What’s new at school?
“Thanks to the amazing efforts of our Playground and Outdoor Learning Space Renovation Team and community donations, Dummerston School now has a beautiful amphitheater with granite seating,” Principal Julianne Eagan wrote on the school’s Facebook page.

What’s new at school?

Windham County schools prepare for the start of a new academic year

Windham Southeast Supervisory Union

The Windham Southeast Supervisory Union manages schools for students of all ages in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, and Vernon. The WSESU also operates the Windham Regional Career Center, providing opportunities for vocational education to students in the region.

All WSESU schools

Back-to-school fun: To celebrate the beginning of the new school year, the WSESU Office of Diversity, Equity and Social Justice has invited district students, families, and staff to a back-to-school outdoor event of fun, activities and free refreshments.

The fun takes place Monday, Aug. 29 at the Kiwanis Shelter at the top of Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

Brattleboro Union High School

buhs.wsesdvt.org; 802-451-3400; 131 Fairground Rd., Brattleboro

First day of school: Ninth-grade students start this year on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Chromebook Night for ninth graders takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Students in all grades go to school on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Administration: Principal Steve Perrin remains on a paid leave for reasons that have not been made public. The school has named two assistant principals, Traci Lane (grades 9 and 11) and Cassie Damkoehler (grades 10 and 12). Hannah Parker is dean of students.

The BUHS Leadership Council, which meets monthly with the administration, is encouraging the public to meet the new administrators on Monday, Sept. 19 at the high school in room 133. For more information, contact Ricky Davidson at [email protected].

Students in grades 9 and 11 and their parents or guardians can connect with Lane's office at 802-451-3404. Those in grades 10 and 12 can connect with Damkoehler's office at 802-451-3431.

Brattleboro Area Middle School

bams.wsesdvt.org; 802-451-3500; 109 Sunny Acres, Brattleboro

First day of school: First day for seventh graders is Tuesday, Aug. 30, and 8th grade classes begin on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Classes start at 8:40 a.m., and students are instructed not to arrive prior to 8:15 a.m. Classes end at 3:30 p.m.

Principal Keith Lyman's welcome back letter to the students, posted on Aug. 8, sums up the back-to-school logistics, including a new emergency contact. Students need to complete a health information form.

Sports: Those participating in sports will need a wellness exam every two years and must submit a sports participation clearance form.

Registration for sports is online via the PowerSchool portal.

Back-to-school events for families: Seventh graders must attend a Welcome Night on Monday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m., where students and families will learn about and register for Chromebooks.

An open house for all students and their families takes place at the school on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.

Teams: BAMS is fully staffed and has organized the students and teachers into four teams (Draco, Leo, Canis, and Taurus). Letters to the students from each team's four teachers, posted on the school's website, contain essential first-day information.

Free meals: Families must fill out the free meals application (available at mymealtime.com), but all students this year are eligible for free meals, thanks to increased state funding.

Snacks: Students are also allowed to bring snacks or a lunch bag from home, and cash or a check payable to WSESU to purchase snacks, sports drinks, and other items ineligible for meal funding. Alternatively, parents can fund their kids' snacks at mymealtime.com once student identification numbers are distributed on the first day of school.

Backpacks must be in lockers upon arrival and retrieved only during assigned locker breaks.

Cell phones may not be used during school hours.

School counselors arrived on Aug. 22, and students are welcome to call them for support before school starts: 802-451-3533.

Class schedules will be posted on the first day of school.

Windham Regional Career Center

wrccvt.com; 802-451-3586; 80 Atwood St., Brattleboro

First day of school: Grade 9 orientation, Tuesday, Aug. 30; all students go to school Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Academy School

academyschoolvt.com; 802-254-3743; 860 Western Ave., Brattleboro

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

New curriculum: Academy School students will use the Illustrative Math curriculum this year and try one unit of EL Literacy, according to the last update from the Academy Leadership Council in May.

Green Street School

greenstreetschoolvt.com; 802-254-3737; 164 Green St., Brattleboro

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Principal Kate Margaitis hopes to increase opportunities for families to engage with Green Street School in order to encourage a sense of belonging, she noted in her last newsletter of the 2021-22 school year. She is excited for the upcoming school year.

