Thursday, February 11, 2016

Feb 12

Our Food Service Program now has a Facebook page!  The goal of the page is to promote our program to parents and other national and local organizations.  Please like our page and share so more people can like it! Erika Dolan will be updating as much as she can.   Click here to view.

Cougar Kudos and a huge Thank You to our PTO for hosting and rallying the grades 5/6 Basketball Tournament again this year!


Your Voice Is Important!  The Washington West Supervisory Union Community Coalition invites you to participate in a discussion about the future of learning in WWSU through a series of Community Conversations taking place in March 2016. Community Conversations, also known as the Study Circle process, is a forum for community discussion, debate and feedback regarding teaching and learning in the schools of WWSU.  Come prepared to talk about ways for students to be prepared for the future, find ways the community can engage to support our learners, and have a voice in the future of educating all of our children.  Click here for more information.


#3 of the Top 10 Reasons for Moving to 1:1 Learning Technology Although it was never promised, 1:1 learning with technology has improved standardized test scores in writing, reading, and math. More importantly, it has resulted in greater student engagement and willingness for students to persevere in what has been called “hard fun” in science and other areas.

7th Grade Parents- take note!  Over the last several years, Crossett Brook’s 7th graders have been the recipients of a project aimed at building self-esteem through a demonstration of love and appreciation from those around them.  This project was implemented with an eye towards improving character, teaching respect for self and others, and building self-worth.  It is my belief that the more confident and happy one feels about him/herself, the more successful he/she will be in creating positive relationships with family, friends, and community members.   Lift-Up Letters, as they have come to be known, were an idea which we implemented in our former guidance classes with great success! Click here to get more details.  


      


Lego Mindstorms NXT Robot Beginners 2 Class – With Challenges - Instructor: Mike Maloney

This is level 2 beginners’ class. You will review skills learned in level 1 beginner class and then take it to the next level with both building and programming challenges. You will learn to use sensors and add loop and switch instructions, possibly adding a third motor. You will build robots to meet the constraints presented in a variety of challenges based on your skill level. There will be instructions followed by hands on training activities leading to challenges to put what is learned into practice. Working in pairs, students will apply the engineering process to learn about planning, designing, building, programming, testing, problem solving and team work. This is a class where you will work hard and have fun learning.

Who should attend: New or experienced students are welcome!

This class will fun for 5 consecutive Tuesdays, starting March 15th. The cost is $75. To sign up, click here.




Waterbury-Duxbury School Tax Rates Declining
The Waterbury-Duxbury School Board (WDSD) worked diligently to adopt a budget for 2016-17 that contains reductions to our base spending.  Although overall school spending increases modestly due to rising health insurance costs and contractually obligated increases in labor costs, we estimate that education property tax rates in Duxbury and Waterbury will be decreasing by 6.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.  
We believe this budget demonstrates our commitment to cost containment and property tax relief, without negative impact on student learning and while still investing in the continuous improvement of our schools.  We ask for your support of this budget, and the tax rate decreases, at the polls on Town Meeting Day on March 1st.
The WDSD’s administration did an excellent job finding savings and offering options— including an innovative reconfiguration of administration and ways to save on routine supplies—that should reduce upward budgetary pressures in the future.   Our adopted 2016-17 budget eliminates one administrative position at Crossett Brook Middle School in favor of a more unified approach to special education administration across the two schools.   This change represents a large percentage of the reduction in base spending and we believe it will improve continuity for special needs students and the overall quality of educational services.
It’s important to note that we considered two other options in detail.  Each would have increased spending further with no measurable impact on student learning and  each would have resulted in higher taxes.  At the end of the day, with diligent management from our administrative team, we were able to settle on a budget that prioritizes existing investments in the quality of our classrooms (base spending on kids will actually increase 1.5 percent) and leverages the state’s complex property tax system to deliver the first property tax rate reduction in many years.
This year variables in the statewide property tax formula have aligned in our favor.  With some creativity, the administrative team was able to contain growth to a level that is in line with growth in our economy and in wages over the last several years and allow us to provide some relief to taxpayers and maintain core investments in educational quality.
Additionally, the administrative changes position our district to advocate for additional organizational enhancements and substantial cost savings measures as the implementation of Act 46 – last year’s school consolidation legislation passed by the Legislature – proceeds within the supervisory union.   To be sure, the tax relief provided in this budget will be fleeting if we do not take advantage of the opportunity the Legislature has provided us to rethink—in partnership with our neighbors—how we’re delivering education at the elementary and middle school levels. 
Our work on Act 46 will likely bring forth a merger proposal from the Supervisory Union’s study committee this spring.  Since we already educate all of our high school students as one community there’s little reason to think we cannot also offer our elementary and middle school students more and better opportunities, while also lowering costs for taxpayers, in a similar model.  That’s the opportunity provided by Act 46.
As our discussions continue we hope you’ll take the opportunity to become informed and involved.  Our goal is to make further improvements in both the quality and cost of local education.
Please join us at the WDSD Annual Meeting on February 25th at 5:30 in the Thatcher Brook Primary School library to learn more about this year’s budget.  Comments and questions from the public are always welcome. 
Respectfully submitted by:
Reed McCracken, WDSD Chair
Jason Gibbs, WDSD Vice Chair

Thursday, March 10th, at 6 pm, nationally recognized presenter and author Scott Noyes will be at Waitsfield School to speak about Power Struggles and children. Scott focuses upon positive discipline approaches with appreciation for the complexity of chilcren, as evidenced in his latest book, "This Child is Driving us Crazy, What Should we do?"   Scott's presentation will explore what effective responses to power struggles look like and how to turn power struggles into learning experiences.   Thank you to the Waitsfield PTA for bringing this opportunity to our community; the presentation is free to all. Additionally, childcare is available (including pasta dinner); please contact Kathi Orr at korr@wwsu.org or 496-3643 to reserve childcare.


Crossett Brook Middle School
CROSSETT BROOK MIDDLE SCHOOL
DON'T MISS OUT!
The 2016 Yearbook
is almost
here!!!

Memories to last a lifetime!

Order by March 1st!
ORDER NOW
BUY TODAY
Customize your student's Crossett Brook Middle School yearbook with their name, hobbies, passions, and accomplishments and keep the 2015-16 school year alive forever. Hurry, time is running out!




Upcoming Dates of Note:
  • 2Nite! February 12- Grades 7/8 Dance @ CBMS- 7-9PM. $5 admission.
  • February 16- Combined grades 5-8 Chorus and grades 7-8 Band concert - HUHS auditorium- 7PM
  • February 19- Last Day of Trimester 2
  • February 19- Winter Carnival @ CBMS, ending with the 8th Grade vs Staff Hoops game at 1:30.
  • February 22-March 1- Winter Break- school resumes on Wednesday, March 2nd
  • February 25- Annual School Meeting- TB Library- 5:30PM

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