Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sept 30

CBMS Picture Day is this Friday, Oct 5  As indicated in Lifetouch's brochure handed out to students, orders can be made on-line,  prior to picture day (i.e. "pre-pay) OR students can bring their order form and check/money order in with them on the day of picture taking.    If you decide to do the prepay, you will need to print out a "confirmation sheet" that will have a bar code on it and have your child bring that confirmation sheet with him/her on picture day. 
If a student forgets to bring the order form/$$ for picture day, parents have up to 4 days after picture day to place an order on-line. (Every student will have their picture taken on October 5th regardless if an order has been turned in or not.)  Please note that  the prices quoted for the school on the form are only good for up to 48 hours after picture day and orders will not be accepted 4 days after picture day.  Retake Day for paid orders is scheduled for November 16th.

The PTO webpage is new and updated...check it out by clicking here.  Joe Corbi sale is on until October 10th...thanks for supporting the CBMS PTO!

The American Red Cross Babysitting Course will be held on Saturday, October 13 from 8:30-3 PM at Harwood Union. It is available to students 11 years of age or older. Contact Mary Holden at to sign up and receive further details. The class costs $50 and checks should be made payable to "Harwood Union".  You must also email me to get on the list, and receipt of your check will hold your spot...first come first in with a maximum of 10 students.  

The Overscheduled Child:  From our School Counselor Jennie Hempey's Office School is back in full swing, and after our first full week, we are already starting to hear some students complaining about being tired and short on time.  Already anxious, students are presenting themselves, worried about how they will manage completing homework obligations when they also have a full range of extracurricular activities they have become obligated too.  While your children may love their extracurricular activities, we do need to pay attention -  are they overextended?  Is it too much?  

You might ask, isn’t participation a good thing?  The answer is yes, participation in extracurriculars is an important and valuable part of childhood.  “Researchers have shown, children who are involved in such activities reap important benefits. Involvement in sports, for example, is correlated with higher levels of self-confidence and academic performance, more involvement with school, fewer behavior problems and lower likelihood of taking drugs or engaging in risky sexual behavior” (Elkins 2003).  The goal is not to eliminate these activities, but to monitor the toll they have on our kids.  As the adults in their lives, we need to help our students learn appropriate levels of involvement.  We need to help them learn how much is too much and when to say no.  

We all know how it feels to be pulled in too many directions between work and our extra obligations:  anxious, stressed, burnt out.  We need to help our children avoid these same pitfalls.  Helping our kids to create a balance between family, school, and one or two activities is an important skill.   In addition to school and extracurriculars, “children need free time to read, write, think, dream, draw, build, create, fantasize and explore special interests. Such activities promote self-awareness by helping children clarify who they are and what they are truly interested in” (Elikins 2003)

Homework and school obligations have to fit in without causing undue stress.  The rule of thumb here at Crossett Brook is 10 minutes of homework per grade.  So, for example, 6th graders should be doing approximately 60 minutes of homework a night, which includes 20 minutes of reading.  If your child is finding it impossible to “squeeze” this in, maybe it’s time to look at what can be scaled back.   Conversely, if your child is spending an extraordinary amount of time beyond this rule of thumb on homework per night, please contact his/her teachers to discuss what can be done to remedy this situation.  There needs to be a balance here as well.  

“What works best for kids is neither neglect nor over-attention, but a more relaxed family lifestyle...more time devoted to family dinners, conversations with family members, family vacations, experiencing nature, religious education, adult-led spiritual and civic activities such as choirs and service experiences, and more time left with nothing in particular to do except . . . remember this? . . . play.” (Darst Williams 2008)  If you have questions about how to find more balance for your kids and your family there is help available.  Please feel free to call the school counselor’s office here at Crossett Brook, reference the Guidance web page linked from our school web page, or check out the resources below.  


The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap, Alvin Rosenfield, M.D. & Nicole Wise

The Mindful Child, Susan Kaiser Greenland

The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens; Mindfulness Skills to Help you Deal with Stress, Gina M. Biegel, MA, LMFT

An opposing view:,9171,1580388,00.html

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sept 24

Joe Corbi- On-Line Ordering code change- Please note that the "Online Group Code" for Joe Corbi sales has been changed, and is now "18cbms".  Our apologies for any confusion surrounding this change!  A reminder that final orders are due in on October 10th, but online ordering will remain open all year.  Thanks in advance for your support of this fundraiser!

