October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Dear NCSU School-Community,

We are notifying staff and families across our school-community that a person at Derby Elementary School has been identified with a positive case of COVID-19. We have been and will continue to follow all safety and response procedures. Please see the NCSU COVID-19 Symptomatic & Positive Cases Guide for more information.

We recommend that you take action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, even if you or your child are not experiencing symptoms. If you or your child had direct contact with affected individuals at Derby Elementary School, a contact tracer may be trying to reach you with important information. Please answer the phone if the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) contacts you. The phone number may not show up on caller ID, so it is important to answer all calls over the next 24 hours.

The most important things you can do:

  • Make sure your child is wearing a mask.

  • Make sure your child is washing his/her hands.

  • Keep your child home if he or she is sick.

  • Call your primary care provider if you or your child have symptoms of COVID-19.

How can parents and guardians help prevent COVID-19 from spreading?

  • If your child is sick, keep them home.

  • Make sure members of your household wash their hands often using soap and water for 20 seconds.

  • Make sure every member of your household covers their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their elbow and then washes their hands afterward.

  • Wear a mask in public, especially when you cannot stay six feet apart from other people.

We are working with the Vermont Department of Health to keep our community safe.

  • We continue to follow the AOE/VDH guidance included in A Strong and Healthy Start.

  • We are cleaning and disinfecting the school per the VDH guidance.

  • Employees and sick children will not return to work until they are healthy.

Learn more about getting tested in Vermont.

Thank you for understanding that, due to medical privacy laws, we are not able to release the names of any individuals with COVID-19. Please do not speculate, ask, post on social media the speculation around individuals -- it is important to respect the privacy of our community members. We will continue to communicate changes and updates with you. With your participation, we believe we can create a safe experience for your children this school year. For more information visit NCSUVT.org.

What will happen at Derby Elementary School? Will there be remote learning?

We are working with the VDH, as well as staff members of Derby Elementary School, to determine close contacts and next steps. DES will be closed on Monday and will pivot to remote learning on Tuesday, continuing for the remainder of the week. Each school has emergency remote learning plans which are ready to be activated if needed.

We will provide further communication with you throughout this event. It is important we support each other and stay vigilant in suppressing the spread of the virus. Thank you for your support in staying safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Be well!

Sincerely,

John

John A. Castle

NCSU Superintendent of Schools

October 22, 2020

Derby Tiger Community,

It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the final week of October! We’ve been working hard and have a little fun to look forward to in the week ahead.

Halloween

Our Halloween festivities will look a little different this year. We won’t be able to host our traditional Halloween parade but classroom teachers do have fun activities planned for the afternoon with snacks provided by our amazing kitchen staff. Students in all grades will dress up for their classroom parties in the afternoon. Preschool students may come dressed-up. Students in kindergarten through sixth should bring their costumes with them.

A few reminders for costumes:

  • As always, nothing too scary, no blood, and no weapons.

  • Masks must still be worn. Consider how to incorporate a mask into your costume. Due to safety concerns, we cannot allow full face masks.

  • Easy-on costumes. Please make sure your child is able to dress themselves independently. Teachers will not be able to assist in the same ways they have in the past. Also, dressing areas are not available, so something easy to put on over their day clothes is preferred.

  • Face paint (full face makeup) and masks are not a great combination for the school setting.

    Despite these restrictions, I have no doubt it will be a fun day for all.

    T-Shirts

    Derby Tiger T-shirts have arrived and will be sent home in time for Spirit Week.


    For your calendar:

    October 26-30: Spirit Week (see flyer on Home Page )

    October 29: October Birthday Celebration (see flyer on
    Home Page )

    November 3: School Board Meeting


October 16, 2020

I have several announcements this week:

First, please help us keep our children and staff safe. As of Tuesday, there has been a change in travel map that affects an area close to us. Grafton County, NH, which includes Littleton, is now in a zone that requires quarantining upon return to Vermont. If you travel to areas in the yellow or red zone, please quarantine. We can provide school work for children who are in quarantine, so please contact your child’s teacher. Here is a link to the map.

https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel

Second, Oct. 22 is PreK Picture Day. It is also re-take day for K-6. Pictures should be coming home early next week. If you are unhappy with the pictures, please send back the picture packet on re-take day.

Great news! We are pleased to announce that the USDA approved free meals for all children through the end of the school year.

See our attached flyer for Spirit Week, October 26-30: The Tiger Paw Pride Planning Team has created a super fun celebration for October! We’ve planned a week of themed days, with a competition thrown in! Look for more information to come home in the next week about Halloween.

Finally, I wanted to let you know I am currently out of town handling a family medical emergency. In my absence, Assistant Principal Rhonda Lucas will be leading the school. I am confident she will keep things running smoothly while I am away.

October 5, 2020

What a beautiful fall season we are having! I hope you are enjoying it. We have a busy week coming ahead……

Parent Teacher Conferences: Our conferences are this week! Sign up for a virtual conference through pickAtime. (see Home Page ) Don’t forget to sign up for a conference with the specials teacher your child has right now.

Early Release Day for K-6: Thursday, Oct.8, 2020. Bus dismissal begins at noon. Parent Pick Up begins at 12:15 pm. Children will be served breakfast and lunch.

No School PreK: Thursday, Oct. 8; Friday, Oct. 9; Monday, Oct. 12

No School K-6: Friday, Oct. 9 and Monday, Oct. 12: Oct. 9 is conferences, and Oct. 12 is Teacher Professional Learning.

Intervention Services: We have been working hard to assess children in reading and math as they returned to school. A letter is on the Home Page that explains our Multi-Tiered System of Supports and the intervention we can provide.

Donate! Two of our fifth graders are conducting a special fundraiser. See Home Page .


September 29, 2020

Thank you to those that attended our Virtual Open House! If you missed it, you may find teachers’ slideshows and content under the corresponding grade levels on our Class Happenings page on our website. https://des.ncsuvt.org We have been working on getting those posted.

Step III Changes: As you may have heard, we have been moved by the Agency of Education and Department of Health to Step III. It doesn’t mean a lot of changes for us, but there are some changes: The art room, music room, and library are be open for instruction, so children will have more transitions in the halls. Half of the gym is open for low respiratory activities with masks during inclement weather. The hallways on the first floor have switched to include 2 way traffic. We continue to mitigate risk for children and staff by remaining in classroom groups for most instruction, lunch, mask breaks, and recess. Breakfast and lunch continue to be served in the classroom.

August-September Birthday Party: As you may remember, due to COVID, we have a new way to celebrate birthdays. Because we cannot have parents visit or send in treats, on Wednesday, Sept, 30, we will be celebrating the children that have birthdays in August and September. Chef Marcoux is making treats, gifts are ordered, and we will be sure to take and post pics.

Tigers of the Month: We are sad parents cannot be here, and we’re not having an assembly, but we will find a way to celebrate! Our Tigers of the Month from September will be recognized on Oct. 1. Stay Tuned!

Parent Conferences: To protect everyone and reduce risk, our conferences will be virtual through Google Meets. Teachers have set up their schedules in pickAtime, so attached is information on how to schedule your conference electronically. pickAtime goes live for scheduling at 3:00 pm today.

October Lunch Menu: is on the Lunch Program Page

Bus Pick Up: Please remind your child to have their Daily Health Form out and ready to give to the bus monitor in the morning. This will help the bus get on its way to the next stop in a more timely way.

Bus Drop Off: Bus drivers cannot drop off students in grades PreK – 4 at homes unless they see an adult or other responsible person to confirm that children are going to a safe place. In this situation, a parent (or emergency contact if parent can’t be reached) will be called and asked to pick up the child at the bus garage after the bus route.

Head lice: Head lice are a common nuisance for families whose children are in daycares and schools. This is one of two required biannual reminders about the prevention and treatment of lice. The NCSU Policy, as well as some other helpful resources for preventing the treatment and spread of head lice can be found on Parents: Health Page.

This week and next at Derby:

T Sept. 29 Schedule your conference(s) with the teacher(s)

W Sept. 30 August-September Birthday Party

Th Oct. 1 Recognition of our Tigers of the Month

W-F Oct. 7-9 Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences by appointment through pickAtime

Th Oct. 8 K-6 Early Release Day 12pm; No School for PreK

F Oct. 9 No School for Students

M Oct. 12 No School for Students

September 21,2020

Hello Tiger Families,

Our first 9 days are completed and we are beginning our 3rd week of school. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it is going. Your children have exceeded our expectations. They are a delight and have shown great resilience in following our new processes and dealing with all that this time of COVID has brought. Children have never earned so many Mega Paws 9 days in! We are off to great start of the year. We have some excitement this week with Picture Day and Virtual Open House. Keep reading for information.

Parent Drop Off and Pick Up: Thank you all for your patience with drop off and pick up. We have alerted the Vermont State Police of the unsafe driving practices of others trying to get around the line in the mornings between 8:20 – 8:30 am. We certainly do not want an accident to happen. For pick up, please remember to remain in your vehicle. Children will be entering cars from the passenger side only, and we want all parents to pull forward into a space in the parking lot to buckle children up.

Tiger Paw Pride Spirit Wear Sale: All children attending in-person and virtual school will receive a free school t-shirt through our Equity Fund. An order for additional spirit wear for those parents and children that would like to purchase hoodies, sweat shirts, or long sleeved shirts can be found on our Home Page . Our sale ends Monday, September 28.

Picture Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 for K-6. Please send in your child’s package and money to school with them that day. An order form is on the Home Page in case you can’t find the one that was sent home the first day of school. Picture Day for PreK is October 22.

Virtual Open House: Thursday, September 24, 2020, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. This is a “Meet the Teacher” event for parents of children attending Derby Elementary School in person. To keep everyone safe in this time of COVID-19, this is a virtual event. Teachers and special educators will be emailing parents from their class an invitation with a link to a Google Meet. Please join the Google Meet any time between 6 - 7 pm. Some parents may have several Google Meets to join if they have multiple children. We are also providing links for the specialists and interventionists below. This is not the time for a private conference about individual children, but rather a time for parents to meet the teacher, ask questions about the procedures in the class and school, and the learning that will occur throughout the year.

