Monday, April 13, 2020

Friday Notes (Monday) 4-13

SCHOOL INFO:



4/12/20 Sunday Alert:

Good evening, this is L&G Principal Bob Thibault making my weekly Sunday evening informational call.  As usual, all the contents of this call can also be found in tonight’s email.

First of all, I hope this message finds you well in these increasingly challenging times.  I know I speak for the entire staff, when I say that we miss your children and we want to be back in school just as badly as all of you do.

A couple of new things this week - tomorrow marks the beginning of the fourth quarter, and the teachers have worked hard to come up with a grading plan, both for wrapping up quarter three, but also moving forward in the last quarter.  Following guidance from the VT Agency of Education, we have worked hard to ensure that all of our students are treated fairly on report cards, during these challenging times. A more detailed explanation of our newly adapted grading policies will go out with report cards later this week.

One other new requirement from the state level, is that tomorrow we begin tracking attendance for our students.  Now, we understand that this is going to look very different, but your child will earn a “present” for the day, if there is evidence that they’ve engaged with learning on that day, as assessed by their teachers.  In the middle school, house teachers will track this. Don’t worry, though, the state has also temporarily waived most truancy rules, so you won’t get nasty phone calls and letters from us. On Wednesdays, we will send out an automated survey to each student to complete, telling us that they are engaged in learning on that day, since teachers will be busy planning and learning themselves!  We ask that you have your child complete the very short email survey each Wednesday. For fun, your child can also join an online “Rebel-Feud” game (in the style of Family Feud) at 1pm - the links to the session are in their email.

The Vermont Agency of Education continues to work through the many complexities of this unusual school year.  We’ll soon have guidance on end of year celebrations, like proms and graduations. This is super tough to call right now, as we don’t know when the governor’s stay at home order will eventually end, as it was recently lengthened to mid May.  You will also find an attachment on the email from the Agency of Ed, for parents and families.

Tomorrow morning, I will again be online in a zoom meeting - the link is in the email version of this message (Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 879 6484 8001, Password:015696 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87964848001?pwd=T0NmRnlrMGVHa2FrVVQ5NUcyS3lHZz09) and answer questions that you may have.  Last week's featured 4 parents, and I look forward to more tomorrow.

This past week, you should’ve received a new Free and Reduced Lunch application in the mail.  Two considerations to that - 1) in order to be eligible to continue with universal lunch and breakfast for ALL students, we need lots and lots of applications completed - even if you know you won’t qualify, please complete it anyways to allow us to keep the program funded.  And 2) with so many people having life circumstance changes right now, we are hoping we can use the information to help ensure everybody gets the food they need!

That’s all for this week, folks, so please have a pleasant Sunday night, and stay healthy!!

Your principal,

Bob Thibault


HEY Help:

Mary Lindsley will be available for HEY Help via a Zoom meeting.  Join her if just to chat.

Middle School Students can join the Zoom meeting Monday - Thursday, 11:30 - 1:00 * The link has been emailed to students.
High School Students can join the Zoom meeting Monday - Thursday, 1:00-2:30 * The link has been emailed to students.

If you have trouble joining these Zoom meetings, please email Mary Lindsley at mlindsley@lelandandgray.org.



Parent Zoom - Mondays at 9 am:

An opportunity to meet with Bob Thibault and ask questions.  The Zoom link can be found here Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 879 6484 8001, Password:015696.  These meetings will happen every Monday (except 4/20) at 9 am.

Meal Service Plan:.

Nurses Notes:

For Nurses Notes please click here.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Friday Notes (Monday) 4-6-20

SCHOOL INFO:



4/5/20 Sunday Alert:


April 5, 2020

Dear Members of the L&G Community, this is principal Bob Thibault.  I’m calling tonight to check in and provide updated information about what’s happening in our district and in our school.  Firstly, I sincerely hope that everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Many resources are available if your circumstances have changed.  Please reach out to our two school counselors if you need anything.

First, a couple of new things.  By now you should have received information about the continuing lunch and breakfast program.  You can find that information on the WCSU COVID-19 website and our Facebook page.  Both are linked from our website.  

