Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weathersfield School Town Report, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 11:12AM
Dear Weathersfield  Community:

It has been another dynamic year at Weathersfield School, full of both challenge and promise. First and foremost the school is blessed to have dedicated and talented staff who works hard for the best interest of Weathersfield kids.  In addition to the outstanding administration and staff, the school is blessed with a very active and supportive PTA and a robust group of volunteers who augment the school in very positive ways.

We continue to work closely with our Supervisory Union partners in a number of areas.  Some of this collaboration is mandated by state statute; other is an effort to maximize opportunities with the three other schools and an Early Childhood Program to gain efficiencies or improvement in services.  While doing this, the School Board is committed to ensuring Weathersfield retains its autonomy and unique characteristics.  The Supervisory Union is led by the Superintendent (Dr. David Baker) and the SU board.  The SU board includes three representatives from our local Weathersfield board.  This helps to ensure that the town is well represented at the SU level.

There have been a number of new initiatives introduced from the state or Supervisory Union with noble goals of making learning cutting edge for all our kids.  These include standards-based progress reporting, new curricula in English Language Arts (ELA), and math.  Also on the immediate horizon are common core standards recently adopted by Vermont. Vermont also adopted Next Generation Science Standards.  All these initiatives require support for new learning and training and some increase in materials for teachers and students. We have committed significant investments in staff time and resources to aid in this process.

The art of teaching is as challenging as ever, if not more so. Adding the new initiatives on top of this has made this quite a challenging year for our teachers.  They deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the extra work they have taken on and for speaking up to ensure they have input and a voice in the decisions.

This current year’s budget was built based on a student enrollment of 219 students. We recently reached 241 students!  Because of a heavy load at the Kindergarten level, the board voted to add a para-professional to assist with that class.

A tremendous amount of work has gone into building next year’s budget proposal. Principal Oakman and Superintendent Baker worked closely with their staff to develop the Supervisory Union budget and our local budget.  They then presented their recommendations to the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) appointed by the school board.  The committee studied each budget category and made recommendations.  The budget was then analyzed by the board who voted to accept the proposal to present at town meeting.  Special thank you is due to Kelly O’Brien, Gloria Ballantine, and Nathalie Whitney who comprised the budget review committee and gave much of their time.

The portion of our budget which is controlled locally will only increase by 1.8%, this is remarkable given all the upward pressures on spending from increased student enrollment, increased health coverage, cost of living pay increases, and general inflation.  Holding steady at this small increase required holding off on some materials and support recommended for our students.  The good news is that we are able to maintain our current staffing level which we believe has the greatest benefit for the education of our students.  We were also able to follow through this year with what is year three of a three year plan to upgrade the technology lab.  The SU portion of our budget represents the largest increase (3.77%), most all of which is driven by the cost of special education.

We obviously remain focused on the budget and expenditures;  however beyond that there is much to celebrate about the achievements of our school.

Following is a summary of some of the work and accomplishments over the past year. I encourage you to log into to review the school board meeting minutes and keep up to date with school happenings, and to log onto for Supervisory Union news.  I also encourage you to participate in our monthly school board meetings and of course to give any of the board members a call should you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!

The Year In Review
Many of our school policies were outdated or obsolete.  Principal Oakman and BJ Esty did substantial work filtering through and updating our policies to create a relevant working reference of important guidelines which the school works under.

School security was a big topic of discussion this past year and much was accomplished to ensure that the best possible safety procedures and infrastructure are in place. Great care was also taken to ensure the school remains a welcoming facility for parents and the community.  Much of the credit goes to the School Safety Committee made up of committed professionals and community members.  This group was led by Gary Graham and supported by Principal Oakman.

Part of the work was to have an independent audit done by specialist Tim Vincent from the state.  Mr. Vincent’s conclusion was that Weathersfield is a safe school and well ahead of most other schools in Vermont with our safety procedures and infrastructure.  Based on recommendations from the committee the board approved the expenditure of capital reserve funds to install a key card entry system, upgrade some ground level windows, and improve the security camera coverage.

The Weathersfield sports program is thriving with solid numbers of participants and some terrific athletes at all age levels.  All the teams have been very competitive and well coached by committed volunteers.  Kelly Harriman has taken on the role of Athletic Director and is doing a terrific job. Assistant AD, Girard LeCouffe has also been a great help to the program.  They both have given generously of their time.

Volunteers Erica and Mark Yeungling pulled off another successful drama club production (Fun on 42nd Street) which included a record number of kids participating.

