Posted in Accountability, General, Malletts Bay School

Successful New Behavior Initiative at MBS

Malletts Bay School has rolled out a new program this year in an effort to recognize and encourage positive behavior from its students. PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, is a school-wide system that acknowledges the positive contributions of students and focuses on the impacts made towards their social, emotional and academic outcomes.

inquiries_diagramStudents were taught behavior expectations at the beginning of the year with key concepts including how to be safe, respectful and responsible in all areas and times of the school day. Since then, students have been regularly acknowledged throughout the day for their positive behaviors with “fish chips” to feed their mascot, Oscar the Osprey. The fish chips are initially collected in classroom fish bowls and later gathered in a school-wide box shaped like Oscar the Osprey.

Throughout September and October students and teachers alike keptimg_1074 a watchful eye on Oscar and enjoyed seeing him fill up a little more each week. By Thursday, October 13th, Oscar was full which meant the students had earned a well deserved school-wide celebration.

Over 23,300 schools are using this program with the goal of helping each student develop self-discipline and to make positive choices.  Safe to say Malletts Bay students are off to a fantastic start to the school year.

For more information about the school-wide PBIS system, contact the PBIS Coordinators:  Jayme Gaudet at  or  Jordan Burke at


Posted in Accountability, Community, District Office, General, Other Important Information, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School

Make an Appointment for Kindergarten Registration!



It’s that time of year again—time to register for kindergarten! 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.


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 are required.

Please call Porters Point School now at (802) 264-5920 to schedule an appointment.

Please call Union Memorial School now at (802) 264-5959 to schedule an appointment.

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 Accountability, Budgets, Community, General

Community Conversations Continue

CSD Logo

For the last two months the Colchester School District administration and School Board have been holding Community Conversation sessions at different venues around town. We have been pleased at the turnout averaging 15 to 16 folks at each meeting.  The School Board has also held a Saturday session at the Bayside Activity Center as well as a live broadcast last Thursday on LCATV viewable here. (A tip if you use IE as your browser… patient.)

What has been most satisfying for our team is to hear what people have to say, hear what they believe about the school system and what they believe are solutions to the State-wide Education Funding dilemma. For their part, the Board and Superintendent have presented facts and data to describe the responsibilities of Vermont School Districts, the human and structural resources required to meet those responsibilities and the costs associated with them. These two-way discussions have been invaluable to everyone in the rooms.

There is a need to continue these dialogues, not only in the run-up to the budget vote on March 3rd, but all year long. People need and value factual information to make balanced and thoughtful decisions about all manner of public policy and government operations. We agree. To that end we are establishing two new communications paths: a new email access at and a new Frequently Asked Questions database at The two will be linked manually so that questions and answers will be publicly viewable by anyone.

The initial populating of the FAQ will be with questions fielded during the Community Conversation sessions. Questions submitted via email will be posted and responded to in the FAQ as well. We hope that community members will take this opportunity to participate and share their viewpoints and experiences as a part of our learning community.




Posted in Accountability, Community, District Office, General, Other Important Information, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Communications Update: Spotlight on Hiatus Beginning Today

While CSD’s communications program strategizes its transition to a curtailed version of itself, the Spotlight will have a summer-long hiatus effective today.

To date, the Spotlight has been read more than 100,000 times—in addition to its nearly 1,300 subscribers who automatically receive its articles—in 132 countries around the world from Australia to Zambia. Since its launch in the spring of 2011, it has published 828 articles covering a wide variety of topics (including hundreds of photographs and dozens of videos) in an effort to foster the open communication, transparency, accountability, and community spirit that are so important to students’ education. The Spotlight, to which we have repeatedly encouraged the community to subscribe, covers a wide variety of subjects in an effort to offer clear information—everything from college and career planning, the Common Core State Standards, and costs of school meals to academic performance, illness-prevention strategies, and how administrators determine whether to close school due to inclement weather—in regularly published updates. The Spotlight also shares information about important opportunities and initiatives in your schools, such as technology integration efforts and the safe use of technology, community wellness activities, student civic engagement programs, exciting grant-funded projects, partnerships with local and state officials, and much more.

While the Spotlight has been designed to serve as an important facet of CSD’s communications efforts, it is by no means our only avenue for connecting with the community with which we work. We strongly encourage the community to access information about the school district through our numerous outreach channels, which have been discussed many times in the past, including:

And did you know that many teachers and administrators also have websites, blogs, Twitter feeds, and more? Watch videos and slideshows of innovative learning in action and discover what takes place in twenty-first-century classrooms. Many students also write blogs as part of their academic experience into which they incorporate the electronic books, short films, and other work they create. Meet teachers, students, and community volunteers who offer a glimpse into life in your school community.