Also new this week is the return of HEY Help with Ms. Lindsley.  She has already sent invites to every student and they can log into her ZOOM at the correct times - 11:30 - 1pm for middle school and 1-2:30pm for high school.  The links are in your child’s email invite. For questions, please contact Ms. Lindsley at mlindsley@lelandandgray.org.

A couple of updates about our calendar - this coming Friday marks the end of the third quarter.  We will attempt to give our normal grades for this quarter - with incompletes granted to those who need it - and we will be discussing the new grading system for quarter four.  April vacation week will still be the week of April 20th and no lunches or breakfasts will be provided during that time. Again, if you are concerned about food scarcity, please contact our counseling staff.

This week will start a new daily schedule for students and teachers.  On each Wednesday, teachers will spend their day planning, collaborating, and learning about distance learning.  They will not be available for direct instruction and will not be responding to student academic questions. Special educators will continue to work with students, and the counselors will continue to be available.  We urge you all to think about Wednesday as either a catch-up day or a day to get off screens and go outside!  

Also starting this week - tomorrow morning at 9am to be precise - is a parent opportunity to meet with me and ask questions.  The Zoom ID # and password will be in the email version of this alert (Meeting ID 283-472-334, Code 028972). Simply go to www.zoom.us/join and enter the ID and code when prompted.  These meetings will happen every Monday morning at 9am and I look forward to seeing or hearing you there.

[Middle School Students ONLY]: Beginning next Monday on April 13th, the exploratory Google Classrooms will cease to exist.  This includes world language, chorus, technology, art and personal development. Look for more information on those content areas offering optional enrichment work only, so we can reduce the load of Google classroom alerts and required work in the middle school.  Band, Physical Education and Health will still run as normal.  

And finally, as we think ahead to next school year, we need every 8th through 11th grader to be sure to register for classes.  Your child should have received a slideshow from Sarah Grasso with the course listing, the requirements, and the way to log into Powerschool and select courses.  Of course, you can always connect with Sarah directly to have her walk you through the options.

In conclusion, I want to let everyone know that the WCSU leadership team has adopted guiding principles - in priority order - to help us lead through these challenging times.  While I’m not going to read them here, they are at the bottom of the email version of this message. Part of this modification is that students shouldn’t be spending any more than 2-3 hours daily (except Wednesdays) on school work.

I want you all to know that the faculty and staff here at L&G are doing the absolute best that they can, and we all miss you terribly.  We know these times are hard, and we want you all to take care of yourselves first, and your academics second. Thank you and have a good night.

Your principal,

Bob Thibault


  1. Health and Safety.  Doing everything that we can to support the health, safety, and well-being of our students and their families is our top priority.  This includes but is not limited to providing nutritious foods, promoting opportunities for physical wellness, and providing social-emotional and mental health support for all of our students.

  1. Equity.  This crisis affects everyone but will disproportionately impact the most vulnerable students.  Equity should be at the forefront of all planning and implementation.

  1. Relationships.  Making connections and maintaining relationships are at the foundation of all implementation plans.  Set a schedule that includes faculty and staff connecting with students as frequently as possible.

  1. Remote Learning.  Remote learning does not exclusively mean online learning.  Schools should consider the variable abilities of families to access and utilize the internet and the impacts of increased screen time expectations.  Students should not be required to access devices for the traditional length of the school day. Leverage other opportunities for students to learn, such as exploring their outdoor environment (to an extent that is within public health parameters), engaging in self-driven projects and problem-solving, and (virtually) reaching out to their communities.


HEY Help:

Beginning Monday, 4/6, Mary Lindsley will be available for HEY Help via a Zoom meeting.  Join her if just to chat.

Middle School Students can join the Zoom meeting Monday - Thursday, 11:30 - 1:00 * The link has been emailed to students.
 
High School Students can join the Zoom meeting Monday - Thursday, 1:00-2:30 * The link has been emailed to students.

If you have trouble joining these Zoom meetings, please email Mary Lindsley at mlindsley@lelandandgray.org.


Free Internet:

The link below is to the Vermont Department of Public Service, which has links to companies like Comcast that are offering free internet for 2 months for low-income households. Comcast is also committed to serving people even if they cannot pay their bill. Mobile phone companies are helping out and hotspots will have free access etc.


People will still need devices that allow them to have access to the internet – not sure what is being done in that area.



