Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oct 30

Upcoming Dates of Note  
  • Early Release Day (noon dismissal)- Wednesday, Nov 6
  • PTO Screening of "Bully"- CBMS cafeteria- Thursday, Nov 7th- 6:30-8:30PM
  • School Board Meeting- Tuesday, Nov 12 - 6PM - CBMS library
  • PTO Meeting- Wednesday, Nov 13- 6:30PM - CBMS library
  • CBMS Concert- Wednesday, Nov 20- 5-8 Band and Chorus- 7PM start
  • Parent Conferences- Nov 25, 26
Advisory Group, or AG as we call it at CBMS, is an integral and important part of any developmentally appropriate Middle School, CBMS included.  At the core of this structure is advocacy and connectedness, and assurance that each and every child at CBMS is well-known by at least one adult staff member.  Our AG groups are purposely small, with 7-9 students per AG, and each AG includes a mix of students from grades 5-8.  Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) are coming to Vermont Schools beginning next year, and we will be looking hard at the AG structure to see if this is the engine to drive PLPs.  For more on Middle School Advisory in general, click here to read a good article from the Association for Middle Level Education.  

Fall Parent Conferences for grades 5-8 are happening on Monday, November 25th and Tuesday, November 26th, between 3PM and 8PM.  Sign-ups will be on-line again this year, and the system will open up on Wednesday, November 13th and close on Wednesday, November 20th.  Details on how to sign up will be coming via a Cougar Comments next week.  

“Looky Loos” - An ART Commission! CBMS artists were recently commissioned to produce and install an artwork to cover the windows between the learning center and the library.  The artists determined that since everyone who goes by the learning center tends to “looks in,” the artwork displayed there should be the opposite – people “looking out.” Artists in grade 5 & 6 volunteered to create glue resist pastel paintings to fit this space. Drop by the learning center and “look in!” Many thanks to the artists who contributed to this project: Kylee Aldrich, Sarah Kate Smith, Annie Foregger, Izzy Lamphere, Sierra Hayes, Kaylee Forkey and Maggie Alberghini.  Continued work is underway to add an artwork in the inside window-surface, so folks inside the learning center will have an improved view.

E-Community Bulletin Board- Notes have been added for the GMPA Nutcracker and a fundraiser for Tyra Izor - Click Here to access.

Solar Note from Jason Gibbs, WDSD School Board Member and Duxbury Resident- this message was posted to the Duxbury Front Porch Forum last week
Solar Energy @ CBMS
As the facilities and maintenance liaison for the Waterbury-Duxbury School Board, I'd like to offer some useful background on the 150 kW solar array under construction at CBMS.  

In partnership with local partners Green Lantern Capital and SunCommon, we are excited to be moving forward with installation of a 150-kilowatt solar energy system at Crossett Brook Middle School in Waterbury.

Under the terms of an innovative financing agreement with Green Lantern Capital, the school district is guaranteed to generate more than $4,000 each year in revenue, with none of the risk of owning a system and the option of purchasing the array (and all of the financial value of its generation capacity) in later years.

More specifically, Green Lantern Capital is Vermont’s first tax-equity financing program for solar projects. Their offering provides the school district with free installation and immediate savings on utility bills. It will also give us a chance to effectively evaluate the longer-term potential of the solar energy system to determine if the school would like to purchase it at a steep discount in the future, perhaps as low as 55 percent off the original price.

For the school, there is no operational, maintenance or insurance cost — these are covered under the terms of the agreement. This is an important point: There is no upfront, or ongoing cost to the school district under the terms of this agreement.

The school board is excited about saving taxpayers more than $4,000 each year, and we are equally enthusiastic because we believe it will serve as an educational opportunity for our students and community as a whole. Hosting this solar energy system will save us money, set an example and provide a real contribution to local, clean energy production in our communities. 

In fact, combined with energy efficiency measures, existing rooftop solar panels and our sustainability program, this system makes our school district the most environmentally responsible and energy efficient in Vermont -- proving schools can be leaders in energy innovation and save money.  

Procedurally, the project was on the agenda of monthly meetings of school board for nine (9) months beginning first in November of 2012. Agendas are publicly available in advance of each meeting and each meeting is publicly warned. Several news stories in the Waterbury Record noted discussions on this project.

