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

What’s the Beat? Get Your Town Government’s Update Here

Metronome_s

  • Two Town employees have been recognized for excellence—find out who!
  • Did you know that Colchester was recently featured on the Weather Channel? Find out why and watch a video about it!
  • Want to know when the Grand List will be ready?
  • Did you know that there are costs associated with running elections? Find out more about what they are and what you can do to help minimize them.
  • Want to know whether the Town is on budget with expenditures and revenues?

Please click here to find out more—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending May 30, 2014.


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

Congratulations, Honors Scholars!

Colchester High School recently applauded twenty-eight top-honors students at a celebratory banquet in South Burlington, continuing a long and proud tradition honoring students who have maintained academic excellence throughout their high school careers.

Caption here
Julia Meadows, Jackie Nagle, Kiley Baillargeon, and Kristi Chapman

The students, celebrated for graduating magna and summa cum laude, were distinguished guests for the special evening, celebrating with a sit-down dinner. Melanie Laquerre, the Vermont health teacher of the year, was the honors banquet keynote speaker. Each honored student was recognized for his or her accomplishments, and all received honor cords to wear during their upcoming graduation ceremony.

Caption here
Brady Doud and Alana Feeley with teacher Tara Sharkey

The students honored at the special event for their outstanding academic achievements are as follows:

Kiley Baillargeon
Alex Barnes
Jeremy Barton
Daniel Brigante
Megan Bullock
Henry Butler
Kristina Chapman
Summer Colley
Ben Cross
Brady Doud
Tanner Ducharme
Alana Feeley
Josh Gervais
Lauren Hutchings
Taylor Lance
Julia Meadows
Ethan Miller
Justin Miller
Jackie Nagle
Natalie Orner
Sam Pakulski
Maia Patrie
Chris Prado
Carina Sobel
Ethan Thibault
Amanda Wark
Marquel Webster
Gabriela Zimbron

 

Caption here
Jeremy Barton, Sam Pakulski, Justin Miller, Ethan Thibault, and Ethan Miller

CHS teachers Jim Price, Aimee deLaricheliere, and Pat Schiller coordinated the event. Many members of the Colchester School District contributed financially in order to make the event possible, along with many generous members of the community who also sponsored students in honor of academic excellence. To view the program and to see the list of sponsors who funded this event, please click here.

Congratulations, honors scholars!

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, Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School

Are Colchester Schools Efficient?

The following letter was written by Colchester School Board member Craig Kieny:


In March 2013, I was elected to the Colchester School Board. My reason for seeking election was that I was as frustrated as everyone else with increases in property taxes, and I decided the best way to do anything about it was to run for election.

One of my main goals was to make sure the school district minimized its costs by operating efficiently. That will be one of my goals for as long as I am on the board.

To monitor the efficiency of the schools, I look at data provided by the Vermont Agency of Education regarding per-pupil spending, student/teacher ratios, New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) scores, and others metrics. Here are highlights of what the most recent available data shows:

  • Of the 11 school districts that offer K-12 programs, 3 districts (27.2%) have lower per-pupil spending, when Special Education expenses are excluded.
  • Of the 28 senior high schools, 5 (17.8%) have a higher student/teacher ratio than Colchester High School.
  • Of the 25 similar-sized middle schools, 3 have a higher student/teacher ratio than Colchester Middle School.
  • Of the 25 similar-sized elementary schools, 0 have a higher student/teacher ratio than Malletts Bay School.
  • Of the 41 similar-sized elementary schools, 9 (20.2%) have a higher student/teacher ratio than Porters Point School and 11 (26.8%) have a higher ratio than Union Memorial School.
  • The student/administrator (principal, assistant principals) ratio for CHS and PPS are average for their respective school type and size.
  • The student/administrator ratios for CMS, MBS, and UMS are in the lower half for their respective school type and size. In the case of MBS and UMS, this is due to the size of the schools. For CMS, this is due to the need to address specific issues.
  • NECAP scores for eleventh graders are among the highest in the state for all subjects.

I don’t like paying a penny more than I have to for anything than I have to, and I bring this mentality to my work on the board. The above data suggest that the schools are operating relatively efficiently.