Faculty openings: Margaitis posted on Aug. 23 job openings for two teachers for grade 6: one to focus on English and humanities, and the other on math and science.

Building updates: Students will notice a new front walkway and a new stairway landing, along with a fresh paint job.

Paperwork for families this year was mailed on Aug. 15.

Upcoming events and meetings are announced in the school newsletter and in the online calendar on the website for more information.

Oak Grove School

oakgroveschoolvt.com; 802-254-3740; 15 Moreland Ave., Brattleboro

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Farm-to-School Program: Oak Grove School's Farm to School Garden Coordinator Tara Gordon has helped move the primary garden beds to a more central location in order to encourage more participation.

Dummerston School

dummerston.wsesu.org; 802-254-2733; 52 School House Rd., East Dummerston

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

New teachers and staff: The school welcomes Megan Altshuler, middle school academic support; Christina Deal, grades 7 and 8 humanities; Nathaniel Evans, music; Bridget Devlin, pre-kindergarten and elementary paraeducator; Marc Hoak (an alumnus), behavior support paraeducator; Flo Levin, special educator; and Ana Williams, kindergarten.

Principal Julianne Eagan has worked hard during the previous school year to create outdoor learning spaces during COVID-19. This year will have even more outdoor learning areas.

Building updates: With outdoor learning comes the need to construct a pavilion building and other play areas. The outdoor learning space renovation team has started work on the pavilion, and a climbing wall is complete. The team has also installed a new amphitheater with granite seating.

Dummerston School Leadership Council monthly meetings have resumed as of Aug. 18.

Putney Central School

putneycentral.org; 802-387-5521; 182 Westminster Rd., Putney

First day of school: Putney Central School will continue to hold a half day of school for all students on its first student day, Tuesday, Aug. 30.

The school is planning an evening open house for late September.

New principal: Jon Sessions, who started July 1 as principal of Putney Central School, will focus on outdoor learning with emphasis on community.

He replaces Herve Pelletier, who has retired after 30 years in education, 12 of them as the principal of Putney Central.

Staff changes: Angie Dodd (K), Christina Clough (grade 1), and Serena Clapp-Clark have been hired as paraprofessionals. Bethany Connelly is a behavior interventionist (a new position), and she will work with three behavior support staffers, including Joe Knowles, who is also new to PCS. Maddie Rollins (physical education) and Wendy Windle (art) are joining our specials team, “both bringing an abundance of passion and excitement to their work,” Sessions told The Commons.

Nate Sebold will teach middle school math; Kat Haseltine will teach grade 5. Molly Stoner joins the school as an academic support teacher supporting grades 3–5. Nicole Lord joins PCS as a speech and language pathology assistant, and Ashley Odice and Tammie Chapin are joining the Intensive Services Team as new interventionists.

Emily Bristol, administrative assistant, joins Sessions and administrative assistant Nancy Gagnon in the office.

Among other changes, Matt Bristol, longtime physical education teacher and recreation league coordinator, has left to move to another part of the state.

Curriculum: “PCS is dedicated to continuing the programming that is at its core as a school - a commitment to hands-on, project-based learning and to learning outside on the 180-acre campus in Putney,” Sessions said.

“Our middle school team is adopting an elective model for enrichment classes that brings in a high level of student voice and choice in some of the classes they take,” the principal added.

The school, Sessions said, “is continuing its dedication to diversity, equity, and social justice by engaging in ongoing professional development as a staff and community of students, including work on restorative practices and collaborative approaches to conflict management.”

“Finally, with the support of the WSESD curriculum offices, all of our classrooms are adopting the EL Education literacy curriculum for the upcoming school year,” he said.

Building and grounds: In a large community project, eight tables have been built for the PCS art room, a project started by the new art teacher, Wendy Windle, and HatchSpace in Brattleboro and involving many volunteers.

Sessions said plans are in the works to erect multiple outdoor structures and start a redesign of the school playground.

Family and community event: On Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Putney Recreation League has planned an evening of kickball, food, and a showing of Space Jam for Putney families. The fun takes place at the Putney Public Pool, 21 School Forest Dr.

