Posted in General

PUBLIC FORUM - Needs Assessment for new Health and Wellness Center


Glen Cuttitta, Director, Town of Colchester Parks & Recreation Department at (802) 264-5641.

Colchester seeking public input on community recreation needs on Thursday, March 31st, 2016. 

The Town of Colchester is conducting a Master Plan for Bayside Park, as well as a Needs Assessment and Master Plan for a Health and Wellness Center. We want to hear from residents, business owners, special interest groups, and any other interested parties. We will be hosting a Public Forum on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Colchester High School Theatre, 131 Laker Lane, Colchester, VT 05446. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

The Bayside Park Master Plan will look at the existing recreational facilities, programs, and services, conduct a comprehensive community input process, and determine the current and future level of service for the community. The plan will prioritize the needs and desires for upgrading and improving facilities and services. The Needs Assessment and Master Plan for the Health and Wellness Center will help to determine: the need for a Health and Wellness Center, the design of the facility, the planned programs, phasing, timing, funding, and other details for this project.

Together, the plans will determine the priorities of recreational facilities and activities desired by our residents, investigate what funding sources may be available, identify potential partnerships, and examine how best to support the needs of the community.

The Town of Colchester has hired GreenPlay, LLC to oversee the process. In addition to this Public Forum, a professional survey will be conducted with Colchester residents. The results will be utilized throughout the entire process. If you have any questions regarding either the Bayside Park Master Plan or the Needs Assessment and Master Plan for a Health and Wellness Center, please contact Glen Cuttitta at (802) 264-5641 or

Posted in Accountability, Colchester High School, Community, Currently Colchester, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, District Office, Employee Spotlight, General, Other Important Information, Personnel

Announcing the New CHS Principal

Dear Colchester Community,

On behalf of the Colchester School District we would like to thank the members of our community who participated in the collaborative process to find the next principal of Colchester High School. A selection committee consisting of students, parents, support staff, teachers, administrators, a school board member and other community members screened and interviewed candidates before recommending a finalist to the school board. I would like to extend special thanks to the selection committee, school board, and all individuals who attended the employee and community forums last evening.

CHS is a high-functioning school that requires a candidate who will continue the trajectory of the school.  We believe that an effective administrator pushes professional practice and promotes effective classroom and system-wide practices, while always doing what is best for students.

I am extremely pleased to announce that Heather Baron has been selected as the next Colchester High School Principal!  Heather was selected as a result of her ability to:

  • Understand what all learners need in order to be successful
  • Foster our culture of collaboration and curiosity
  • Develop and implement a vision for teaching and learning
  • Build strong relationships with students, staff, families and the community
  • Build capacity for teacher leadership
  • Seek out and listen to multiple perspectives
  • Make informed decisions confidently

Heather currently serves CHS as a science teacher, professional development coordinator and instructional coach.  During her 17 years in education she has demonstrated excellence both inside and outside of the classroom.  We are certain that she possesses the qualities and the capacity to lead Colchester High School to even greater heights.

Best wishes to Heather and Colchester High School for continued success!  Many thanks to all of the community members who participated in the comprehensive principal search process.


Amy Minor

Posted in General

Change in Colchester High School Principal Finalist Forum

In a previous article we advertised the forums for the two high school principal finalists were being held on March 22 with times and locations. We now must make a change to that announcement.

The district was informed on Friday, March 18, that CHS Principal Candidate Dorinne Dorfman was withdrawing from the process after accepting a position in another school district.  The hiring committee met on Friday afternoon and decided to send Heather Baron forward to the school board as the only finalist with the committee’s recommendations.

A forum will still take place in the CHS Library on March 22 at 6:00 p.m. to meet Heather Barone prior to her interview with the School Board at 7:00.

We strongly encourage all parents, students, and interested community members to attend and meet the finalist in person.

Posted in General

SBAC testing begins in Colchester

March 15, 2016

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Each spring students across Vermont take a statewide test called Smarter Balanced assessment (SBAC). Smarter Balanced assessment is required by federal legislation, Every Student Succeeds Act, for students in grades 3 – 8 and grade 11. It assesses the Common Core State Standards which are our state standards in literacy and math.

SBAC assessment provides information about proficiency on state standards, growth and progress over time, as well as readiness for college and career. The assessment specifically looks at grade level standards and broad claims (see back) that demonstrate college and career readiness. The goal of the assessment is to demonstrate learning in this year and over time in order to best prepare students for learning beyond high school.