The data also suggest that it is expensive to operate schools in Vermont. After we have an approved budget, I hope to ensure the district continues to look for ways to operate efficiently and address statewide issues to further improve the cost efficiency of Colchester schools.

Please vote on June 3.

Craig Kieny
Colchester School Board member

Posted in Colchester High School, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Programs, Student Spotlight, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

CHS Represented at Largest UN Model Conference in New England

Twelve Colchester High School students in Jim Price’s International Politics/UN class journeyed to the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus to participate in the Maine Model United Nations Conference 2014 (MeMUNC) May 13–15.

CHS's 2014 delegates to the model un event with teacher Jim Price
CHS’s 2014 delegates to the Maine Model United Nations Conference with teacher Jim Price

The following students represented CHS at the event:

Sean Chamberlain
Rachel Cleary
Summer Colley
Alison Davis
Jacob Dwinall
Teremy Garen
Lauren Hutchings
Aleksa Jenkins
Haley Mock
Alaga Saric
Cody Turner
Napasorn Wattakeekamtorn

The Model UN at the University of Southern Maine is the largest of its kind in New England, supporting approximately six hundred students from more than twenty-five different schools. The event is developed and organized by International Studies scholars at the University of Southern Maine as part of their final projects. This was CHS’s eleventh year of participation in this MeMUNC event. The students in the International Politics/UN class acquire significant knowledge about twentieth-century wars as well as the wars’ resulting complexities, which is helpful for their involvement with MeMUNC.

Preparing for all aspects of the event required a great deal of work; students researched not only the current issues of their assigned countries but also those countries’ positions on those issues. They also learned conflict resolution skills, debating rules and procedures, how to write resolutions, how to write position papers, proper parliamentary procedure, and much more. At the conference, delegates were divided up and dispersed into different committees across the campus representing their assigned countries’ interests and debating relevant issues. Lauren Hutchings, representing Turkey in the UN Special Session on Sport, earned a “Distinguished Diplomat” award at the conference.

In an effort to promote ecological sustainability, the University of Southern Maine powered the conference—including the electricity required for the dorms, dining facilities, and meeting spaces—with wind power generated on a Maine farm. They also purchased energy credits in order to offset the carbon used by students traveling to attend the conference.

“We were also honored this year with a $1,000 dollar donation from the local Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton. CHS Student Government contributed $500, and we also raised an additional $330 from our coin drop. We appreciate all the generous support from the Colchester community,” Jim Price said.

For more information about CHS’s involvement in Model UN, please contact Jim Price at (802) 264-5700 or by e-mail at pricej@csdvt.org.

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, District Office, General, Other Important Information

School Budget Information!

The Colchester School District budget vote is June 3, 2014, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Is your total household income less than $90,000? If so, the tax increase associated with this proposed school budget would be $2.38 or less; learn more in the flyer.


Please click here for a two-page informational flyer with information about the proposed budget, or please click the image below to access the complete document. It includes information about your schools as well as important tax-related information.

FlyerImage_s

For questions about the budget or for any additional information, please call our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999 or visit www.csdvt.org/budget.

Please vote on June 3!

What do I do if I can’t get to the polling station during those hours?

  • Absentee ballots are available by request; simply call the Town Clerk’s Office at (802) 264-5520 to request a ballot.
  • Voting can also be done at the Town Clerk’s Office from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Where are the polling stations?

District 9-1 (comprised of the area east of I-89, the west side of I-89 north of the Malletts Creek inlet, and excluding the south side of Blakely Road) is at the Colchester Meeting House on 830 Main Street in Colchester Village.

District 9-2 (comprised of the area west of I-89 south of the Malletts Creek inlet, including the south side of Blakely Road) is at Colchester High School on 131 Laker Lane (off Blakely Road).

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, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester

Here Is Your Town Government’s Weekly Update

Loudspeaker_s

  • Curious about what your police department has been up to lately?
  • Need an update from your EMS providers?

Please click here to find out more—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending May 23, 2014.


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, General, Malletts Bay School, Student Spotlight, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

MBS Osprey Flying to Texas to Represent Vermont! (Contains Video)

Malletts Bay School fifth-grader Shea Barber has been selected as the Fuel Up To Play 60 (FUTP60) 2014/15 Vermont State Ambassador and will represent Vermont at the Student Ambassador Summit in Arlington, Texas, in July!