GM link for Virtual Open House with Intervention Teachers: https://meet.google.com/apt-jdpq-fkn

GM link for Virtual Open House with Ms. Chambers, Music: https://meet.google.com/joh-rwat-jzu

GM link for Virtual Open House with Mr. Handley, Tech. Integration: https://meet.google.com/zge-usmf-ori

GM link for Virtual Open House with Mr. Davis, gr. 4-6 Band: https://meet.google.com/ipd-iuzk-hcg

GM link for Virtual Open House with Mr. Auclair and Ms. Joslin, PE: https://meet.google.com/ccc-nxjz-ibf

GM link for Virtual Open House with Mrs. Boskind, Library: https://meet.google.com/oay-adcz-fba

GM link for Virtual Open House with Mrs. Marsh, Art: https://meet.google.com/viz-vidg-pxt

GM link for Virtual Open House with Ms. Smith and Ms. Cyr, Counseling and Restorative Practices: https://meet.google.com/qiy-wsfb-ohy

Title VI Grant Information: Those of Native American heritage have the opportunity to participate in the Title VI Indian Education Program for the North Country Supervisory Union. This program assists in academic learning and cultural enrichment. The program provides Vermont Indian history to all levels of grades. Information and a form are on the Home Page .

September 15, 2020

This has been a wonderful start to the school year, even with COVID measures in place. It has been surprisingly smooth, and it seems all the planning and preparation paid off, for sure! Children are doing great following the rules, being safe, and are so well behaved. Derby Tigers ROCK! Parent Drop off and Pick Up have been running smoothly now that we all have the hang of it! Our Kinders joined us yesterday and PreK starts Thursday.

What if my child is sick? Attached is some information from the Vermont Department of Health about what to do if your child is sick.

School Safety: This week, Ms. Lucas, our Assistant Principal, and I have been conducting our annual classroom visits to talk about school safety. We discuss all the ways we keep children safe in our school, our safety drills, how to recognize safe adults in our school, and stress the importance of listening to their teacher in an emergency or drill. With the older grades 4-6, we also talk about the ALICE protocol (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate). For more information on school safety, please check out our School Safety tab on our website. https://des.ncsuvt.org/school-safety

FREE Lunch and Breakfast until Dec. 31 or the money runs out! This is not just for children attending Derby in person. If your child is in the North Country Virtual School or in a Home Study program, you can still receive free breakfast and lunch - so can any child 18 or younger in our community. Order your meals for each week by emailing jason.marcoux@ncsuvt.org by 3pm the Friday before. Meals will be provided on a daily basis and will be available for pick up in the cooler in our foyer by 11:00 am each day.

Picture Day is Tuesday, September 22, 2020 for K-6. Please send in your child’s package and money to school with them that day. Attached is an order form in case you can’t find the one that was sent home the first day of school. Picture Day for PreK is October 22.

Virtual Open House: This is a “Meet the Teacher” event on Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. To keep everyone safe in this time of COVID-19, this is a virtual event. Teachers and special educators will be emailing parents from their class an invitation with a link to a Google Meet. Please join the Google Meet any time between 6 - 7 pm. Some parents may have several Google Meets to join if they have multiple children, and as we will also be providing links for the specialists and interventionists. This is not the time for a private conference about individual children, but rather a time for parents to meet the teacher, ask questions about the procedures in the class and school, and the learning that will occur throughout the year.

Encore After School Program for gr. 1 – 6: Our fall session of the Encore program starts Monday, Sept. 28, and will be mostly outdoors. The brochure is attached. Children in the North Country Virtual School and Home Study children may participate in our after school program.

FREE Derby Tiger T-shirt & PowerSchool Annual Student Update: We will be ordering the FREE Derby Tiger t-shirts next week for children attending Derby in person and attending the North Country Virtual School, so please complete the Annual Student Update! Given COVID, It’s more important and easier than ever, even from a smart phone. Besides helping us keep your child as safe as possible during this pandemic, it asks your child’s size so we can order them a FREE Derby Tiger t-shirt! We want to give every child enrolled for in-person instruction or virtual instruction a school t-shirt. In addition, the Annual Student Update allows to apply for Free and Reduced Lunch.

We need the most current phone numbers and addresses, emergency contact information, transportation information, and medical information for your student(s). The annual update must be completed for each student regardless of the learning option they have enrolled in for this year.

If you already have a parent account, please visit the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal: https://ncsuvt.powerschool.com. You can access the “Annual Student Update” via the PowerSchool Parent Portal for any of your children who have been enrolled in a school in the North Country Supervisory Union.

Here is an instruction sheet that will help you with the annual update process. https://bit.ly/NCSUAnnualUpdateInfo

If you do not have a PowerSchool parent account, please contact the Laura Fernandes, Administrative Assistant at Derby, for help. 873-3162 ext. 101. In addition, if you require internet access or access via a connected device you can call your school to schedule an appointment to use these services. At that time, you may also utilize the school’s device to complete applications for Cares Act funds that can help your household access rent and mortgage funding currently available to Vermonters. If your family has experienced difficulty maintaining monthly payments during COVID-19 please see this site for more information and learn what documentation is required to complete the applications.

September 8, 2020

Happy New Year!

It was so exciting to visit the classrooms this morning and see all of our Derby Tigers! About an hour into the school day, it was even better to see all the children outside taking mask breaks and having fun at recess. I will post the pictures on our Facebook page later this evening.

Today, your child will be bringing home a folder of forms about Picture Day, Daily Health Checks, insurance, and Farm to School. Please keep those DHC forms handy, as your child needs to bring one every day.

Parent Drop Off starts at 8:20 am at the cross walk in the parking lot. Cars are able to stage and line up prior to that time. However, we ask that you wait for the attendant to have your child exit the vehicle, so we are ready to take temperatures. Parents should remain in cars at all times. We will be asking children to exit 2 or three cars at a time to help the line run a little faster. Children should exit from the passenger side of the vehicle, NOT the driver’s side.

Friday, Sept. 11 is an Early Release Day, which you probably noticed on the school calendar. We will begin to load buses at 12 pm, and parent pick up will begin at 12:15 pm.

It is also Patriot Day, to honor those who lost their lives in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. We encourage everyone to wear red, white and blue.

Thermometers: We have a supply of thermometers at school if you need one, just call our office and we can send one with your child. While supplies last.

Answers to the frequently asked questions about new procedures in school, including information about parent pick up can be found on the Home Page .


September 2, 2020

It is crunch time! We are working hard to get things ready for in-person instruction. All of our PPE and hand sanitizer for staff and children has arrived, and we will be marking the floors soon for physical distancing. It still seems as if our list is a mile long, but we are making progress…..

Breakfast and Lunch is FREE for everyone right now!! We just found out that the federal government granted us a waiver until the allocated funds run out, or December 31, whichever happens first. This means we can provide FREE meals for all children 18 and younger in our community, including those at school! If you have younger or older children that don’t attend Derby and need to pick up free meals for them, please let us know so we can be prepared (802) 873-3162. More details about meal pick up will be forthcoming. The September menu is on the Lunch Program Page

Meet the Teacher videos are on our website. https://des.ncsuvt.org/ Click on the “Class Happenings” tab. Choose your grade level from the drop down menu and click on your child’s teacher’s video. We hope you can have your child watch it and they will feel excited to come to school and meet the teacher in person!

Virtual Learners: Devices, supplies, and a back to school packet can be picked up this Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. At this point, information about class and teacher should be coming from the North Country Virtual School.

Masks: Please mark your masks so they can be easily identified. This will avoid confusion and lost or swapped masks.

Dress for the weather: Please make sure your child is dressed in layers and with rain gear. Mask breaks throughout the day will be outside, as will some instruction. Classrooms and buses will be well ventilated with fresh air.

Birthdays: We plan on making birthdays really special at our school this year! We will be planning monthly birthday parties with special treats made by our kitchen staff. We will decorate and take pics to post. In the classroom, teachers will make time to honor your child on his or her special day. Unfortunately, we can’t have parents come in or send in birthday treats. Don’t worry, we plan on making up for it by making birthdays special for all of our children!

ICYMI in previous emails, attached is information about Parents in the Building, Daily Health Checks, Annual Student Update, Parent Drop off and Parent Pick up:


August 28, 2020

Hello,

Our school is bustling again! Teachers and paras came back this week and were busy preparing for the children. Wednesday, they learned all the COVID – 19 safety procedures, as well as the new support we have for restorative practices. (You can read about restorative practices in our Family Handbook on our website.) Yesterday, teachers discussed the social emotional supports children might need coming back to school and how we can meet their needs, as well our Tiger Paw Pride PBIS system and the changes we have to make to it because of COVID. Today, teachers and paras are learning about the technology and remote learning platforms they will need to teach students right away in case we have to go remote again. We want to be prepared this time and increase the rigor of the remote learning if we do get sent home. Of course, these are great learning platforms for learning in the classroom as well. Teachers are also preparing “Meet the Teacher” videos, and when they are posted on our website, we will let you know!

Annual Student Update: We’d love these completed by today! Thank you to the 200 parents that already completed it. Don’t forget, it includes an order for a FREE school t-shirt! It’s not too late, if you haven’t done it yet, see the info. at the end of this email.

Daily Health Checks: Every child must present a Daily Health Check form completed by parents to get on the bus and into the school. Those that enter the bus without them will be seated in the front seats and upon arrival at school, will be escorted to the nurse for a health check. Children dropped off without a DHC form, will be diverted to the nurse for a health check. NCSU mailed you 6 Daily Health Check forms to get you started for the year. In the folder that children will be bringing home on the first day of school, there will be a pad of about 100 forms for you to use throughout the year. We have more to send out once families run out of forms. I anticipate that children coming with DHC forms will have a smoother start to their morning and arrival to school. Please send your child with a completed Daily Health Check form.

Drop off and Pick Up Processes for 2020-21: Descriptions have already been sent out, but ICYMI, they can be found in this handbook: Family Handbook with C-19 Addendum

DAILY Pick Up for K-6: To those of you that indicated you would be a daily pick up, today Laura snail mailed the number of pick up passes you asked for.

Occasional Pick Up for K-6: If you indicated you would only be picking up from school occasionally, we did not mail a pass. However, you can still pick up your child. We would just ask you roll down your window and speak to Laura. Have your ID ready in case she doesn’t know you.

Bus Routes and approximate times for morning and afternoon are attached. These will also be posted on our website.

The Breakfast and Lunch Menu will be emailed and posted next week.

