support the kids and teachers of Moretown.  Email us and we can send you the Zoom link, and follow us on Facebook.
MoretownPTO@gmail.com


Community News/Opportunities

Please note that the opportunities/events listed below are not specifically endorsed or screened by school staff. As always, families should use their own standards and review processes to determine appropriate activities.

Vermont is participating in Graduate Together, the national celebration of America’s High School Class of 2020. The broadcast will take place 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020 on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and stream online. There are ways for studentseducators and families to participate. After the broadcast Vermont will have a page with a message from Secretary French and stories from Vermont graduates.

GREEN UP VT  -- Many ways to support Green up! 
  Green Up Day Love Video Contest
Have a child who loves to be in front of the camera? Individuals or small teams (allowable by safe governance)  create their own Green Up Day 30 second commercial, or statement on what Green Up means to them, or how they participate in Green Up Day. Email the movie files to greenup@greenupvermont.org with a note that states the student name and grade, school name and teacher’s name. We will choose a statewide winner and with approval from all parties feature it on our social media channels. Your video could be next year's TV commercial! Prizes will be awarded.

   An APP for working together while apart!
Green Up Vermont has an app that allows Vermonters to build teams, connect with instant messaging, plan trash pick up routes, drop trash pins on roads they have picked up, and even a leader board for friendly competition on how much trash has been picked up by team. This can be done as classes or a groups - anyway you like. It is socially distant.  Find the apps here: 
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.greenupvermont.app
Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/green-up-vermont/id1364770239?ls=1

   Plogging for those who love to run!
Plogging is a Swedish activity (developed in 2016) that combines the act of picking up trash and jogging. Have kids with lots of energy or who would normally be running track, playing lacrosse, spring soccer, softball, baseball or any other sport this spring season try their luck at Plogging. Encourage teams to use the APP mentioned above  and reach out to other schools for a Plog-off. Just think of how many miles of VT roads we could get cleaned up and how FUN it would be. Encourage teams to log their miles and send them into this email greenup@greenupvermont.org and I will report the results in marathon fashion. 

School Board Updates

Monday, May 11, 2020

Bobcat Bulletin 5/11/20





Parent Survey about Remote Learning :
Thank you parents and caregivers for everything you are doing to support your child/children during this underrepresented time. As we enter the final weeks of learning from home and look toward the next school year, please let us know how things are going by completing the survey below. Your feedback at this time will help us continue to make improvements. 

Thank you,


Students in 3rd through 6th grade will also receive an email from me with a similar survey.  We hope to get their input as well.

School News:

The Bataille Beat

  • Make it Monday, Tricked out Tuesday, Workout Wednesday, Throwing Thursday, and Funky Friday... want more information? Check out Ms. Ally's padlet page.
Musical Notes


Jeremy Hill created  this video featuring chorus students from across the valley schools.  I think it is pretty awesome, and wanted to share.


Library Happenings

  • Library Lending coming soon!!


  • Tech Help:
    • Nancy Willard will have Tech for Parents office hours every  Wednesday starting this week from 9am -10am. You may drop in and ask for support, help or problem solving. Here is the link:

Meeting ID
Phone Numbers
PIN: ‪916 323 369#‬

Notes from the Health Office 
PLease check out the Nurse's site for new information about ticks, good to read up on while spending so much time outdoors (when the snow melts again).

 https://sites.google.com/huusd.org/moretown-school-nurse-page/home

PTO News

PTO Annual Meeting
Please join us via Zoom for the PTO annual meeting Thursday May 14th at 11:00. 

We will be electing the next slate of officers.  In accordance with Article 5 section 5.03 the slate below is for final presentation and consideration at annual meeting of the Moretown School PTO:
1.            President: Danielle Kent       
2.            Vice President: Hannah Flynn            
3.            Treasurer (one year term): Lindsay Staples 
4.            Secretary: Lauren Conti   


School Board Updates

https://huusd.org/huusd-board







Friday, May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020 is School Lunch Hero Day in HUUSD

Food Service Appreciation



HUUSD School Lunch Hero Day

On Friday, May 1, 2020, we will celebrate the 8th Annual School Lunch Hero Day! School Lunch Hero Day is a chance to showcase the difference school nutrition professionals make for our children.   Between organizing and preparing healthy meals, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, especially during these very trying times, our amazing HUUSD food service professionals provided over 45,000 meals to our children over the past two months.  Truly remarkable!    The HUUSD community  would like to honor our school nutrition professionals as true heroes and thank them for what they continue to do for our kids. 

Bobcat Bulletin 4/30/20








Thank you to all families for working with us in this new incarnation of our partnership. We are grateful and humbled by your support and the hard work you are engaging in everyday.

It seems so weird to be talking about next school year when we can't finish this one in the way we hoped...

  • The last bit of snow is melted from my yard, so it is officially spring (not to mention that it is also MAY.) We are officially on the last stretch of our 2019-2020 school year. Many of the things we look forward to most are the spring celebrations- Spring Concert and Cook-out, Field Days and cook out, and Graduation. With school being remote through the end of the year, and clear guidelines around not congregating we are sad to miss these events, as I know students will be as well.
  • And so what about next year. We are making plans for regular school in the fall, but of course we are watching the progression of things and do whatever we need to in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.
  • As we plan for next year, one of the things we are considering is class placement. 2020-2021 Class lists will be developed over the next few weeks and communication about next year will be forthcoming in June.
  • Moretown will have the same configuration as last year, as a preK- 6 school, although there have been some unknowns around this. I wanted to get this message out so families can know and be able to answer questions from their children.