The Spelling, Geography and Math teams have worked hard and done well against other schools.  These teams are led by committed volunteers Deb Gurney, Cathy Karaffa, and Ginger Wimberg
Brenda Sheere has taken over the art program.  She has been doing a marvelous job and getting very high compliments from students, parents, and fellow faculty.

The music program under Travis Ramsey is thriving with chorus and band.  A number of students were accepted into the District Band.  School-wide concerts, the Veteran’s Day program, and the Memorial Day programs have been excellent.  Weathersfield loves to celebrate the patriotic holidays to support Veterans in our community and on staff.

Along with music, drama, sports and the academic teams already mentioned; other valuable opportunities available to our kids include Student Council, Service Club, Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VCAT), and interview panel participation for hiring staff.  All these opportunities are designed for the purpose of broadening their exposure and making our students responsible citizens.
You voted to approve the purchase of a new bus out of the capital reserve fund last year.  That approval came just in time as we had to rent a bus for much of last year due to the poor condition of two of the buses.  This coming budget year we are asking you to approve a two year plan to purchase another replacement bus in 2015.  Buses in good condition are very important toward keeping the kids safe on our many challenging roads.

We are very fortunate to have a well-designed modern school building which many in the community fought hard to build.  Just as much effort has gone into maintaining the facility and keeping it good as new.

High School tuition continues to rise. School choice at this level remains an important benefit for those living in or choosing to move to Weathersfield.  The majority of students go to Windsor or Springfield.

In addition to Brenda Sheere we also welcomed Joe Jones as the Library/Media teacher and Patty Pomerleau as Title 1 Math Teacher.

Kelly O’Brien provided much leadership and hard work as chair of the PTA.  She has stepped down and Jim Rice is the new chair of the PTA.

In summary, given what many schools in our area and around the state are dealing with, our community is blessed with a thriving school.  One that continues to overcome modern education dilemmas, seeks out new opportunities, and prepares for many challenges ahead.

Principal Oakman, the faculty and staff, and the school-board are all working hard for the benefit of our school.  We are very grateful for your support of Weathersfield’s kids’ education.

Nate McKeen, Board Chair
Amy Hill, Vice Chair
Nate McNoughton
Jim Wimberg
Sandy Dockum

Message From Superintendent
Dear Communities of West Windsor, Windsor, Weathersfield and Hartland:

This is my second year serving as your Superintendent in the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union.  This Supervisory Union represents the best of Vermont.  We have dedicated school boards, supportive communities, talented staff members, and great kids!  What else could we ask for in small educational communities?  I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for all the support that I have felt during my tenure in Windsor Southeast.  We will always face challenges, but as I say to the boards all the time – we are much stronger together than we are apart.  Small rural school districts cannot do it alone.  While we need to preserve the individuality of each community, we need to find ways to work together in our four towns to be more efficient, effective, and economical in the way we provide quality education.  The boards and administrators in all four towns recognize this and unselfishly work toward a common good.

Just within this last year, all four boards met to create a common vision and a strategic plan that is guiding our work over the next several years.  You can find a copy of that plan on our website at  It is still in draft form, but it has directed much of the work that we have done as a supervisory union.  We had a mandate from the state to consolidate several services – we are trying to do that carefully and thoughtfully.  This year we consolidated all of our special education services.  It allows us more flexibility as we serve our special education population; and it ensures that there will be a consistent level of service across all four towns.  In the process of consolidating, we have created some internal special programs for very at-risk students.  These programs will allow us to keep our neediest children close to home rather than sending them off to very expensive, and sometimes not so effective, alternative placements.  We are in the early stages, but the initial prognosis for these programs is good. We have also come a long way by sharing technology resources.  We recently placed all four towns on a very fast Wide Area Network (WAN) that supports the kind of technology that our children will need as they enter a challenging global society.  We have increased technology support and we are training teachers continually to be more technologically literate as they approach their work.

Finally, we are working on a common curriculum throughout our Supervisory Union.  We are using the Common Core Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards that have been adopted by the state.   We want to ensure that the quality of the curriculum, instruction and assessment of our young people is consistent across all four towns.  We have talented staff and they are working together to ensure that our standards are high, our instruction is top notch, and our students are being held accountable throughout the year by uniform assessment measures.  Our receiving high schools report that our kids are very well prepared as they enter.  Again, this is a tribute to all four towns.
This report comes annually – at a time when we are presenting a budget for next year and reporting on our budget from last year.  This is never an easy task.  We know that we are coming to all of you and asking for your continued financial tax support in very difficult economic times.  The promised economic recovery has been more than slow.  I will assure you that your boards take this economic responsibility very seriously. I encourage you to read the board reports in this Town Report.  They outline some of the initiatives in each individual community, but more importantly, these board reports speak to the specific financial impact as we move forward.  We try to deliver a good product within the ability to pay. With 85% of our budgets attributed to fixed costs, this is never easy.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve these communities.  I look forward to our future together.

