Good morning, The weekly COVID update letter from Superintendent Olsen-Farrell is now available: https://5il.co/12npi.
Dear Slate Valley Families, Please read the following middle school update from FHUHS Principal Ben Worthing: https://5il.co/12mo3
50 bulbs were planted as our first official event to celebrate CES turning 50 years old! Mrs. Diercksen and Mrs. Rampone (and their spouses!) did the honors!
First graders enjoyed a terrific turkey snack before the break! We are thankful for Mrs. Perry for bringing in this special treat!
Last week Mrs. Rampone and Mrs. Cacciatore once again collaborated in a fun library/tech project. It began with students hearing the story “Balloons Over Broadway”. Then they cut out balloon printouts and attached them to Ozobots. Next students drew their own parade route and lined the street with block skyscrapers. They thoroughly enjoyed creating their own Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: https://bit.ly/3I4eZTR
You're Invited! Virtual Listening Tour Join Slate Valley board members (virtually) for an informal discussion about the district middle school and 2022-2023 budget. November 29th at 6 p.m. - with Fair Haven/West Haven board members - Join with Google Meet (https://meet.google.com/jkx-bheh-dck) or join by phone: (US) +1 763-392-3037 (PIN: 199823389) November 30th at 6 p.m. with Castleton/Hubbardton board members - Join with Google Meet (https://meet.google.com/xyc-quzc-oym) or join by phone: (US) +1 636-789-8173 (PIN: 468052357) December 1st at 6 p.m. with Benson/Orwell board members - Join with Google Meet (https://meet.google.com/yir-mzhb-jht) or join by phone: (US) +1 402-509-9411 (PIN: 731841436) You are welcome to (virtually) attend any of the meetings regardless of your town of residence.
Dear Slate Valley Families, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving break. A lot of the COVID testing was delayed last week with the holiday. There is a link to the state dashboard on our website for COVID cases in schools although there is a lag in the state’s reporting of the data. I will continue to email you weekly with the updates for the previous week. We continue to expect that the next couple of months will be challenging with the amount of COVID we are seeing in our communities. This past week we saw the following COVID cases in our schools that required contact tracing; 2 at Orwell Village School, 4 at Fair Haven Grade School and 4 at Fair Haven Union High School. The highest overall case counts remain at the high school. Additionally, we continued to see a high absentee rate among staff and students district-wide due to general illness. We urge you and your family to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID. The most important things you can do: -Keep your child home if they have any symptoms of Covid-19-stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, loss of taste or smell, fever, or shortness of breath. -Make sure your child is wearing a mask (https://bit.ly/3pdgarg) when recommended or required. -Make sure your child is washing their hands (https://bit.ly/3D7RhCq) often, especially after being at public places. -Call your primary care provider if you or your child has symptoms of COVID-19 (https://bit.ly/3d0waHy). -Make sure that your children get vaccinated when they are eligible. Find a location near you (https://bit.ly/3o1beXe). Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this challenging time. With your participation, we believe we can create a safe and fun experience for your children. We all need to do our part. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at 265-4905. Best, Brooke Olsen-Farrell Superintendent
A big thanks goes out to Michael and Megan Sullivan for bringing cider making to CES! What a fun learning experience for these students!
Tonight! November 22nd You’re invited to the Slate Valley Unified Union School District Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Orwell Town Hall. This meeting will be in person or you may virtually connect by going to https://meet.google.com/etm-zxwa-vgx or join by phone (US) +1 617-675-4444 PIN: 401 807 037 1082# Tonight’s Agenda: https://5il.co/11y8v Previous Meeting Minutes: https://5il.co/11mg6 Next Board Meeting: December 13, 2021, 6:30 p.m. at FHUHS
Dear Slate Valley Families, I let you know last week that I would not be sending letters each and every time there is a COVID case, as I am sure the emails have been overwhelming. Instead there is a link to the state dashboard on our website for COVID cases in schools. Additionally, every Friday I will email you with the updates for the week. We fully expect that the next couple of months will be challenging with the amount of COVID we are seeing in our communities. As I communicated on Wednesday, we have a significant amount of cases at our high school. We currently have 21 active COVID cases at the high school that have required contact tracing in the last week and half. We also have had 1 case at Fair Haven Grade School, 2 cases at Castleton Elementary and 2 cases at Castleton Village School this week. Additionally, we have a lot of staff and student absences district-wide due to general illness. Again, I am letting you know that if cases do not subside soon at the high school specifically, we may have to cancel classes as we are extremely short staffed, running out of capacity for contact tracing and have high absentee rates for both students and staff. We urge you and your family to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID so we can keep our schools open. The most important things you can do: -Keep your child home if they have any symptoms of Covid-19-stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, loss of taste or smell, fever, or shortness of breath. -Make sure your child is wearing a mask (https://bit.ly/3oMPRrQ) when recommended or required. -Make sure your child is washing their hands (https://bit.ly/3HDOBjp) often, especially after being at public places. -Call your primary care provider if you or your child has symptoms of COVID-19 (https://bit.ly/3CwNG0r). -Make sure that your children get vaccinated when they are eligible. Find a location near you (https://bit.ly/30Lnq5u). Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this challenging time. With your participation, we believe we can create a safe and fun experience for your children. We all need to do our part. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at 265-4905. Best, Brooke Olsen-Farrell Superintendent
Mrs. Doyle's kindergarten class named a VT snow plow as part of the statewide contest. Today, "Stardust" visited our school! It was an exciting morning as students got to meet our snow plow!
