Weekend Update - April 8th, 2022

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Staff:

The last week before the April vacation is always exciting in all of our buildings. As I walked around the schools within the supervisory union, I noticed the special activities that were planned for students. We will find it important as the year winds down to give students and staff more opportunities for social activity. They need to see their friends and they need to interact with others in the school. For almost 2 years, students and staff have been hunkered down in their PODS and were unavailable to each other. It is so important to open up that interaction as we move away from all the COVID restrictions. 

Hats off to the school staff for creating classroom and school-wide activities to help with that interaction.  We will provide COVID antigen test kits to all students today. It would be appreciated if parents would take next Saturday and Sunday to do an antigen test at home. If your student has a positive result, please keep them home after vacation and contact the school nurse. This worked well during the February vacation. Every little bit helps.

Here are a couple of other items for today:

  1. Special Student Recognition: It was so good to see the leadership that one of our students took when Russian troops invaded Ukraine. At the age of 3, Liam Attwood, an 18 year-old Windsor student, was actually adopted out of an orphanage in the province of Kirovohrad, which is about 200 miles south of Kyiv, Ukraine. He took it upon himself to lead an effort to organize over 100 marchers on a 1 mile walk around Windsor in support of a local exchange student and the Ukrainian people in general. It was an amazing act of selflessness and clearly showed his passion to find his role in this terrible tragedy. You can read the full story at this link.  We are so proud of Liam and this is a primary example of students finding their passion and voice. A special thank you to all of the adults that helped facilitate this. Some are mentioned in the story.

  2. Board Meetings: Public participation is always welcomed. It has been good to see so many of our public attending these meetings. I hope it keeps up. It is the only way we all stay informed.  We are now offering hybrid meetings in April. This means that we will have an in-person location and a Google Meet link. We like the fact that using Google Meet has increased our participation so we do not want to move away from that option. The dates for upcoming meetings, locations and links can always be found on the WSESU website. Here are the locations and links for the remaining April meetings:

         Mt. Ascutney School Board Meeting
         Monday, April 11, 2022 @ 6:30 p.m.
         Virtual Link:  https://meet.google.com/pxp-rzzy-ift
         In Person at Windsor School (Room 210, 19 Ascutney St, Windsor)

         WSESU School Board Meeting
         Monday, April 25, 2022 @ 6:30 p.m.
         Virtual Link:  https://meet.google.com/sin-qaws-xpc
         In Person at Windsor School (Room 210, 19 Ascutney St, Windsor)

3. ESSER/ARP Funding: Just another reminder that the Supervisory Union has finished the draft of our ESSER Recovery Plan for Round #3. The full amount we hope to receive for Recovery efforts is $2,610,650. We did have a series of public input sessions and we did survey the public and staff on a couple of occasions. This is the last week for feedback. You can email Angie Ladeau at aladeau@wsesu.net directly or use the comment form on the plan that is posted on the website. You can find the plan here

4. Host Families for Exchange Program:  The Windsor Rotary is looking for potential Host Families for an Exchange Student in the Fall of 2022.  The Rotary Youth Exchange Program gives high school students the opportunity to spend a year abroad. Next fall, Windsor will be sending a student abroad and we are pleased to provide Violet Stanley with the opportunity to spend the 2022-2023 school year studying and living in Brazil. She will be living with host families vetted by her host Rotary Club there.  It will be the experience of a lifetime!

Since this is a true 1 for 1 exchange we will be having an international student joining us here in Windsor! In order for us to have a student join us, we need to provide host families – usually three over the course of the year – for this student.  The preference is for a family that has a child that attends the Windsor School if possible. 

The Rotary Youth Exchange Program is currently accepting applications for the opportunity for you to bring an exchange student into your home. You can find more information about being a host family on the Rotary Student Exchange website.  This can be a very rewarding experience for your family.

If you are willing to consider hosting a Rotary Exchange student, please contact the local Rotary Youth Exchange Officer, Kim Gogan, at kimberly.gogan@wsesu.net or 802 674 8318.   Kim will be happy to answer any questions and walk you through the application process!

5. Food Connects Newsletter:  Craig Locarno, the Director for Food Service at WSESU, was recently interviewed for the April issue of the Food Connects Newsletter about the work he and his staff do each day to promote and support the local food systems in our community and state.  To read the article, entitled “Crafting a Local Lunch: How Windsor High School is Shifting School Meals,” please click HERE.  We applaud Craig and his staff for their continued outstanding efforts.

I think that is it for now.  I want to wish everyone a great vacation next week. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. We will see our students back at school on April 18th, heading for the “home stretch.”  Again, enjoy the break and we will see you soon.

Dr. David Baker