Posted in Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Programs

Malletts Bay School Plans Evening of Math and Cookies

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On Wednesday, April 8th beginning at 6:15 p.m. Malletts Bay School will sponsor a unique celebration of mathematics, open to the entire community.  Entitled “Math and Cookies,” the evening is billed as “a deliciously smart family night.”  Participants will learn how community members use math in their occupations.  Presenters include Eric Nelson of Eye and I Glass; Leah Chiarmonte of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; computer scientist Tom Bacon; and Sean Parker, meteorologist for local station Fox 44.  In addition to the presentations, participants will be able to view displays including “math and quilting” by Town Clerk Karen Richard; “rising nutrient levels in Malletts Bay” by Karen Bates; “math and legos” by Rachel and Mason Alling; and many student displays.  The gymnasium will be filled with activities led by fifth grade students who are part of the school’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” student wellness team.  Of course, there will be cookies!

This unique event is sponsored by the Malletts Bay School’s “School-Community Council” and the Title I program.  To RSVP, please visit the Malletts Bay School home page at http://www.csdvt.org/mbs or call us at 264-5900.

Posted in Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information

CSD Seeking Young Peers for EEE Program — Open House on March 16!

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Colchester School District is looking for typically developing peers to participate in our Essential Early Education (EEE) program at Malletts Bay School. The preschool open house will take place on Monday, March 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Malletts Bay School.

The half-day preschool classes will follow the 2015–2016 school calendar (observing all school holidays and vacations) for their duration. Peers will model language, social communication, and play for students learning these skills. They will develop friendships while gaining confidence and school-readiness skills in a literacy-rich environment with experienced educators and support personnel.

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Participating children must be three or four years old by September 1 and live in Colchester. Please note: children need not be three or four in order to attend the March 16 open house; they must only be three or four by September 1 to participate in the program.

Transportation will not be provided for participants.

For more information, please e-mail Nancy Smith (smithn@csdvt.org) or call (802) 264-5912.

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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, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

UVM Teams Up with MBS to Teach About the Outdoors In the Outdoors

Fourth graders at Malletts Bay School recently enjoyed a special presentation, “Plants Around the World,” as part of their science studies.

Fourth-grade teacher Heather Longchamp examines a pineapple plant while students Austin Manning, Bode Gendreau, Ben Knapp, and Prinsha Neupane look on
Fourth-grade teacher Heather Longchamp examines a pineapple plant while students Austin Manning, Bode Gendreau, Ben Knapp, and Prinsha Neupane look on

Fulbright Fellow Kattia Palacio-Lopez (who holds a master’s degree and is currently a PhD candidate) joined Dr. Jane Molofsky of the University of Vermont in presenting scientific information about various plants brought from UVM’s plant science laboratories.

Students closely examined a variety of plants arranged in various stations, completing a scavenger hunt and matching specific characteristics of each plant. Palacio-Lopez and Molofsky conducted three separate workshops in MBS’s new outdoor classroom, accommodating all seven fourth-grade classes.

 Ms. Palacio-Lopez explains the features of plants placed on a world map, showing fourth graders  Matthew Romeo, Hazel Nelson, Jonathan Labrie, and Braxton Marcotte the location for each kind of plant.

Kattia Palacio-Lopez explains the features of plants placed on a world map, showing fourth graders Matthew Romeo, Hazel Nelson, Jonathan Labrie, and Braxton Marcotte the location for each kind of plant

This special presentation aligned with the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which contains a number of important pathways, including “Learning Outside Our Four Walls,” “High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners,” “Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners,” and “Wellness-Oriented, Balanced, and Healthy Learners.”

If you would like more information, please contact MBS Principal Julie Benay at (802) 264-5906 or by e-mail at BenayJ@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, Malletts Bay School, Town of Colchester, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

A Trip Back in Time and a Look at the Future

Malletts Bay School fifth graders in Stephanie Miller’s class (check out her blog here) had an interesting field trip that combined lessons about the past with a peek into what might happen in the future.

The class visited the 1815 Old Log Schoolhouse and the Colchester Bog, both at Airport Park.

The Old Log Schoolhouse
The Old Log Schoolhouse

Colchester Historical Society spearheaded an initiative to restore the old schoolhouse for use as a museum (to learn more about it, please visit their website). Colchester Selectboard member Tom Mulcahy was instrumental in coordinating the students’ visit, which allowed them the opportunity to examine the old schoolhouse and ask questions about what attending school in the historic building was like.

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MBS students at the Old Log Schoolhouse at Airport Park
MBS students at the Old Log Schoolhouse at Airport Park

Following their visit to the old schoolhouse, the students ventured into the bog to learn about its flora and fauna and to participate in an ecological scavenger hunt. The exploration of the bog was facilitated by University of Vermont master’s student Kathleen Bamford. Bamford explained about the importance of environmental conservation and about what will happen if our natural resources are unprotected.

