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Act 46 Impacts 2016-17 School Budget

During the Spring of 2015, the Vermont legislature passed and Governor Shumlin signed Act 46 which will directly impact the budget process this school year. Act 46 has some very distinct goals associated with it. They are:

Goals of Act 46

Act 46 is designed to encourage and support local decisions and actions that:

  • – Provide substantial equity in the quality and variety of educational opportunities statewide;
  • -Lead students to achieve or exceed the State’s Education Quality Standards, adopted as rules by the State Board of Education at the direction of the General Assembly;
  • – Maximize operational efficiencies through increased flexibility to manage, share, and transfer resources, with a goal of increasing the district-level ratio of students to full-time equivalent staff;
  • -Promote transparency and accountability; and
  • Are delivered at a cost that parents, voters, and taxpayers value.

The Legislature intends all school boards will attend to these goals, while acknowledging that the means to achieve these goals will vary, depending on the particular circumstances of different districts.

For more information you can use the link below that connects you with the Vermont Agency of Education site that has all the relevant information on Act 46.

http://education.vermont.gov/laws/2015/act-46

In the coming weeks we will provide additional articles that will inform the public on how Act 46 directly impacts the Colchester School District’s budget process this year and into the future.

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Union Memorial Fifth Annual Chilly Champ Fun Run Nov. 7, 2015

Fun Run 2014

The Fifth Annual Chilly Champ Fun Run will be held on Saturday, November 7 at Union Memorial School.  Registration begins at 9:30 AM and the run starts at 10:00 AM.  All UMS families (including siblings and extended family members) are welcome.  There is a 1/3-mile course set up and participants are encouraged to do a 1/3, 2/3 or full mile run.  All participants receive a ribbon and bib.  There are light refreshments and a raffle.

This event is sponsored by the UMS PTO and there is no charge.  Proceeds from our annual fundraiser cover all costs.

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First CHS Concerts of the School Year

This first CHS choral concert of the year will be this Thursday, October 22 at 7 pm in the CHS Theatre. The CHS Choral Fall Concert will feature performances by each of the CHS chorus groups (freshmen chorus, concert choir, chorale, chamber choir, and the men’s choir). The first CHS band concert will be Thursday, October 29 at 7 pm in the CHS Theatre. The CHS Band Fall Concert will feature performances by the CHS concert and jazz bands. LCATV will be recording both concerts so DVDs will be available for sale for $5.

Thank you for your support!

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Updated NECAP Science Data

In the table pubished this week with the results, it had the Colchester Middle School showing their students outperformed the State by 7%.  When you look at the table, the difference was really 13%! Sorry for any unintentional confusion this may have caused but we are glad the mistake showed a much larger difference than less :).

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Super Hero Day at Colchester Middle School

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During the month of October students at CMS have been focusing on Positive awareness and Growth Mindset .

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” writes Carol Dweck, a leading expert from Yale University. Students who embrace growth mindsets—the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere—may learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills.

The Colchester Middle School believes in its students and their potential. This is just one way that they are helping them work towards these aspirations.

For a more information, the TED talk on “GRIT” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H14bBuluwB8 andhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKmb786P460 helps in that understanding.

One of the activities that Student Council felt would be a positive experience was  to have the teachers and staff show their superpower strength in teachers by wearing  Superhero costumes. The amount of staff that participated was awesome .

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2014-15 NECAP Science Results

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The 2014-15 NECAP Science results have been published and the tables above show the percent of students in the Colchester School District in grade 4, 8, and 11 who scored at a proficiency level compared to the State of Vermont as well as longitudinal data since 2009.

Results show the students in the Colchester School District performed equal to or significantly higher than students in Vermont at that grade level. As you look at the results for the past three years by grade you will see the results have been uneven except for the middle school which has shown had consistent results over that same time period.

While we are proud that we overall achieve higher in the middle school and high school compared to the State of Vermont, we still recognize that we have significant work ahead to ensure a much higher percent of our students become proficient in science, especially considering the more rigorous standards of the Next Generation Science Standards are now in place and will be assessed in the future. We are proud to report that the district has been very active in preparing for these new standards for the past 2 years at the Colchester Middle and High Schools by revising all the units to meet the Next Generation Standards.  That work will now begin in grades K-5 and we expect it will also take a couple of years to complete.

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Colchester Community Wellness Fair- Friday, October 23

Join the Colchester community for an evening of healthy family fun in a whole community wellness fair and harvest dinner. The wellness fair will bring together local health experts and community members to provide information and answer questions in areas of nutrition, fitness, health, and personal well-being for residents of all ages.

 Wellness Fair Hours 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Free Harvest Dinner  starts at 5:00 pm

Marionette’s Show 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Colchester High School

131 Laker Lane

Please look at the attached flyer for more information and all the wonderful activities you will experience.  Please join us!

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Colchester School District Smarter Balance Assessment (SBAC) Results by Demographics

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Part of the public reporting requirements for SBAC is to publish the demographic results for students who were classified as Free and Reduced Lunch as well as those who have a special education classification. When No Child Left Behind was passed there was a very legitimate concern that students who fell into these classifications often significantly underperformed to their capacity when compared to their peers who did not have these classifications. A key goal for the original legislation was to have all students achieve to their potential and in order to do that, these gaps needed to be closed. When students were taking NECAP, the Colchester School District was making significant progress closing the gaps for students on Free and Reduced Lunch due to the collective instructional efforts during these years. Since this is the first year of SBAC there is no way to know how to interpret these results compared to other districts in the State of Vermont or the country since they have not been published. What we can say is that gaps remain, that some gaps are less than others, some are significant, and that the work needs to continue to make sure all students continue to fully achieve to be college and career ready. As initiatives and efforts are identified with that specific work, we will share it with you.

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Colchester School District Performs Well Compared to State on New State Standardized Assessment (SBAC)

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In the spring of 2015, Colchester students in grades 3-8 and 11 participated in the first administration of the new statewide assessment called SBAC. This new assessment was used to measure how students performed on the new Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math.   SBAC replaced the former NECAP assessment the State of Vermont had used since 2004-2005 to measure adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind legislation. Students in 20 other states also took this assessment. In the first published results this Fall that are displayed in the table above, students in the Colchester School District showed significant positive differences in the percent of students who scored Level 3 or above in both content areas when compared to all students in the State of Vermont for many of the grades. The Colchester School District has worked very hard and intentionally to implement the Common Core into all classrooms and all grades throughout the district for the past several years. These initial results can be seen as an early indicator on the success of those efforts. In future blogs more information will be provided on what these results mean and how they will be used to help the district move forward with its mission to always get better for the children of this community.