PowerSchool Annual Student Update and Free and Reduced Lunch Please complete this - it’s more important and easier than ever, even from a smart phone. Besides helping us keep your child as safe as possible during this pandemic, it asks your child’s size so we can order them a FREE Derby Tiger t-shirt! We want to give every child enrolled for in-person instruction or virtual instruction a school t-shirt. In addition, the Annual Student Update allows to apply for Free and Reduced Lunch.

We need the most current phone numbers and addresses, emergency contact information, transportation information, and medical information for your student(s). The annual update must be completed for each student regardless of the learning option they have enrolled in for this year.

If you already have a parent account, please visit the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal: https://ncsuvt.powerschool.com. You can access the “Annual Student Update” via the PowerSchool Parent Portal for any of your children who have been enrolled in a school in the North Country Supervisory Union.

Here is an instruction sheet that will help you with the annual update process. https://bit.ly/NCSUAnnualUpdateInfo

If you do not have a PowerSchool parent account, please contact the Laura Fernandes, Administrative Assistant at Derby, for help. In addition, if you require internet access or access via a connected device you can call your school to schedule an appointment to use these services. At that time, you may also utilize the school’s device to complete applications for Cares Act funds that can help your household access rent and mortgage funding currently available to Vermonters. If your family has experienced difficulty maintaining monthly payments during COVID-19 please see this site for more information and learn what documentation is required to complete the applications.

Have a great weekend!


August 21, 2020

As you can expect, there are many changes to our processes, and we appreciate your patience and understanding in advance as we plan to make the new processes as safe as possible for our children and as efficient as possible for our parents. This email highlights a very important topic: Afternoon Parent Pick Up Information.

K-6 NEW Parent Pick Up Process: Drive Through

  • Parent pick up will be 3:05 - 3:15 pm after the last bus departs.

  • This process was designed to reduce the contact amongst the numbers of children and families we have. We ask for patience and grace as we all learn this new parent pick up process. This process was designed with safety and efficiency in mind. This process may be adjusted as we see how it works.

  • We’d like this to be an efficient process, so please place car seats on the passenger side and have children slide across seats rather than walking between cars to enter the car.

  • Parents that completed the electronic form for daily pick up will receive their “drive through passes” with the names of their child(ren) in the mail.

  • If you need a pass or extra passes once the school year starts, please call Mrs. Mager at 873-3162.

  • These passes should be present and displayed in the passenger side windshield, visible to the drive through attendant in the driveway checking off your arrival.

  • The drive through attendant will radio the names of your child(ren) so they will be ready to enter your car at he gym door.

  • If you do not have a “drive through pass,” the efficiency of the process for all families is reduced, and you will need roll down your window, talk to the drive through attendant. You may need to show some ID or park and come into the foyer to pick up your child.

  • Cars may begin “staging” and lining up for the drive through at the cone located before the PreK entrance.

  • Once the last bus has loaded, the drive through attendant will wave for the first car to proceed through the bus lane to the gym door.

  • Parents will pull into the bus lane and pick up at the gym door. We hope to load 4-5 cars at once.

  • Parent pick up will begin at approximately 3:05 pm.

  • Children will be called to the gym as in the past.

  • Children will physically distance in the gym based on the markings on the floor and at tables.

  • A staff member will stage the children in line as they are radioed the names in order of cars in the drive through lane.

  • Parents picking up for the PreK, may bypass the line and turn into the PreK parking lot.

Here is a link to our COVID -19 Addendum to the Family Handbook in case you haven’t yet read about all of our new processes.

Please don’t forget to complete the Annual Student Update! Please complete this - it’s more important and easier than ever, even from a smart phone. Besides helping us keep your child as safe as possible during this pandemic, it asks your child’s size so we can order them a FREE Derby Tiger t-shirt! We want to give every child enrolled for in-person instruction or virtual instruction a school t-shirt.

If you already have a parent account, please visit the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal: https://ncsuvt.powerschool.com. You can access the “Annual Student Update” via the PowerSchool Parent Portal for any of your children who have been enrolled in a school in the North Country Supervisory Union. Here is an instruction sheet that will help you with the annual update process. https://bit.ly/NCSUAnnualUpdateInfo

If you do not have a PowerSchool parent account, please contact the Laura Fernandes, Administrative Assistant at Derby, for help. In addition, if you require internet access or access via a connected device you can call your school to schedule an appointment to use these services. At that time, you may also utilize the school’s device to complete applications for Cares Act funds that can help your household access rent and mortgage funding currently available to Vermonters. If your family has experienced difficulty maintaining monthly payments during COVID-19 please see this site for more information and learn what documentation is required to complete the applications.

With Tiger Paw Pride,


August 18, 2020

Hello,

I hope this email finds you and your family well and looking forward to the start of school. More frequent emails will be coming as we get ready to open. There are many changes to our processes, and we appreciate your patience and understanding in advance as we plan to make the new processes as safe as possible for our children and as efficient as possible for our parents. This email includes two very important things: Annual Student Update and Morning Parent Drop Off Information. The parent drop off information has changed since our COVID -19 Addendum to the Family Handbook was published a few weeks ago, as we needed to accommodate the schedule of the Jr. High and High School and the families who have children at multiple schools.

Annual Student Update: Please complete by August 28. Besides giving us emergency contact information for your child’s safety, there is also information for financial assistance AND we ask your child’s size for a FREE Derby Tiger Shirt. If you already have a parent account, please visit the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal: https://ncsuvt.powerschool.com. You can access the “Annual Student Update” via the PowerSchool Parent Portal for any of your children who have been enrolled in a school in the North Country Supervisory Union. Here is an instruction sheet that will help you with the annual update process. https://bit.ly/NCSUAnnualUpdateInfo If you do not have a PowerSchool parent account, please contact the Laura Fernandes, Administrative Assistant at Derby, for help. In addition, if you require internet access or access via a connected device you can call your school to schedule an appointment to use these services. At that time, you may also utilize the school’s device to complete applications for Cares Act funds that can help your household access rent and mortgage funding currently available to Vermonters. If your family has experienced difficulty maintaining monthly payments during COVID-19 please see this site for more information and learn what documentation is required to complete the applications.

K-6 Parent Drop Off: NEW Drive Through Process

  • This process was designed to reduce the contact amongst the numbers of children and families we have, we ask for patience and grace as we all learn this new parent drop off process.

  • This process is designed with safety and efficiency in mind.

  • This process may be adjusted as we see how it works.

  • We’d like this to be an efficient process, so please pack lunches and backpacks, and give hugs and kisses prior to drop off. Please drop off with a simple wave and pull your car through and around to the exit.

  • We’d also ask that parents place car seats on the passenger side and have children slide across seats and exit on the passenger side so children do not have to walk between cars to enter the building.

  • To ensure safety, the guidance from the AOE and DOH says we are not allowed to have open gym.

  • Parent drop off is now scheduled for 8:20 - 8:30 am.

  • Cars will be able to begin to “stage” and line up for the drive through drop off at the crosswalk in the parking lot.

  • Parents must remain in their cars at all times.

  • A staff member will wave for the first child to exit their car and to proceed into the building.

  • Parents will pull into the parking lot and drop at the crosswalk.

  • Children will be asked at the entrance of the school for their Daily Health Check form signed by a parent. (Forms are being mailed from NCSU.)

  • If no Daily Health Check form from home is present, the child will be diverted to a line for a Health Check to be conducted. If the Health Check is not passed, the parent will be called to pick up the child.


August 14, 2020

It is time for the Annual Student Update! Please complete this - it’s more important and easier than ever, even from a smartphone. Besides helping us keep your child as safe as possible during this pandemic, it asks your child’s size so we can order them a FREE Derby Tiger t-shirt! We want to give every child enrolled for in-person instruction or virtual instruction a school t-shirt.

PowerSchool Annual Student Update

Please complete the Annual Student Update for each student before August 28th. The Annual Student Update is an important process that occurs every year.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the school has the most current phone numbers and addresses, emergency contact information, transportation information, and medical information for your student(s). The annual update must be completed for each student regardless of the learning option they have enrolled in for this year.

If you already have a parent account, please visit the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal: https://ncsuvt.powerschool.com. You can access the “Annual Student Update” via the PowerSchool Parent Portal for any of your children who have been enrolled in a school in the North Country Supervisory Union.

Here is an instruction sheet that will help you with the annual update process. https://bit.ly/NCSUAnnualUpdateInfo

If you do not have a PowerSchool parent account, please contact the Laura Fernandes, Administrative Assistant at Derby, for help. In addition, if you require internet access or access via a connected device you can call your school to schedule an appointment to use these services. At that time, you may also utilize the school’s device to complete applications for Cares Act funds that can help your household access rent and mortgage funding currently available to Vermonters. If your family has experienced difficulty maintaining monthly payments during COVID-19 please see this site for more information and learn what documentation is required to complete the applications.

If you have additional questions, please contact Laura Fernandes, Administrative Assistant at Derby, for help.


August 11, 2020

Hello Parents/Guardians,

Thank you for patience as we plan for the start of school. This email is for those whose children will be returning to in-person instruction. We need your help in planning our parent pick up process by answering this short survey at the link below.

If you chose virtual school or home study for your child on the NCSU form last week, please DO NOT complete this survey.

We would like to be prepared to have our dismissal be as efficient and quick as possible. We need to know if you plan to pick up your child(ren) from school on a regular basis or if they will ride the bus on a regular basis.

We are not seeking morning drop off information at this time as we already have a plan to physically distance during morning drop off.

You are not locked into the choice you indicate on this form. As parents, you can decide at any time to have your child ride the bus home or pick them up. We know the process will not be perfect, but having estimated numbers will help us plan, and may make your wait in the pick up drive through line shorter.

Knowing this information in advance helps us plan for physical distancing on the buses, plan our bus routes, as well as whether or not a staggered parent pick up process is needed.

Right now, we are planning to dismiss busses first, at staggered times of 2:50, 2:55, and 3:00 pm because children cannot line up next to each other in the hall as they have in the past. If we know the number of children that intend to ride the buses, it can help us plan routes and determine physical distancing on the buses.

We are planning a parent drive through process for pick up starting at 3:05 pm. We'd rather not have traffic backed up on Elm Street, and we'd like the drive through to be as efficient as possible with as little wait time as possible for parents. If the numbers of parents intending to pick up at the end of the day are high, it is possible that we will need to stagger the parent pick up times.

The responses on this form will help us make a determination, and then we will communicate the plan to you. Click on the link below to complete the survey.

https://forms.gle/wawYBhSJwaTvBcGK9

Thank you for your help. Stay tuned to your email for the information about the Annual Student Update, including a FREE Tiger Paw Pride T-Shirt for your child!