Guilford Central School

guilfordcentralschool.org; 802-254-2271; 374 School Rd., Guilford

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

New staff and staff changes: In his June 11 school newsletter, Principal John Gagnon announced the staffing changes for the new school year: Ruth Venman Clay, grade 3; Nina Nabizadeh, art; Molly Sauvain, academic support teacher; Meghan Rink, school nurse.

Maggie Hansen will teach kindergarten. Sarah Landers will now teach grade 4. Hillary Katz, now an academic support teacher, will focus on enrichment and writing in the upper grades.

Leanne Souksanh, from the Vermont Department of Children and Families, will be the new social worker.

Vernon Elementary

vernonschool.org; 802-254-5373; 381 Governor Hunt Rd., Vernon

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

School repairs: According to draft minutes for the June 13 meeting, the Vernon Town School Board discussed window replacement, LED light replacements, the need for a new oil tank and interim measures.

New hires: The board also approved hiring a librarian and a paraprofessional during that meeting.

Windham Central Supervisory Union

The Windham Central Supervisory Union provides governance for eight schools and 10 towns in Windham County: Brookline, Dover, Jamaica, Marlboro, Newfane, Stratton, Townshend, Wardsboro, and Windham.

Jamaica Village School

jamaicavillageschool.org; 347 Depot Street, Jamaica; 802-874-4822

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

“The first day of school is always exciting for students, parents, and staff! We will start our day at 8 a.m., with coffee for the grownups,” Interim Principal Monica Deuse told The Commons. “After our Welcome Assembly/All School Meeting at 8:30 a.m., students will start building community in the classrooms and parents will be invited for a Q-and-A session in our multipurpose room. Parents are welcome to stay and eat lunch with us before departing at noon.”

Principal's welcome: “We are looking forward to having parents back at our school to participate in more indoor and outdoor activities,” Deuse said. “We are also offering an after-school program (L'AFTER) from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.”

Faculty and staff: Christina Roberts has been hired to teach kindergarten and grades 1 and 2. Carla Aquadro is the new school counselor, and Penelope Momaney, the new L'AFTER site coordinator. Deuse will continue to be the school's teacher for grades 3, 4, and 5, and will take on the additional role as the school principal.

“Marisa Birr, our incredible food service extraordinaire, decided to move out of our kitchen and into our classrooms as a guest teacher,” Deuse told The Commons.

Building changes: The school has “shiny new floors” and new carpet in the entranceway, Deuse said. Only two classrooms (one for kindergarten–grade 2, the other for grades 3–5) will be used this year, leaving the other two rooms as a library, a music, art, and yoga studio, and a small theater space for puppet shows and other performances. Deuse said the school is “thrilled” to have the new studio space and theater space.

Covid policy: The school will follow state guidance, and its nursing team will make any decisions for our school.

Curriculum: Their focus for the year is going to be on “JVS is Green” - a series of all-school community-building activities and field studies that will focus on environmental learning and how actions impact the environment as well as others within our interconnected web - and on strengthening the school community.

Busing: Bus routes are posted on the website. Certain bus routes will be different this year due to the Williamsville bridge being closed for construction. The bus stops in question are noted in blue. The customary routes will resume once the bridge is accessible again.

The future? During the West River Education District Board meeting on July 11, representatives from Jamaica Village School told the board that the town would consider other options, including whether to remain open and whether to remain a part of the district.

Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School

sites.google.com/windhamcentral.org/leland-gray; 802-365-7355; 2042 Vt. Route 30 Townshend

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Building repair: Principal Bob Thibault reported that the building repair plans are coming along. The bathrooms are being retiled and they are getting new light fixtures. He hopes repairs will be close to done in September.

Curriculum: Project-based learning goals and personal learning are still on the radar. Due to the pandemic, these goals had been put on hold but will be revisited this year.

Co-curricular meeting: A mandatory co-curricular meeting takes place on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the gym for students and a caring adult.

Sports practice: High school sports practice started Aug. 18. Middle schoolers will start their practice on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Students should fill out the appropriate form online to participate in athletics. The sports program includes middle school and high school teams for boys' soccer, girls' soccer, and cross-country.