MBS students at Colchester Bog
MBS students at Colchester Bog
Scavenger hunt list
Scavenger hunt list

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A rare Lady's Slipper, a wildflower in the orchid family, near Colchester Bog
A rare Lady’s Slipper, a wildflower in the orchid family, near Colchester Bog

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Such activities speak directly to the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, as well; read more about that here. And since the visit to the bog also encourages spending time outdoors in the fresh air, it also supports the district’s wellness vision (check out the wellness blog here).

If you would like more information about the students’ field trip, please call Malletts Bay School at (802) 264-5900.

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 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.

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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 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.

Posted in Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Programs

CSD Seeking Young Peers for EEE Program—Open House on May 27!

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Colchester School District is looking for typically developing peers to participate in our Essential Early Education (EEE) program at Malletts Bay School. The preschool open house will take place on Tuesday, May 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Malletts Bay School.

The half-day preschool classes will follow the 2014–2015 school calendar (observing all school holidays and vacations) for their duration. Peers will model language, social communication, and play for students learning these skills. They will develop friendships while gaining confidence and school-readiness skills in a literacy-rich environment with experienced educators and support personnel.

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Participating children must be three or four years old by September 1 and live in Colchester. Please note: children need not be three or four in order to attend the May 27 open house; they must only be three or four by September 1 to participate in the program.

Transportation will not be provided for participants.

For more information, please e-mail Nancy Smith (smithn@csdvt.org) or call (802) 264-5912.

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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 Colchester High School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Programs, Town of Colchester, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

Making Important Choices (Contains WCAX Footage)

Colchester High School hosted a series of events on May 9 to encourage students to make safe and healthy choices.


PLEASE NOTE: THE BELOW PHOTOGRAPH WAS A STAGED EVENT INVOLVING MULTIPLE EMERGENCY SERVICES AGENCIES. NO STUDENTS WERE INJURED.


“Throughout all of our work with CHS students, our goal is to ensure that students are well informed and make safe and healthy choices,” said CHS Assistant Principal Justin Brown.

Ninth-grade students participated in a series of healthy-choice-related activities during their AT program. (Formerly the TA program, AT—renamed to emphasize academics, assistance and advising time—is the result of a collaborative, comprehensive analysis of the long-running teacher advisory (TA) program. It offers a more consistent schedule and focuses more intently upon advancement of learning, assistance with skills, meaningful engagement in advising and a clear emphasis on academics and connection with students’ regular class day.) The activities—designed to build resilience and to inform and engage students in making healthy choices—were developed in collaboration with Centerpoint Adolescent Treatment Center.

At the same time, tenth-graders met as a class for a presentation—developed in collaboration with traffic safety professionals, physicians, and behavioral scientists—on distracted driving. Joel Feldman, a trial lawyer from Philadelphia whose daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver in 2009, spearheaded and championed the program. (To view WCAX’s coverage of the May 9 presentation at CHS, please click here.)

Finally, eleventh- and twelfth-grade students witnessed a mock crash event developed in partnership with CHS’s Student Government, Colchester Police Department, Malletts Bay Fire and Rescue, Colchester Center Volunteer Fire Department, Colchester Rescue, the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department, and St. Michael’s Fire and Rescue.

Multiple emergency services agencies stages an educational mock crash events for CHS juniors and seniors on May 9.
Multiple emergency services agencies staged an educational mock crash event for CHS juniors and seniors on May 9.

Please click here for a video of a day in the life of Colchester School District, which offers coverage of this event.


Meanwhile, students in Ashley Laurent’s third-grade class at Malletts Bay School weighed in on the issue of distracted driving. Please click here to read their opinion essay on the subject.


These types of programming speak directly to the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which includes pathways dedicated to learning outside our four walls; parent, community, and school partnerships among lifelong learners; wellness-oriented, balanced, and healthy learners; and town + school = one vision.

For more information about any of these events, please contact CHS at 264-5700.

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

Posted in Accountability, Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, District Office, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Porters Point School, Student Spotlight, Union Memorial School, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Introducing CSD’s Very Own YouTube Channel! (Contains Videos)

We are pleased to announce the formal launch of Colchester School District’s YouTube channel.

Please click here to access it—there are already nearly fifty videos spanning several years!

We have a wide variety of communications avenues, and video is an important component in our outreach efforts.

Here are some favorites from the current video collection:

The MBS 2013 walk-to-school event

Union Memorial School 2013 teamwork with Tuberville

A particularly inviting physical education class

The 2013 Malletts Bay School and Colchester Middle School Back-to-School BBQ

A lesson in water conservation at Porters Point School

What makes Colchester proud?

Circle of Courage visits Malletts Bay School

The Colchester High School Hour of Code event

Colchester Middle School’s partnership with the Vermont Children’s Hospital

Colchester School District is working hard to enhance frequent and meaningful communications with the community. We invite you to have an inside peek into your community’s schools and the opportunities offered to Colchester’s young people within them. And we encourage you to share the videos with your friends and neighbors!

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