News and Announcements

“Letting go” of 2020 and launching into the world our hopes for the light of 2021!

Dear All ~

It was so rewarding to welcome students, teachers and staff back to SES after a well-deserved break! We engaged in activities all week long designed to “let go” of negative thoughts and emotions while manifesting positive intentions for the new year, culminating in dropping pieces of paper with our written wishes into fire pits and, thus, being released into the universe.  The entire school and members of the community participated in this collective exercise in getting 2021 off to a light-filled and optimistic start.  Many thanks to Kelly Saphier for spearheading this meaningful opportunity for expression and release. Her boundless enthusiasm and concern for the health and well-being of each and every one of us is truly inspirational.  And on that note, you will find below some helpful tips (and a delicious recipe) from two of our favorite consultants on emotional resilience and the value of nutritious eating habits.

Mindfulness

Happy 2021 SES families!

With a New Year it is naturally a time to reflect on the past and take notice of those things you hope for in the year ahead.  It is time to return and reset.  As I sat down and began this process, I found myself thinking a lot about how our New Year’s resolutions are typically a feeling of something we should take away.  The most common ones of losing weight, refrain from drinking unhealthy beverages, stop eating sugar, doing a cleanse, etc… This year I wanted to look at it from a different lens.  What can you BRING into your life to increase your joy, peace, happiness?  When we take time to nourish ourselves we put a priority on Self Care.  This is the most important thing you can do for yourself and others around you.  When you are more grounded and joyful you are a better parent, a better colleague, a better friend, a better family member, a better employee, a better EVERYTHING!  Try to discover something that you can bring INTO your life.  Get out in nature, start a meditation practice, take a bath, journal, read, utilize breathing techniques, join a zoom workout class, get up to the mountain… Prioritize YOU!! 

For more mindfulness ideas follow –> @michysmindfulnessmission on Instagram

Healthy Foods

Molly Gellar, our LSUU Farm-to-School Coordinator, has provided an absolutely delicious recipe for the kale chips served in our schools, with the kale grown in our garden! They are delicious and a little different from the usual kale chips!

-1 bunch of kale

-1 tablespoon sunbutter or peanut butter

-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1-2 teaspoons oil

Directions:

1. Remove the stems from your kale and rip the leaves into bite sized pieces, then dump it into a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, mix together all of the other ingredients. Pour this mixture onto the kale.

3. Using clean hands or a spatula, mix it all together very well, until every kale leaf is coated.

4. Heat your oven to 220 degrees and spread the kale in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake it for 15-25 minutes, until it is crunchy. Watch it carefully, as they can burn easily!

Here are the health benefits:

Kale is one of the most nutritious and delicious foods you can eat! It is a great source of Vitamins A and C, which help boost immunity, and Vitamin K, which is good for your bones. One cup of kale has more Vitamin C than a whole orange! It is also full of antioxidants, which help protect your body against all sorts of illnesses, like cancer and heart disease. Kale chips are a healthy alternative to snacks like potato chips, and are super popular in our school cafeterias!

I would like to thank our amazing PTO for their support. The citrus and wreath fundraisers were huge undertakings this year and, thanks to the commitment of our PTO, we had a great return on our efforts.  We appreciate the many ways this group supports our students! 

Update from the PTO

Happy New Year Stowe Elementary School Families! The PTO hopes everyone had a restful and safe break. We wanted to start the year with a huge thank you for all the support you all have given to the PTO and our school.  The annual Wreath and Citrus fundraiser generated $36,000 in sales and profited the PTO ⅔ of our yearly fundraising goal!!!!  We also donated 75 boxes of citrus which were distributed to the Lamoille County Food Shelf, Washington County Food Shelf and Meals on Wheels of Lamoille County!  So thank you again for all your help and support!  We had tempered expectations with the pandemic – but we should have known that SES and the greater Stowe community would show up big – no matter the situation!

Based on the limitations of what the PTO can do at the school we have had to get creative this year.  We have not been able to provide the cultural and science enrichment we usually schedule due to covid restrictions, however we have not been idle!  We have created a PTO sponsored Gear Closet with everything from boots, jackets, snow pants, rain pants & suits, ponchos, hand warmers, hats and more to ensure that all our kids can get outside as much as possible!  Through a VERY generous donation from the Gellis family, SES has been provided with 60 pairs of Gordini mittens to ensure that each classroom has extras and we can make sure that a missing mitten isn’t going to keep our kids stuck inside!  We have also been in contact with teachers and provided specific “wish list” items to individual classrooms as needed, to ensure that our teachers are feeling supported and have what they need in this extra challenging year. Here are some photos of the clothing and supplies in the Gear Closet:

And, of course, we’ve had some fun too!  The PTO provided hot chocolate and candy canes for a fun winter wonderland walk, with a visit from our gingerbread guest!