This assessment differs from previous statewide assessments in many ways. The test is untimed so students may work at an individual pace to complete each section. Test questions adjust levels of difficulty based on a student’s answers to earlier questions. Students needing accommodations have these embedded into the test. With Smarter Balanced assessment, each student has a different version of test based on individual needs and answers.

Last year was our first experience with Smarter Balanced assessment. Our students and staff did a remarkable job adjusting to a brand new assessment, on-line format and revised standards-based curriculum. This year, with the curriculum and assessment firmly in place, our students and staff are well prepared for the assessment!


Gwen Carmolli

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Posted in General

Colchester High School To Host Spring Band and Choral Concerts

csd band concert_full

The Colchester High School (CHS) band program will hold its spring concert on Thursday, March 24 at 7 pm in the CHS Theatre. The CHS choral program will hold its spring concert on Wednesday, March 30 at 7 pm in the CHS Theatre. Both performances are free and open to the


The CHS concert band will play a medley of George Gershwin pieces and will have CHS Principal Amy Minor as a guest conductor for John Philip Sousa’s “Manhattan Beach March.” The jazz band will be playing “Peg” by Steely Dan, Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay,” an arrangement of Gershwin’s “The Man I Love,” featuring vocalist Ize Bertoni, and an arrangement of a Snarky Puppy song called “Shofukan.” There will also be several chamber groups playing arrangements of pieces such as Lennon and McCartney’s “Yesterday” and Elfman’s “Theme for the Simpsons.”

 The Choral Concert will feature performances by all five vocal ensembles:  Freshmen Chorus, Concert Choir, Chorale (select ladies ensemble), the Testostertones (CHS all-male group) and Chamber Singers.  This concert will feature music from around the world and will include performances by senior vocalists.

 Each concert is expected to last a little over an hour.

About Friends of Colchester Music:

Friends of Colchester Music was formed in 2005 by a CSD music teacher and parent volunteer who recognized the need for a music booster organization in the school district. Their objective was to support the student musicians of Colchester and bring together those who felt that supporting strong music education programs was as critical to the schools as supporting academic and sports curriculums. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:

Marie Bouffard, FCM Chair



CMS choral students wait for their turn to perform during the CSD choral concert held on March 4.
CMS choral students wait for their turn to perform during the CSD choral concert held on March 4.
Posted in General

Colchester High School Principal Search Update

The Colchester School District is in the process of hiring a new high school principal. This article will provide an update on the the search process.

The committee conducted interviews on the evening of March 7 and have selected two finalists.  They are:

Heather Baron,  Colchester High School Science Teacher, Professional Development Coordinator and Instructional Coach

Dorinne Dorfman, Leland and Gray Principal in Townshend Vermont

The committee will be conducting site visits at each candidate’s current school over the next two weeks. It is currently working with both candidates to select a date.

On March 22nd the Colchester School District will be hosting a student, parent and community forum for both candidates. The schedule for the forum will be:

Student, Parent and Community Forum:

Dorinne Dorfman 6:00pm CHS Library Tuesday, March 22

Heather Baron 6:30pm CHS Library Tuesday, March 22

Once the site visits and the forums have been completed, the search committee will reconvene to determine their next steps.  It will keep the community posted on the progress it makes through this process.  The Colchester School District strongly encourages all of you to attend the community forums for both candidates.

Posted in General

Children’s Literacy Foundation Visits Colchester

It was a night for books and stories at the Malletts Bay School on Thursday, March 3rd when the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) visited Colchester. Teacher Jennifer Hoenigsberg applied for a CLiF grant to support New American families. The grant provided an evening of storytelling and parent education. Every child that attended chose two new books from a vast collection provided by CLiF.

The Children’s Literacy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire a love of reading and writing among children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Since 1998, CLiF has served more than 180,000 low income, rural, or at-risk children in 400 communities across every region of the Twin States.


Posted in General

Kindergarten Registration for 2016-17 is beginning

The Colchester School District will be registering new kindergarten students on the following days:

Porters Point School     Union Memorial School


May 10           9:00 a.m. − 11:00 a.m.               9:00 a.m. − 11:00 a.m.

12:00 p.m. −   2:00 p.m.             12:30 p.m. −   2:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m. −   5:30 p.m.

May 11           9:00 a.m. − 11:00 a.m.               9:00 a.m. − 11:00 a.m.