Dear Slate Valley Community, The overriding mission of the School Board since the onset of the pandemic has been to keep our kids safe and to keep them in school. Only from the extraordinary efforts of so many individuals, have we been successful in achieving these goals. We recognize all of our staff have taken on numerous responsibilities and time commitments that are outside normal expectations. Teachers. We appreciate the extra time spent planning for both in-person education and remote learning, and the creativity and compassion used in the classroom to overcome the challenges of mask wearing. Support Staff. We appreciate you taking on additional students due to staffing shortages, volunteering your time as bus monitors, filling in for teachers, and assisting with the test-to-stay program. Administrators. We appreciate you giving up your personal time to work nights and weekends, implementing new programs and procedures, and communicating with anxious staff and families to assure them that their concerns are heard. Nurses. We appreciate the time spent contact tracing, assessing student symptoms, and making sure students are healthy and able to return to class promptly. Custodians. We appreciate the overtime hours worked due to staffing shortages and added time required to complete enhanced cleaning protocols. Bus Drivers. We appreciate you taking on extra shifts and recognize the extra-long routes that have resulted from the consolidation of bus routes. Cafeteria Workers. We appreciate you adjusting normal food practices to overcome supply chain shortages and ensure our kids are provided nutritious meals, oftentimes outside the cafeteria setting. Coaches. We appreciate you adhering to the COVID protocols and for displaying great patience during player quarantine. Getting exercise and being part of a team is absolutely essential in student development. Police. We appreciate community police and school resource officers providing extra layers of protection and realize external threats still exist, even during a pandemic. Thank you for reinforcing those bridges of trust between police and students. Parents. Thank you for setting your frustrations with COVID requirements aside and doing what is asked for kids to attend school safely. Thank you for timely picking up your child and for playing the role of teacher during times of extended student absence. We recognize the financial implications of missing work and appreciate our community employers for granting such flexibility. Taxpayers. Thank you for your continued support. We recognize the many societal and financial challenges confronting our schools today and welcome you as equal partners to ensure a safe and enriching environment for our children to learn and become good citizens. We are grateful. We are proud. We are Slate Valley. Have a happy and healthy holiday season. Submitted by Tim Smith, Board Chair, on behalf of the entire Slate Valley School Board.
Dear Slate Valley Families, A vaccination clinic will be held at Orwell Village School (Town Hall) on December 14th from 9:00-2:30. Registration will open tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17th at 9:00am and needs to be completed by Sunday, December 12th. This clinic is open to the general public, so it is a first come first serve basis for appointments. Please register on-line at VDH COVID-19 portal (https://vermont.force.com/events/s/selfregistration) if you are interested. If your child attends the Orwell Village School, they will be able to be vaccinated without a parent present as long as they are registered in advance. Walk-ins are welcome, but a parent will need to attend with their child with the appropriate consent form (https://bit.ly/3qK3dYG). For Slate Valley students outside of the Orwell Village School, a parent or guardian will need to accompany the child to the clinic on December 14th. The district will not be providing transportation at this time. Anyone who attends the clinic will be scheduled for their second dose on January 4th as part of the clinic exit process. Information on the Pfizer EUA can be found here: Pfizer EUA age 5-11 (https://www.fda.gov/media/153717/download) This is the Emergency Use Authorization for the pediatric Pfizer vaccine. Please let me know if you have any questions. Brooke Olsen-Farrell Superintendent
Dear Slate Valley Families, Due to the high number of COVID cases we are seeing in our schools and community we are going to temporarily suspend notice to all families regarding positive cases. We do not want to be inundating families and staff with emails regarding COVID cases several times a day. For right now please assume we are seeing COVID cases in several schools in our district daily. We do not anticipate the slowing down of cases until the new year. We are continuing our normal contact tracing process. The COVID Test to Stay Program is working well, BUT, due to the large number of cases we are seeing, it is taking an enormous amount of staff to implement and is pulling them away from their regular duties. It is very important to us that students are in person. That being said, if you have a child participating in this program and they test positive at school, you need to pick them as soon as possible. Otherwise we will need to start requiring parents to be present for testing so they can immediately take a positive student home. We only have 1 isolation room for COVID positive students in each building. Please know that we continue to try our very best given the state parameters that are put on schools. We need continued cooperation from families and the community to continue to operate our schools and have our children in classrooms where they need to be. We can’t do this alone and we appreciate your partnership. Best, Brooke Olsen-Farrell Superintendent
Dear Slate Valley Families, On Friday, November 12th we learned about 3 individuals in our learning community with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Fair Haven Union High School and Castleton Elementary School. Please read the letter from Superintendent Olsen-Farrell: https://5il.co/11rv0
First graders created pictures of Veterans following step-by-step directions. Amazing work first graders!
Castleton Elementary is celebrating its 50th year this year!! We have just formed a committee to plan celebrations this year to recognize this significant event!! Do you have a favorite memory from CES? Are you an alumni of CES? Would you like to help us plan these celebrations? The community is so important when it comes to this anniversary! Give Mrs. Prehoda a call if you want to help with our planning.
Veterans Day Virtual Event: https://youtu.be/Pn6Y2Z6LVnI
Reminder - tomorrow! Casey O'Meara, Slate Valley Director of Curriculum, will be hosting an informal meeting on Leveraging Title I Schoolwide Programs to Address Barriers to Academic Success on November 10, 2021 at 1:00 pm. Abby Wald, Slate Valley Instructional Coach, will be hosting a presentation on Leveraging Title I Schoolwide Programs to Address Barriers to Academic Success on November 10, 2021 at 6:00 pm. 2021-22 Annual Title I Meeting ( slides & survey ): https://bit.ly/3BhWZAU Please join EITHER virtual meeting for Title I using the following link: https://meet.google.com/xza-xpkp-zvx
Check out our November awards assembly! https://youtu.be/Mrf1DyfBC7Y