MBS fifth-grader Shea Barber will represent Vermont at the Texas event in July
MBS fifth-grader Shea Barber will represent Vermont at the Texas event in July


Jaycie Puttlitz, CSD’s wellness coordinator,
has worked closely with a group of fifth graders at to create a Fuel Up To Play 60 team in order to engage students in augmenting our schools’ wellness-related activities.

MBS's Fuel Up to Play 60 Wellness Committee with CSD's wellness coordinator Jaycie Puttlitz on May 9
MBS’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Wellness Committee with CSD’s wellness coordinator Jaycie Puttlitz on May 9

Shea, who was selected to represent Vermont in Texas based largely on his diligent work in these efforts, will receive leadership training with other FUTP60 ambassadors at the Texas event. The district’s program adviser will also learn more about what we can do to support student wellness in the schools.

FUTP60 programming has funded a wide variety of wellness-related initiatives in your schools, including a breakfast-in-the-classroom program, a smoothie bar, an NFL alum’s visit to Colchester Middle School, and more.

On May 9, MBS hosted a field day in part to celebrate this success. Please click here for a video of a day in the life of Colchester School District, which includes footage of the field day.

3_s

4_s

Wellness is a major component of the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017. Would you like to know more about what your schools are doing to promote and facilitate wellness? To date, we have nearly ninety Spotlight articles relating to wellness in our Wellness category, and we also have our Wellness at CSD blog. Please take a moment to check them out!

For more information, please e-mail CSD’s wellness coordinator, Jaycie Puttlitz, at puttlitzj@csdvt.org.

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, Porters Point School

Miss the Kindergarten Registration at PPS?

If you missed kindergarten registration at Porters Point School, don’t worry; PPS will host another registration event on June 16.


When: June 16, 2014
Where: Porters Point School
Phone: (802) 264-5920


Children must be five years old before September 1, 2014.

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

Appointments are required.

Please call Porters Point School now at (802) 264-5920 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, Other Important Information, Programs, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

A Hands-On Approach to Life Beyond the Classroom (Contains Video)

As we’ve mentioned before, arguably, one of the main purposes of education is to prepare students for life beyond the classroom—the component of daily living that involves supporting one’s self by means of employment.

Colchester Middle School recently hosted its annual Career Carnival, granting students the opportunity to engage in a number of college- and career-related conversations and activities. Please click here for a video of a day in the life of Colchester School District, which includes footage from the Career Carnival.

With the goal of connecting school and skill sets to students’ lives beyond graduation, the event was designed to demonstrate the vast opportunities awaiting the students and the ways in which those various opportunities combine to make a community and an economy thrive.

A committee championed by CMS’s Kara Pawlusiak that included teachers, parents, and engaged community members organized the event (as is affirmed by the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which specifically encourages community involvement in our schools). Community representatives from an array of industries supported the effort, providing career-oriented, hands-on activities and real-world challenges in order to demonstrate what their jobs actually entail.

The 2014 Career Carnival presenters spanned an immense variety of career fields:

Culinary
Chef Christine Frost from the Essex Cook Academy

culinary 3_s

Communications
Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading with WCAX
Brent Hallenbeck with the Burlington Free Press

WCAX's Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading offered a presentation about communications to students
WCAX’s Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading offered a presentation about communications to students

The Arts
Abby Manock
Andy Duback with Duback Photography
Libby Davidson with Starflower Studio

art 3_s

Fitness
Danielle Vardakas-Ducko with Honest Yoga
Jen Barden with Spotlight on Dance
Sarah DeGray with REV Cycling Studio

Animals
Wendy Sorrell with the UVM Extension’s 4-H and Youth
Dr. Nancy Frantz with Milton Veterinary Hospital
Joan Powell and Sam Bigger with the Farmhouse Center

Lola the therapy dog pitches in
Lola the therapy dog pitches in

Health and Wellness
Dan Curry with Appletree Bay Physical Therapy
Jessica Barrow with Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center
Dr. Thomas Ruescher with Timberlane Dental Group
Dr. Jessica Stadtmauer with Mountain View Natural Medicine