Sincerely,Dr. David W. Baker, Superintendent

Principal’s Report
January 2014

Dear Weathersfield Students, Parents and Community,

WS Action and Improvement Plan
Weathersfield School is in Year 2 School Improvement.  A requirement of this is to offer Supplemental Educational Services, (SES), for at-risk students in math and reading.  SES is offered a variety of ways, from computer tutorials to small group and individual tutoring. For more information, please contact the school. We have a two year plan that we hope will increase test scores and student performance for all WS students in reading and math:

Goal #1 - Reading /ELA Goal
Students in Kindergarten and First Grade will increase their Nonsense Word Fluency, using the DIBELS Nonsense Word Fluency assessment, (winter and spring assessments for Kindergarten and fall and spring assessments for Grade 1).  For Kindergarten students, the target goal from winter to spring will be an increase of 10 sounds.  For first grade, the students will show an increase of 20 sounds from fall to spring.  In grades 2-6, the target of increase will be a minimum of 20 points using the DIBELS Oral Fluency Assessment, to be given in the fall and spring.  For grades 7 and 8, we are targeting a minimum increase of 10 points, using the AimsWeb Oral Fluency Assessment, fall and spring measures.

Goal #2 - Math Goal
Students in grades K-8 will increase their math skills in five concept areas by a minimum of three out of fifteen for grades K-2 and five out of thirty points for grades 3-8, using the Math Connects Diagnostic Placement Test at each grade level, as a pre and post assessment measure.  The five concept areas:
~Numbers, Operations, and Quantitative Reasoning
~Patterns, Relations, and Algebraic Thinking
~Geometry and Spatial Reasoning
~Probability and Statistic

Mario Bevacqua Scholarship
The Weathersfield School Board and the family of Mario Bevacqua are pleased and proud to offer a graduating high school senior the opportunity to apply for the Mario Bevacqua Memorial Scholarship. 

Mario was a principal at the Weathersfield School for twenty years.  He was dedicated to the belief that every child deserved a well-rounded education. Mario served as a positive role model for both students and staff through his passion, good humor, and generous spirit. The recipient of this award should exhibit those same qualities, which made Mario Bevacqua a dynamic educator.  

Each year, a $500 one-time scholarship will be given to a deserving high school senior who graduated from the Weathersfield School and currently resides in Weathersfield. The recipient must be enrolled full time in a public, private college or technical school, either in or out of state. No specific degree field is required. Scholarship funds may be used for tuition, room/board or books, and will be dispersed at the beginning of their second semester of college. Letters are sent home in the spring, encouraging WS students to apply.  

Interested applicants are asked to submit a written essay, which is judged by the Mario Bevacqua Scholarship Committee.  For more information, please call the school at 674-5400.  

Here is a picture of the FY 13 recipient, Merranda Lenahan, who was presented with the Mario Bevacqua Scholarship by Cynthia Bevacqua, Mario’s wife, and Peter Berger, WS English/History Teacher at a Weathersfield School Board Meeting.

PowerSchool Gradebook
Our PowerSchool Parent Portal is open for grades 5-8.  Parents can see their child’s grades as often as they like by checking their child’s grades in the electronic gradebook. Teachers have been great about updating their gradebooks on a regular basis.  Parents have enjoyed this immediate feedback about their child’s progress and tell me they access this information weekly, and in some cases, daily.

New Bus Needed
As you know, we have a separate ballot item for $45,000 to be put in a capital reserve transportation sum for the purchase of a new bus in FY 16, (should another $45,000 be approved by voters in March of 2015).  It might interest you to have important information about each of our buses:

Bus Inventory

Bus #
Usual Driver
Body Type
Model Year
Current Odometer Reading
Larry Moore
David Moore
5th Driver
Blue Bird
Chet Stone

SBAC and NECAP – Standardized Tests
The SBAC test, (replacing NECAPs, except for science), for grades 3-8, will be given to WS students during a three week testing window, April 28, 2014 to May 16, 2014.  Please mark these dates on your home calendars as we would like all students to have perfect attendance during testing.  The tests are computerized, so we have to share the computer lab.  More information about the SBAC will be forthcoming in March!  The Science NECAP will be given to grades 4 and 8 in May, dates to be announced soon.