Before voting to move forward we also advertised and hosted a special meeting on the project. The special meeting was promoted in the Waterbury Record, mentioned in a news story, and addressed in a letter to the editor that I penned encouraging community members who could not attend the meeting to contact us directly with their questions and comments.   The special meeting focused on providing community members the opportunity to see the foot print (the footprint of the array was staked out for a month prior to the special meeting and those stakes were left in place for several months after), view the computer aided designs, audit the financials, ask questions and express their opinions. A half-dozen community members participated in this meeting. There were no objections raised at that meeting, or any of the 8 previous public meetings where the topic was discussed, but a lot of very good, probing questions were asked and answered. 

Minutes for each of the board meetings can be viewed here:  

In addition to the 10 public meetings, I spoke with Waterbury LEAP, solar panel manufactures and installers, legislators, prospective investors and municipal officials who have, or are pursuing, solar energy systems (including some who have worked with our third party financing partner). With all of this input in mind, and with guidance from mutiple sources, we issued a Request for Information (RFI) that produced a variety of options for our consideration. These options helped us to narrow the design and financing options.  We later issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) -- which we issued twice to ensure we had options to consider -- and narrowed those responses down to a preferred option after hearing presentations from the two finalists at one of our public meetings.

At the board's request, the supervisory union's finance director conducted a comprehensive and independent financial analysis of the most attractive financing option.  This financial analysis was revisited, and reevaluated, at other key milestones -- including when we selected a final installer and before we signed an agreement.  Ultimately, it was this financial analysis -- coupled with a financing option that significantly limits the district's downside risk -- that lead to the board's unanimous vote to proceed. Please note that our final agreement was also reviewed in great detail, and at multiple points, by our attorney.

As for regulatory oversight, energy projects are regulated by the Public Service Board under what is known as Act 248 (Which is like Act 250 for energy projects).  Given the location, generation capacity and public process this was squarely within the board's jurisdiction.  

As you can see, the solar array will be placed on slightly less than an acre on the southwest side of the hill in front of the school, above the athletic field near the entrance.  It connects directly to the school's power system and from there to the power grid.  It is not, in any way, related to any other proposed project in Waterbury or Duxbury.  

Thank you for your interest in this project and the opportunity to share more details with more neighbors.

If you have any other questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me or other members of the board.  

All the best,

Jason Gibbs

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oct 24

E-bus Notes- the Greenest way to alert us of after school changes for your child! Click here and click on the E-Bus note link.

Lunch Balances can be checked on PowerSchool!

Mad River Soccer info has been added to the E-Community Bulletin Board

2-Nite!  From Harwood Union High School:

Dear Families of CBMS and Harwood Community Members:
On Thursday, October 24th Harwood Union will conduct the brainstorm phase for developing a vision of education for the 21st Century. The outline for this process can be accessed by clicking here.  The greatest strength of this process is the opportunity for people to get together and share in a dialog centered on our beliefs and values for a quality education.  However, we also understand that scheduling conflicts exist.  To that end, if you would like to contribute, but are unable to attend, then you may submit responses to me and we will include them in the collation process.  Please know there will also be a future opportunity to participate as we revise and fine tune the vision.
Be well and let me know if you have questions. or 882-1142.  Hope to see you at Harwood on Thursday.
Amy Rex, Co-Principal

From the WWSU:

Dear WWSU Families,

It is hard to believe that while we are enjoying this unusually 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 from one end to the other.  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 supervisory union does the same.  Also, if the high school needs to delay or close, then the entire supervisory union does as well.  We need to have approximately 50% of our high school students attending to count the day, to maintain the regional calendar (including 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 511 website, 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 and 5:30 a.m. 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 Blackboard Connect messages (formerly AlertNow).

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 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. WWSU uses a messaging and communication system called Blackboard Connect (formerly AlertNow), which seems 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 or greatest resource, our children.