August 3, 2020

Hello,

As you know, Superintendent John Castle sent out information last week (and today!) about the new school year. Hopefully you know that NCSU and Derby Elementary School are offering two options for your child’s enrollment in the fall: in-person instruction at DES, or virtual learning at home with an NCSU teacher. While Mr. Castle sent some information, attached is more specific information regarding in-person learning at Derby. You can also find the same information at this link: Addendum to the Family Handbook for Covid-19, 2020-21

We want you to be able to make an informed decision about the learning option you choose for your child’s enrollment this fall. We understand that the decision to select in-person learning or virtual learning is highly personal and dependent on the unique circumstances your family faces. We are committed to supporting you as best we can.

We are asking families to read all the information and make a choice between the two enrollment options by Friday, August 7, 2020 so that we can begin to make further plans about the return to school. Here is the link for your choice: Learning Option Enrollment Form

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions, or if I can help in any way.


August 3, 2020

NCSU Parent Information

Superintendent‘s Message

We look forward to seeing our school-communities come together again for in-person learning with the start of the school year. We recognize for many there is some uncertainty and uneasiness with coming back to school. We are confident that we are doing what is necessary to provide a strong and healthy start for students and staff.

School will certainly look different this year! First and foremost, we are attending to the physical health and well-being of students, staff and our school-communities and will have the necessary procedures in place to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus. In addition, we will be attentive to supporting the social and emotional needs and growth of students as we transition back to in-person learning. Relationships are a priority as students and staff learn to adjust to new routines and practices.

It’s possible that schools will need to close again. We will be better prepared if that happens. All teachers will have Google Classroom and/or SeeSaw accounts ready if we need to switch to remote learning. Remote learning will not look the same as emergency remote learning did last spring, nor will it look the same as in-school learning. All students will need to complete classwork and show evidence of making progress. This means that learning options will be different than in a non-COVID year.

Next week, your school will provide information regarding your child’s options for the year including:

  • Full-time, in-person school

  • Full-time virtual learning (check with your school for deadline to apply)

  • Vermont’s home study requirements

Families will be notified of elementary level NCSU Virtual School placements in mid-August. Please be aware that space may be limited. If a learning option choice is not indicated by your school’s deadline it will be assumed that your child will attend in-person.

If your child is eligible to receive special education services and you have questions regarding the above offerings we encourage you to contact your child’s special education case manager or school principal for more detail. Should you choose not to select the full-time in-person school option and opt for the full-time virtual learning option for your child please be aware the IEP team will review the IEP service page and services may be revised. The IEP services provided within the full-time virtual option likely will include some, but not all of the services from the IEP.

Students whose families choose the home study option are entitled to receive related services only, e.g. speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling.

We will continue to communicate with you as we approach the start of school with additional updates and information. We ask everyone to do their part to support a strong and healthy start and in keeping schools open. Parents can review our NCSU Strong and Healthy Start Handbook for more information about our planning and procedures based on the Strong and Healthy Start AOE/VDH Guidance. We encourage you to visit our website at NCSUVT.org, the NCSU Facebook page or your school website or Facebook sites for frequent updates. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support as we return to school under these very challenging times. We can do this!

Sincerely,

John A. Castle

NCSU Superintendent of Schools

NCSU Approach to In-Person and Virtual Learning

Overview: NCSU will provide full-time virtual learning options for those students and families in grades K-12 who would like to continue their education online as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. See below for the range of options available:

  1. NCUHS - Provides internal virtual options for students as best they can pending availability of teachers across content areas and sections. Students may access learning virtually when those sections are available in the overall rotation of classes. Students who choose the fully virtual option will be asked to update their Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) and will be encouraged to have a variety of learning pathways including online courses, independent study, work-based learning, etc.

  2. NCUHS/NCCC - will also be starting the year in a hybrid model. More information on this will come directly from the high school and career center.

  3. NCCC - The Career Center will not provide a virtual option.

  4. NCUJHS - Provides internal virtual options for students in core academic areas. Students would access learning virtually when those sections are available in the overall rotation of classes. VTVLC may be an option for courses not offered by NCUJHS.

  5. Middle School Grades in PreK to 8 Schools - Students' virtual option is online courses, not necessarily with instruction provided by an NCSU teacher. Local schools will coordinate enrollment and provide some monitoring. We may consider other options due to limitations with VTVLC.

  6. Grades K-6 - NCSU will provide a virtual option for students across the SU in core academic areas. Enrollment may be limited and students may have to access VTVLC if enrollment is capped. Teachers will be hired specifically for virtual instruction.

  7. Pre-K - No full-time virtual option at this time. Some preschools may have a need for a hybrid model. Specific scheduling information will come directly from schools.

Students and parents must understand that by choosing the virtual option they will be enrolled as a full-time virtual learning student for the year and returning to a physical classroom will not be an option unless extenuating circumstances arise. Likewise, students who choose to attend school for in-person instruction are expected to maintain participation through the year. We certainly will reevaluate all programming in the event that there are changes in the context of public health or further requirements from the Agency of Education or Department of Health.

Please us this link to view a Comparison of Instructional Models 2020-2021.

In order to open school safely, we all need to adhere to certain requirements established by the Department of Health & Agency of Education and follow best practices to the best of our ability.

  • All students and staff will be required to wear a facial covering in school. For complete information on the use of Facial Coverings see the Health Guidance section.

  • K-8 students will generally stay with their classrooms with the exception for recess, outdoor classes (ie. physical education and other instruction). Students will generally eat in their classrooms or outside.

  • Schools will work to establish groups of students and limit the interactions between groups.

  • Students and staff must maintain safe physical distancing.

  • Students entering the bus or school building are required to submit a Daily Health Check screening slip.

  • If sick, students and adults will be sent home.

  • Sick children or adults are required to stay home.

Expectations: Full-time Virtual Learning Option

Requirements

  • The off-campus location must have adequate, reliable access to the Internet (at least 3.2 Mbps as determined using this tool). A school device will be provided with a home-use contract needing to be signed.

  • Students must complete coursework in all core subjects

  • Families must connect with support staff as needed for additional services (ie. guidance counselor, special educator, etc.).

  • School meals will be provided if requested, but the school may not have the capacity to deliver them. Guardians will need to make arrangements for pickup.

  • Students will have the same opportunities as their classmates to participate in school-sponsored clubs, sports, and activities with the understanding that some can only be done in-person. Schools must maintain AOE and VPA guidelines for all sports and other activities.

Expectations for students who access Full-time Virtual option:

  • Maintain contact with the online teacher(s) through a combination of check-ins and work completion. This will also be used for daily attendance.

  • Read announcements as needed using school email, Google Classroom and SeeSaw platforms.

  • Participate in both synchronous (for example: class meetings, presentations and video demonstrations) and asynchronous (independently, on your own schedule) learning. NCUHS/NCUJHS students will be expected to attend class at the scheduled time.

  • Attend an orientation on the how-to’s of virtual learning.

  • Complete all learning activities and assignments by the required date.

  • Respond and act upon feedback from teacher(s); this includes connecting with fellow students as necessary.

  • Ask questions! If you don’t know the answer or need help, communicate directly with your teacher(s). If you are having technical difficulties, let your teacher know.

Expectations for parents or guardians supporting their student at home:

  • Be present or arrange for supervision and academic support for your child based on age and need (must have parent/guardian present for a child in grade 6 or below). Parents should not rely solely on childcare providers/centers to facilitate online learning.

  • View detailed grade information and teacher feedback – see what your student sees!

  • Support your student with assignment due dates.

  • Read announcements as needed using School Messenger, Google Classroom and SeeSaw platforms.

  • Support discussions your students are involved in when appropriate

  • Grades 6-12: Review the online course syllabus – course description, expectations, grading policies and assignment due dates.

  • Communicate directly with the online teacher(s) over any questions or concerns. Likewise, share success stories or suggestions around your student. Family input, feedback, and communication is critical to instructing our students whether they are virtual or on-campus. Parents and guardians are invaluable partners in our schools.

  • Attend an orientation on the how-to’s of virtual learning.

Please use this link to access the NCSU Learning Options for School Year 2020-2021 enrollment form.

Travel

We ask parents to carefully consider out of state travel plans with their child and to review the information provided by the Vermont Department of Health before traveling. Out of state travel could result in required quarantine for students. Students are able, and expected, to make up missed assignments, yet will have a loss of in-person instruction during this time. Students will not have the ability to access instruction remotely.



July 28, 2020

Hello,

I hope you are staying cool in this hot weather and humidity! I know you have been wondering about what school will look like in the fall. While I don’t have all the information for you yet, I do know some things and want to dispel the rumors!

Here is what I can tell you at this time:

We are planning to start the year with 5 days per week of in-person instruction.

There are so many new processes that we are developing to keep our children and staff as safe as possible. We are developing a Covid-19 Addendum to our Family Handbook, and it will be published in the next few weeks. There may be a remote option available, we should be hearing more about this from NCSU soon.

We will have recess daily.

We will encourage positive play and learn some new games that can keep us physically distant enough to be mask-free.

We will prepare and serve yummy breakfast, lunch, and snack in the classroom daily.

Chef Marcoux and the kitchen crew will continue to wow us with the food!

We will have specials classes!

These are so important, and, well, special! Children will continue to have one special class per day.

Children and staff will wear facial coverings.

Children may be greeted with a hidden smile, and our kindness will shine through our masks. We will be planning fun, outdoor mask breaks throughout the day.

We will implement physical distancing.

We may not be close together like we were, but we will find innovative ways to collaborate, play, and learn from one another in the classroom. Our learning will still be done together.

We will learn many new procedures and routine to keep us safe at school.

We will be understanding of mistakes, encourage each other, and give everyone, including staff, students, and families time to learn. We are counting on parents to help keep children and staff safe by following new procedures for drop off and pick up. We will publish details soon.

We will need to be adaptable as our plans may change.

We do not know exactly what this year may bring. We will make decisions with student and staff safety and well-being at the forefront.

Thank you in advance for your patience as we plan down to the tiniest detail and try to think of everything. We have a great group of staff members working on our back to school plan, and will continue to seek input from parents. When our plan is ready, we will publish it for you.


June 15, 2020

Happy End of the School Year! It was great to see so many children and teachers and parents on Friday! Teachers are finishing up their work today.