Meal Service Plan:


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Friday Notes 3-27-20

SCHOOL INFO:


3/29/20 Sunday Alert:

Good evening L&G families, this is principal Bob Thibault.  Beginning tonight, I will be sharing out weekly news regarding the ongoing school dismissal.  These will occur on Sunday nights. I will try to highlight new information, ongoing important reminders, and anything else that shifts or changes as we dig into this new world of remote learning.  

First, I want to take the opportunity to remind everyone that food is available daily between 11-1 at 3 pick-up locations (Newbrook, Jamaica Village School, and Leland and Gray).  Bus stop delivery will likely begin this week and details will be available soon about that. There is a survey on the WCSU COVID-19 website to collect family info on food deliveries  This site is easily linked to from our main L&G website. In the meantime, additional questions about food can be sent to Phoebe Connolly via email. pconnolly@lelandandgray.org

With regards to learning expectations, we are working very closely with the Agency of Education to determine what that looks like long-term.  Guidance for this came into our hands over the weekend, and the principals are all meeting tomorrow - via zoom - to talk this through. Stay tuned.

There are still many decisions to be made - possessions left at school, daily workload, grades, prom, graduation, and a myriad of others.  Please be patient as we work through these - each has a profound impact on our community of learners, and we want to react as quickly as we can, but with an emphasis on thoughtfulness.

If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me, Ms. Liskowsky-Doak, your child’s school counselor, or case manager.  I certainly understand the level of stress that this is causing families and that for many, the stress levels were very high even before this crisis. We will do what we can to support families and of course, your children during these incredibly challenging times.

Thanks, and have a great night!

Bob Thibault, Principal bthibault@lelandandgray.org
Johanna Liskowsky-Doak, Dean of Students jliskowsky-doak@lelandandgray.org
Pam Bernardo, Dean of Academics pbernardo@jamaicavillageschool.org

Sarah Grasso, HS Counselor sgrasso@lelandandgray.org
Phoebe Connolly, MS Counselor pconnolly@lelandandgray.org
Emily Evans, SPED Case Manager eevans@windhamcentral.org

Letter from Bill Anton:

March 23, 2020

Dear Families,

We are truly living in an extraordinary time. I want to thank each family for your patience, cooperation, and communication during this challenging period. We have a developed a website for centralized communications:

Your students’ schools have been working hard to provide a continuity of education, while at the same time starting to prepare for a longer-term plan, should the need arise. I encourage you to continue communicating with your child’s teacher and principal. It is important to have regular communication about your students’ instruction and social and emotional well-being. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to reach out.

Schools in West River prepare meals daily with pick-up between 11am and 1pm at Jamaica Village School, NewBrook Elementary, and Leland & Gray Middle High School.

Marlboro is beginning food service delivery this week. Please contact the school directly at 254-2668 with any questions or how to get a lunch.

River Valleys, through the Dover School runs a combination of delivery and pick-up. The Dover School is serving lunch to students during the school closure.  Here is a link to a google form to order hot lunch next week:  https://forms.gle/iCDTbCpasN9ScgoZA .

This week we are opening an Essential Person Childcare on Thursday, March 26th. Information about this service can be found at www.windhamcentral.org under Public Service Announcements.

Everyone in the Windham Central Supervisory Union is pitching in to help as we navigate these continuing evolving times. Thank you for your partnership in your child’s education. 

I have the utmost confidence that working together, we will make it through this challenging time.

Respectfully,

Bill Anton

Letter from Principal Thibault:

Dear L&G Community,

It is with great sadness that I report to you that tonight, Gov. Scott announced that "in person" school will not happen for the remainder of this school year.  It is OK for you to be upset, sad, or frustrated.  It is OK for you to feel confused and concerned.  It is OK for you to be mad.  I can tell everyone, on behalf of your faculty and staff, that we are too.  We have already missed seeing your faces every day and frankly can't conceive of not seeing them for the next several months.   I personally am very frustrated with the way this news was released by the Governor's Office, without even a hint for schools to be prepared for the enormity of the impact.  What I can tell you, though, is that school is not a building.  Leland & Gray is not a closed school building on the corner of Rt 30 and Rt 35.  Leland & Gray is a community - one that is very much open and alive in the hearts and minds of Rebel Nation!  You will be OK, because we will make sure that you are.  You will persevere because we will all carry on together.  You will overcome this, because as a community working together, we are stronger than we are as individuals.

