Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Student Spotlight, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Helping Those In Need to Stay Warm and Fed

Per its mission statement, Colchester Middle School’s Infinity Team regularly engages in community volunteerism in ways that align with the students’ curriculum and personal goals. Over the years, Infinity Team has actively engaged with such organizations as Colchester Community Food Shelf, the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging, the Town of Colchester’s Parks and Recreation department, and Lucy’s House, as well as others. They have also done volunteer work for citizens in our community, such as raking leaves for senior citizens.

Most recently, the Infinity Team prepared dinner for approximately twenty-five temporary residents of the Burlington Emergency Shelter. The students researched the recipes and compiled a list of ingredients necessary for the complete dinner, and then CMS faculty and staff members contributed significantly to the effort by donating the majority of the supplies. The Infinity Team worked together to prepare the meal at CMS, and a social worker and one of the students later delivered and served it to the guests of the emergency shelter.

An Infinity Team student helping to prepare dinner for guests of Burlington Emergency Shelter
An Infinity Team student helping to prepare dinner for guests of Burlington Emergency Shelter

Earlier this year, the Infinity Team also assisted the Burlington Emergency Shelter in cleaning, organizing, and preparing rooms for guests moving in.

Members of the Infinity Team volunteering at Burlington Emergency Shelter
Members of the Infinity Team volunteering at Burlington Emergency Shelter

This community service aligns with the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017’s pathways A: High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners; C: Learning Outside Our Four Walls; and E: Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners.

There is a diverse and plentiful assortment of benefits associated with volunteerism, particularly among young people, and incorporating it into curriculum is a powerful way to introduce it in a way that allows students to see how their efforts can make a difference in their communities. Volunteer service can also be a positive and productive use of students’ leisure time. Coordinating volunteer opportunities for our students as part of their cumulative academic experience also connects their curriculum with preparation for their futures. Volunteer service provides students with the ability to gain valuable work experience that enhances resumes and college applications while simultaneously allowing them to explore their interests and discover new passions. It also helps foster the development of leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills, all of which are highly relevant in the job market. Real-life applications of experiences gained as the result of volunteer opportunities can include social work, counseling, government and policy making, fundraising and corporate giving, public relations, and community organizing and activism just to name a few.

For questions about Infinity Team or about its students’ efforts in community service, please contact Julie Tanguay, or call (802) 264-5800.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Budgets, Community, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester

Don’t Miss the News—Town’s Weekly Update

  • Curious about what some of your friends and neighbors think about Colchester’s services?
  • Interested in knowing what has been going on within the Finance Department recently?
  • Need to know what forms are required for filing your homestead in time for the April 15 deadline?
  • The Assessor’s Office might soon be paying a visit to your home. Would you like to know more?

Please click here to find out more—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending March 28, 2014.

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When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Community, District Office, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Personnel, Porters Point School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Superintendent Invites Community to Meet PPS Principal Candidate on April 1

As we announced in our January 27 Spotlight article, a selection committee consisting of teachers, administrators, parents, and other community members has been screening and interviewing candidates in order to make recommendations to the Colchester School Board for the position of principal at Porters Point School.

On Tuesday, April 1, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., parents and community members will have the opportunity to meet the Porters Point School principal candidate in Colchester High School’s Library/Media Center.

We invite the community to pose questions to Carolyn Millham, the current assistant principal of Malletts Bay School, concerning her professional experiences and ideas about elementary education. Community members may also complete a short feedback form in order to provide additional input to the school board.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., the board will interview Millham in an open format; we invite and encourage community members to attend.

Following the open-format interview, the school board will conduct its regular meeting, and following the regular meeting’s conclusion, the board will convene in executive session to further discuss and review Millham’s qualifications and abilities to meet the needs of Porters Point School.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the Colchester community to participate in a principal selection process. We want to hear from you. Please join us!

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Community, District Office, General, Other Important Information, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School

Need to Know About Kindergarten Registration?

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It is that time of year again—time to register for kindergarten! This registration is for children who will attend public kindergarten in Colchester during the 2014/2015 school year. Children must be five years old before September 1, 2014.

Kindergarten Registration—May 2014

The Colchester School District will register new kindergarten students on the following days:

Porters Point School

May 6—9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

May 7—9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Union Memorial School

May 12—9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

May 13—9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Kindergarten Parent Information Night

Porters Point School: May 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Union Memorial School: May 8 at 6:30 p.m.

At the time of registration, you must bring the following items:

 

  • Immunization Records – Please get a copy now from your child’s doctor and bring it with you at the time of registration. This information is required by the Vermont Department of Health.
  • Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Residency
One of the following documents is required to verify residency in Colchester, Vermont.