A few more things to end the year:

Retirement Parade: @ 1:00 pm today, the parade line up starts at 12:50 pm to celebrate Donna Cheney, Bob Joslin, Denise Coburn, LeeAnn Handley, Donna Buchanan, and Susan Davis. Please join us!

Technology/Library Book Return = Progress Report and Class Placement: If you weren’t able to attend our Curbside Drop Off event, please bring your child’s device and library books to the school M-F between 8 -11 am and pick up the Progress Report with class placement information.

Summer Meals: are available to pick up 8-11am, June 22- August 7. We are also offering delivery. If you were already receiving delivery, it will continue unless you call Laura at 873-3162 ext. 101. If you’d like to add delivery, please call Laura.

Yearbook: Our digital yearbook can be found at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V3JuAfkoRDjul3lXIr3fvZip_YrhSIXb/view?usp=sharing

(The app on the back page is not real, it is a decoration to go with the theme of the yearbook.)

Attendance on the Progress Reports: It appears that the number of absences in the 3rd trimester box are the total for the year. I apologize for any concern this mistake has caused.

Class Placements: We are all very sad that we couldn’t have our traditional Step Up Day. Children didn’t get to meet their new teachers nor their new classmates. Therefore, teachers will include class lists with their summer letters.

Next Year: Once we receive guidance from the state about next school year, we will be developing a plan for Derby. As soon as we have that plan ready to go, we will let you know.

June 11, 2020

Hello,

So much is happening in our world right now, both good and bad.

Given the protests occurring locally and around the country, you may be wondering how to help your child(ren) understand and stop racism and systemic racial inequity. I have struggled and thought long and hard about how to address this topic. How can we teach our young children about this important topic? Colleagues of mine shared some thoughts and experiences recently and have provoked my own thoughts. Many of us were raised to treat all people kindly and were taught in the era of “color-blindness.” We were taught to see the “inside” of people, rather than their skin color, race, religion, ethnicity and more. Is that enough? While that approach means well, it erases the experiences people of color have, their struggles, things that we with white privilege don’t necessarily have to see or address. For over 400 year years, our history in the United States shows that black lives haven’t mattered as much. Some members of our community and in our country do not experience the American freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as most do. A person’s skin color is still a factor in the ability to realize these freedoms. In addition, does the “color-blindness” approach (“I don’t see color”) stop us, or make us afraid or nervous about talking explicitly about racism with each other? With our children? We should talk about it. We can do our part to help children learn by addressing the issues directly at home and at school. I encourage you as parents, to learn more about equity (not to be confused with equality), systemic racism, how to be an anti racist, and white privilege. I encourage you as parents to teach your children directly and explicitly about the struggle of people of color, of racism, of prejudice and discrimination, of white privilege. As a school, we will be working with staff and children to do the same. Throughout the summer, I will be posting resources on our Facebook page to help in our journey. Attached is a specific resource about white privilege.

In other news, I’m sure you may have heard that the Governor and Superintendent of the Agency of Education announced yesterday that they plan on publishing re-opening guidelines next week, so that schools can start planning to reopen for in person instruction in the fall. This is good news, as we have been waiting and even trying to plan in the meantime. As soon as I have information for you as to our plans, I will let you know.

We are looking forward to seeing your child(ren) in person tomorrow!

Curbside Turn In Day, Tomorrow, June 12: Feel free to honk your horn, make signs, decorate your car, etc. to make this a celebratory event for children. Please bring your children so we can see them! With that said, it is important to remain in your vehicle. We ask that you drive through at the assigned time (see below), turn in devices and library books, wave goodbye to the teachers, and in return, receive progress report, as well as class placement for next year. Junior High 7th grade schedules will be available for our 6th graders when they turn in their devices.

9:15 am PreK

9:45 am Kinder

10:30 am Gr. 1

11:45 am Gr. 2

12:15 pm Gr. 3

1:00 pm Gr. 4

1:45 pm Gr. 5

2:30 pm Gr. 6

5:30-6:30 pm any grade level

Parents with children in more than one grade level may attend one of the time slots and get the information for all children.

*If you need a ride, please contact us Laura Fernandes, 873-3162 ext. 101 or laura.fernandes@ncsuvt.org

June 3, 2020

Wow! We only have two more weeks left. Our last day of school has changed due to a waiver from the state. Information is below.

Many of you may be wondering how to speak with your children or teach your children about race, prejudice, discrimination, social justice, and the protests happening around the country. I will be posting some ideas on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/destigersvt/ and here is a link to an article that may help. https://www.parents.com/kids/responsibility/racism/7-tips-for-raising-diversity-aware-kids/

End of Year Calendar:

June 5 This Friday! Last Day for New Instruction

June 8 – 11 Daily student check in with teacher for attendance; time to make up work for any child that has missed work.

June 10 6:30 pm 6th Grade Celebratory Drive Through *If you need a ride, please contact us Laura Fernandes, 873-3162 ext. 101 or laura.fernandes@ncsuvt.org Information has been sent to families from the 6th grade teachers.

June 12 Last Day of School, Curbside Turn In Day (see details below)

June 15 1:00 pm Celebrate our Retirees! Join our Retirement Parade (see attached)

Pick Up of Student Belongings: We still have many student belongings here in our foyer. Please come to pick them up M-F, 8am – 11am. Unfortunately, anything left after June 15 will have to be thrown away.

Curbside Turn In Day June 12: Feel free to honk your horn, make signs, decorate your car, etc. to make this a celebratory event for children. Please bring your children so we can see them! With that said, it is important to remain in your vehicle. We ask that you drive through at the assigned time (see below), turn in devices and library books, wave goodbye to the teachers, and in return, receive progress report, as well as class placement for next year. Junior High 7th grade schedules will be available for our 6thgraders when they turn in their devices.

9:15 am PreK

9:45 am Kinder

10:30 am Gr. 1

11:45 am Gr. 2

12:15 pm Gr. 3

1:00 pm Gr. 4

1:45 pm Gr. 5

2:30 pm Gr. 6

5:30-6:30 pm any grade level

Parents with children in more than one grade level may attend one of the time slots and get the information for all children.

*If you need a ride, please contact us Laura Fernandes, 873-3162 ext. 101 or laura.fernandes@ncsuvt.org

We look forward to seeing you next week!

May 28, 2020

As is usual at this time of year, we are standing with a foot in each school year: finishing the current school year and planning for the next school year. For the current school year, we are focused on finishing with positive experiences for children, families, and staff (see below). We know, better than anyone, how difficult it is for children to focus on schoolwork during this nice weather. Thanks for being persistent and sticking with it. I am sitting here writing this from my patio. It is always novel and fun to do schoolwork outdoors!

Upcoming:

Student Council’s Quarantine Mile Run: We can’t have our annual Cornfield Mile Run ☹, so Student Council planned something else. We’d love for every family to participate. Details are on the Home Page.

Parent Survey: Please complete our survey about the remote learning, which is part of our state approved Continuum of Learning Plan. https://forms.gle/auAeAXW2qmXEtdSr6

6th Grade Parents: We are disappointed we can’t do our normal celebration, but we are working to make it special for your children and you. 6th grade teachers will be in touch, and please save the date for our 6th grade parade, June 10 at 6:30 pm. In addition to a free digital yearbook, Ms. Ashley is creating a special video filled with heartwarming memories. She still needs a few baby pictures of some 6th graders by Friday (tomorrow) at 6pm to be included in the video. You can reach her at ashley.dewing@ncsuvt.org

Save the Date: Curbside Turn In Day: June 12 by grade level, times TBD: Drive through at the assigned time, turn in devices and library books, wave goodbye to the teachers, and in return, receive progress report, as well as class placement for next year. We expect junior high staff to be there with 7th grade schedules for our 6th graders that turn in their devices.

Meal Delivery for the school year ends on Friday, June 12. Summer Meal Delivery will begin again on Monday, June 22. We will continue to deliver to our current list unless you contact our Administrative Assistant Laura Fernandes to discontinue the service. Laura.fernandes@ncsuvt.org or (802) 873-3162 ext. 101. We will deliver meals as long as we can, hopefully through August 7. Meals can also be picked up at the school June 22 through August 7.

Summer Encore Program: Encore will be running a 5 week program, M-F, June 29 – July 31. The number of children is limited, due to safety and health guidance from the state. Here is the link to electronic registration and information. https://forms.gle/r2TFYUVzNE6JGPsi8 A paper registration form is on the After School Program Page.

Registration is due June 5, and confirmation of placement will be made by June 12.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to plan too much for next year, as there are still so many unknowns. I promise that as we get information about next year, we will communicate that to you in a timely and prompt manner. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. On a good note, we have some new and very enthusiastic teachers joining our staff!

Welcome New Staff for 2020-21:

Gr. 1: Ms. Bayla Stewart: recent graduate of Northern Vermont University – Lyndon, a native of Newport

Gr. 2: Ms. Nerissa Coolbeth: recent graduate of Northern Vermont University – Johnson, and is a native of the NEK

Gr. 3: Mrs. Kirstin Raymond: 15 year veteran teacher relocating from MA, and is familiar with the area due to camp in Holland

Gr. 3: Ms. Araceli Derbyshire: formerly taught spec. ed. in Derby and is a native of the NEK

Gr. 3: Ms. Kendra Perkins: graduate of NCUHS, taught 3rd grade at Barton, and lives in Derby. (This is a recent development as Ms. Pinard is relocating.)

Gr. 6: Ms. Carly Parker: recent graduate of Northern Vermont University – Johnson, student taught in Hyde Park

PE/Health: Ms. Emma Joslin: daughter of Bob J, recent graduate of University of Vermont, taught PE and intervention at Charleston, native of Derby

Spec. Ed.: Ms. Olivia Trevisani: recent graduate of Castleton, hired by NCSU and assigned to Derby

Assistant Principal: Ms. Rhonda Lucas: veteran teacher at Derby for many years, will acquire her Educational Leadership degree in August

May 20, 2020

We have been pretty busy here packing up and planning for the end of the year. We are very sad we can’t have our normal celebrations, but we will make the best of it, and more information will be coming in regards to end of the year activities.

