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
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
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
Dear Slate Valley Families, On Monday, November 8th we learned about an individual in our learning community with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Orwell Village School. Please read the letter from Superintendent Olsen-Farrell: https://5il.co/11l08
Join us for a screening of the documentary ‘LIKE’ Understanding and Creating Balance in Social Media. Read the letter from Kristin Benway, Slate Valley Special Service Director: https://5il.co/11k7r Monday, November 15, 2021 6:30PM Register: https://bit.ly/3woW2G9 'LIKE' breaks down why we find social media so irresistible, examines who is controlling who, and gives you the tools to pivot to a more balanced and contented relationship. It features Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, including the co-creator of the ‘LIKE’ button, experts in brain science and regular teenagers. Includes a post-film panel discussion and Q&A. Film plus discussion will last approximately 90 minutes.
Tonight! November 8th You’re invited to the Slate Valley Unified Union School District Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Fair Haven Union High School Cafeteria. This meeting will be in person or you may virtually connect by going to https://meet.google.com/ozg-hwua-mge or join by phone (US) +1 617-675-4444 PIN: 869 909 550 5618# Tonight’s Agenda: https://5il.co/11jaj Previous Meeting Minutes: https://5il.co/1150i Next Board Meeting: November 22, 2021, 6:30 p.m. at Orwell Village School
November 8, 2021 Dear Slate Valley Families, We have seen an uptick in COVID cases over the weekend impacting our students, staff and families in Slate Valley. Our schools have either started Test to Stay or are planning to this week. For those schools that started it this morning it went very well. If you plan to have your child participate in this program if they are a close contact PLEASE REGISTER your child ASAP as it makes it much easier for us if they are already in the system. This is a large undertaking and we are short on staff so your cooperation is greatly appreciated. We want our students to be safe and participate in in-person learning. For more information on TTS please read the following: https://5il.co/11jmn Best, Brooke Olsen-Farrell Superintendent
Dear Slate Valley Families, On Monday, November 8th we learned about an individual in our learning community with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Orwell Village School. Please read the letter from Superintendent Olsen-Farrell: https://5il.co/11jhj
Dear Slate Valley Families, On Saturday, November 6th we learned about 2 individuals in our learning community with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Orwell Village School. Please read the letter from Superintendent Olsen-Farrell: https://5il.co/11i5v
On Tuesday, November 9th at 12:00 pm the Boston Children's Hospital is hosting a virtual event to provide information about COVID-19 vaccines for 5-11 year olds. You’ll learn about: • Safety of the vaccines in this age group • How the COVID vaccine can benefit younger kids • And much more! To register for the Zoom event, visit the following link: https://bit.ly/3k4mujl
Good Morning Slate Valley Families, Below please find a letter from Superintendent Brooke Olsen-Farrell regarding an incident where a car was broken into in the Fair Haven Grade School parking lot yesterday. https://5il.co/11gp7
Dear Slate Valley Families, On Friday, November 5th, 2021 we learned about 2 individuals in our learning community with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Orwell Village School and Castleton Village School. Please read the letter from Superintendent Olsen-Farrell: https://5il.co/11goo
Save the Date! Screening of the Documentary 'LIKE' Understanding and Creating Balance in Social Media: Monday, November 15th at 6:30 p.m. You can register for the viewing at the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_f3MQOJDsRVCh4_LT-aplmw LIKE breaks down why we find social media so irresistible, examines who is controlling who, and gives you the tools to pivot to a more balanced and contented relationship. It features Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, including the co-creator of the 'LIKE' button, experts in brain science and regular teenagers.
Save the Date! 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
Join us virtually this evening (November 3rd) from 6:00-6:45 p.m. when we discover how Google Classroom works to provide learning to students wherever they may be. We will also be looking at how to best use the PDF file editor, KAMI. There will be time for questions at the end of the session. Link to join: https://bit.ly/3G2TlhL
Reminder - Tonight! Link to Join: http://meet.google.com/kqu-ysaf-buv
Vaccine Registration for 5-11 Age Group At his press conference yesterday, Governor Scott announced that at 8 a.m. the morning after the CDC authorizes use of COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11 vaccine appointments will be available for that group. The CDC authorized the use yesterday afternoon. Registration is now open for vaccination appointments. Parents can learn more about registering for vaccine appointments at http://www.healthvermont.gov/myVaccine. Any families without internet access or who other would like assistance to make their appointment should contact the Health Department call center at (855) 722-7878, Mon - Fri 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Sat and Sun 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. -To speak with someone in a language other than English, dial the call center, and then press 1. -People who are Deaf or hard of hearing can make a TTY call to this number by dialing 711 or 1-800-253-0195. Vaccine appointments are also available through pharmacies and later through pediatrician offices. We are expecting to host school based clinics but do not have all of the information on those yet.
Dear Slate Valley Families, The winter sports COVID guidelines for Slate Valley can be viewed here: https://5il.co/11d7m. These guidelines will also be followed for other school events. We appreciate your continued support and cooperation as we continue to navigate the operation of school during a pandemic. As always if you have any questions please feel free to reach out. Best, Brooke Olsen-Farrell