Brigid S. Scheffert
Superintendent of Schools

Upcoming Dates of Note  
  • Grades 7/8 Dance @ CBMS - Friday, Oct 25th - 7-9PM
  • Staff vs 8th Grade Soccer Game- Friday, Nov 1 - 1:30PM
  • Early Release Day (noon dismissal)- Wednesday, Nov 6
  • PTO Screening of "Bully"- Thursday, Nov 7th- 6:30-8:30PM.  
  • School Board Meeting- Tuesday, Nov 12 - 6PM at CBMS
  • PTO Meeting- Wednesday, Nov 13- 6:30PM at CBMS
  • Parent Conferences- Nov 25, 26

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oct 20

CBMS X-Country Ski Program at Trapp's - Thursday afternoons beginning in late December- click here to access all the info on this program.  

Child sick?  Please note that for an absence to be consider "excused" we need to hear from you to let us know that your child will be absent.  244-6100 or are the contacts for this.  

Grades 7/8 Dance this Friday, Oct 25th at CBMS, sponsored by Team Titan!  $5 at the door for admission, and there will be snacks for sale.  Note that your child does not need a permission slip for dances.  Costumes are encouraged, but no masks or fake weapons, please!  Please plan on picking your child up promptly at 9PM!

Joe Corbi delivery this Tuesday!  We are looking for volunteers to help unload the truck, set up and distribute the orders.  The truck should be here at 2:30, and set up continues until 4.  Between 4PM and 6PM we also need a few people to help with distributing the merchandise as people come in.  We would love all the help we could get from parents, and if anyone has any questions please call Missy Semprebon  at  373-4546 or email  

GMPA information has been posted on the E-Community Bulletin Board- click here to read it all.  

Upcoming Dates of Note  
  • Joe Corbi pick-up- Tuesday, Oct 22nd.  3-5:30
  • Grades 7/8 Dance @ CBMS - Friday, Oct 25th - 7-9PM
  • Early Release Day (noon dismissal)- Wednesday, Nov 6
  • PTO Screening of "Bully"- Thursday, Nov 7th- 6:30-8:30PM.  
  • School Board Meeting- Tuesday, Nov 12 - 6PM at CBMS
  • PTO Meeting- Wednesday, Nov 13- 6:30PM at CBMS
  • Parent Conferences- Nov 25, 26

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oct 15

This Wednesday!  Best Lunch in Town! Celebrate "Farm to School Month" and enjoy a meal with your Middle Schooler! $4.50 includes Misty Knoll Chicken, Homemade Vegetable Tart with Pesto (Basil from Green Mountain Harvest and Cabot Cheddar), Red Hen Rolls, Corn Chowder
Caesar Salad (Romaine from Green Mountain Harvest), Apple Sauce (Owl's Head Farm and Milk & Full Salad Bar included.  Grades 5/6 eat at 11:20, and grades 7/8 eat at 12:10.  Come join us!

Crossett Brook Middle School breaks ground on the largest 
school solar project in Vermont!

CBMS your solar here email
Hi Friend in Solar,

I'd love for you to join me and my friends at Waterbury LEAP and Crossett Brook Middle School to celebrate and observe the ongoing installation of Vermont’s largest school solar system. 

At our “Solar Show & Tell” event we'll be talking about this exciting solar project and how much money the school will save on their electric bills. You'll also have the opportunity to join other Waterbury and Duxbury solar homeowners and benefit sustainability education at Crossett Brook by taking the Solar for Scholars Challenge!

CBMS cool graphic for email 3
You're Invited to the 
Solar Show and Tell!
When: Friday October 18, 2013 
at 2:30pm
Where: Crossett Brook Middle School
5672 Route 100 - Duxbury, VT
Gathering adjacent to the soccer field and the new solar install! 

Mike McCarthy
SunCommon Solar Organizer

The Lego Club is Back at the Waterbury Public Library!  Starting October 30, The Waterbury Library’s Theme-Based Lego Club with Mike Maloney will meet on Wednesdays, from 3 to 4 PM, for kids in grades 4 - 6.  Registration is required and space is limited, so sign up today by calling 244-7036. On early dismissal days, the Lego Club will meet from 1 – 2 PM.

Parenting Circle Saturday Mornings- check out the E-Community Bulletin Board for more info!

Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. The documentary film BULLY, directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families.  The CBMS PTO is showing this film on Thursday, Nov 7th, beginning at 6:30PM in the Cougar Cafetorium.  A brief discussion will happen after the film.   BULLY is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy “kids will be kids” clich├ęs, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.  Parents play a vital role in supporting their kids, promoting upstander rather than bystander behavior, and teaching and modeling empathy in the home.  Please note this is rated PG 13.
Upcoming Dates of Note  
  • Crunch at Lunch...come have lunch with your child - Wednesday, Oct 16th
  • Solar Show & Tell- Friday, Oct 18th- 2:30PM at CBMS
  • Joe Corbi pick-up- Tuesday, Oct 22nd.  3-5:30
  • Grades 7/8 Dance @ CBMS - Friday, Oct 25th - 7-9PM
  • Early Release Day (noon dismissal)- Wednesday, Nov 6
  • PTO Screening of "Bully"- Thursday, Nov 7th- 6:30-8:30PM.  
  • School Board Meeting- Tuesday, Nov 12 - 6PM at CBMS
  • PTO Meeting- Wednesday, Nov 13- 6:30PM at CBMS
  • Parent Conferences- Nov 25, 26

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oct 8

No School for Students on Monday, Oct 14th.  

Please be considerate of the Handicap Parking Spaces in front of the building.  These are only for handicap access, and not for general drop-off purposes!

Local Crunch at Lunch on October 16th!  Parents are invited to join us in the Cougar Cafe for our 1st ever “Local Crunch at Lunch” event on Oct 16th.  Please call CBMS at 244-6100, or e-mail Dona Culver at, by October 11th to make a reservation.  Let’s celebrate and enjoy a meal together.  Don’t miss the opportunity to “crunch” a local meal with your child!

Winter Sports sign-ups are now happening online. Students should go to the CBMS Athletics webpage to sign up for any of the following school-based sports.  If you have questions, contact athletic director Dan Gratton at 
• Basketball (grades 5-8)
• Gymnastics (grades 6-8 only)
• Nordic Skiing (grades 6-8 only)
• Wrestling (grades 7 & 8 only)

Stowe Ski and Ride Program - We're headed into another year up at Stowe Mountain. Registration for the Ski and Ride program is now underway for 5th-8th graders, and if you are interested in joining please click on this link.  On the website you will find our opening information and two forms that must be printed in order to sign up for the program. Please read all the information very carefully as forms that are not filled out correctly will be returned. There is a maximum amount of students that we take in the program so get your paperwork in soon! We'll begin taking forms today through Oct 25th, or until the program is full, whichever comes first.  If you have questions please don't hesitate to email us at  Leslie Proteau & Anne Latulippe - Program Coordinators.

Request from TB for CB students who get the bus from TB in the morning- We are requesting that all CBMS students arrive here at TBPS as close to 7:30AM as possible. Supervision in those areas does not begin until just before 7:30AM. 

Checked out the E-Community Bulletin Board lately?   

American Red Cross Babysitting Course - The American Red Cross Babysitting course will be held at Harwood Union on Saturday, November 2nd and another section on November 16th from 8:30-3PM. Participants must be 11 years of age or older..  Class size is limited to 12 and the cost is $55 which includes certificate, book and CD. To register and for further information, contact Mary Holden at or 882-1114.

Piano looking for a good home - CBMS has a piano that is having trouble holding a tune.  Great looking unit, but it needs some work to get it into order and we have enough working pianos to meet our needs.  Free to a good home, and transporting this unit out of school is on you.  If you are interested, contact Wade Cole at

Inspired Parenting Series - Hannah’s House is pleased to announce  a workshop series designed to help families  learn new strategies for creating more peace in the home.  The next workshop will be held on  October 23rd  6-7:30pm, at the Warren Elementary School.  This workshop is titled “Small Town Livin’ -Why, what did you hear?” and will be presented by Kevin Gallagher, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor from Optima in Burlington VT.   Kevin became a counselor after trying his hand as an elementary school teacher, a stockbroker and an investment banker. For almost 20 years, he has been working as a counselor, educator, consultant and speaker promoting healthy communities.  Free childcare will be provided with advance notice. Hannah’s House, Inc  is a 501c3 nonprofit  in Waitsfield  dedicated to helping support the emotional well being of families; this includes learning new ways to manage anxiety and stress in families and increase skillful parenting. For more information see