News & Views latest edition can be found at this link -

I read a weekly synopsis of education articles called The Marshall Memo (, and I thought the following synopsis would be of interest to many... 
In this thoughtful New York Times article, clinician/consultant/author Madeline Levine offers advice on how parents can strike the right balance between being overly protective and overly permissive with their children. “The happiest, most successful children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing, or almost capable of doing,” says Levine, “and their parents do not do things for them that satisfy their own needs rather than the needs of the child.” “The central task of growing up,” she continues, “is to develop a sense of self that is autonomous, confident, and generally in accord with reality.” Constant parental monitoring and control interferes with this process, diminishing confidence and distorting reality. It’s difficult for parents to hang back and let children make mistakes, especially during the teen years. “But it is in the small daily risks – the taller slide, the bike ride around the block, the invitation extended to a new classmate – that growth takes place,” says Levine. “In this gray area of just beyond the comfortable is where resilience is born.” Many parents hate to see their kids cry. “If you can’t stand to see your child unhappy, you are in the wrong business,” says Levine. “The small challenges that start in infancy (the first whimper that doesn’t bring you running) present the opportunity for ‘successful failures,’ that is, failures your child can live with and grow from. To rush in too quickly, to shield them, to deprive them of those challenges is to deprive them of the tools they will need to handle the inevitable, difficult, challenging and sometimes devastating demands of life.” Levine draws a distinction between authoritative parenting focused on behavioral expectations – for example, insisting that the child sit down and finish math homework – and psychological control – for example, taking control of the college application process (“We’re applying to Columbia”). The first is good parenting, the second is malpractice, she believes: “If pushing, direction, motivation, and reward always come from the outside, the child never has the opportunity to craft an inside.” “A loving parent is warm, willing to set limits and unwilling to breach a child’s psychological boundaries by invoking shame or guilt,” Levine concludes. It’s also vital that parents set a good example in their own lives. “One of the most important things we do for our children is to present them with a version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for.”

“Raising Successful Children” by Madeline Levine in The New York Times, Aug. 5, 2012, 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sept 21

Grades 7 and 8 "Ice Dance" tonight at the W'bury Ice Center. Skate rentals open at 7:45, ice opens at 8, and the event ends at 9:30.  This is being hosted by Harwood Union Middle School.  

Bus Note Etiquette:  Bus note requests need to come directly from parents.  Written notes in the form of an e-mail ( or a handwritten note delivered by your child are preferred.  If you need to call in a bus note for your child the day of, please make the call prior to 2PM.  Thanks!

Back-2-School Night @ CBMS!  Next Thursday, September 27th, beginning at 6:15PM in the CBMS gymnasium.  This event for parents and guardians is for all grades 5 through 8, and during this evening you will follow your child's schedule in an abbreviated manner.  The evening will wrap up by 8PM. Thanks in advance for being an active partner in Crossett Brook Middle School education!

Intro to Field Hockey clinics for 5th and 6th grade girls.  Harwood is  part of a National program (and the 1st in Vermont!) sponsored by USA Field Hockey to help promote the sport to young girls. We have equipment, space and great coaches to run this afterschool program.  We will host additional clinics in the spring.  On the next several Thursdays (Sept 20, Sept 27, Oct 4, and Oct 11), from 3:00-4:15 Harwood is hosting Intro to Field Hockey clinics for 5th and 6th grade girls.  This will be an opportunity for young girls to “test drive” a new sport!  Former Harwood standout, and current MS Field Hockey Coach, Katarina Lisaius, and some of our Varsity Field Hockey players and coaches will lead games and skill drills for about an hour.  Students will be able to ride the 4:30 late bus home from Harwood.  We will provide sticks and the necessary equipment, and want to encourage lots of girls to participate!  Registration forms can be picked up in the CBMS office.

Equine-Guided Boys Leadership After-School series - check out the E-Community Bulletin Board for details.

Waterbury-Duxbury School District has a vacancy for a Food Service Assistant - Starting date is asap. This is a 30 hour/week position, 5 days/week when school is in session plus additional training and/or meeting times as requested or required. Job requires food preparation, cleaning, and computer data entry. Candidates must be able to work in a high-pressure environment, have prior cooking experience, some computer skills, be able to maintain health code standards, work as part of a team, and lift 50lbs. The ideal candidate would have knowledge of Farm to School Programs and a passion to provide healthy meals to students in grades preschool through 8th grade.  Please submit a letter of interest, resume, and three references to Erika Dolan at CBMS.  (

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sept 16

CBMS PTO MEETING this Wednesday, September 19th at 6:30 PM in the CBMS office.  All are welcome!
PTO JOE CORBI PIZZA FUNDRAISER going on now!  Orders can also be placed online.  Full details can be found by clicking here.   
CBMS PICTURE DAY is Friday, October 5th.   Forms will be coming home soon via the backpack express.  