Marlboro Elementary School

marlboroschool.net; 802-254-2668; 2669 Route 9, Marlboro

First day of school: Students in kindergarten through grade 8 start on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Preschool starts on Thursday, Sept. 1. Teacher Patti Donnelly will reach out to families of preschoolers with the details.

Principal's welcome: Principal Wayne Kermenski posted a welcome and information notice on the school website about the start of the school year. The school will welcome four new students among the 85 enrolled this year.

New staff: Matt Chapman will teach grades 3 and 4; Amir Flesher will teach math to grades 5–8; Katie Ross Morrison will teach science to all students; and Steven Giard will take over as the new bus coordinator.

The back-to-school potluck takes place Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 5:30 p.m. on the field. Participating families should bring a dish.

Covid protocols: The Coronavirus is still a threat, and masking is required.

Building updates: The school awaits approval to make mobile classrooms operational for middle school math and science. New basketball hoops have been installed, and new flowers and planters are around the school.

NewBrook Elementary School

newbrookschool.org; 802-365-7536; 14 School St., Newfane

First day of school: School begins Tuesday, Aug. 30.

“We stick with our small groups at the beginning of the school year, getting to know one another, building community in our classroom groupings, and explicitly teaching our expectations and our procedures,” Principal Scotty Tabachnick told The Commons. “It is super fun to see the children, many of whom will have grown, opted for new styles, and/or lost a tooth or two.”

Faculty/staff changes: Joining the school are Carrie Towle, school counselor; Jeannie Wade, grade 2 classroom teacher; Sara Forthofer, grade 1 classroom teacher; and Brittany Best, who will work with students in The Learning Center at NewBrook.

Pat Branley - who Tabachnick described as “our beloved grade 2 classroom teacher” - retired last spring. “We are looking forward to her working occasionally as a substitute this year at NewBrook!” the principal said.

Bus routes: The bus route schedule is available at bit.ly/678-newbrook-bus.

Curriculum: Staff completed two days of training in June in anticipation of new math curriculum, Bridges in Mathematics, which Tabachnick described as “relying heavily upon the use of manipulatives and well-designed 2-D materials.”

Building updates: The insurance settlement from the flood damage at the school has allowed for new carpeting, a new paint job, new LED panel lights, and an upgrade to the library. Tabachnick expressed thanks to the school's facilities crew.

Townshend Elementary School

townshendschool.org; 802-365-7506; 66 Common Rd., Townshend

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30. “We are offering activities on the Townshend common at morning drop off time from 8 to 9 a.m.,” Interim Principal Renee Merluzzi told The Commons. “Students will get a grab-and-go breakfast, and parents and students will head to the common for rock painting, temporary tattoos, community quilt drawing, etc.”

New curriculum: Curriculum changes will allow more time for coaching, intervention, and universal instruction.

Building and grounds: “Quite a few of our rooms have new carpeting and new paint,” Merluzzi said. “More clutter has been removed, and we are sprucing up our front lobby to make it more welcoming. The building is looking great thanks to our custodial staff!”

Faculty and staff: Edna Ortiz was hired for grade 1. Liz O'Neill, previously a grade 1 teacher, will teach pre-kindergarten. The school also welcomes a new counselor, Carla Aquadro, a new administrative assistant, Robin Patnode; a new paraprofessional, Nancy Jean Flood, and Merluzzi in her new role.

The former pre-kindergarten teacher, Sara Cipot, has moved back to Connecticut to be with her family, according to Merluzzi. Craig Roach, the school's former principal, is working in New Hampshire closer to his hometown.

Curriculum: “We are starting to train our teachers with our district-wide professional development around a new structured literacy block, which will contain a student choice menu similar to the math menu we have been implementing for the last two years,” Merluzzi told The Commons. “This type of model includes a warm up, a mini lesson with an objective for the day, and a 'menu' time with ongoing small group instruction.”

After-school programs no longer in town: Townshend will not have the after-school program for K-5, as the district has moved its offerings to NewBrook and Jamaica schools, “but our students can still attend at the school of their choice,” Merluzzi said.

Sports: Soccer season starts in September and the forms to register for sports are on the website (townshendschool.org/for-families/sports-registration-forms).

Covid policy: “We will follow state guidance and refer to our nurses as the year moves along,” Merluzzi said.