There are many questions yet to be answered.  What I can tell you at this point, is that the Governor is having a press conference tomorrow morning, and the Agency of Education is supposed to release more guidance for us to consider as we move forward. I will share more information as it becomes available.  I can tell you one thing - your teachers and support staff are here for you.  This team of adults is amazing - they quickly made the adaptations necessary in a couple of short days to continue teaching online, and in the days and weeks ahead, I suspect more changes to come, and this group of professionals will (again) rise to the challenge.  That's what Rebels do.

So I implore of you - parents, students, faculty, staff and community members - remember what it means to be a part of this incredible family that we call Leland & Gray.  To me, it means that we will get through this together.  To me, it means that we will be there for you.  To me, it means that school is not a building - it's a community of learners, teachers, and families.

Very sincerely,

Bob Thibault
Your principal

Survey for Parents:

Parents, 

Please give us feedback on how things are going so far....


Free Internet:

The link below is to the Vermont Department of Public Service, which has links to companies like Comcast that are offering free internet for 2 months for low-income households. Comcast is also committed to serving people even if they cannot pay their bill. Mobile phone companies are helping out and hotspots will have free access etc.


People will still need devices that allow them to have access to the internet – not sure what is being done in that area.


Nurses Notes:

Dear Leland and Gray Families,
I hope you all are taking this time to turn inward and care for yourselves and your families during this time of social distance.   Please continue checking in with WCSU and L & G for food pick up options and continued learning. While we understand that these unprecedented restrictions present challenges for many, please do your best to avoid large groups and your elderly friends and family, to ensure everyone’s safety.  I will continue to be available by email and am planning to post office hours by the end of this week when I know better the flow of my own “new normal”. Please reach out with any concerns or questions you may have and keep an eye on the Vermont Department of Health website for updates.
It will take a community effort from us all to get through these next few weeks and months.  Please support each other and know that we continue to support you. 
Nurse Lauren  


Food Pickup:





Friday, March 6, 2020

Friday Notes 3-6-20

SCHOOL INFO:




Budget Documents:

https://www.windhamcentral.org/central-office/budget.


Board of Directors Meeting & Budget Information Meeting
West River Modified Union Education District
March 16th, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Leland & Gray Middle High  School


Please come Monday March 16th to ask questions about the budget and see the budget presentation.

Coronavirus Information:




School Calendar:

Our School Calendar can be found here.

Late Bus:

The Late Bus Schedule can be found here





Girls on the Run:

Leland & Gray will be hosting a Heart & Sole program at Leland & Gray which is an extension of Girls on the Run. The goal of the program is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident and the program uses a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Registration starts on February 10th and is $100 per student though financial assistance is available. Registration ends on March 1st, or once the team reaches capacity. See flyer for more information!


The 15 Minute Hamlet:


Fri March 6th: 7:30 pm, L&G

Then we'll be taking it to compete at the Vermont Drama Festival!
Sat March 7th: 8 pm, Essex High School

Tickets are only $5 and the show is only 15 min long!!





Blood Drive:


Who ?: YOU

What ?: Blood Drive 

When ?: Thursday, March 12th, from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Where ?: at L+G, in Dutton Gym.
Why?:    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma — which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.”  
Log on to Schedule Your Blood Donation With The Red Cross to set up an account and make an appointment.
Students: You must be at least 16 years old,  complete a “Parental Consent…” form, and must meet the following guidelines: Form: Parental Consent for Blood Donation 
ALL Donors must bring a photo ID with proof of birthdate.
The need is great...Save a life!


COMMUNITY SERVICE:


Community service is now a graduation requirement starting with the Class of 2019. All information can be found here: https://sites.google.com/lelandandgray.org/communityservice

Please e-mail any community service opportunities to Terry Davison Berger <tdavison-berger@lelandandgray.org>



Moore Free Library:

The Moore Free Library in Newfane has recently received grants from the United Way of Windham County, the Cosby-Gannett Fund, the Vermont Community Foundation, RISE VT, and the Children's Literacy Foundation. These grants are all targeted towards increasing family programming and youth engagement at the library. 