NECAP Testing will happen on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, Oct. 9, 10, 11, and Oct.16, 17, and 18.  Please try to avoid scheduling appointments during this time so students can take all parts of these assessments when their peers are taking it.

Bus Note  The 4:30 PM bus only stops at major stops along the route from CBMS to Waterbury Center.  

Timing is everything!   School opens at 7:30 and the 1st bell rings at 7:45 when the students report to advisory groups.  After 7:50 AM, students are officially tardy.  Every minute at school counts, so please encourage your child to be on time!  

SES Tutoring - For students who are free/reduced lunch, supplemental educational tutoring is available.  Please send in the green forms that came home in the 1st day packet, and there are also links on the home page.  Please send them in no later than Sept. 28.   You will be contacted by the tutor after Oct. 15 with news.  

Revised October Dance Date- Oct 19th (originally advertised as Oct 26th).  Note- Middle School Dances at both CBMS and HUMS are normally 7-9PM.  The dance this Friday at the Ice Center is the exception (8-9:30PM).  7th and 8th grade parents- please note the following from Harwood Principal Lisa Atwood:  Our first middle school dance for both Harwood Union and Crossett Brook 7th and 8th graders will be held Friday, September 21 at the Waterbury Ice Center. Here is some information I hope will be helpful in understanding our expectations about MS dances  and this dance at the Ice Center.

Lost & Found Note- there is a large tent in the lost & found left over from the Prodigy camping trip.  Also there are fishing poles and tackle box left in the office from the Titan field trip...come get 'em!  

Interested in piano lessons for your child?  Check the E-Community Bulletin Board for more information.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sept 13

CBMS Art teacher Nan Hathaway has just had a book published!  The Learner-Directed Classroom: Developing Creative Thinking Skills Through Art  (co-authored with Diane B. Jaquith).  Congratulations to Nan!  Hiata at Bridgeside Books would love to order it for you!

Grades 5/6 Spelling Team:  A "spell off" to select members of the CBMS 5th and 6th grade spelling team will happen during AG this Friday, in Ms. William's classroom on Team Quest. All 5th and 6th graders are welcome and encouraged to try out!

8th Grade Opportunity!  Each year 30 8th grade Vermont students are chosen to work as Legislative Pages in the Vermont State House.  Serving as a page offers a unique opportunity to observe the inner workings of the legislature and to witness history in the making.  If you are an 8th grade student, are interested in public affairs, and would like to serve as a Legislative Page, visit   Applications are due by October 4th.

Harwood Middle School is hosting a dance for all 7th and 8th graders next Friday, September 21st, from 8:00 to 9:30 PM at the Ice Center in Waterbury. Skate Rentals are $2 and it's $5 to get in. Rentals will be available at 7:45 PM.

For your calendars:

  • CBMS 5th and 6th grade Fun Nights- Oct 26, Jan 11, April 5
  • CBMS 7th and 8th grade Dances- Oct 26, Dec 7, Feb 15, May 17
  • HUMS 7th and 8th grade DancesSeptember 21 (at Ice Center), January 18, March 22, April 12

Info on Mad River Soccer and GMPA MegaRaffle have been added to the E-Community Bulletin Board

Waterbury Vacancy on Harwood School Board - Waterbury Parents: Please consider becoming involved in the greater school community as a School Board Member!  Due to a resignation, there is a vacancy on the Harwood School Board which must be filled as soon as possible.  Applicants must be residents of the Town of Waterbury (which includes Waterbury Center), and not be employed by Harwood or any of the other districts in the Supervisory Union.  The Harwood Union School Board meets on the third, and sometimes the first, evenings of each month.  Letters of interest should be sent to the chair of the Waterbury Town Board, Scott Mackey, at   

Are you a student aged 12 to 17 who would like to help the Waterbury Public Library choose new young adult books and plan programs and activities for teens? Then join the WPL Teen Advisory Group (TAG) and brainstorm some new ideas to make the library more teen friendly. Participation in the group can count towards required community service, or “Change the World” projects, and it will look great on a college resume! The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 18 from 3:30-5 PM. Snacks will be provided! The next TAG meetings are scheduled for October 16 and November 20 at the same times. For more information, contact Michelle at 244-7036, or email:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sept 8

Some timely items of note:

  • We need all of your "1st day packet" health forms, emergency contact, etc. ASAP..please send to the office.
  • Supplementary Educational Services (tutoring for students who qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch) - GREEN sign-up forms are now due.
  • Courtney Ireland is the front desk receptionist/voice you hear when you call. Courtney's e-mail is
  • Club Cougar now full, but we are accepting names for a wait list.
  • Late (4:30 or later start) Soccer after school?  Students must stay in Club Cougar or go home, and we cannot have unsupervised students after school
  • Lost & Found has begun - if you're at school, please check the "Lost & Found" area in the Cafeteria
  • Lunch Times - 11:20 - 11:50 (grades 5/6) and 12:10 - 12:40 (grades 7/8).  
  • Bus Concerns? Best way to resolve them is through direct contact to the Bus Barn at 244-6422.