12:00 p.m. −   2:00 p.m.             12:30 p.m. −   2:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m. −   5:30 p.m.

May 12           9:00 a.m. − 11:00 a.m.


Kindergarten Parent Information Night
Porters Point School   Union Memorial School
May 5 at 6:30 p.m.   May 5 at 6:30 p.m.


This registration is for children who will attend public kindergarten in Colchester during the 2016/2017 school year. Children must be five years old before September 1, 2016. Parents must bring the following items to registration (without this paperwork, your child may not start school):


  • Immunization records – Please get a copy now from your child’s doctor and bring it with you at the time of registration. This information is required by the Vermont Department of Health.
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of residency


One of the following documents is required to verify residency in Colchester, Vermont. OR Two of the following documents are required to verify residency in Colchester, Vermont.
·       A current property tax bill.

·       Current mortgage papers/closing statement showing a Colchester address and the name of the legal parent/guardian, or custodian.

·       Formal lease showing the name, address and telephone number of the landlord; Colchester address and name of lessee.

·       A notarized letter from the landlord stating the address of the residence being leased and the name(s) of the lessee(s) with the landlord’s address and telephone number.

  ·       Valid Vermont driver’s license with Colchester address.

·       Valid Vermont non-driver ID with Colchester address.

·       Current utility bill in your name, with Colchester address.

·       Valid public aid card.

·       Bank statement for last or current month (financial information omitted) with Colchester address.



On the day of the registration, your child will take part in a 2 hour screening.

Parents do not accompany their child during the screening process.


Appointments Required

Call The Primary School In Your Neighborhood

Porters Point School


  Union Memorial School









Starting March 2, call your school to schedule an appointment!

Posted in General

Porters Point Chain of Kindness Project

The Porters Point Chain of Kindness Project has two stages. First, for the first three days they were back at school in March, they focused on individual acts of kindness that we do for each other in their classrooms. Then, starting on Monday, March 7th, they focused on acts of kindness that they could do for others outside their classrooms.

Each act of kindness will be represented by a link in a paper chain. Red paper will represent an act of kindness you noticed that someone else did. Yellow paper will represent a kindness that someone does for you.

Strips of red and yellow paper will be everywhere in the school. When someone notices an act of kindness that someone else did, they write it on a red strip of paper. When someone is does a kind act to them, they write it on a strip of yellow paper. Students will give the strips of paper to their teacher. Classes will make chains out of the strips that they have collected that day.

Families can participate, too. They will have strips of paper that students can take home and bring back to include in our chain.

Chains stayed in classrooms until the Friday all-school meeting on 3/4. Teachers designated two students to bring the chain down to the meeting. They then stretched the chain out and celebrated all the acts of kindness that had already taken place at Porters Point School.

Starting on Monday, 3/7, the chains will be hung from the ceiling in the hallway. At the end of each day, students will make chains out of their strips of paper and bring the kindness chains down to the office. Porters Point will start the chain at the front door and see how far they can make their acts of kindness stretch by the end of the week. They will end their Kindness Project with a reflection on how kindness has changed the school and how it has changed each of them. They will do this at their all-school celebration on 3/11.

If you’re looking for some ideas for acts of kindness that spread beyond the walls of the classroom, check out the video list I’ve created called “Kindness Project” on YouTube:

For a good overview of the benefits of being kind, check out this Edutopia article entitled, “Why Teaching Kindness in Schools is Essential to Reduce Bullying.” Here’s a link:

Creating good schools means focusing on the whole child and learnng how to build a healthy community. This project exemplifies it’s imporance in the life of a child.

Posted in General

Colchester School District Seeking 3 and 4 Year Olds for our Preschool Program

Peer open house flier

Colchester School District is looking for three and four year old children to participate in our preschool program. The preschool open house will take place, by appointment, on Monday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m. at Malletts Bay School.

The half-day preschool classes will follow the

2016–2017 school calendar (observing all school holidays and vacations) for their duration. Children will practice language, social communication, and play skills. They will develop friendships while gaining confidence and school-readiness skills in a literacy-rich environment with experienced educators and support personnel.

Participating children must be three or four years old before September 1 and live in Colchester. Please note: children need not be three or four in order to attend the March 28 open house; they must only be three or four before September 1 to participate in the program.

Transportation will not be provided for participants.

To schedule an appointment, please contact Nancy Smith- or (802) 264-5894.