Act One
Act One is a legislative requirement and an educational law which mandates that Vermont schools educate students on how to recognize and prevent sexual abuse and violence through the school’s comprehensive health program.  This law is intended to step up the protection of children against sexual abuse by involving ALL in the school setting.  The law requires that schools train all employees on what to look for in an effort to identify and report sexual abuse.  In August and September of this year, WS bus drivers, kitchen staff, custodians, secretaries, faculty and staff were trained.  

Educational Teams are working together to create and implement a K-8 curriculum which addresses sexual abuse prevention. I will be sharing information with parents on reporting suspected abuse and neglect and the 6 tips on keeping children safe at the Feb. 2014 PTA meeting. I will be providing hot line information, family service links, hand-outs and other resources to help the school community combat this serious issue.  WS is dedicated to the safety of all students and has made a conscious effort to make this information available to ALL. This training is required every year, in accordance with the law.

Spelling Teams
On October 7, 2013, students in grades 5/6 and students in grades 7/8 represented Weathersfield School in the District Spelling Bee. This year, the bee was held at Windsor State Street School. The following students won a spell off contest to be on the teams:
5/6 WS Spelling Team:
Johnathan MacLachlan, Morgan McKeen, Kate Murphy, Tori Amsden, Gunnar Waters, Virginia Snyder 

7/8 WS Spelling Team:
Timothy Farren, Ben Millard, Skylar Swan, Rand Frazer, Brooke McKeen

WS Grade 7/8 Spelling Team came in third place overall at the Regional Spelling Bee in Manchester Center on November 2, 2013. They did an outstanding job, but were up against other great spellers, as well.

Fresh Fruits and Veggies Grant
Our school applied for a Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Grant again this year, for the 4th year in a row, (it is rare that a school gets this grant more than 3 years so we are excited, but know this will probably be our last year), and were awarded $10,000.00 to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables every day for our afternoon snack program. Lucky for us, we have five parent/community volunteers, (Kitty Lique, Shannan Metzger, Tammy Millard and Ruth and Roger Newhall),  running the program, with the help of our WS Service Group student leaders.

Weathersfield School Math Team
Weathersfield Mathletes won 3rd place at the December 5, 2013 Math Meet, beating 19 other Middle School Math Teams!  Here is a picture of our Weathersfield School Math Team and their coaches for the FY 14 school year:
Kacie Charest - Grade 7, Kristin Clark - Grade 7 Daniel Dexter  - Grade 7 
Rand Frazer – Grade 8, Ben French  - Grade 6, Christina Gregory – Grade 7             Chris Gurney – Grade 8         
Emily Lang – Grade 7          Serene Martens  - Grade 7               
Gideon Spikes  - Grade 7                 Skylar Swan – Grade 7
Coach- David Lambert
Asst Coach – Diana Day

Student Council At WS
We have excellent student leaders in our school.  Here are the student council members for the 2013-2014 school year:
Student Council Officers:
Pres. - Ben Millard 8B
Vice Pres-. Kylee Charest 8B
Sec.- Rand Frazer 8B
Treasurer- Skylar Swan 7P

Student Council Classroom Representatives 2013/2014:
5A- Brandon Hennessey, Kansas Marsh
6D- Tori Amsden, Ben French
6K- Ozzie Jewett, Hannah Kemp
7L-Kristen Clark, Matthew Fisher
7P- Brooke McKeen, Aimee Vollmann
8B- Meghan Snide, Adam Stapleton

Walk to School Day a Big Success
On Wed., October 9th, we celebrated Walk to School Day.  One hundred eighteen of us, (half of the entire school population!),  met at the old restaurant in town, (Café De Sol), and walked through the back roads parallel to Route 5 until we were directly across the street from the school.  It was a hearty, healthy, safe walk, with lots of laughter and good cheer. Thank you to Chief Davies and Officer Jen for stopping traffic and keeping us safe as we crossed Route 5.

Nature Program At WS
Children attending grades K-4 in our school are participating in the Four Winds’ Nature Program. Adults and children learning together and exploring nearby natural places is what Four Winds' Nature Program is all about! The Nature Program offers monthly two-hour natural science workshops for adults interested in sharing their love of nature with school children. Each training session includes informational presentations and indoor and outdoor activities. WS has 16 dedicated volunteers who meet each month for the training and then bring the program to about 125 WS students every month. 