OR

Two of the following documents are required to verify residency in Colchester, Vermont.
  • A current property tax bill
  • Current mortgage papers/closing statement showing a Colchester address and the name of the legal parent/guardian, or custodian
  • Formal lease showing the name, address, and telephone number of the landlord; Colchester address and name of lessee
  • A notarized letter from the landlord stating the address of the residence being leased and the name(s) of the lessee(s) with the landlord’s address and telephone number
  • Valid Vermont driver’s license with Colchester address
  • Valid Vermont non-driver ID with Colchester address
  • Current utility bill in your name, with Colchester address
  • Valid public aid card
  • Bank statement for last or current month (financial information omitted) with Colchester address

Your child will accompany you on the date and time of the appointment, as they will take part in a two-hour screening.

For your convenience, this information is also available on CSD’s website and can be downloaded by clicking here.

Appointments are required.

Please call Porters Point School now at (802) 264-5920 to schedule an appointment.

Please call Union Memorial School beginning April 1 at (802) 264-5959 to schedule an appointment.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Student Spotlight, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Student Leaders Address Community Leaders (Contains Video!)

Student leaders from both Malletts Bay School and Colchester Middle School addressed the Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton on March 20 at the Hampton Inn.

To watch a short video highlighting the event, please click here.

Students leaders from MBS and CMS, along with their principals, following their presentations to the Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton
Students leaders from MBS and CMS, along with their principals, following their presentations to the Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton

Each of the students spoke about why they were motivated to organize a student leadership community service project, what they learned from organizing the project, and how they envision themselves using those skills in the future.

MBS students chosen to address the rotary club were as follows:

Tyler Roberge, speaking about his Pop for a Cure project
Isabella Seissen, speaking about the Big Change Roundup
Basma Yahya, speaking about the Pint-Sized Heroes project

CMS students chosen to discuss student engagement and leadership at CMS were as follows:

The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 speaks to, among other pursuits, High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners; Learning Outside Our Four Walls; and Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners.

For more information about the MBS and/or CMS students’ projects, please call MBS at (802) 264-5900 or CMS at (802) 264-5800.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Programs, Union Memorial School

When Was the Last Time You Read 2,100 Books or Chapters in Just Over a Week?

During the recent winter recess, Union Memorial School collectively read more than 2,100 books and/or chapters!

The Title I program hosts an annual reading challenge to all students and faculty at UMS. This voluntary contest is designed to encourage and excite students about their reading. Students who elect to participate receive a certificate for their literary accomplishments, and Principal Chris Antonicci visits each class during snack time to read a special story aloud.

UMS Principal Chris Antonicci reads aloud to students as a special reward for their reading acheivements
UMS Principal Chris Antonicci reads aloud to students as a special reward for their reading achievements

“We will do this again over April break—only this time, we are working with Vermont Lake Monsters to raffle off two free tickets per grade,” said UMS Title I teacher Lynn Mazza. “All students who return the book log will get to add their names into the drawing.”

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This effort is another great example of the school and the district’s efforts around literacy.

Way to go, Champs!

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Posted in Colchester High School, Community, General, Student Spotlight

Quite the Variety

Last month, we wrote about Colchester High School’s upcoming first-ever Variety Night … and here is some evidence of the recent event!

Science teacher Chris Lang, student Tom Condon, and science teacher Dusty Scheuch served as MCs
Science teacher Chris Lang, student Tom Condon, and science teacher Dusty Scheuch served as MCs (Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com)
Freshmen Mario Houle and Alana Plumb with members of their class
Freshmen Mario Houle and Alana Plumb with members of their class (Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com)
Sophomore Patrick LaCroix and members of his class
Sophomore Patrick LaCroix and members of his class (Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com)

About 130 students participated.

Juniors Alison Pilcher and Steven Sonntag
Juniors Alison Pilcher and Steven Sonntag (Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com)
Senior John Blake and members of his class
Senior John Blake and members of his class (Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com)

Three judges scored the skits based on a number of criteria—including set, costumes, dance, music, organization, and so on—and scores were tallied to determined the overall winners. Individual awards were collaboratively decided by the judges.

Teacher and co-organizer Aimee deLaricheliere
Teacher and co-organizer Aimee deLaricheliere (Photo credit: Paul Lamontagne, http://www.vtsportsimages.com)

And the winners are …

1st Place Skit—Grade 11
2nd Place Skit—Grade 10
Best Actor—Ninth-grader Mario Houle
Best Dance—Grade 11’s “The Numa Numa Dance”
Best Set—Grade 12
Best Participation—Grade 12
Judges’ Choice Award—Ninth-grader Katie Pierson
Judges’ Choice Award—Tenth-grader Nate Hoffmann

Thanks to everyone who participated, and thanks to all of the community members who attended the performances!