Curbside Pick Up of Student Belongings Friday, May 22, 2020: Our teachers have packed up student belongings, and we will be delivering them to those that get meal delivery. If you don’t get meal delivery, we are now ready for you to come and get your child’s belongings on Friday, May 22, 2020. In order to be as safe as possible for you and for us, we have created a schedule to pick up student items left at school. We will use a curbside pick up process: drive into the bus lane and someone will greet you and tell you when to move forward. The Vermont Agency of Education has said cars must be 6 feet apart. Roll down your window and tell us the name of your child and his/her teacher’s name. That information will be radioed ahead so that we can hand you the bag through your car window. We will pass you the bag of your child’s belongings and you will drive on through the parking lot. Please stay in your car at all times. If you have multiple children, please pick up ALL student belongings in one trip.

Last names A - C : 9:15 - 10:15 am

Last names D – K: 11:30 - 12:30 pm

Last names L – P: 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Last names Q – Z: 1:30 - 2:30 pm

If you cannot come during the assigned time period, please come after May 25, M-F between 8:00 am - 11:00 am. Student belongings will be left on the table in the foyer of the school between the two sets of doors.

Unemployed? Apply for Free and Reduced Meals: If your financial situation has changed during this time period, please complete the Lunch Application at this link to see if you qualify for F& R Lunch. https://www.lunchapplication.com

If you qualify now, it will make your children eligible for the entire next year. Right now, the government has given us a waiver to feed everyone, regardless of F & R eligibility, but that waiver ends soon, and has not yet been renewed. This means you may not qualify for meals during the summer unless you are eligible for F & R Lunch or the waiver is renewed.

Last Day of School: Our last day of school is officially Monday, June 15.

Tech Turn In Drive Thru Event, June 15: We will be asking parents to come to school and drop off technology devices and cords, library books, and other books and materials borrowed from the school. In return, we will give you your child’s final progress report and class placement for next year. We will set up times for drive thru drop off according to last name. Stay tuned for more information.

Yearbook: This year, every student will get a free digital yearbook! Ms. Ashley is continuing and finishing the work that the Encore group started this winter.

May 8, 2020

Hello,

It certainly has been a week of recognition – for our Lunch Superheroes, Teachers and Staff, Nurses, and coming up – Mothers! It is always good when we can teach our children to be grateful for what they have, especially during times of crisis. I’d like to take the time to recognize YOU, who as parents are working extra hard right now and have so much on your plates! Please hang in there – your children need to see examples of perseverance and resilience when things get tough. Trying your best is all you can do. It will be enough.

We should celebrate our retirees as well as others not returning to Derby:

  1. Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Buchanan, Special Educators, are retiring, but will hopefully continue to lend us their expertise.

  2. Mrs. Handley and Mrs. Coburn, gr.1, are retiring, but will hopefully return to assess children for us throughout the year.

  3. Mrs. Cheney, gr. 2, is retiring, but will hopefully return to assess children for us throughout the year.

  4. Mr. Joslin, PE, is retiring, but I’ve heard him say he will come back and sub in PE classes

  5. Mrs. Sbarra, gr. 3, will be retiring in November, and will be an intervention teacher until then.

  6. Mrs. Gentry, Assistant Principal, will be the Principal at Orleans Elementary School.

  7. Ms. Poginy, Special Education, is pursuing a job in her field of Psychology.

  8. Mrs. Ashburner elected to stay home and raise her family, but will hopefully return to sub and assess children for us throughout the year.

  9. Ms. Lingenfelter, Health and SEL, will be pursuing a counseling job.

We wish all of these teachers well in their new endeavors! Stay tuned for next week’s email, when I will let you know about our new hires!

Student Belongings Still in Classrooms: Teachers are coming in to school next week in shifts to clear out the classrooms and bag up student belongings. We will be sending a plan for getting these items back to children in the next few weeks.

Planning Ahead: We are starting to think about celebrating our 6th graders, summer Encore, summer learning, and summer meals, and even what school may look like next year. At this point, however, everything is speculation. We await guidance from the health experts and the AOE. I expect to be sending more information in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Here is some information for the here and now:

Principal’s Challenge for May 11-15: Learn without technology! Be tech free for parts of your week! Take a technology break! Send in pics of your children learning without technology (cooking, exploring outside, reading, acting, gardening, hiking, creating art, singing, playing an instrument, exercising, etc.). Send pics to tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.org so we can publish on our website and on our Facebook page.

Meal Deliveries: It is spring in Vermont so the weather can be unpredictable, but please make sure that on warm weather days that you are collecting your food delivery in a timely way so that the food does not spoil.

Vermont Public Radio: Program for PreK-6 Students: But Why, VPR's Podcast for Curious Kids is coming to the air-waves every Friday at 1 pm. May 8-June 19. The AOE has partnered with VPR to bring these interactive and educational programs to Vermont students. The programs will cover a wide-range of topics related to natural science, poetry, space, history and civics. Students can listen to the program over the air on VPR's stations or listen to the web-stream at vpr.org. Students can call-in and ask their questions while the program is on the air or send them ahead of time to questions@butwhykids.org. On Friday, May 8 But Why will be learning about bats and beavers with the Vermont Bat Center and Vermont Fish & Wildlife. On May 15, write a poem to share with Poetry Guy Ted Scheu. Find out for about the programs and find supplemental resources for each program at butwhykids.org and the Vermont AOE Vermont PBR webpage.

Attendance During Remote Learning: As we get some warm weather days, we know it can be difficult to get children to do work. This is a dynamic teachers face every year! Please remember, part of the Continuity of Learning Plan requires daily remote check ins/connections between children/families and teachers. We are required to track these connections as attendance. Connections can include logging onto See Saw (gr. PreK – 2), logging into an app or online program provided by the teachers, turning in work in Google Classroom (gr. 3-6), meeting teachers in Google Hangouts/Meets, speaking with teachers on the phone or by email, meeting with therapist, counselor, etc. Parents are not required to call absences in to the school, and during this COVID-19 school closure all absences will be excused. If your child is showing behavioral issues about the work, please see the options below.

Struggling with behavior? Try one of these options:

1.Northeast Kingdom Human Services has established a NKHS Parent Support Line. This will be available Monday through Friday 8:30-5:00 until they increase to 24/7 schedule. The plan is to be ready to provide 24/7 coverage. This line is a dedicated warm line for parents and guardians to access when having difficulty managing their children’s behaviors at home. It is staffed by NKHS’s Children’s Department clinicians. NKHS Behavior Support Line 749-1111(no 802 needed if calling from Vermont) to get support with your children’s behaviors. For more Info please contact Noreen Shapiro-Berry NShapiro-Berry@nkhs.net or Marcia Stricker MStricker@nkhs.net

2.Reach out to our Guidance Counselor, RoseAnna Cyr, for assistance. Roseanna.cyr@ncsuvt.org

Courtesy Posts:

K-6 Girl Scouts: See attachments on the Activities Page for information regarding virtual Open House

Vermont Jr. Iron Chef: See attachment on the Lunch Program Page with cooking programs and recipes

April 30, 2020

I hope you all enjoyed the break from remote learning last week! I know that we are all back at it, and all we can do is our best. We know that each day you do what it takes to give the best to your family. Everything you do serves a purpose for your family, so remember, taking care of yourself IS taking care of your family!

Tiger Paw Pride Day: Tomorrow, show your Tiger Paw Pride by wearing blue and orange. Send us a pic at tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.org

School Lunch Hero Day: The Vermont Agency of Education has declared Friday, May 1st as School Lunch Hero Day. While school food service staff deserve our thanks and appreciation every day of every year, this year is especially important. Derby’s school food service heroes are continuing to work in our empty school to keep our children fed during this uncertain time. They report that they really miss seeing the children, and the drawings and notes of appreciation they receive really brighten their day. Teachers and parents are encouraged to suggest that students send their local food service heroes a message of thanks on Friday. Notes and pictures can be left on coolers and boxes for pick up by delivery staff.

PreK and Kinder Registration: We are currently registering children for PreK and K. If you know of anyone with children that needs to register their children, please pass on the information on our Registration Page and have them call our Administrative Assistant Laura at 873-3162, ext. 101.

If you need help during this school closure, please reach out.

April 23,2020

Happy Spring Break! I hope you are enjoying your time away from remote learning. Parent and teachers need to rest before it starts back up again on Monday! Thank you for trying to make this the best situation possible for your children right now. Thanks for staying open to the possibilities, for keeping it going. We are all trying to find the flow and balance that works for us and to stay afloat. We are all trying new things and finding new ways. We see you, we’re here too, we’re in this together. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at school for help.

Prek and K Registration is now open. Our early registration deadline is May 8. Please see the flyer for information. There is also helpful and more detailed information on our website.

PreK link: https://des.ncsuvt.org/class-happenings/pre-k

K link: https://des.ncsuvt.org/class-happenings/kindergarten

Class Placement: The first step in placing children into classrooms for next year is seeking your input. You know your child best. If you would like to have input into your child’s class placement for next year, please complete the form at the link provided and return it to us through snail mail, fax (802) 873-9106, or email laura.fernandes@ncsuvt.org The deadline will be extended until May 1, 2020. https://des.ncsuvt.org/parents/class-placement

Spirit Week: Student Council has planned a Spirit Week next week, so information is Home Page. Email pics to tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.org for our website and Facebook!

Virtual Art Show: Mrs. Marsh has put this together to show the wonderful art work of our children this year. Be sure to check it out and see your child’s artistry! https://des.ncsuvt.org/class-happenings/art

Meal Delivery: If you are receiving meal delivery, please make sure your coolers or boxes/bins are out in time for delivery. As the weather warms up (and it will, right?) it will be important to keep the food healthy until it’s time to eat.

How is it going? Surveys: Part of NCSU’s Continuity of Learning Plan involves surveying parents and students. Here are the links if you can take some time to complete:

Student survey Parent/family survey

Struggling with behavior? Try one of these options:

1.Northeast Kingdom Human Services has established a NKHS Parent Support Line. This will be available Monday through Friday 8:30-5:00 until they increase to 24/7 schedule. The plan is to be ready to provide 24/7 coverage. This line is a dedicated warm line for parents and guardians to access when having difficulty managing their children’s behaviors at home. It is staffed by NKHS’s Children’s Department clinicians. NKHS Behavior Support Line 749-1111(no 802 needed if calling from Vermont) to get support with your children’s behaviors. For more Info please contact Noreen Shapiro-Berry NShapiro-Berry@nkhs.net or Marcia Stricker MStricker@nkhs.net

2.Reach out to our Guidance Counselor, RoseAnna Cyr, for assistance. Roseanna.cyr@ncsuvt.org

April 15, 2020

So. It’s been a month. We were last together in person with children just about a month ago, and so much has happened since then. We hope everyone is staying safe and taking good care of themselves. We want to do everything we can to support our families. See below for some support we can offer.

