Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, District Office, General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School

Keeping the “giving” in Thanksgiving

We’re just over a third of the way into the 2017-2018 school year; the leaves are gone, the air has a chill to it, and the holiday season is upon us. As we think about the start of Thanksgiving Break next week, our thoughts turn to the families in our district who may benefit from a little extra help to make sure there’s enough food on the table.

Here’s a couple of ways we can rally behind those families. After all, this is what makes our community so special.  #wearecolchester

Donate Thanksgiving Fixings at CHS

What: Non-perishable items or monetary donations to purchase food 
When: This week (11/13 – 11/17)
Where: Front Office of CHS

If you didn’t already know, Colchester High School has an amazing club called CHS Cares.image They do some incredible things for our community all year round and Thanksgiving is no exception. For the past 10 years, they’ve collected and purchased goods to make 25 complete Thanksgiving meals for families throughout the district (including the turkeys!). They also include other items such as pasta, soups, and peanut butter to help beyond just the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

This Friday the club will stay after school to catalog what they have and what they still need before delivering the baskets on Saturday, November 18th. If you’d like to help this incredible group of teenagers please bring non-perishable items or a monetary donation (checks made out to CHS Cares) to the front office at CHS sometime this week.

Donate a Book to the Burnham Library

What: New or gently used books for kids and teens
When: Now until November 29th
Where: Lobby of all Colchester Schools, Town Offices, and the Burnham Library

SAM_7072The Burnham Memorial Library is once again partnering with the Colchester-Milton Rotary Club on their annual Holiday Gift Basket Project. The baskets will be filled with food and other items to help families in need have food on their tables during the holiday season. These baskets also include books for all the kids and teens in these families. Please help us to make this happen by dropping off your new (or very gently used) books at one of our drop-off locations. Bins have been placed in the lobbies of all Colchester schools, Town Offices and at the Burnham Library. We will be collecting books donations until Wednesday, November 29th.

Donate to the Colchester Food Shelf

What: Thanksgiving Staples: stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, potatoes (fresh or instant), casserole ingredients, and of course, turkeys!
When: Regular Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-1:30pm and Wednesday 3:30-6:00pm
Special Hours: Saturday, November 18th 10:00-1:00pm
Where: 245 Main St, Colchester

The Colchester Food Shelf is preparing for Thanksgiving and is looking once more to ourcolchester-food-shelf-logo loyal Colchester residents, who have continued to be wonderful, reliable supporters of the food shelf. They would like to be able to offer dinner fixings along with a turkey to food shelf clients and are looking for boxed scalloped potatoes, turkey gravy, green bean casserole ingredients, boxed stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, and turkeys.

They will be turning on our freezers to accept turkeys (14-16 lbs is a good size) beginning Tuesday, November 14th. Distribution to clients will be Monday, November 20th.

They are open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11-1:30 and Wednesday, 3:30 – 6:00 for drop-off of donations. They will also be open for donations, from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, November 18th.

Thank you for your continued support and Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School

Election Day Excitement Runs Through CSD

Presidential elections are exciting for students and provide a great opportunity to discuss and debate a range of issues in the classroom. On this historic election day, teachers and staff throughout the district have been working to educate and enthuse students on citizenship and civic responsibilities.

img_8329

To promote community citizenship, the middle school held a mock vote for the entire school (teachers too!). Students had registered ahead of time and checked in with high school students who were running the CMS polling station.

During the election students voted down the ballot from president to local Vermont officials. There was a lot of excitement and questions over what the different elected positions do and who to vote for. After casting their ballots they cheerfully donned the iconic, “I Voted” sticker.

img_8317

CMS students also spent the day reflecting on what it means to be a responsible citizen, both online and offline, in preparation of bringing their school chrome-books home. They started the day off evaluating balance between interacting with a screen and their individual lifestyle. They then studied some tips and tricks on troubleshooting potential issues and learned how to use new apps and programs through a series of workshops.

At Malletts Bay School and Porters Point School the elementary students learned about ballots, voting, and how the overall election process works. MBS students cast ballots for their favorite yearbook cover, and students in both schools voted for what the next school-wide celebration should be.

At PPS, the voters-in-training had to choose between a dance party or frozen treats. Principal Millham took the opportunity to speak with students about being respectful towards the opinions of others, even in the event their celebration choice was not the winner. In an election year when tensions are incredibly high, we can certainly count on our student community to bring us back to our core democratic values.