Wardsboro Elementary School

wardsboroschool.org; 802-896-6210; 70 School Rd.; Wardsboro

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Board member resigns: Rick Thorpe, who spent two decades on the Wardsboro and River Valley boards, had to resign due to relocation. Chad Staro will fill Thorpe's spot.

Windham Elementary School

windhamschool.org; 802-874-4159; 5940 Windham Hill Rd., Windham

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Enrollment: 16 students are enrolled in kindergarten through grade 6 this year.

Lunches: With the enactment of the Universal School Meals Act, Windham School Directors have voted to make $15,000 of upgrades to the building's kitchen and have been exploring a contract with the West River Education District to prepare the food.

Windham Northeast Supervisory Union

The Windham Northeast Supervisory Union consists of six schools serving students in Rockingham (including Bellows Falls and Saxtons River), Westminster, Athens, and Grafton. Superintendent Andy Haas welcomed families back for the 2022–23 school year in a letter.

All WNESD schools

COVID-19: Face coverings are not required this year unless medically necessary and will be a personal choice. Haas encourages all students and staff to get vaccinated if they are eligible and able, and emphasized that the policy is subject to change based on the twists and turns of the pandemic.

District schools will not be reporting cases this year. They will use indoor and outdoor spaces for learning.

Supporting students in learning recovery and mental health issues will be the district's priority for ongoing COVID-19 adjustments.

For questions, contact your school's nurse.

After-school programs begin on Monday, Sept. 12 and are based on staffing availability.

Bus routes: The closure of Bridge #5 on Route 121 between Bellows Falls and Saxtons River this year may have an impact on bus routes. Bus routes for district schools - with these important detours - can be found under Family Resources at wnesu.org.

For bus emergencies, call 802-289-2025, a new number.

For questions, email Renee Prue, transportation manager, at [email protected].

Bellows Falls Union High School

bfuhs.wnesu.org; 802-463-3944; 406 High School Rd., Westminster

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Incoming freshman spaghetti dinner: Monday, Aug. 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Bellows Falls Middle School

bfms.wnesu.org; 802-463-4366; 15 School St., Bellows Falls

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

The back to school supply list has been posted on the website and via Facebook.

Central Elementary School

ces.wnesu.org; (802) 463-4346; 50 School St. Ext., Bellows Falls

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Information for families: Principal Kerry Kennedy reports that letters have been sent out to families with back-to-school details on the upcoming school year and postcards stating who their teacher is.

Building updates: The music room has been retiled.

Faculty and staff: Amanda Thompson, grade 3, has moved to Vermont this summer from Texas.

Open house on Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., offers a tour of the school and the opportunity to meet the staff and teachers.

Saxtons River Elementary School

sres.wnesu.org; 802-869-2697; 15 School St., Saxtons River

First day of school: Wednesday, Aug. 31. Grades 1-4 will begin with a full schedule; kindergarteners will have an 11:45 a.m. dismissal for three half days (Aug. 31–Sept. 2).

Principal's welcome: Principal Laura Hazard posted a newsletter welcoming students back-to-school with updates and links to the new bus route plan.

Building and grounds: A sprinkler break caused a flood and mold problem in the building, so grades 3 and 4 are permanently moving to the art and music spaces. As a result, more storage space is needed for the art and music supplies.

Meet and Greet Family Engagement Event: Monday, Aug. 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. “During this time, the building will be open for families to meet staff and explore spaces,” Hazard writes. “Feel free to stay for five minutes or for the full hour. We are excited to welcome you into our building and learning community, and we look forward to many more opportunities to do so throughout the year!”

School supplies: SRES provides students with school supplies and households should send students with a backpack. Call the school if you need one.

The After School Program starts on Monday, Sept. 12 for grades 1–4 and in January for kindergarteners.

Grafton Elementary School

ges.wnesu.org; 802-843-2495; 58 School St., Grafton

First day of school: Wednesday, Aug. 31. Kindergarten half days on Aug. 31, Sept. 1, and Sept. 2.

Principal's welcome: Principal Angela Cartier's welcome back letter can be viewed at smore.com/r4xs2.