In addition, your schools host and encourage participation in numerous community events throughout the year, and the district also welcomes the public’s use of the facilities. All of this is in an effort to communicate with our community members and to establish lasting, meaningful partnerships.

If you have any additional ideas or suggestions for how CSD can further its communications efforts, please call our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999.

Have a wonderful summer!

Posted in Accountability, Community, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester

Get Your Town Weekly Report Here


  • Do you intend to do any development or clearing within 250 feet of the lake? You’ll want to read this update!
  • Your police department has been really busy, responding to more than 900 calls in the last month. Want to know more?
  • Need a small-sized safety helmet? Want to know where to get one?

Want to know more about what’s been going on in your town government? Please click here to read all about it—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending June 20, 2014.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Community, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester

Have Some News With Your Morning Coffee


  • There are some changes coming up regarding recycling and solid waste. Want to know more?
  • Want to know more about the farmers’ market, the upcoming book sale, library summer programming, and more?
  • Curious about what your Parks and Recreation Department is up to?

Please click here to read all about it—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending June 13, 2014.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Colchester High School, Community, General, Other Important Information, Programs

CHS is a Trendsetter for Other High Schools!

As we mentioned in an earlier Spotlight article, several Colchester High School representatives presented at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) conference in October of 2013. Since then, many other schools have visited CHS or contacted CHS administrators for more information about its AT program, which emphasizes academics, assistance, and advising time. The AT program has a more consistent schedule and focuses much more intently upon advancement of learning, assistance with skills, and meaningful engagement in advising.

CHS Principal Amy Minor recently announced that Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, will be implementing a similar program based on CHS’s work. The Portsmouth school’s administrators were so impressed with the amazing and thorough handbook that CHS created that they are using it as a template for creating their own!

CHS’s leadership and programming is gaining national attention! On July 30, Principal Amy Minor accepted the prestigious 2013/2014 Vermont Principal of the Year award from the Vermont Principals’ Association. And CHS once again ranks among the top 5 percent of the nation’s high schools according to US News and World Report, giving CHS its silver medal designation. And as we announced in May, The Washington Post has declared Colchester High School as among America’s most challenging high schools!

For more information, please contact CHS at (802) 264-5700.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

UVM Teams Up with MBS to Teach About the Outdoors In the Outdoors

Fourth graders at Malletts Bay School recently enjoyed a special presentation, “Plants Around the World,” as part of their science studies.

Fourth-grade teacher Heather Longchamp examines a pineapple plant while students Austin Manning, Bode Gendreau, Ben Knapp, and Prinsha Neupane look on

Fulbright Fellow Kattia Palacio-Lopez (who holds a master’s degree and is currently a PhD candidate) joined Dr. Jane Molofsky of the University of Vermont in presenting scientific information about various plants brought from UVM’s plant science laboratories.

Students closely examined a variety of plants arranged in various stations, completing a scavenger hunt and matching specific characteristics of each plant. Palacio-Lopez and Molofsky conducted three separate workshops in MBS’s new outdoor classroom, accommodating all seven fourth-grade classes.

Kattia Palacio-Lopez explains the features of plants placed on a world map, showing fourth graders Matthew Romeo, Hazel Nelson, Jonathan Labrie, and Braxton Marcotte the location for each kind of plant

This special presentation aligned with the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which contains a number of important pathways, including “Learning Outside Our Four Walls,” “High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners,” “Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners,” and “Wellness-Oriented, Balanced, and Healthy Learners.”

If you would like more information, please contact MBS Principal Julie Benay at (802) 264-5906 or by e-mail at

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Community, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester

Let’s Get Down to Brass Tacks—Learn More About What’s Going On in Your Town Government

Brass Tacks_s

  • A lot is going on in the Economic Development Office! Want to know more?
  • The Colchester Development Review Board has approved a number of new projects. Curious about what they are?
  • The Town’s main sewer line on Route 15 collapsed! Want to know more about it and how much it will cost to fix?
  • Do you have any idea how many hundreds of tons of asphalt have been applied—by hand—by Town employees to repair the roads after our brutal winter?

Please click here to find out more—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending June 6, 2014.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.