Friday, December 30, 2016

Dec 30

Proficiency-based Grading and Reporting Forum​ - Thursday, January 5th. 6-7:30pm in the HUHS Auditorium. The focus of the forum will be grading and reporting​, and ​will include a presentation by ​CBMS Principal Tom Drake, Harwood Union Co-Principal Amy Rex, and Director of Curriculum Sheila Soule.​ The forum will include a presentation that explains the new progress report card, and general information of student-centered learning and grading and reporting. This will be followed by a period of question and answer.

Looking for skate donations!  There is a bin in the CBMS lobby if you have any skates going unused in your house.  The CBMS skating rink should be ready to go within the next two weeks, cold weather depending.  

Staffing Update- Matt Avery is taking over the band reins from Dan Liptak beginning Jan 3rd.  Dan will be on a paternity leave until Town Meeting Day.  Matt can be reached at 

After-school snowshoeing and backcountry skiing groups.  E-Community Bulletin Board has the info - Click here for details.  

Ponderable:  “For a lot of kids, the classroom is a social minefield. When kids are entering middle and high school, the idea of what it means to be cool or popular is changing…putting forth effort is a really vulnerable thing.” Sarah Kiefer, from “The Ins and Outs of Academic Help Seeking” by Sarah McKibben in Education Update, December 2016.

Upcoming Dates of Note 
  • Jan 3- School resumes
  • Jan 4- Stowe Ski-Ride program begins - details here
  • Jan 4- HUUSD Board meeting- 6pm- HUHS Library - relevant documents can be accessed here
  • Jan 5- Proficiency-based Grading & Reporting Forum- 6-7:30pm in the HUHS auditorium
  • Jan 11- CBMS PTO meeting- 6:30pm in the CBMS Library 
  • Jan 11- HUUSD Board meeting- 6pm- HUHS Library - relevant documents can be accessed here
  • Jan 12- PTO parent presentation- Safe Technology- 5:30- CBMS Library 
  • Jan 16- MLK, Jr Day- No School for Students today 
  • Jan 20- Grades 7/8 Dance @ HUMS- 7-9pm 
  • Jan 25- HUUSD Board meeting- 6pm- HUHS Library - relevant documents can be accessed here

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dec 16

Many thanks to Berlin City Kia for awarding CBMS the following generous grants:
  • Tech Ed- $1,000.00 to replace the aged and ailing TV
  • Team Wizards- $1500 for standing desks
  • Library- $500 for high interest/low level books, to meet the needs of our struggling readers

Winter Wednesday Program- new to CBMS this year! We have created this program to promote movement opportunities for those students not going to Stowe for the Ski/Ride program. The offerings are still being firmed up, but right now include: Ice skating, X-country skiing, Snowshoeing, Woods adventures (fire/shelter building, animal tracking), Volleyball, Basketball, Sledding, Strength & Conditioning, and Yoga. Students will be signing up for offerings next week, and this program will begin in the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan 4th.

CBMS Basketball Team Schedules can be found here

HUMS Team Schedules (nordic skiing, wrestling, and gymnastics) can be found here. 

Wizards Food Drive:  Please bring in canned food and other non-perishable food items to donate to the Duxbury food shelf.  The food drive will be on until Dec 22nd, and there is a collection box in the front lobby.  Thanks for participating!

Ponderable:Student engagement in school is fundamental to positive educational and life outcomes, including learning, achievement, graduation, and persistence in higher education. By contrast, disengagement can be a precursor to negative outcomes, including low achievement, social and emotional withdrawal, and dropping out.” Kristy Cooper, Tara Kintz, and Andrew Miness. From “Reflectiveness, Adaptivity, and Support: How Teacher Agency Promotes Student Engagement” by Kristy Cooper, Tara Kintz, and Andrew Miness in American Journal of Education, November 2016

Next Cougar Comments will be on Dec 31. Happy, Safe, and Restful Holidays to you all!