Box Tops for Education
Boxtops for Education- Yes, we use these!  Please clip your boxtops and send them into the CBMS office anytime.  

Back To School Night for grades 5-8 is Thursday, September 27th from 6:15 - 8:15PM.  

Are you a Target shopper?  "Take Charge of Education" is a Target program for schools - please link your card to CBMS and we will benefit.  

The Common Core Standards will be implemented in Vermont schools beginning fully in the 14-15 school year.  Information for Parents can be found by clicking here.  

Stowe-Morrisville Flag Football on the E-Community Bulletin Board.  Click here for details.  

WDSD School Board Agenda- TUESDAY September 11, 2012
Crossett Brook Middle School Library- 6:00 p.m.

6:00            I.            CALL TO ORDER and CONFIRM AGENDA

6:05            II.            COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC (Note that additional comments from the public will be welcomed throughout the agenda.)

6:10            IV.            DISCUSSION (90 minutes)
A. Interviews for open board seat
B.  Sports For Life Task Force update
C. New Staff reception- discussion as to effectiveness of this event
D. WWSU Preschool Partnership Agreement- annual approval
E. Report on Activity Funds from prior fiscal year
F. Community Bike Path- request for matching funds
G.  Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the schools
H.  Budget Process – expectations, guidelines, timeline

7:40            IV.            PRINCIPALS REPORT - Board Feedback (10 minutes)
A.   Written Report and Recommendations

7:50            V.            WWSU REPORTS            (10 minutes)           
A.   Superintendent’s report

8:00            VI.             OTHER BUSINESS (5 minutes)

8:05            VII.            ACTION ITEMS  (10 minutes)           
A.   Board Minutes (6/12/12)
B.    Board Orders
C.    Principal’s report action items
D.  Adopt Policy Packet #2

8:15            VIII.              CONFIRM TOPICS FOR NEXT MEETING AGENDA (October 9th, 2012 @ CBMS)
Main Topics: Snowplow bids; Budget;

8:20            IX.             EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss personnel issue

9:00            XI.             EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss negotiations


Sunzilla Is Coming Sept. 13On Thursday, September 13 at 5 pm in conjunction with the Waterbury Farmers Market at the Rusty Parker Park, judging will be held for the Nineteenth Annual Waterbury Rotary Sunflower Growing Contest known as The Hunt for Sunzilla, The Monster Sunflower. The Hunt for Sunzilla is cosponsored by Waterbury True Value Hardware, Evergreen Gardens, Sunflower Natural Foods, The Waterbury Farmers Market and the Waterbury Rotary Club. We will be awarding prizes for the tallest sunflower, largest diameter and heaviest sunflower heads. By popular demand we will again have our Sunflower Seed Spitting Contest for both distance and accuracy for kids 12 and younger.(Adults have tried to pass for 12 and younger in the past). We will also continue awarding a prize for the longest and heaviest Zucchinis, known as The Hunt for the Other Green Monster. We recommend that people keep their cars locked following this contest or you could wind up with a year's supply of the fixings for Zucchini Bread in the form of one Zucchini. All contestants should try to bring their entries to the Rusty Parker Park by 4:30 pm. During the event we will again be doing Ice Cream Sundaes for Supper which are do it yourself sundaes for a donation that will be used to help support the construction of a medical clinic in Kenya. For further information check the Waterbury Rotary Website at

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3

Turn your recycling into CBMS Art!  Our art teacher Nan Hathway has a "wish list" posted on her website, which you can access by clicking here.  

A number of you have asked about the "Lost Generation" video that was shown at last week's new student orientation.  This video makes you think about how we raise and education our youth.  Check it out at

Club Cougar, the CBMS after-school program, begins this week.  Details can be found on the CBMS homepage.  

The E-Community Bulletin Board hosts many community events (GMPA information just added)  We keep this website current in lieu of sending flyers home in those things we call "black holes" (aka backpacks!) The link to this site is off the parent link from the CBMS website, or you can access directly by clicking here.

CBMS 7th and 8th grade soccer schedules can be found online by clicking here.