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.

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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.

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

Make an Appointment for Kindergarten Registration!

 

Kindergarten

It’s that time of year again—time to register for kindergarten! This registration is for children who will attend public kindergarten in Colchester during the 2016/2017 school year.

Children must be five years old before September 1, 2016.

KinderTimes

Parents must bring the following items to registration (without this paperwork, your child may not start school):

  • 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

 

On the day of the registration, your child will take part in a 2 hour screening. Parents do not accompany their child during the screening process.

Appointments are required.

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

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

Posted in Community, General, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School

It’s Time to Register for Kindergarten!

Kindergarten_s

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 2015/2016 school year. Children must be five years old before September 1, 2015.

Kindergarten Registration
May 2015

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

Porters Point School

Monday — May 11, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday — May 12, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Union Memorial School

Monday — May 11, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday — May 12, 2015
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 7 at 6:30 p.m.

 Union Memorial School: May 7 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.

Appointments are required.  Please call now!

Porters Point School (802) 264-5920
Union Memorial School (802) 264-5959

For your convenience, this information is also available on CSD’s website.

 

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

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 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 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.

Posted in Accountability, Budgets, Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, Currently Colchester, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, District Office, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Porters Point School, Programs, Union Memorial School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Friendly Reminder: CSD Proposed Budget Reductions

(This information originally appeared in the April 17 edition of Currently Colchester, which was delivered to all homes in Colchester.)

Following the defeat of the budget on March 4, the Colchester School Board directed a targeted budget reduction of $475,331, which would result in a proposed budget of $35,532,781—an increase of $1,034,935, or 3 percent.

The three-step process for this reduction included reviewing the items that were added to the budget for next year to determine need and priority, completing another review of expenditures to determine areas where possible reductions might be made and the impact of those reductions on programs and services, and collaborating with principals to determine other areas for reductions and the impact of those reductions.

The result of this work includes the following reduction areas and amounts:

    1. Teacher contract salaries (hiring salary limits for at least seven openings): $84,441
    2. Special education support staff (elimination of special education position): $21,000
    3. Maintenance (use of capital reserve fund): $50,000
    4. Technology devices at CHS and CMS (eliminate devices planned for grades 7–9): $150,000
    5. Math lab support staff (no math remediation at CHS): $16,990
    6. Eliminate support staff at CMS (reduce office/library personnel): $23,092
    7. Technology integration specialist (eliminate K–5 technology instruction support): $77,814
    8. Currently Colchester publication (eliminate monthly publication): $14,000
    9. Other (related amounts to above): $5,407

Total Amount of Reductions $442,744

The summary of the superintendent’s proposed budget going before voters on May 6 is as follows:

Budget amount: $35,565,368
Increase amount: $1,067,522
Percentage amount: 3.09 percent
Tax increase amount: 3.69 percent
(This tax increase amount is based upon a Homestead Tax Rate of $0.98 per $100 of equalized value.)

Although increasing classroom technology integration is paramount not only to the district’s vision and strategic plan—written collaboratively with the community—but also in meeting requirements established by the Common Core State Standards—the budget reductions necessitate the elimination of this line item.

What else is particularly important to note?

The Vermont State Legislature is responsible for determining the Homestead Tax Rate, which greatly influences tax increases. This year, the legislature originally chose a rate of $1.01—which was 7 cents higher than last year’s—and it is upon the $1.01 rate that the original FY 2015 budget proposal was based. Recently, however, the Vermont House voted in favor of H.889 (which sets the property tax rates and base education amount for FY 2015). The bill, which is introduced by the committee annually, this year also includes a variety of changes to education financing laws and states the General Assembly’s intent to transition to an education financing system that relies less on property taxes and more on an education income tax. H.889 recently set the base homestead rate at $0.98 per $100 of equalized property value, up four cents from fiscal year 2014.

We encourage citizens to review our comprehensive budget-related information, available on the district’s website. We also encourage community members to call our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999 to ask questions.

The above chart offers a summary of Colchester School District’s FY 2015 expenditures by function. For more detailed information, please visit www.csdvt.org/budget.
The above chart offers a summary of Colchester School District’s FY 2015 expenditures by function. For more detailed information, please visit http://www.csdvt.org/budget.

What would the FY ’15 school budget mean for my taxes?

The following table provides information about tax increases based upon property value. For example, the taxes for the owner of a property valued at $300,000 whose total household annual income is greater than $90,000 would increase $151.

cc_apr_PropertyValue

The following income-sensitivity table illustrates the tax increase for property owners whose total annual household income is $90,000 or less. For example, the taxes for a property owner whose total annual household income is $65,000 would increase $26.89.

Approximately 60 percent of Colchester taxpayers will benefit from this income-sensitivity mechanism.
Approximately 60 percent of Colchester taxpayers will benefit from this income-sensitivity mechanism.

Questions? We’re here to help. Please call our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999 if you would like more information.

Please vote on Tuesday, May 6.

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