Meal Delivery: On Tuesday, we will begin delivering a 1/2 gallon of milk per child for T-F and then on Friday, small individual milks will be delivered for Saturday- Monday. Please make space in your fridge. As the weather warms up, please make sure you are picking up the milk and food in a timely manner so that it does not spoil.

Tech Support: Technology can be challenging! Ashely Dewing is here to provide support so don’t hesitate to reach out to her: https://des.ncsuvt.org/class-happenings/tech-support

For Parents and Caregivers: Attached is a resource you may find helpful!

Spring Break: There is no remote learning next week, April 20 – 24, 2020. Enjoy the family life. We WILL be delivering meals during Spring Break.

Struggling with behavior? Try one of these options:

1.Northeast Kingdom Human Services has established a NKHS Parent Support Line. This will be available Monday through Friday 8:30-5:00 until they increase to 24/7 schedule. The plan is to be ready to provide 24/7 coverage. This line is a dedicated warm line for parents and guardians to access when having difficulty managing their children’s behaviors at home. It is staffed by NKHS’s Children’s Department clinicians. NKHS Behavior Support Line 749-1111(no 802 needed if calling from Vermont) to get support with your children’s behaviors. For more Info please contact Noreen Shapiro-Berry NShapiro-Berry@nkhs.net or Marcia Stricker MStricker@nkhs.net

2.Reach out to our Guidance Counselor, RoseAnna Cyr, for assistance. Roseann.cyr@ncsuvt.org

How is it going? Surveys: Part of NCSU’s Continuity of Learning Plan involves surveying parents and students. Here are the links if you can take some time to complete:

Student survey

Parent/family survey

April 9, 2020

Parents, we’ve got you!

To all the parents who are struggling in so many ways to find balance, structure, direction and solace in this most challenging moment, we’ve got you! We always have, and we always will. We know that our present day circumstances aren’t what anyone is accustomed to. The people who make up Derby Elementary School have your backs! Teachers, Food Service Staff, Custodians, Para Educators, Bus Drivers, Bus Monitors, Nursing staff, Office Staff, Mental Health Clinicians and Administrators have been working to ensure that we continue to help provide your children with access to food, connections to the school community, emotional support, and of course, remote learning for our children.

Please know that our entire staff will continue to address food insecurity, homelessness, mental health, poverty, trauma, clothing needs, and all of our kids’ learning needs. This work has always been done through private acts of professionalism and kindness because those were the right things to do, and what our children and families needed. We work through more crises than many will ever know, and we do it with grace and dignity. This is what it means to be a public educator. This will never change; it’s in our DNA.

As we all move through this new era of remote learning, know that much of this is new for us too. Please, give yourself (and us) some grace. We aren’t expecting you to teach your children all day long as we have done. We know that many of you are reporting to work as essential employees or are working from home too. It’s super challenging to be on your own online meetings while also meeting the needs of your children. We are always doing our best for you, and we know that you are doing your best too. Our best and your best is good enough! We have the devotion, patience, leadership, intelligence and technologies to make this the best learning experience possible given what we are all up against. We’re Derby Elementary. We’ve got you!

Continuity of Learning begins Monday, April 13, 2020: We have received some guidance and requirements from the state in regards to the transition from “Maintenance of Learning” to “Continuity of Learning” for the rest of the school year. We are preparing to begin a new Continuity of Learning Plan (CLP) as required on Monday, April 13, 2020. While the expectations have been adjusted for remote learning, the CLP does require that teaching and learning of new concepts needs to take place and documented. We will be issuing a report of each child’s progress of remote learning in June.

The recommended amount of time spent on remote learning per grade level, as developed by experts, is as follows:

PreK 2-3 hours per week or 30-45 minutes per day

K-1 3-4 hours per week or 45-60 minutes per day

2-3 4-6 hours per week or 60-90 minutes per day

4-6 6-8 hours per week or 90-120 minutes per day

Attendance During Remote Learning: Part of the CLP requires daily remote check ins/connections between children/families and teachers. Beginning Monday, April 13, we are required to track these connections as attendance. Connections can include logging onto See Saw (gr. PreK – 2), logging into an app or online program provided by the teachers, turning in work in Google Classroom (gr. 3-6), meeting teachers in Google Hangouts/Meets, speaking with teachers on the phone or by email, meeting with therapist, counselor, etc. Parents are not required to call absences in to the school, and during this COVID-19 school closure all absences will be excused.

Google Meet Guidelines: If your children are meeting with teachers (or friends) on line, there are certain guidelines that should be followed. They are on the Class Happenings Page, so please review them with your children.

Derby’s Facebook page: Be sure to check out our Facebook page with your child. https://www.facebook.com/destigersvt Each Friday, I will be continuing our Funny Friday announcements during which I read jokes submitted by children. Children can submit jokes through you in the comments after the video on FB, or by messaging through our Facebook page. (Not by email, thanks!) I have many jokes already submitted from children in grades K-2, but need more from children in grades 3-6! We also have a fun surprise in the works for children, and it will be published on our FB page.

Tigers Learning at Home: If you have pictures of your children learning at home that you’d like to see on our webpage or Facebook page, please email them to: tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.org

2020-21 School Calendar: The calendar for next year has been finalized, and it is on our Home Page for your convenience.

Hang in there, give yourself (and us) some grace, and remember, we’re in this together and we’ve got you!

April 1, 2020

Hello! It was good to see the sunshine yesterday, hopefully more will come. I have spent some time this morning with 1st, 4th, and 5th graders in Google Hangouts. Seeing their smiling faces and chatting with them has really made my day and lifted my hopes for us to provide positive learning and social experiences for our children. We got this!

While these are challenging times, we also have much to be thankful for. You may start seeing pink or red hearts posted on street facing windows and doors. They symbolize hope, solidarity, and thankfulness for those who are performing work essential to this public health crisis as well as thankfulness for all we do have. We would love to see some posted in windows and doors as we drive the bus delivery route, or a few left in meal delivery boxes for us to put in the bus windows!

MEAL DELIVERY: Today we delivered close to 700 meals to children 18 years of age or younger. If meal delivery is needed, call Laura Fernandes at 873-3162, ext. 101 to leave a message before 1:00 pm. She will call you back and get you on the delivery list for the next day.

MEAL PICK UP: Meals for children 18 years of age or younger can be picked up in the foyer of the school between 8:00 am and 11:00 am.

APPRECIATION: A special thank you goes to Fritz and Paula at Derby Line Village Inn, who donated 40 lbs. of freshly rolled rigatoni for student meals this week. We must also recognize our essential employees who keep working to prepare, pack, and deliver meals to all and keep our school clean and sanitized. We also appreciate all the work that teachers and parents are doing to teach our children. It takes a village, and this is a good one to live and work in!

PROGRESS REPORTS: Progress reports for the 2nd trimester, which ended right as school was closed, are completed and have been mailed. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher. Messages left on school their phones are forwarded to their email.

SEND PHOTOS: We are collecting pics of Tigers learning at home for a future video/slideshow, as well as for posting. Send your photos to: tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.org

March 25, 2020

What a whirlwind week it has been with these rapidly changing orders, announcements and protocols. In spite of all that, WE REALLY MISS YOUR CHILDREN! It takes a special person to work in a school, and most don’t do it for the paycheck. They do it because they love children and have a passion for what they do. It is certainly an adjustment. I am sure it is an adjustment for parents and children as well. It appears to be our new normal at least through April 13, per Governor Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.

We know children are missing each other as well, so we thought we’d have some fun challenges and collect some pics to share on our website and Facebook page. Families and staff members are encouraged to join in on the challenges as well. See details below.

March is Reading Month Challenges:

March 25: Today we are celebrating with WACKY WEDNESDAY! Style your hair in a wacky way and send us a pic of yourself reading a joke book! Email your pic to this special email address. tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.net

March 26: Tomorrow we are celebrating BOOK COVER DAY – design a new book cover for your favorite book and take a selfie with it. Email your selfies to tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.net

March 27: SNUGGLE UP AND READ! Wear your pjs, snuggle up with your favorite stuffie, sibling, parent, or pet, and read to them. Email your pics to tigerslearningathome@ncsuvt.net

Meal Delivery: Our wonderful kitchen staff has been preparing growing numbers of meals daily – they are currently up to 2 meals per day for 275+ children 18 years of age and younger. The Abbey Group is providing meals for the weekend, to be delivered on Fridays. Our fabulous para educators, bus drivers, and bus monitors have been packing and delivering meals. We are trying to minimize person to person exposure for these essential employees, so please leave a box, tub, bucket or cooler at the end of your driveway/bus stop for meal drop off. If you need to be added to the meal delivery list, please call Laura Fernandes at 873-3162 ext. 101.

Meal Pick Up: Our meal pick up hours have changed and are now 8 – 11 am. Signs on the doors will direct you to the pick up location.

School building closed: Given the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, only essential employees will be present at school. Employees that are able to work from home will be. Any voicemails left and emails sent will be received and returned.

Food Shelf Donations are needed for our Back Pack Program. Requested items are based on need: *Peanut Butter *Canned vegetables *Canned fruit and cups* Granola bars *Cereal *Instant oatmeal *Jelly *Pasta Sauce. We will also accept tuna, pasta, juice and milk boxes, canned soups, and mac and cheese. Please leave donations in the box in the foyer of Derby Elementary School (just inside the first set of doors) between 8:00 am and 11:00 am. If you prefer an alternate drop off for donations, please email Roseanna.cyr@ncsuvt.org. Special thanks to Avery Williams who donated at least 6 bags of groceries just today, as well as Nelson Farms for donating 100 lbs. of USDA Cowtown Market beef. The Eastside Restaurant and Pub donated the perishables they had after closing down, which was so generous. We also had members of a local Facebook cooking group provide loaves of bread they baked! Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support in this important community effort!

March 18, 2020

It sure is quiet today without the children, we miss them already! We still have lots of school work here in the lobby that needs to be picked up by Friday at 4pm.

Childcare for workers essential to the public health crisis: As you can imagine, we are getting new information daily. Here’s how it goes: The governor makes an announcement to the public. People behind the scenes at the state level then work to provide clarification and interpretation, and develop processes and guidance to the schools. Last evening, the guidelines were released for childcare for children whose parents are employees essential to the public health crisis. So now we work behind the scenes to make a plan for our families. Stay tuned for more on that.