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Mark Lagerquist and Bob Zwonik with IBM

Information Technology
Ed Booth

Law and Public Safety
Jeffery Fontaine with the Colchester Police Department
Michelle Bourgeois with Colchester Rescue
Attorney Matt Shagam

The US Border Patrol landed a helicopter on the CMS/MBS green, much to the delight of the amassed crowd
The US Border Patrol landed a helicopter on the CMS/MBS green, much to the delight of the amassed crowd

CMS_helicopter2s

Marketing and Advertising
Peter Mitchell and Jordan Carrell with Burton Snowboards
Lindsey LaCross with WPTZ

Banking and Finance
Betty Koshinsky with People’s United Bank
Trish Phelps with Vermont Federal Credit Union

Building Design and Construction
Jason Lavoie and Austin Chagnon with Lavoie Plumbing and Heating
Matt Pinard with Pinard Electric
Tricia Roy with Smith Alvarez Sienkiewycz Architects

Career Carnival_s

Tech Programs and Military
Center for Technology, Essex
Pilot Philip Small with the Army National Guard
Garrett Greer and Seth Fiore with the Department of Homeland Security

Carnival1_s

Auto and Aviation
Keith Schnabel with MasterTech Automotive
Rick Sylvester and students with Burlington Technical Center’s Aviation program

To learn more about what Colchester School District offers to help prepare students for their careers, please click here to read our primer about it, and be sure to check out an article about it in the May 2014 issue of Currently Colchester.

Many thanks to all of the community volunteers who helped to make this event possible!

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, Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Programs

CHS Musicians Win Honors in NYC—Including An Invitation to Perform at Carnegie Hall!

Colchester High School’s musicians did Colchester proud in the Big Apple!

Members of CHS’s band and chorus programs performed in the WorldStrides Heritage Performance’s New York City Music Festival along with bands and choruses from all over the country and Canada on April 26, challenging them to collaborate and perform to their fullest potential in the midst of a rigorous competition.

The members of the CHS concert choir earned a gold medal for their performance, which also earned them an invitation to compete in the Heritage Festival of Gold at Carnegie Hall!

The CHS Concert Choir performed at the Riverside Church in the World Strides Music Festival held in New York City on April 26. The Concert Choir’s gold medal and score earned them an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall.
The CHS concert choir performing at the Riverside Church in the WorldStrides Music Festival in New York City on April 26. The concert choir’s gold medal and score earned them an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall.

The CHS chamber singers and chorus each earned silver medals. “This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our choral groups,” said Melissa Towle, CHS’s choral director.

The CHS concert band earned a silver award for its performance, and the CHS jazz band brought home a bronze award. “We couldn’t be more proud of all our students,” said Evan Peltier, CHS band director, of the program’s first-time performance in the festival.

The CHS Concert Band performing at the World Strides Music Festival held in New York City on April 26, earning a silver medal for their performance
Members of the CHS concert band performing at the WorldStrides Music Festival in New York City on April 26, earning a silver medal for their performance
The CHS Jazz Band performing at the Riverside Church in the World Strides Music Festival held in New York City on April 26, earning a bronze medal for their performance
Members of the CHS jazz band performing at the Riverside Church in the WorldStrides Music Festival in New York City on April 26, earning a bronze medal for their performance

The students also attended a performance of the Broadway musical Newsies and toured Battery Park, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and the Lincoln Center. In addition, they joined other high school music groups for a Staten Island boat cruise.

The CHS band and choral students at the Lincoln Center in New York City
The CHS band and choral students at the Lincoln Center in New York City

If you would like more information, please contact CHS’s Evan Peltier at peltiere@csdvt.org or CHS’s Melissa Towle at towlem@csdvt.org or call (802) 264-5700.

Congratulations and well done, CHS musicians!

Interested in your schools’ final musical performances for the school year?

  • On Tuesday, May 20, join Colchester Middle School for its spring band concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the CMS gym
  • On Thursday, May 22, join CMS for its spring choir concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the CMS gym
  • On Wednesday, May 28, join CHS for its band and chorus pops concert beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the community theater at CHS

All performances are free and open to the public. Please join us!

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