The program offers 40 different lessons, which means that a child at a participating school can go through the program from Kindergarten through 4th grade, 8 lessons per year, without a repeated lesson. Four Winds staff provides an experienced scientist as a trainer as well as some materials and other curriculum support. The school-based Volunteer Coordinator, Susan Hindinger, is the liaison between the education staff at Four Winds and the volunteers, the teachers, Principal Oakman, and the community at large. Her expertise and organization has made this program flawless, rigorous, and student-friendly!  Volunteers work in teams of two or more to bring children outside each month to look, discover, and learn. Our K-4 teachers and the principal have observed that their students are engaged and eager to participate in each and every Four Winds lesson and that they are able to address multiple curriculum goals, including not only science standards, but also writing, math, reading, and art. In 2013-14, the program is made available at WS in part by a grant the Four Winds Nature Institute received and by a contribution from the WS PTA. The principal is so excited about this incredible hands-on science program, that she built money in the FY 15 budget to sustain this important learning for children!

Holiday Luncheon A HUGE Success
We had over 100 guests for our School/Community Thanksgiving Feast on November 20th.  A special thanks to the kitchen staff, Sandy and Judy, and the custodial staff, Theresa, Roland and Mike, for their hard work.  Our volunteer helper was amazing, too:  Thank you, Ruth Newhall!

Veteran’s Day Ceremony
Matt Thiel, a Marine Reserve and a Vt. Game Warden from Highgate, Vermont, was our Guest Speaker at our annual WS Veteran's Day Ceremony,  held on November 11, 2013 at 8:15 am in the gym.  The Karaffa Family graciously invited Matt to stay at their home while in the area. Students interviewed and videotaped Mr. Thiel later that morning to add to our Veteran Interviews collection.  Our annual Veteran's Day program is always open to the public; the same for our annual Memorial Day Program.  Won’t you come and join us?  Please remember to wear red, white and blue to all of our patriotic assemblies!

After many years of superb and expert service to the WS PTA, Kelly O'Brien has stepped down as WS PTA President!  Her leadership has taught us about attention to detail, excellent follow through, student-centered decision making, and the definition of the good of the order.  It has been my privilege and pleasure working with Kelly these last four years.  Please join me in thanking Kelly for her dedication and expertise.  Please share our gratitude when you see her at the school or around town! She is an amazing leader and friend to the school.....Thank You So Much, Kelly O'Brien!
 Congratulations to our new PTA Officers:
 Jim Rice - President
 Krissy Preston - Vice President
 Crystal Thibodeau - Treasurer
 Tammy Rice  - Secretary

These positions are all two year terms. Best wishes to each of you.  Thank you for your willingness to serve!

District Band Winners
Congratulations! The following five students were accepted into the District VI Concert Band. Each student put in long hours (actually, weeks or months) of practice to prepare for a very competitive audition against students from all over southern Vermont.  We are thrilled to announce that all 5 of the WS students who tried out were accepted.  They will represent our school at the Winter Music Festival this February.  We are so proud of them:
Daniel Dexter, alto saxophone
Christina Gregory, flute
Gideon Spikes, tenor saxophone
Skylar Swan, percussion
Olivia Turney, percussion

District Chorus
Congratulations to the following 8th grade girls who made district chorus:
Kylee Charest, Carissa Kinsman, Meghan Snide, Elizabeth Godin, Sarah MacLachlan, 
Autumn Sanville
Weathersfield School Walking Program
Weathersfield School Walking Program started Monday, October 28th!  Students come into the school and have a choice to walk around the school with adults. Students must be dressed appropriately for the weather.  If the weather does not permit us to be outside, we either walk in the gym or the area around the locker rooms.  If anyone would like to walk with us, call the school by 7:30 am, as we start walking at that hour.

K-4 Lunch Celebration
As you know, we have some nice additions this year to our K-4 Lunch Program, including restaurant voices and classical music.  Now, we have added a new dimension:  Cafe 118! We have a small room off the cafeteria, room 118, now called Cafe 118, which is decorated for “guests” every day. This room has a table inside, reserved for children who demonstrate model lunch room behavior the previous day. There are 6 to 8 special invitations available each day for children, who deserve to eat in a quiet room, complete with a tablecloth and centerpiece! The lunch room duty personnel have the Cafe 118 invitations and hand them out during a meal when they see children being good role models for others.  There is a guest book available for children to sign the day they dine in Cafe 118.

Thanksgiving Baskets and Christmas Gifts
Mrs. Deb Gurney, Service Group Advisor, along with BJ Esty and the WS Service Group, collected goodies for Thanksgiving baskets again this year. Twenty one baskets were delivered to Weathersfield families. The winner of the pizza party for contributing the most food for the baskets was Grade 5, Mrs. Allen’s class.  Thanks to donations from individuals, two churches, and WS faculty and staff, Christmas was extra special for twenty-three families this December.  What a wonderful, giving, and caring community we have in Weathersfield!