Upcoming Dates of Note

  • Dec 21- 5:44am- Winter begins!
  • Dec 22- All-School Music Assembly- Peace in the Valley- 1:45-2:30 
  • Dec 23- break until Jan 3 
  • Jan 4- Stowe Ski-Ride program begins 
  • Jan 11- CBMS PTO meeting- 6:30pm in the CBMS Library 
  • Jan 11- HUUSD Board meeting- 6pm- HUHS Library 
  • Jan 12- PTO parent presentation- Safe Technology- 5:30- CBMS Library 
  • Jan 16- MLK, Jr Day- No School for Students today 
  • Jan 20- Grades 7/8 Dance @ HUMS- 7-9pm 
  • Jan 25- HUUSD Board meeting- 6pm- HUHS Library

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dec 9

PowerSchool Tip- the screenshot above is an example of what it will look like when you log on to PowerSchool.  In the past, when we gave grades, you would click on the grade to show the assignments behind that grade.  Now, in the world of proficiencies, you will simply click on the dashes ("--") next to the class and under the appropriate marking period (T1 is trimester 1, S1 is semester 1, etc).  With proficiencies, B means 'beginning', E is for 'emerging', P stands for 'proficient', and AD equals 'advanced'.

Greetings from your PTO! As you know, it has been a whirlwind of fundraising for all of us this past month…Fun Night, poinsettias, wreaths and fudge, oh my. 

A giant THANK YOU to the brave parents who chaperoned our 2nd Fun Night last Friday, and to those of you who sent in sweet treats and healthy snacks for all to enjoy. We raised $915 and had a festive evening with incredibly well-behaved and gracious students. 

Our Winter Fundraiser, despite a few hiccups, was incredibly successful as well. Below are the preliminary totals for each of the teams. We will finalize these totals in the coming weeks and report the official results to teams during our January 11th PTO meeting. 

CONGRATULATIONS to those on DREAM for their hard work! 
Row Labels
Sum of Total Sales
Sum of Total Profit to Team (including donations)
Grand Total
(Totals subject to change. Final to be reported January 11, 2017.)

The PTO is adding a new fundraiser to our calendar this year: Mom’s Night Out. Why should the kids get all the fun? Details coming soon!

After careful thought and consideration, the Waterbury Rotary Club has made the decision to discontinue the Renaissance Program. This decision came about after dialogue with Harwood Union and Crossett Brook administrators.

The Renaissance Card program was started over fifteen years ago, with the primary goal of providing extra encouragement for students to set goals focused on academic achievement. While this program has certainly provided incentive for a number of students to excel over the years, collectively we feel that the Renaissance Card program has run it's course. School programming now includes goal setting that is structured and well supported by the system including stronger and more intentional efforts to create ongoing partnerships between schools, families, and community entities, and a stronger emphasis on personalized learning.

The Rotary Club will continue to support student scholarships and the Rotary Interact Club at Harwood, and will be considering other service initiatives as the opportunity arises. The administrations at both schools are committed to continuing to recognize and honor growth in academic achievement on an ongoing basis as we continue to evolve our systems of learning. Please note that the Sugarbush pass program is a separate program, and school administrators are currently working with Sugarbush to determine the best way to continue this program within the new system for the 17/18 winter season.

Lost Ring.  Description: silver band with etchings surrounding: stars, swirls, other designs. Similar to photos, no stones though. Has sentimental value as is a family ring. Last seen on Dona Culver's front office desk several weeks ago. If found, please return to the CBMS office.  No questions asked. Mom is so sad to have lost it.

Changing the World:  Jack Birmingham is collecting coats and boots to bring to the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program throughout the month of December. If you have any old coats or boots (any size) you can put them in the bin in the CBMS lobby. Please don't bring anything other than coats and boots. If you have any questions email Jack at


Allie Harris has organized a Yoga & Meditation healing  fundraiser this Sunday, December 11th from 10:30 am to 12:30 p.m  at the Contois Auditorium in Burlington, Vermont. Allie is a nurse who had stopped to assist and was involved in the secondary crash on October 8th. There will be an hour of yoga, followed by 45 minutes of meditation while Allie plays the violin. Her hope is, “that the community will have a place to come together to appreciate life through awareness of breath and the physical body. ... that it will be healing for those suffering the loss of loved ones as we generate positive energy this holiday season.”  She encourages families, friends, survivors, first responders, and community members to attend. There is no admission, but donations will be made in the names of Eli Brookens, Cyrus Zschau, Liam Hale, Janie Cozzi, and Mary Harris to the Harwood fund. Feel free to go to one or both parts of this event! If you are unable to attend, but would still like to donate, you can do so here:  (The Contois Auditorium is located in Burlington City Hall at 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT)