And if you haven’t seen the video of the 2012 CHS faculty flash mob (which has been seen nearly 19,000 times!), it’s worth a look; please click here to watch it. As we’ve discussed before, working hard to improve school climates has important, far-reaching implications for entire communities.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Colchester High School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Programs, Student Spotlight

CHS Representatives Shine at State Forensics Tournament!

At the recent Vermont Debate and Forensic League’s State Forensics Tournament at the Vermont State House, Colchester High School junior Tom Condon took the top spot in the radio announcing competition.

It is Tom’s first year on the team, and he was among the top two competitors from among students representing sixteen schools around the state to advance to the final round in his category.

Forensics, more commonly known as “speech team,” involves competition in a wide variety of events. In the radio category, for example, participants create and deliver a radio broadcast about local or national news, weather, and sports and even include a thirty-second commercial with only thirty minutes of preparation. The impromptu category involves drawing a topic and delivering a two- to three-minute speech with only one minute of advanced preparation. Other categories include original oratory (which involves memorizing and presenting a speech on a controversial issue), extemporaneous (delivering a speech with only thirty minutes of advanced preparation), prose and poetry readings, and so on. There have been a number of state champions from Colchester High School in past years.

In addition to Tom Condon, CHS was represented at the February competition by senior Matt Lucier, who competed in the impromptu category, junior Rob Chase, who competed in the extemporaneous category, sophomore Alex Gardner, who competed in the prose category, and sophomore Peri Kate Navarro, who competed in the poetry category.

And in the March 10 Vermont 2014 Public Forum Debate State Tournament, CHS students Lauren Hutchings and Summer Colley qualified for the May 23–25 National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) Grand National Tournament in Chicago, Illinois!

CHS students Lauren Hutchings and Summer Colley with Coach Bob Hall at the Vermont State House on March 10
CHS students Lauren Hutchings and Summer Colley with Coach Bob Hall at the Vermont State House on March 10

The NCFL supports US and Canadian public, private, and parochial high school speech and debate activities. Lauren and Summer will compete in five preliminary rounds in front of three judges. The top entries in each event will advance to subsequent rounds until the final elimination round.

Last year, Lauren and Summer qualified for the National Forensics League’s National Speech and Debate Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama—the first time a CHS debate team had participated in the national event.

Fundraising efforts are under way to assist the Summer and Lauren with their participation in the competition; those interested in contributing may contact CHS’s Mark Ellingson at 264-5702.

Very well done, CHS!

For more information, please contact Bob Hall in CHS’s Guidance department.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Community, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester

For Your Reading Pleasure … the Town’s Weekly Update

  • Do you want to know about some of the Town’s proposed budget reductions and what they would mean for Colchester?
  • Do you know how many calls for service have been managed by your police department just since the beginning of the year?
  • Would you like to know how to become a part of an ambulance crew without the requirement of pursuing and maintaining and EMT license?

Please click here to find out more—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending March 21, 2014.

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When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Community, Currently Colchester, District Office, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester

March 2014 Currently Colchester Published Today

The March 2014 edition of the Currently Colchester publication is scheduled to arrive in Colchester households today; many Colchester residents can look for it as part of the Colchester Sun, while those who do not receive the Colchester Sun should receive Currently Colchester as a stand-alone publication.

To view the March 2014 issue of Currently Colchester in electronic format, please click here.


As a friendly reminder, Currently Colchester is designed to offer news and information relating to your school district and your town government in a format that is accessible to all residents, including those without convenient access to the Internet. We continue to strongly encourage our community members to access information about CSD and the Town of Colchester through our regularly updated electronic communications methods; we are working hard to provide a wide variety of avenues through which community members can receive information, including:

The Colchester School Board encourages community participation at their meetings; in fact, the board’s agenda solicits comments from the community at every meeting. (Join them at Colchester High School on the first and third Tuesday of each month beginning at 7:00 p.m. (You can also watch them on Lake Champlain Access Television.)

Can’t make the school board meetings? Click here to submit a question (or e-mail SchoolBoardQuestions@csdvt.org) and enter your contact information and question. During the meeting on the third Tuesday of every month, the school board will review the top questions and themes submitted.

We also host and encourage participation in numerous community events in all of your schools throughout the year to foster the collaborative spirit that is so essential to academic excellence.

The Colchester Selectboard meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Colchester Meeting House on Main Street, and LCATV also airs its meetings.

Remember, we can better tailor our communications with our community when we better understand what our community needs. We hope to encourage dialogue that allows us to be proactive and that enhances our collaboration. Please send us your comments and suggestions to csdwebmaster@csdvt.org.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.