Tuesday, April 24, 2018

News from WES 4/24/18


Friday, April 27 - Autism Awareness Month Assembly, 2pm WES Gym
Monday, April 30 WES Book Swap
Monday, April 30-Tuesday May 8 -  SBAC testing, grades 3-6
Thursday, May 3 - State-Wide 5th and 6th grade Fitness Team Competition 
Thursday, May 10 - 4th grade history fair at Woodstock History Center, 6pm
Monday, May 14 - WES Board Meeting, WES library, 4:30pm
Wednesday, May 16 - Kindergarten Registration for incoming K students. 12-3pm. Please sign up for a time slot with Mr. Miles in the office. 
Monday, May 28 - Memorial Day, no school
Wednesday, May 30 - May Day Sports Celebration, WES playground 10am
Thursday, May 31 - 6th grade play, Town Hall Theater, 6:30pm (daytime showing will occur for WES students/staff) 
June 4-6 - 6th grade field end-of-year field trip
Tuesday, June 5 - 5th grade to Shelburne Farms 
Tuesday, June 12 - 6th grade promotion ceremony 
Wednesday, June 13 - Last Day of School (half day, no after school program)


Students may bring in used CHILDREN'S books to their classrooms this week in preparation for the book swap to be held April 30th.  These should be books that the family no longer wants, but are appropriate for the school exchange.   Hopefully we'll have lots of books so children can take different books home after the swap.  Any leftover books will be given to Norman Williams Public Library for their ongoing sale. Please contact Mrs. Stockwell with questions. 


Beginning next Monday, April 30th, and continuing until May 8th, students in grades 3-6 will take the state-wide summative assessment, the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessments of English Language Arts and Mathematics.)  The tests, which are administered on the computer and take approximately six hours to complete, are typically divided up into five or six testing sessions, each of which is about an hour in length. The testing is scheduled to occur in the morning between 8-12:30 depending on the day/grade. The tests assess students on the skills and concepts covered in the Common Core Standards for their grade level. We have done practice tests to familiarize students with the types of questions and technology tools used on the test. Students in grades 5-6 recently completed a flipbook of test-taking strategies. 

Families of students in grades 3-6 can assist their students in feeling prepared (and not overly anxious) for the testing by encouraging students to take their time, do their best work, and check their work carefully. Help your student be well rested, eat a healthy protein-filled breakfast, arrive on time each morning, and avoid early dismissals for appointments during the testing window. Consider sending them in with extra healthy snacks, be sure students have a water bottle filled in the morning, and know that students are encouraged to bring their own earphones/earbuds. There are listening components to the test and many students are more comfortable using their own earphones instead of school issued earphones. Thank you for your support in helping students complete this important assessment. 


We are pleased to announce that Woodstock Elementary School will have a public preK for 3 and 4 year olds beginning in the fall of 2018. Please visit www.wcsu.net/prek to learn about this program and download registration materials. Registration materials are also available from David Miles in the main office. ​
The WCUD Priority Registration Window is open now through April 27th.
Students who currently reside in the towns of Bridgewater, Killington, Pomfret, Plymouth, and Reading are eligible to register during this priority window. PreK families who were previously enrolled in private or public programs located at WES, Killington Elementary, or Reading Elementary may also register during this priority window. Any other applications submitted during this time will be held until the General Registration window opens.The General Registration Window will open April 28th. Beginning on April 28th, applications received by any student will be accepted on a rolling basis. Placements will be made on a first-come-first-serve basis until classes are filled. This site (www.wcsu.net/prek) also includes information about universal PreK tuition for non-WCUD programs (including Barnard Academy PreK).

55,555 PAWS! 

In celebration of reaching our most recent goal of 55,555 paw prints for safe, respectful, and ready to learn student actions, we had a bubblefest at recess today! Thank you Mr. T and Mrs. Klocek for organizing. 

Woodstock Students Compete at the Vermont Technical College Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Competition! 


Community Service Opportunity at Moonrise Farm for 5th and 6th grade girls:
DJ Jesser is leading a group of 5th/6th grade students to help with some barn chores and socializing the horses after the long winter.  This is an opportunity to be a part of a girls' group that will work on team-building skills while also helping to prepare the horses for social interactions at Moonrise Farm Activities will include: 
  • Barn and horse safety information
  • Group games
  • Mucking paddocks/brushing horses
  • Playing with the horses in the ring
This will take place during two school days in May.  

This group is limited to 6; first come, first served.  Please contact Erin Klocek if your child is interested. 


We received a total of 316 responses to the survey, from both parents of all ages and students grades 7-12, broken out by school as follows:
 Barnard Academy: 1 (.3%)Reading Elementary School: 10 (3.3%)Killington Elementary School: 19 (6.2%)Prosper Valley School: 29 (9.4%)Woodstock Elementary School: 80 (26.1%)Woodstock Union Middle and High School: 205 (66.8%)
 On the four quantitative questions, a significant majority ranked all four as either “critical” or “important” (vs. “somewhat important” or “not important”).  Those predominant percentages broke down as follows:
·      Local food and local partnerships: 47.1% Critical, 40.4% Important
·      Nutritional Education/ Healthy eating habits: 62.1% Critical, 25.8% Important
·      Composting and Waste Reduction:  46.6% Critical, 43.1% Important
·      Overall importance relative to other aspects of school experience: 35.7% Critical, 48.7% Important
 A number of themes emerged in the narrative responses.  One of the dominant values expressed was the strong desire for local food and partnerships with local producers, particularly in this agrarian setting.  Respondents highlighted the inherent freshness and quality of local foods, the support of the local economy, and teaching children where their food comes from.  The value placed on consistent, healthy choices was also a theme; in some settings there was satisfaction in this area and in others there was a common desire for improvement, (including the elimination of perceived unhealthy options).  The fact that for some students, school meals might be a primary source for wholesome, nutritious foods was emphasized.  Related to food choices, respondents expressed a desire for variety, for exposure to different kinds of foods, for sensitivity to allergies/ food restrictions, and for vegetarian options.  Respondents also often placed a value on the educational component of a food program, in terms of developing good nutritional habits that not only improve health and functioning during school years but over a lifetime (recognition of chronic national health problems such as obesity was cited).  “Education” was also seen as encompassing other areas such as waste reduction, sustainability, world hunger, and the skill of cooking.  The potential for interdisciplinary learning was recognized, and some respondents wanted to see increased utilization of relevant resources such as greenhouses and gardens.  Greater student involvement was also suggested (i.e. with meal planning) 
A common complaint at the MS/HS level related to the cafeteria’s physical environment, i.e. the noise, the long lines, and the cramped space.  There was also a desire for a more transparent and easy billing process, perhaps through an on-line account system.  
It was notable that the WES parents expressed high levels of satisfaction with the WES program, and tended to see it as a “model” to be replicated.  Two of these parents cited the food program as influencing their decision to send their children to the school.  There were a few responders, overall, who expressed concern about containing costs and about the need to prioritize the needs of “food insecure” students.
 The board and administration are grateful for all of the input, which will help guide next steps in improving our program as a whole.
 Respectfully submitted by,
Jessica Stout
WES and WCUD board member

News from WES 6-20-19

Dear WES Families,  Happy Summer! I hope this email finds you well. Please see updates below about the playground, report cards, and mor...