A note from Our Amazing Food Service Folks:

Dear Parents,

We hope you and your family are doing well.

This week we only had a few late signups. Please continue to sign up as early as possible.

One problem we had this week was parents signing up and not coming to get their meals. If you sign up, please make sure to go get your meals.

We are adding one day worth of meals starting today. Every Friday you will now receive 2 breakfast and 2 lunches for every child, instead of a single delivery. Mondays and Wednesdays will continue the same with double deliveries each.

Please sign up TODAY!


Thank you so much for your continued support.

Best,

Our HUUSD Food & Nutrition Team

Monday, April 13, 2020

Bobcat Bulletin April 13. 2020


 




April 13, 2020

It has been a month since we had our last in-school day. We had no idea that it would be our last days in our classrooms with all of our students. A month. I applaud all of you for navigating this time, and I thank you for the outpouring of support you are showing all of us as we do the same. Although we cannot be together in a room, I feel like we are very much together as a community, wrapped around the students of Moretown School.

And so we are on to our next phase, which is being called Continuous Learning, from today through the end of the year. Please see important information attached to this email regarding teaching and learning from April 13 to the end of the school year.


Remote Learning and Continuous Learning:
The MES Remote Learning Hub is linked here https://sites.google.com/huusd.org/moretown-remote-learning-hub/homeand is always live and is loaded with additional resources for students and families along with the grade level learning expectations. 

The letter to families about the Continuous Learning Plan is attached below. As you will read, we are working through this new learning/teching experience together, with an emphasis on wellbeing and connection. I am so proud of our MES teachers, for they have remained connected and integral in the school experience. They have figured out how to make this all work, without a roadmap, and have offered access to so many open doors when we have to keep our physical doors closed.

Holding school without meeting in-person is new to all of us.  Our first goal during continuous learning is to support your child to continue to grow. Just as in the school building, we know a child needs to first feel safe, secure and with basic needs met before he/she can learn. We appreciate that there are many stressors on families right now. We are here as a resource not only for students’ educational needs, but also as a resource for families.  A number of supports, as well as opportunities to volunteer, can be found at the Mad River Valley COVID Resources. If you don’t find what you need, let me know and I can try to connect you with supports.   Please also keep in mind that all families can sign up for free breakfasts and lunch for the week for all children under the age of 18; delivery is 3x week and you can sign up here. This meal service will continue throughout next week, when school is otherwise “on vacation”. 


April Break:
The week of April 20 is April Break and we will be “staycationing” and no learning with be pushed out to students that week. It’s a break for everyone!
Meals will still be served that week on the regular schedule. 

Connectedness:
I have heard of a variety of ways that students are staying connected ot only with their teachers and classmates, but also other students and buddies. Some students are writing letters as penpals, email is a popular choice, and individual students and families are coming together in virtual ways to keep important connections. Unfortuanately, Google Chat has been disabled at the district level due to some inappropriate use in violation of the expectations listed below. To supplement the great connections families and students have been able to maintain, we will be sharing grade level directories later this week. These will include student's names, parents' names, and a home phone number. If you do not wish for your information to be included in this directory (which will be emailed and not posted publicly online) please respond to the email sent by Loretta following this letter.

The following is an excerpt from the HUUSD Policy on Acceptable Use of Technology:
Application of (School) Behavioral Expectations in the use of Technology
All users are expected to comply with generally accepted rules of behavior.  These include, but are not limited to the following:
Users will not send or display defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, harassing, or illegal material.
Users will show respect for technology equipment through proper use and care.
Student users will not use the system for entertainment or commercial purposes, including online shopping.
Users will only access the system with their own username, and will take reasonable precautions to protect passwords.  No user will disrupt another person’s use of the system or attempt to gain unauthorized access to another person’s data or to the software, data, and settings belonging to the School District’s computer networks.

Important Information on Attendance:
From the VT Agency of Education:

Students are required to be engaged in school work every weekday they would typically be in school.

We are taking attendance through participation in the online meetings, posting/viewing/responding to SeeSaw and Google Classroom, working on one of the apps recommended by the classroom teacher, exchanging or responding to an email from the teacher or other school staff, or communicating with a MES staff member on the phone.

I have heard some families/students that there seems to be so much to do. What I want all students and families to know is the expectation is that each student engages in something for school each day to be counted as present (see below). We are offering access to content across many subjects. Please use the time guidelines in the attached letter, and know they are meant to be averages. We know it takes students differing amounts of time to do the same work. The teachers have whittled down to essentials, and then there are a number of choices your student may be making as well. We will try to offer more, but if you or your student are feeling overwhelmed opt for less. Preserving family relationships is essential during a time like this.


COMMUNITY HOPE THROUGH ART PROJECT           
Here is the challenge for both kids and adults....we will deliver to your house a small plywood 'canvas' (12"x16") and a silver star and instructions for participation. Your creations will be included in a community-wide display to be hung around the Valley. To get a 'canvas' and a silver star delivered to your home please email Amanda Gates at amandajanegates@gmail.com or call her at 802-496-6961 between 9and 5pm. JOIN US IN THE CELEBRATION of MAD RIVER STRONG
         There are still some canvases available and invite you to unleash your creative abilities! In celebration of our amazing community, explore our RESILIENCE and COURAGE while we keep ourselves and others safe while staying home. This is a collaboration of the Mad River Valley Volunteer Response and the MRV Community Fund.