Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oct 12

PTO Meeting at 6:30PM tonight in the CBMS office...y'all come!

Winter Sports Sign-ups are happening on a list outside the PE office.  For more info, please e-mail Dan Gratton
  • Basketball at CBMS- grades 5-8
  • Gymnastics through Anissa's new Waterbury gym- grades 6-8
  • Nordic Skiing through Harwood- grades 7-8
  • Wrestling through Harwood- grades 7-8

Looking for 20+ Volunteers To Help Improve and Expand
The State Complex Trail in Waterbury on Saturday, Oct. 22  Do you want Waterbury to be a bike/pedestrian friendly town?  Then please do your part to make it happen!  Thanks to a generous grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,  Waterbury in Motion is expanding and enhancing the bike/pedestrian trail that runs behind the Waterbury State Office Complex.  Waterbury in Motion is an all-volunteer group striving to develop a safe, accessible, and active bike/pedestrian system in Waterbury and the surrounding area.   

We need 20+ volunteers to help work on the trail on  Saturday October 22  
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM  (drop by anytime)
In the morning, meet at the Hope Cemetery end, on Winooski Street in Waterbury.
During the day, just walk down the trail from Winooski Street, and you'll see the team. (You currently cannot enter at the State Complex end of the trail due to cleanup efforts.)
What to Bring
There will be lots of tools on hand, but bring your own if you‘d like.  If you have a wheel barrow, please bring it.  Wear sturdy clothes, appropriate for weather, that you don't mind getting dirty, and bring water and a snack.
Who to Contact
If you'd like to help, please contact Duncan McDougall at   or   244-0944   Thanks!

From Superintendent Brigid Scheffert, regarding school delays/closings due to weather:

Dear WWSU Families,

It is hard to believe that while we are enjoying a glorious foliage season our winter weather is right around the corner. Before we know it, the snow will start to fall, and with all of its majestic beauty comes unpredictable weather! As you know, from time to time it becomes necessary to delay the start of a school day or close school altogether. Sometimes, reasons other than snow, such as power outages or freezing rain and sleet that arrive at precisely the wrong time can alter the schedule of the day.  Of course, safety is always my top priority when making these decisions. The WWSU spans approximately 42 miles from Warren to Waterbury, and oftentimes the conditions can be quite different.  My years of experience tell me that decisions to close school are often met with dissatisfaction, and I am hoping to do what I can to implement the best possible procedures in our supervisory union.  However, we all know that our Vermont weather can be very unpredictable and often changes drastically in a short period of time.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with our families how these decisions are made. In order to officially count a day for state purposes, certain criteria must be met. Transportation costs also factor into the decision. We try to avoid paying for an additional day of transportation which can be very expensive, and happens if elementary schools are open when the high school is closed and vice versa. I must also give some consideration to whether or not the faculty at large will be able to arrive safely and if we will adequately be able to staff the school for the day.  These are some examples of why if any three elementary schools need to delay or close, the entire district does the same. Also, if the high school needs to delay or close, then the entire district does as well. We need to have approximately 50% of our high school students attending to count the day, maintain the regional calendar, (including the Barre Technical Center), to maintain adequate classroom instruction, and to be responsible with our busing costs and contracts.

I rely heavily on management at the Bus Barn when it comes to evaluating the weather conditions. We have our cell phones set up for alert text messages. If an alert comes in, Steve at the Bus Barn begins gathering information from the National Weather Service. If the storm has already arrived, he checks with all of the town crews for their feedback on their road conditions. Steve regularly monitors the following sources for forecasts and predictions: The Weather Channel, WCAX, WPTZ, NOAA, Weather Underground, VT Agency of Transportation 511website, Agweb, Unisys Weather, Intellicast, CRWS, and last but not least…a stand outdoors! Steve calls me, reports the information, and together we decide between 4 AM and 5:30 how we will call the day.  I try to begin my calls by 5:20 a.m.  Laura Titus, my administrative assistant, calls the television and radio stations and sends out the ALERT NOW messages.

We need to call a delayed opening when a storm hits at a time such that the road crews cannot get their jobs done and the roads simply are not ready for buses to travel on them on time. This can be confusing for folks because often when you go out, the main roads will seem fine. Please remember that back roads can vary quite a bit.

The temperature can sometimes cause a delay. Freezing rain will cause both delays and closings more often than snowfall. If temperatures dip to 25 degrees below zero with the wind chill factor, we will delay if warranted and even close if the predictions should indicate because of the risk of frostbite while waiting at a bus stop. Luckily, we do not see many arctic Vermont days!

Your building principal should have sent home detailed information explaining the best ways for you to receive information about school closings and delays as soon as it becomes available.  Last year, WWSU launched a new messaging and communication system called ALERT NOW, which seemed to work well for everyone.

I would sincerely like to thank all of our WWSU families in advance for your patience and understanding with dealing with delayed openings and/or closed school days. I realize how frustrating it can be if conditions seem fine at your house or on your roads when I call a delay or closing. These decisions are made with all the best, available information possible, in a very short period of time, and taking into account the entire WWSU community. I will do my very best to keep school open whenever I can, while maintaining the safety and security of our greatest resource, our children.


Brigid Scheffert

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