 

Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs

SBAC Results to be Sent Home with Report Cards

This spring students in grades 3-8 and 11 took a statewide assessment called Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).  This assessment shows a student’s proficiency level of our state standards in English Language Arts and Math.  It also shows a student’s growth toward college and career readiness.

Student results have just been made available, months earlier than previous years. These results will be sent home this week with your child’s report card.  For information about how to read and interpret the SBAC report look for the Individual Student Report Guide that will be included in the report card.

District and state results will be released later this summer.  Shortly after this release the district will share results with the community on our website and in your school reports.

Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School

Bus Dismissal Schedule for Last Day of School, June 9

Colchester School District announces the bus dismissal schedule for last day of school, which will be Thursday,  June 9, 2016.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Colchester High School—There will be no bus departing from CHS on June 9. Students requiring a bus may walk to Colchester Middle School for 12:00 p.m. to access them.
Colchester Middle School—buses will depart at 12:00 p.m.
Porters Point School—buses will depart at 12:45 p.m.
Union Memorial School—buses will depart at 12:45 p.m.
Malletts Bay School—buses will depart at 12:45 p.m.

Please call your child’s school with any questions.

Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, Programs, Student Spotlight, Union Memorial School

District Art Show at CHS – May 3-6, 2016

2014 art show pic

The annual Colchester School District Art Show will be held in the gym at Colchester High School on May 3-6, 2016.  The show will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Artwork from each school in the district will be on exhibit.  A reception for artists, families, and the Colchester community will be held on Thursday night, May 5 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., granting the artists the opportunity to discuss their work.  We hope that you will join us in celebrating the creativity and talent of our students!

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

CMS Cougars Compete in Jr. Iron Chef

Colchester Middle School has five young 6th grade chefs competing in the upcoming Jr. Iron Chef Competition at the Expo in Essex on Saturday, March 21.  They have been practicing different dishes like sandwiches, salads, and breakfast each week and have adapted a recipe for Colchester Cougar Corn Chowder served with Parmesan Crisps and Garlic Herb Crostini.  The group has sourced local products whenever possible.  The team has learned basic food safety, preparation, and teamwork over the course of the year.  They are excited about the upcoming competition.  Their chowder will also be served at the upcoming CMS family/community night on March 27, 2015.

Picture from left to right: Tyler Roberge, Max Grenier, Colby Fane-Cushing, Carson Corrigan, Abby Blin.
From left to right: Tyler Roberge, Max Grenier, Colby Fane-Cushing, Carson Corrigan, Abby Blin.

Join us at the Champlain Valley Exposition to support our students! The day-long event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is $3 per individual or $5 per family.

Good luck Cougars!

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

Peace, Love and Understanding

NawarEach year, Lions clubs around the world sponsor the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. This art contest for kids encourages young people worldwide to express their visions of peace. For more than 25 years, millions of children from nearly 100 countries have participated in the contest.

The theme of the 2014-15 Peace Poster Contest is “Peace, Love and Understanding.” Students, ages 11, 12 or 13 on November 15, are eligible to participate.

Each poster is judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme.

This year a Colchester Middle School student, Fariha Nawar shown with Colchester Lions President Scott Hinman, submitted an entry that has been selected and forwarded to the statewide competition. When asked about what her poster means to her she responded  “We accept each other for who we are, even if we don’t always agree we accept one another regardless of our race, color, or religion.” Fariha is a 6th Grader in the Champlain House and her poster goes to statewide judging.Lions Club

Posters will advance through several judging levels: local, district, multiple district and international. At the international level, judges from the art, peace, youth, education and media communities select one grand prize winner and 23 merit award winners.

Good luck Fariha!!!

 

Posted in Colchester Middle School, General, Programs, Wellness

Run, Cougars, Run!

Colchester Middle School athletes made a really impressive showing at the Chittenden County Middle School Track & Field Championship on June 9 at Essex High School.

Members of the CMS track and field team at the 2014 championship event on June 9
Members of the CMS track and field team at the 2014 championship event on June 9

“Both the boys and girls won the Chittenden County Middle School Track & Field Championship 2014!” said Jude Olson, a CMS track coach. “This is the first time for CMS! The team showed a lot of depth, talent, and beautiful sportsmanship.”

To view the full results of the event, please click here.

Congratulations, athletes!


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