Upcoming Dates of Note
  • 2Nite Dec 9- 7/8 Dance @ CBMS- 7-9pm
  • Dec 13- WDSD School Board meeting- 6PM- CBMS Library- relevant documents can be found here.
  • Dec 14- HUUSD Board meeting- HU Library- 6pm
  • Dec 22- All-School Music Assembly- Peace in the Valley- 1:45-2:30
  • Dec 23- break until Jan 3

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dec 2

Holiday FUN NIGHT is TONIGHT from 7-9PM!  We hope to see all of the 5th and 6th graders at CBMS on Friday night for our holiday-themed FUN NIGHT!
  • PERMISSION FORMS are required. CLICK HERE to complete the online form by noon on Friday.
  • WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to bring sweet treats, healthy snacks, and drinks. We also need parent chaperones to make sure the night is a safe one for all! CLICK HERE for the volunteer sign-up genius.
  • If you have questions, please email Kathleen Luce at Thanks!

CBMS is looking to build an outdoor hockey rink on the front, dirt parking lot this winter. Got any expertise in this area, or thoughts on how to make a rink come to reality? Contact Tom Drake at

December Cougar Cafe Menu is now online at

Proficiency-Based Learning - Vermont Agency of Education Website- click here

Advice for parents on the topic of Sexting (from Common Sense Media)

  • Don’t wait for an incident to happen to your child or your child’s friend before you talk about the consequences of sexting. Sure, talking about sex or dating with teens can be uncomfortable, but it’s better to have the talk before something happens.
  • Remind your kids that once an image is sent, it can never be retrieved -- and they will lose control of it. Ask teens how they would feel if their teachers, parents, or the entire school saw the picture, because that happens all the time.
  • Talk about pressures to send revealing photos. A study by Michigan State University found that many teens are sexually harassed online by their peers. Let teens know that you understand how they can be pushed or dared into sending something. Tell them that no matter how big the social pressure is, the potential social humiliation can be hundreds of times worse.
  • Teach your children that the buck stops with them. If someone sends them a photo, they should delete it immediately. It’s better to be part of the solution than the problem. 
  • Check out Common Sense Education's Sexting HandbookThis resource gives families the language and support to take texting and cell phone power back into their own hands. It’s also a great resource for parents who are uncomfortable dealing directly with this issue.

Image result for boxtops for educationBoxtops - Collect them and send them in, please...we put the $ we get from them to great use!

Happenings at the Waterbury Public Library

WHEN: Saturday, December 10th at 10 AM
Harpist Judi will entertain us with her little/big (Clarsach) harp, as she draws music from many lands to celebrate the onset of the holiday season. Suitable for ages 18 months through adult. No registration needed.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 7 at 6:00 PM
The Library will host a community-wide Winter Movie Night with a showing of the 2000 documentary, “The Endurance”, narrated by Liam Neeson (Rated G). It recounts this Sir Earnest Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic, with footage of the actual locations, and interviews with surviving relatives of key expedition members, plus archived audio interviews with expedition members, and a generous helping of still photos shot on the expedition. Sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council,  this event will be an adventure in watching and learning about the dramatic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton, his crew, and his ship, The Endurance. You’ll have the opportunity to consider, among other things, the power of vision, courage, and perseverance, the nature of leadership, and the spirit of adventure and exploration.  Theirs is one of the greatest adventure and survival stories of the twentieth century.  Free and open to the public.

Ponderable: “If you are comfortable, you are not learning.” from “16 Life Lessons” from various authors in Psychology Today, October 2016.

Upcoming Dates of Note
  • 2Nite - Dec 2- Fun Night for 5/6- 7-9pm
  • Dec 3- River of Light Parade- 5pm (Junk Band members should gather at 4:30pm at Rusty Parker Park)
  • Dec 7- HUUSD Board meeting- HU Library- 6pm
  • Dec 9- 7/8 Dance @ CBMS- 7-9pm
  • Dec 13- WDSD School Board meeting- 6PM- CBMS Library
  • Dec 14- HUUSD Board meeting- HU Library- 6pm
  • Dec 22- All-School Music Assembly- Peace in the Valley- 1:45-2:30
  • Dec 23- break until Jan 3