Faculty and staff: New to Grafton Elementary are Adam Altshuler, physical education and restorative practices; Sarah Pogue, librarian; Jennifer Garretson, music; Vanessa Stern, teacher for grades 3 and 4; Kristie Lisai, teacher for grades 5 and 6; and Elizabeth Hickin, kindergarten teacher.

Buildings and grounds: The school is sporting fresh new floors and a paint job.

Bus route visit: On Friday, Aug. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. staff will be visiting students via the bus route to bring cookies to kids where they live.

Flapjack Welcome Back: Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Meet the staff on Thursday, Aug. 25 from 2 to 3 p.m. for games and snacks.

After School Program: Starts Monday, Sept. 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. for grades 1–6. Kindergarteners can start theirs in January. Electronic paperwork is due the first week of school.

Westminster Center School

wcs.wnesu.org; 802-722-3241; 301 School St., Westminster

First day of school: Wednesday, Aug. 31. Half-days for kindergartners from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.

Principal's welcome: Principal Elizabeth Harty notes that 33 students are registered and expected to attend kindergarten this year.

Faculty and staff: Judy Verespy, the new restorative practices teacher, brings more than 21 years of experience as a teacher, most recently second grade, and specializes in trauma-informed teaching styles, meditation, and mindfulness for kids. Jeff Potter has been hired as head of maintenance after serving as the groundskeeper at BFUHS. Corina Stack will be joining as a Title I teacher. Fallon Vancor will be the new second grade teacher, Zoey Luopa is teaching first grade and Claire Westphal is joining on as the school counselor.

The school welcomes a new school nurse, Kat Goodell, formerly the nurse at Bellows Falls Middle School. Previously, Goodell worked with the Vermont Department of Health as the school liaison, supporting schools across the state through the pandemic.

Open house: On Monday, Aug. 29, a back-to-school picnic will encourage more parent engagement with the school. Classrooms will be open from 5 to 6:30 p.m. so parents can meet teachers.

Building and grounds: A Covid-related grant will fund smart pumps, with work to begin in October. The school is also replacing heating and kitchen valves and has fixed the kitchen floor drain.

The state is also conducting a safety audit, so new security cameras will be installed.

Windham Southwest Supervisory Union

The Windham Southwest Supervisory Union represents five districts and six towns, including Wilmington, Halifax, and Whitingham in Windham County.

All WSWSD schools

Schedule change: Students will be released every Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. throughout the school year, replacing half days. The two hours per week will be used for teacher development, collaboration, and continuity among faculty and across district schools.

Twin Valley Elementary School

twinvalleyschooldistrict.us/elementary/; 802-464-5177; 360 Vermont Route 100 North, Wilmington

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Principal's welcome: “We reviewed our practices and made recommendations to teachers regarding preparedness for outdoor learning and field trip safety,” Principal Rebecca Fillion reports.

Building and grounds: The soccer and baseball field is suffering due to mild flood damage. A campaign to raise funds to renovate the field's poor drainage is underway. For details, visit twinvalleyyouthsports.com.

Twin Valley Middle High School

twinvalleyschooldistrict.us/middle-high-school/; 802-368-2880; 4299 VT Route 100, Whitingham

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Principal's welcome: Principal Anna Roth reports that 401 total students (evenly distributed across each grade this year) will enter school this fall.

New Student Welcome BBQ takes place on Thursday, Aug. 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Confirm attendance with Administrative Assistant Dottie Fisher at [email protected], and bring a side dish or dessert.

Halifax Elementary School

sites.google.com/halifaxschool.net/southern-valley/; 802-368-2888; 246 Branch Rd., West Halifax

First day of school: Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Building and grounds: Projects in the works include fixing a drainage issue and resulting leaky basement, roof rotting, floors, and fiber-optic internet.

COVID-19 policy: The pandemic continues. Taking note of a recent outbreak in Halifax, school officials have expressed a reluctance to allow parents or other visitors to the school building. Testing protocols will be in place for visitors.

• Principal's welcome: Principal Sandy Pentak-Cohen is hopeful about the Wings program, “Welcome Back” night outdoors, the Winter Concert, and parent-teacher conferences in October but has said that not even 50 percent of the students are vaccinated and most teachers are reluctant to return to in-person classes.

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