School News Letter
Remember, the community is always welcome to attend any event in our school.  If you would like to receive a copy of our weekly electronic news letter, which outlines weekly and upcoming events, please send a request to Principal Oakman at

Budget Advisory Committee
Special thanks to the Budget Advisory Committee for their hard work and collaboration in helping us to prepare and present the FY 15 School Budget. 
BAC Members this year include:
Kelly O’Brien, PTA and Community Representative
Nathalie Whitney, Community Representative
Gloria Ballantine, Community Representative

Faculty vs Student Basketball Game and Pep Assembly
Kelly Harriman, WS AD, scheduled a pep rally and basketball game, held on Tuesday, November 26th in the gym.  7th and 8th grade boys and girls basketball players took on the faculty and staff in this exciting game! Kelly was the coach for the students.  Nate McKeen was coach for the faculty and staff.  Students on and off the court showed their spirit with posters and pomp oms. We even had two students dress as our mascot, the panther. A good time was had by all! The staff is looking for a rematch even when the score was tied.

Weathersfield School's National Geographic Bee
Weathersfield School held their 25th National Geographic Bee on Wednesday, December 11th.  The following students competed:  Tori Amsden, Kylee Charest, Matthew Fisher, Rand Frazer, Conner Hart, Ozzie Jewett, John MacLachlan, Brooke McKeen, Virginia Snyder, and Caitlin Vollmann.  They all did a great job!  The school's finalists, Matthew and John went head to head for the championship. Matthew Fisher, Grade 7, the winner of the Weathersfield School's Bee, will advance to the next level of the competition, a written examination to determine eligibility as a state competitor.  The state competition will be held on Friday, April 4th, 2014.  All school winners are eligible to win the national championship and its first prize, a $50,000 college scholarship, at the national competition May 19-21, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Thanks to all the competitors, moderator Ginger Wimberg, judges Cathy Dana & Nathalie Whitney, room set up by Gary Graham & Mike Hamlin, and computer/projector set up by Matthew Malkiewicz.

Thank You
A very sincere thank you to the Weathersfield community, parents, students, faculty and staff for the love and respect I have received in my four year tenure here.  This is an amazing school and a wonderful place to live!  The Weathersfield children are the best of the best….smart, funny, energetic and ready to learn.  Thanks for letting me be a part of your heaven!

Respectfully submitted,
JeanMarie K. Oakman, Weathersfield School Principal

Facilities Report
This year we added access control, upgraded the camera system, and replaced some window panes with laminate glass, in an effort to work toward a safer school. We will continue to work with the Emergency Preparedness Committee and the community to keep this school as safe as possible.
Our heating costs have continued to stay consistent.  Last years total was 14,437.92. I expect this year to be similar.

Gary Graham, Facilities Manager Weathersfield School

School Health Services Report 
According to the *CDC (2011), health-related factors, such as hunger, chronic illness, or physical and emotional abuse, can lead to poor school performance. Health-risk behaviors such as substance use, violence, and physical inactivity are consistently linked to academic failure and often affect students' school attendance, grades, test scores, and ability to pay attention in class.

I am very excited to announce that we have started a morning walking program every school day for students to walk for approximately 15 minutes each morning. What a great way to start the day!

The goal of the school health office is to work with teachers to educate students about healthy life choices and the long term effects of good decision making. The health office also treats chronic and acute conditions daily to provide students with the optimal healthy learning environment. School health services are directed toward prevention of disease and promotion of health.

As part of the schools educational team, the school nurse has many roles:
-           Provide health care for acute and chronically ill students
-           Maintains, evaluates, and interprets cumulative health data to accommodate individual
            needs of students. (Participate in IEP, 504 and EST strategy meetings.)
-           Provide ongoing health information to pupils, parents, school staff
-           Arrange health education by professionals in the field
-           Member of the emergency response team
-           In class guest speaker on health topics
-           Conduct annual health screenings. In addition, the school nurse is responsible for 
            completing the state of Vermont survey on Health, Immunizations and Asthma
-           Staff education (Blood Borne Pathogen prevention, Head Lice, First Aid, Chronic Health Issues,                 Infection Control etc.)
-           Initiates referrals to parents, school personnel and community health resources for
            intervention, remediation, medical support and follow through
-           State and local required record keeping

Act One: Is the legislation which requires schools to educate students, school employees and the community on what to look for and how to protect children from sexual predators. The purpose of the act is to increase childhood abuse prevention efforts. All Weathersfield School staff have been trained on Act One. Mrs. Sprague and I will be going in to classrooms the first of the year to begin educating our students on how to protect themselves from sexual predators.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program: Weathersfield School received a grant once again for the 2013-2014 school year to provide a daily, healthy fresh fruit or vegetable snack to all students. The goal of the program is to allow students to experience new fruits and vegetables that they may have never tried before and to encourage healthy eating habits.