With the funding, the Moore Free Library will be expanding its hours and family offerings. Starting February 1st, the library will host Family Fun Fridays every Friday evening. Coloring and board games will be available from 5-6 PM and at 6 PM, a family movie will be shown in the Crowell Gallery. Popcorn and snacks will be provided. On Saturdays, there will be a weekly activity geared towards kids/families from 1:00 - 2:00 PM. 

The Moore Free Library also offers a weekly story time on Thursdays, 10:30 - 11:00 AM, which is an opportunity for young children and their caregivers to get to know each other and listen to stories read aloud. All of these events are free and open to all families and caregivers of children.

Effective February 1, 2020, the Moore Free Library's hours will be as follows: Tuesday 1-5 PM, Wednesday 2-6 PM, Thursday 1-5 PM (with story time 10:30 - 11 AM), Friday 2-8 PM, Saturday 10 AM - 2 PM. The library will continue to be closed on Sundays and Mondays.

This grant funding will allow the library to offer expanded hours and activities for seven months, as a pilot program. If family engagement and youth attendance increases during this pilot period, the library hopes to secure ongoing funding to make these changes permanent.  

The Moore Free Library is located at 23 West Street, Newfane, VT 05345. Moorefreelibrary.org, (802) 365-7948, moorefreelibrary@gmail.com

Job Opportunity and Community Service Opportunity:


Vermont State Parks is currently accepting applications for seasonal positions for the upcoming summer. While many of our positions require staff to be available from May through October, we have one position per park which coincides with the schedule of a high-schooler who is at least 16 years old.

Also, we would love to host students (of any age) for volunteer service, particularly in the month of May as parks are getting cleaned up for the season. We could use help picking up branches and raking leaves, and cleaning up our gardens as we prepare for opening. Throughout the summer, we could arrange times with a few students to help at Jamaica State Park with stacking firewood, which is delivered often.
Please pass the word of these opportunities to any students who may be interested. For volunteering, they can reach out to me and I would put them in contact with the Park Manager when they begin work in the spring. For employment, they can apply on the website below. We are hoping to hold interviews during the winter school break.

Park Attendant I-II; Lead Attendant
$10.96-11.96/hour
Position fulfills any of a variety of tasks in a Vermont State Park such as; routine maintenance of buildings and grounds, staffing the entrance station, checking in visitors, taking reservations and making sales; providing information to park visitors on the park and surrounding area; may assist with interpretive programs.
For information and to apply, students should visit this link: www.vtstateparks.com/jobs

Lesley Porter, Parks Regional Operations Manager
Vermont State Parks
Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
100 Mineral Street, Suite 304
Springfield, VT  05156-3168
Phone:  802-505-8328 



BEEC Counselors in Training:


Community Service Opportunity:


The West River Community project is looking for some volunteer help also  at the West Townshend Country Store. We need Friday night help with pizza, Thrift shop help ,cafe help and Farmers market help!



For more information, please contact Susan Grabowski at susan.e.grabowski@gmail.com





COMMUNITY:



Summer Program Opportunity:

Adventure Academy: Connecting Mind and Movement in Middle Schoolers

A week long program for middle school students focused on athletics and the importance of Executive Function (organization, time management, planning, study skills, and more).

Monday, June 22 – Friday, June 26, 2020, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Landmark College in Putney.

Mentor a Child:



Become a Foster Parent:



Bowl for Kids' Sake:

Our 39th Annual Bowl for Kids' Sake Fundraiser is just around the corner!  This event helps to support our Windham County program and is an essential part of our funding.  I am really hoping you will join us this year, and help to Ignite Potential in children and youth throughout Windham County! 


See you on April 25th, 2020!


Frozen at NEYT:

New England Youth Theatre is searching for young actors age 11-15 to register for the musical, Frozen Jr.! Join Elsa, Ann, Sven and the entire enchanted land of Arendelle on this magical adventure! No audition required. Register online at www.neyt.org or email neytoperations@gmail.com Rehearsals begin March 9th, with performances May 1-9. Join the magic today!


Rehearsal schedule and info is online, www.neyt.org/spring-musical or by email at neytoperations@gmail.com