Screening Process
Lastly, I would like to address a change in our screening process. This morning, as our temperatures reached single digits, we began to have difficulties obtaining an accurate temperature for our students. Therefore we are beginning a new procedure for our morning drop off and screening procedure.

We are now asking families to complete the health screening prior to arriving at school. This includes taking your child’s temperature and recording it in the 2020-2021: LSUU Building Access Health Screening Form.  After exiting their vehicles at SES, children in grades K – 2 will enter the school via the front entrance (with the exception of Beth Bradford’s Kindergarteners, who will continue to enter through her door).  Children in grades 3 – 5 will enter through the gymnasium door. Upon entry, each student’s temperature will be taken again and, if it’s within the acceptable range, they will head straight to their classroom. If a child has a temperature of 100.0 or above, our school nurse will be called and the student will wait in our isolation area until their family has been contacted for pick-up.

Note: for the safety of the faculty and staff who assist with your child/ren’s arrival, please be sure to wear a mask while in the school zone.

Thank you for your cooperation as we strive to keep all of our families, teachers, staff and community members healthy and safe.

Warm regards,
Nina Slade, SES Principal

Community News

Helen Day Arts Center:

Classes Start Next Week at Helen Day Art Center!
For 2021, we are thrilled to offer families a sliding scale option for payment that is intended to help families make art a priority in their lives during a year when many are faced with additional financial challenges. Only a few spots left, so call 802-253-8358 to sign up today!

Mondays: Woodworking K-3rd 3pm-5pm

Tuesdays: Auditioning with Molly Mitchell 3rd-5th 3pm-5pm

Wednesdays: All Art Wednesdays K-6th 1pm-5pm

Thursdays: Woodworking K-3rd 3pm-5pm

Thank you to Emily Rosenbaum for sharing important community resources:

Vaccination:
The state and our local providers are working very hard on establishing a plan for COVID vaccination as we move to vaccinating the wider population. As soon as there is information regarding who can get vaccinated and when, it will be widely shared across many platforms. You can access Vermont’s Vaccination Dashboard here.

Homelessness Updates:
As of Friday, there were 85 adults (including 27 youth) and 16 children experiencing homelessness in the Lamoille area.

FEMA has provided funding to have staff from Lamoille Community House and Capstone on site at General Assistance (GA) housing in hotels, where many people experiencing homelessness are staying through this pandemic. FEMA has funded 140 hours a week, so there are now supports available from 8-5pm seven days a week. These supports are there to ensure people can get their immediate needs met, including health, security, and food.

State Guidelines:
The governor has reinstituted restrictions on social gatherings with those outside of your home.

  • You may not gather with those outside your household:
  • If you live alone, you may choose one household to socialize with.
  • If you are in a dangerous situation at home, you may seek shelter in another home.
  • Outdoor recreation is OK with those you do not live with, as long as you remain masked and six feet distant.
  • Read more details here.

If you have gathered with those outside of your home, you should quarantine and get tested as soon as possible. Test again seven days after gathering.

The state continues to urge people to follow the following protocol:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Do not gather with those you do not live with.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Keep 6 feet from those from outside of your home.
  • If you are around people, it is safest to be outdoors and away from a crowd.

Over the past 14 days, Lamoille County has had 27 new cases of COVID and Orleans County has had 23.

Food:
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program allows people to save money on groceries and spend their grocery dollars on the tasty foods they love.

3SquaresVT:

For information on food programs during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

Seniors:
The Association for Training & Development (A4TD)

  • People 55+ who are low income with barriers to employment
  • Training to become actively employed
  • Upcoming orientation: January 19 at 1:00 PM. Click here for Zoom link.
  • More information, click here or call (800) 439-3307.

Financial Relief (In case you missed this last week):

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs extended:

  • Extended until April 10, 2021
  • Claims must be made by March 14, 2021

For more information click here.

Small Business & Nonprofit Relief:

The Vermont Public Utility Commission has again directed the state’s regulated utilities to stop any disconnection of utility service due to nonpayment of electricity, natural gas, and landline phone bills through March 31, 2021. Utility customers should work with their utilities. For more information, please contact John Cotter, Deputy General Counsel, at john.cotter@vermont.gov.

Where to Find Information:
The United Way of Lamoille County maintains an uber-comprehensive list of all the resources around the area: food, mental health, housing, employment, substance misuse and recovery, domestic violence, and much more. If you have any questions about what is available locally and on a state level, head to the UWLC website first.

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