Respectfully Submitted,Emily Stevens, RN
*Content Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Athletic Report
The Athletic Policy was revised and approved by the School Board over the summer. The athletic committee has been dissolved and is no longer active as of July 2013.  The School Board voted on this and thought dissolving the committee was the best option to help the new athletic director and assistant athletic director have a more cohesive feeling within the athletic program and more importantly within the school.  New this year is the State of Vermont mandate of ACT 68.  This mandate was put in place to help serve youth athletes who are suspected of having a concussion, due to sport and activity.  ACT 68 requires that all coaches, volunteer or paid, in the state of Vermont have certified concussion training prior to the beginning of the sports season.  Once certified the certification is valid for two years.  Weathersfield School will keep a list of coaches (per sport) and when the certification was completed for said coach.  Weathersfield School has worked up a “protocol” to follow when a student is suspected of having sustained a concussion.  A five step plan, “return to play, return to learn,” is then followed to ensure the student is ready to compete in activity and school work.

This year we are hoping to create sport specific manuals/curriculum for each sport at each level.  This is a major undertaking and we look forward to having something in line, by the Fall of 2014, that helps all coaches teach the sport with progressions that are age appropriate.  We are hoping to tap into local sources to create these manuals and anyone with sport specific expertise is welcomed to help with this project.  We are hoping to start at the grass roots level of Kindergarten and work our way up to grade 8 for the manuals and skill progressions.  We are hoping a project like this directly reflects how our student-athletes measure up when they matriculate into local high school athletic programs.
We continue to be in need of coaches for all sports teams at all levels.  Next up is baseball and softball.  Anyone interested in coaching a team from Kindergarten through 8th grade please contact the school. Local clinics are held throughout the year by the Upper Valley Recreation Association so coaches can feel confident in their knowledge and role as a teacher.  These clinics give additional help and training in coaching.

This past Fall we had soccer teams at all levels from the K-4 programs to the 5-8 programs, number of students participating was 98.  All soccer teams (9) shared the one field here at the school.  We are hoping that the Hoisington Field, in Perkinsville, will be available for next fall, to help ease the load of needed practice times at the school field.  We are currently looking to having the benches in the dugouts replaced (as some are in disrepair at this time). Anyone that can donate materials to this project please contact the school.

Currently we have basketball teams at all levels from our K-2 programs on Saturday mornings to our traveling teams in grades 3-8.  Currently the number of students participating in basketball is 90.
The sports schedules are always posted at the school (main office) and on the school’s website.  Please feel free to attend any sporting event as the student-athletes always appreciate a little extra applause at their events.

We would like to thank the community and parents for their ongoing support of the athletic program.

Kelly Harriman – K-8 Athletic Director                  
Girard LeCouffe – K-8 Assistant Athletic Director

Hicks-Nichols Grant Awards
Each year the Weathersfield School receives money from the trust established by Henry Hicks. The purpose of the Hicks-Nichols fund is to promote and provide for enriching and innovative learning experiences that go beyond what is in the regular school budget.  This past year the committee awarded grants for the following:  Panther Cub Night, Curtains for the Jonathan Crawford Gymnasium stage, Science lab hot plates, Puppets in Education and the All-Community Sing-A-Long with Nick Page.

Many Weathersfield students have benefited over the years because of the generosity of the Hicks family in establishing this grant.  We are most appreciated.

Grant forms will be available in the spring to apply for grants for the 2013-2014 school years.

Hicks-Nichols Committee:
Laura Berry
Tim Herbert
Nathalie Whitney
Jacqui Antonivich
Gloria Ballantine
Kelly O’Brien
Jim Wimberg

2013 – 2014

The use of technology at Weathersfield School is focused on the development of communication, learning, and decision making skills. Our technological tools are selected based on the need to increase student learning within and across the subject areas in order to prepare students for their future in the 21st century. The integration of technology into our curriculum using ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) and NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) Standards is done with the guidance of our SU Tech Integrationist, Art Skerker.

We have continued to implement a dedicated plan to replace the twenty four machines in the Computer Lab over a three year time span. The 2012-2013 school year was the first year of this plan. 8 brand new All-In-One Lenovo ThinkCentre PCs were also purchased for the 2013-2014 School year. This brings our total of new PCs to 16 being utilized by all Weathersfield students.
In addition to our Computer Lab, our current Mobile Laptop Cart, consisting of 24 laptops, brings us closer to the equity and availability of technology resources necessary to cultivate a 21st century learning environment here at Weathersfield School.