Upcoming Dates of Note  
  • NECAP Testing- Oct 9, 10
  • CBMS PTO Meeting- Tonight!  Wednesday, Oct 9th- 6:30PM in the CBMS Library.  
  • Social Media Education Night- Thursday, Oct 10th- 6PM in the HUHS Library. 
  • No School for Students- Monday, Oct 14th.
  • Joe Corbi pick-up- Tuesday, Oct 22nd.  3-5:30.
  • Grades 7/8 Dance @ CBMS - Friday, Oct 25th - 7-9PM

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Oct 2

This Friday Night is Grades 5/6 Fun Night - 7-9PM - $5 and a Permission Slip for admission- click here to access the permission slip!

Cougar Cafe menu for October is now online.

Joe Corbi orders were due on Monday Sept 30th, but it is not too late to get those orders in!  If you have orders are in a backpack or locker we need them by Thursday 10/3/13.  Any orders turned in after that will be returned.  Please ask your student if they have turned them in and pass on this information to the CBMS office.  

CBMS Picture Day is this Friday! Every year they change. Every year we help you remember. 

Lifetouch supports your school in many ways throughout the year. To thank you for ordering your child's school pictures online, you'll get 10% off* your total order. 

Picture Day ID: VJ173081Y0

Coupon Code:  SAVE10

Contact Us    |    Privacy Policy
© Lifetouch 2013
*Terms & Conditions:
Offer is only available until December 31, 2013 on orders placed before 11:59pm HST.   Coupon code must be entered at checkout when you order on Not valid for adjustments on prior purchases or after the promotional period, or with any other offer. Products, prices, availability, and offers are subject to change without notice. Lifetouch National School Studios has the right to cancel an order due to altered, unauthorized, or ineligible use of discount.

Lego Robotics Club Update- note that dates have been changed for this club, with the first session happening on Mondays - Oct 7, 21, 28, Nov 4 and 11.  The second session, if we have numbers, will happen on Mondays - Nov 18, 25, 2, 9, 16.  Our apologies for the confusion.  Updated sign-up form can be found by clicking here.  

Wednesday, Oct 9th is Bike and Ride to School Day. Volunteers are most welcomed.  We will convene at 7AM at Rusty Parker Park, and head to CBMS via walking or riding at 7:10 sharp!  The CBMS contact for this event is Wade Cole -

There are many ways to help support the PTO.  This form is meant to give you an overview of all the different events the PTO does throughout the year. We have set this up so you can view the different events and see the number of people we need to make the event happen.  We hope to get as many of you involved as possible.  Being involved means as little as signing up for for one activity to help run/organize.  Your participation counts.  We are hoping for volunteers to sign up for events happening in September- December. A new form will go out for events January- June.  Thank you for taking the time to look it over and add your name to events you can help out with!  Click here to access. 

Supporting our Youth: Social Media Education Night -Join local professionals for part of our ongoing series for parents and community. Thursday, October 10th, 2013 - 6pm, HUHS Library.  Dialogue to include professionals from:
  • Internet Crimes Against Children
  • Prevent Child Abuse/Technicool
  • Circle Vermont
  • Harwood Administration
Please contact Linda King -, 882-1125 
or Mara Urban -, 88201111 if you have any questions. 

Upcoming Dates of Note  
  • NECAP Testing- Oct 3, 8, 9, 10
  • Back to School Night (all grades)- Thursday, Oct 3rd (begins at 6:15PM)
  • School Picture Day- Friday, Oct 4th
  • Grades 5/6 Fun Night @ CBMS- Friday, Oct 4th- 7-9PM
  • WDSD School Board Meeting- Tuesday, Oct 8th- 6PM in the CBMS Library
  • Bike-Walk to School Day- Wednesday, Oct 9th- meet at 7AM in Rusty Parker Park, and head to school at 7:10 sharp! 
  • CBMS PTO Meeting- Wednesday, Oct 9th- 6:30PM in the CBMS Library.  
  • Social Media Education Night- Thursday, Oct 10th- 6PM in the HUHS Library.