Meal Pick Up: Today we began pick up meal service, which is available at DES Monday - Friday from 7am – 1pm for ANY and ALL children 18 years of age and younger in our community. Information is on the Home Page.

Meal Delivery: We are beginning to plan for meal delivery using our normal bus routes starting Monday, March 23. If you’d like meals for children 18 and under delivered to your home, please call our office @ (802) 873-3162. Information is on the Home Page. If you have a need for more substantial food delivery for your entire family, please email Ms. Cyr at roseanna.cyr@ncsuvt.org

Donate Food: Our January food drive produced a lot of food, and we will be delivering 2 weeks of that food to the families that are part of our Backpack Program. This will deplete our supply. If you would like to donate jars of peanut butter, pasta, jars of pasta sauce, boxes of granola bars, boxes of macaroni and cheese, packages of applesauce or fruit cups, boxes of instant oatmeal, boxes of cereal, jars of jelly, cans of soup, cans of pasta, cans of tuna or chicken, boxes of juice or milk boxes (shelf stable), cans of fruit, cans of vegetables, you can drop off at Derby Elementary between 7:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Free Internet: Information about free internet service should you need it is available on the Home Page.

More activities for kids: Don’t forget, our specialists (PE, Art, Library, SEL/Health, Music, Library, Technology, Guidance, Band) teach all 450+ children, so it is more difficult for them to reach out to you individually. Lessons and activities for the special areas will be posted on our website for your access under the tab “Class Happenings.” Here is the link. https://des.ncsuvt.org/class-happenings This will be updated throughout the school closure. Specialists will be available to answer questions and support through email.

Counseling Support: RoseAnna Cyr, Guidance Counselor, can connect with parents and/or children virtually during the school closure. Please email her if you’d like to schedule a ½ hour virtual appointment. At the time of scheduling, she will send you the link to connect.

Please continue to stay tuned to email, our website, and Facebook page for information throughout the school closure. Call our office with any questions or concerns. We are here to help.

March 17, 2020

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during the this difficult time. In times of adversity, you truly see the nature of people. Our staff has been calm and working feverishly to prepare to extend and enhance the learning of our children. Our children have been impressive - they want to keep learning and are taking the continuation of their learning seriously. Community members and parents are asking how they can help – Thank you!

Our waiver regarding meal service has been approved! This means that our plan has changed- for the better! Free “grab and go” breakfast and lunch will be available for pick up at DES for ANY child in our community 18 years old or younger Monday – Friday between 7am – 1pm. Breakfast and lunch will be packaged together so that you only need to come once to pick up. While we will still remain an open meal site, we would like to also begin a delivery service next week, so we are waiting to see the results of the NCSU survey. Then we can begin reaching out to parents who indicated a need. Stay tuned.

Teachers are working so hard to prepare meaningful work and activities for children. Teachers have been teaching these last two days, and may need time to prepare work and activities for the next two weeks. Some may have sent some yesterday or will send some today. Some will provide work tomorrow or later this week for you to pick up. More work and activities may be made available throughout the closure. We have asked teachers to focus on the children in class and not to rush their preparation. We want to ensure that quality and meaningful activities can be provided. Classroom teachers will be reaching out to you (if they haven’t already) about staying connected and how they can be available to answer questions and provide support for you or your children.

Our specialists (PE, Art, Library, SEL/Health, Music, Library, Technology, Guidance) have all 450+ children, so it is more difficult for them to reach out to you individually. Lessons and activities for the special areas will be posted on our website for your access under the tab “Class Happenings.” Here is the link. https://des.ncsuvt.org/class-happenings This will be updated throughout the school closure. Specialists will be available to answer questions and support through email.

RoseAnna Cyr, Guidance Counselor, is open to connecting with parents and/or children virtually during the school closure. Please email her if you’d like to schedule a ½ hour virtual appointment. At the time of scheduling, she will send you the link to connect.

We will miss your children and hope you all stay well. Stay tuned to email, our website, and Facebook page for information throughout the school closure. Call our office with any questions or concerns. We are here to help.

March 16, 2020

Hello,

As you can imagine, we sure have been busy today! There are many questions that you have, teachers have, support staff have, and administrators have. We currently do have some answers. Thank you for being patient, and as we get information, we will share it.

Here’s what we know and have been planning for at this point:

If you choose to keep your child(ren) home Monday and Tuesday due to the public health crisis, absences will be excused with no penalty when you call our office to report the absence at 873-3162, option 3.

Today you should have received an important survey through School Messenger with the option of replying online or by phone. This survey is very important for you to participate in so we can find out the needs in our community during this school closure. Among other things, it will be asking about internet access, tablets or computers in the home so children can access learning, and the need for food and childcare. We will use the results of this survey to plan accordingly.

“To go” style food for children receiving Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) will be available for pick up this week, Wednesday through Friday, at 9:00 am in our cafeteria. Both “grab and go” breakfast and lunch will be provided at this time.

Beginning Monday, March 23, we’d like to set up a delivery system for breakfast and lunch for ANY family that needs it, not just those on FRL. (We are seeking a waiver from the state for this.) This is why answering the survey is very important. We’ll need to know to whom to deliver food, and where. More information on food delivery will come later in the week.

Teachers will be preparing academic activities for your children through April 3. This includes activities for children on IEPs. Some activities may be sent home tomorrow, and others may be sent electronically later in the week. It is hard to prepare the required amount of work when teachers are in school with children, so teachers need Wednesday – Friday to plan. We are prepared to send home the Chromebooks for gr. 3-6. Teachers will be reviewing the Acceptable Use Policy with children and reminding them of how to care for the Chromebooks at home. PreK-2 children may need devices as well, but we don’t have 1:1 devices for those grade levels. Again, this is why the survey responses are important. We hope match up PreK – 2 teacher activities with need for devices. We would then contact parents who have a need, with pick up occurring next week.

Governor Scott indicated in his press release that local districts would be tasked with “collaborating with the state to provide childcare options for healthcare workers and others essential to the response.” Thus far, we have not been able to get in touch with anyone at the state with whom to collaborate. I have heard that Siskin may be offering something, so stay tuned. As soon as we are able to collaborate with the state, I will send more information out.

I have provided a helpful link for you about being parents during this trying time. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/814615866/coronavirus-and-parenting-what-you-need-to-know-now

As always, our first priority is the health and well-being of our students and families.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

As you may have heard, we have been directed by Governor Phil Scott to close school as of Wednesday, March 18 – April 6, 2020, and it could be longer.

https://governor.vermont.gov/press-release/gov-scott-orders-orderly-closure-vermont-prek-12-schools-week

Stay tuned for more information about how we can help children learn at home, provide childcare for working families, and breakfast and lunch meals for those that need it. There are LOTS of questions that don't yet have answers. Please be patient with us as we work to figure out next steps in this unprecedented situation. As soon as we have plans made, we will communicate them to you.

Our school will be open Monday and Tuesday, but families are free to make the choice to send their children to school or not, without penalty. All absences will be excused. Please contact the school, per our usual procedure, if your child will NOT be attending school.

We do not yet know exactly what this will mean for teachers, students and families, but please know that we are working hard to meet the needs of our community in the best way we can.

If you have questions please feel free to email. Here are some helpful resources:

https://www.healthvermont.gov

https://education.vermont.gov

From the Health Department:

· If you have questions about COVID-19 dial 2-1-1

· If you are sick or concerned about your health: Contact your health care provider by phone. Please avoid going to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.

March 15, 2020

Update: 6:18pm

Dear NCSU School-Community,

On Sunday, March 15 Governor Scott issued an order to close schools by no later than Wednesday as a part of state-wide efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. All NCSU schools will be open Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17th without delay. As of Wednesday, schools will be closed until April 6th and possibly longer.

Please know that we recognize the closure of schools will present many challenges to families. We also acknowledge this will result in the loss of learning for our students.

Teachers and staff will be working on plans to provide learning resources and services remotely while schools are closed. As you can imagine, this is a challenging task. We ask for your patience and support as we work with you to provide a continuation of learning as best we can under the circumstances.

Please stay tuned for more information from your child’s schools over the next few days. Thank you for your patience in this challenging time.

Be well!

John A. Castle

NCSU Superintendent of Schools

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Update: 4:00pm

Please stay tuned for more information and a more detailed plan.

https://governor.vermont.gov/…/gov-scott-orders-orderly-clo…

__________________________________________________________________________________________


Please know that we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely. There is much information out there, some true, some not. We want to keep all of our students and staff safe. We are consulting several resources and contacts: John Castle, Superintendent of NCSU, the Agency of Education, the Vermont Department of Health, and the CDC.

Please take the same precautions we take during every cold and flu season. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbows, wash your hands, sanitize surfaces you touch frequently (phones, computers, doorknobs), and, please stay home if you or your child have a fever, dry cough or shortness of breath.

In alignment with the governor’s Executive Order, families who choose to keep their children home because of COVID-19 concerns will not be penalized and those absences will be excused when you report that to our absence hotline @ 873-3162, option 3.

While information is changing rapidly and times are uncertain, you can count on us to keep our school community as safe and healthy as possible, and to keep you informed. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me (email stacey.urbin@ ncsuvt.org)

March 14, 2020

Due to the closure of Jay Peak, Winter Activity Days are cancelled for March 18 and April 1. Students will have a regular day of school on those dates. Thank you to all the folks who make this program a success.

Paid fees will be refunded next week.

March 13, 2020

Dear NCSU Families,

Certainly much has transpired in a week’s time and we recognize the development of the coronavirus, COVID-19, has increased the level of anxiety for members of our school-community. We also know we have started to experience disruptions to school activities and events.

We do not have any plan at this time to close schools. The Governor has declared a state of emergency and announced a range of mitigation strategies to limit the spread of the virus. This does not include closing schools at this time. It is, however, important that parents consider child care options if conditions change and result in the closure of schools.

We have canceled some events and some trips, yet have not limited out of state field trips or professional development for staff at this point. We will make determinations on a case by case basis. We cannot rule out placing uniform limitations on some of these activities depending on further guidance from the Department of Health or directives from the Governor.

Please do not hesitate to contact me, or your school principal, if you have specific questions or concerns. Thank you for your understanding and support in these trying times.

John A. Castle