As a means of reducing ink cartridge cost and increasing productivity, we have transitioned from having an ink jet printer in each classroom, to a plan that provides printing capability on each floor of Weathersfield School. There is an additional laserjet printer in the Computer Lab.
We have added our second All-In-One SmartBoard this school year, which brings us within one classroom of our goal to have a SmartBoard in every classroom.

Fiber WAN
As broadband needs increase due to instructional requirements, the increased number of devices on the network, as well as online assessment mandates that will begin in the spring of 2014, Weathersfield School took a very big step with the other four schools in the Supervisory Union by signing up for a fiber-optic Wide Area Network connection in 2011. The long wait is over and the fiber was turned-up this fall. The results thus far have been very impressive: download speeds are now roughly 22 times faster, and upload speeds are now 120 times faster!

In anticipation of the fiber turn-up this fall, the SU tech team upgraded all the switches at Weathersfield School this summer from 10/100 to Gigabit (1,000), as well as dramatically increasing the backhaul among the switches with internal fiber.  In addition, Weathersfield School has improved it’s wireless infrastructure by installing 7 new Aerohive Access Points powered by new Cat6 direct runs to the access points.

This new Wide Area Network connection greatly improves our broadband infrastructure and provides the ability to consolidate many of our services.  For example, rather than having a firewall or filter at every school and incurring the cost for renewal and upgrades alone, we can have one firewall and filter to serve all schools. Increased broadband capacity, as well as the ability to share connections, resources, services, and hardware easily across the SU, is a key component moving forward, and will provide an efficient technological learning environment for Weathersfield students who have yet to pass through our doors.

Google Apps
Weathersfield School is part of the Google Apps for Education program across the SU. Google Apps for Education is a suite of free web-based applications, which allow us to communicate and collaborate quickly and effectively. As of December, 2013, over 300 new Google Docs are being created each day.

We are currently in our third year of PowerSchool, the most widely used web-based student information system, and have had success with the PowerLunch component as well as PowerTeacher Gradebook in grades 5-8. PowerSchool and its many features, including PowerLunch, have saved our office and food service staff many hours throughout the school year as they try to balance serving our students, and staying compliant with many new reports mandated by the State of Vermont. We have opened up the parent access portal for grades 5-8 in PowerSchool at Weathersfield. This valuable tool gives parents the means to get a timely view of their student’s progress on a weekly, or even daily, basis in all of their classes. This access is available anytime, from anywhere.

Weathersfield School now has full access to Listen Up! Vermont, a downloadable audio book program provided by the member libraries of the Green Mountain Library Consortium. We have also renewed our current subscriptions to edHelper, Enchanted Learning, and The Math Worksheet Site. These are valuable educational websites utilized by both Full Time and Special Educators.
By purchasing much of our software as a member of our Supervisory Union, we have been able to bring economies of scale and improved purchasing power to software and services that all students and faculty can benefit from across the Supervisory Union. The following software has been purchased this school year in this fashion: Type To Learn 4, an instructional typing program; IXL, a valuable online Math resource in which teachers can track individual student results; Alexandria, our library automation and management software; and SNAP, our nursing software.

Weathersfield School Website
Our school website ( includes the latest news from Weathersfield School, School Board Minutes, Teacher Pages, Organization Pages, Sports Schedules, and links to Educational Websites for Parents and Students. We are currently taking part of a unified content management system, Squarespace, across the WSESU. This provides a platform that will allow us to keep the design as fresh as the content across all the WSESU school websites.
The SU website ( includes a Dashboard feature for important apps for students, faculty, and parents. Our 2012-15 Tech Plan is also on the SU website (

2012-13 School Year Tickets (Tech Requests) and Avg. Open Time
The table below shows the amount of tickets for Weathersfield School and the average open ticket time for the previous school year. Tickets consist of any tech requests, incidents, or problems from faculty and staff that need to be resolved. Our goal is to have all tickets closed within 3 days (24 hours). As you can see, we are surpassing this goal handily.
No. of Tickets
Avg. Open Time (Hrs:Min)
Weathersfield School

It is a pleasure to serve our communities, students, and teachers. We look forward to a new school year.

Respectfully submitted,
Larry J. Dougher, Jr. Chief Information Officer Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union

Windsor Southeast SU Technology Department
Larry Dougher, Chief Information Officer
Art Skerker, Technology Integration Specialist
David Lamb, Senior Technology Specialist
Jonathan McMahon, Building Technology Technician
Matthew Malkiewicz, Building Technology Technician

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