Hi Raider Families!

This has certainly been a chilly start to the week.  I hope everyone is staying warm and more importantly healthy!  These first few weeks back from December break have been a little bit of a wild ride for many.  Thank you for supporting your children and our teachers as we navigate these stressful times.  We are currently in the middle of completing mid term exams and I want to commend all of our students for displaying great focus and attention this week.  This Friday 1/14, will be a make up day for any students who may have been absent during an exam.  Please make sure students communicate with their teachers to arrange the time and room location of any make up exams.  Also keep in mind that Monday 1/17 is a teacher in-service day and students are off in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Yearbook Ad Reminder – Senior Families! The Yearbook Ad Deadline is fast approaching. Be sure to celebrate your Senior by visiting this link and have your ad completed by February 18th! Email: yearbookshs@lsuu.org with any questions.

Friday Program UpdatesThe first Friday Program day for SHS students is January 21st. We are thrilled to begin our first Friday Program session of 2022! It’s been two years since we were able to offer this program and we’re very excited to bring back this important tradition. Things to know:
Skiers / Snowboarders – All equipment should be labeled and dropped in the trailer near the main entrance. There are two areas: Mansfield and Spruce. Please make sure your student drops their equipment in the correct area and that it is bundled (skis and poles) together. We recommend rubber bands or ski holders. Students will be departing on the bus to the mountain at 11:55AM and returning to SMHS around 3:05PM. Families are welcome to pick their children up at the different locations if they have already confirmed this with the front office. 

Other Sports – Students have also signed up for swimming, skating, tennis, yoga, and cross country skiing. Students are scheduled to leave SMHS for these activities between 11:30AM AND 12PM. They will be returning to SMHS around 2:45PM. Families are welcome to pick their children up at the different locations but front office staff need to be notified prior. Families are welcome to pick their children up at the different locations if they have already confirmed this with the front office. 

PM Buses – Buses will continue to run in the afternoon for families that need this service. The routes are changing slightly to account for less students and the change in overall transportation but students will be dropped at the same locations.

Updates to Contact Tracing / Test to Stay / Masking: Yesterday we received important information regarding upcoming policy changes to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may have already heard about some of these changes as information was shared with the media prior to being finalized by the state. It has been our process to share information when it has been finalized to ensure we are providing clear and current guidance. Today we have that clarity, and here is what we have learned.

  • Contact Tracing The contact tracing process is changing. It was reported that schools are being directed to stop contact tracing but that is not accurate. The process is actually becoming more conservative. What is changing is the formal process which has been extremely cumbersome on our health staff. Prior to today, all positive cases required extensive formal documentation that was shared with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH). Additionally, our nurses had to determine close contacts based on very specific parameters (e.g., within 3’ proximity for 15 minutes). We will now be alerting all close contacts but will not be required to submit the same paperwork requirements to the VDH. This will expedite and improve the process from a risk mitigation standpoint while taking some burden off of our health care staff.
  • Test to Stay – Once we receive the test kits, this program will be implemented at home instead of at school. In the event there is a positive case, all close contacts will be notified and unvaccinated students will be provided test kits for the next five days. Test kits will also be provided for vaccinated and unvaccinated staff.
  • MaskingAs most already know, State health officials are encouraging students and staff to not rely on a single-layer cloth mask. Health experts are recommending higher quality masks, including N95 or KN95 masks or a surgical quality mask underneath a cloth mask. Our district has provided these higher quality masks for all staff members. We have also ordered a high quantity of child size masks that will be available for those that need them.

We will continue to ask families to keep their children home when they are sick or have symptoms. As stated by Mark Levine, our state health commissioner, “Our North Star continues to be maintaining in-person instruction and keeping kids that should be in school, in school.”

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we work together to keep our schools safe and healthy. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Ryan Heraty
Superintendent of Schools

Lamoille County News and Events5th annual Homelessness Awareness Day Walk and Vigil: Please come out to memorialize Vermonters who died while homeless, raise public awareness around our community’s housing and homelessness challenges and solutions, and amplify voices of community members who have experienced homelessness.

  • Masks and warm layers strongly encouraged
  • Thursday, 1/20
  • Noon-2
  • Meet at the Northgate Plaza (120 Northgate Avenue, Morrisville.) Walk ends at the Oxbow.
  • kanetsberger@lamoilleshelter.org, sherry.marcelino@lamoille.org.

In 2021, 53 Vermonters died while homeless. During December in Lamoille County, 65 households including 30 children experienced homelessness.

Boosters and vaccinationsGet a booster if you are 12 or older and you received your Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago or your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 5 months ago

If you have a moderately to severely compromised immune system:

  • If you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should get four vaccine doses total. The CDC recommends that anyone age 5 or older get an additional dose (third dose) of that vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose and before their booster.
  • At this time, if you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is no additional dose, just one booster for a total of two doses.
  • More details here.

More on boosters here. Learn about vaccines for children ages 5-11.

Vermont Health Equity Initiative clinic – BIPOC focused; Saturdays, 1-4; Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington (2 Cherry St.); Easy signup, walk-ins welcome

Internet accessAffordable Connectivity Program: discounts on monthly internet service, computers, and tablets for those who qualify.

Small businessesEMBRACE (Economic Micro Business Recovery Assistance for the COVID-19 Epidemic) direct grant program issues $5,000 grants to businesses with five or fewer employees. Learn more and apply here.

Multi-unit housing property owners, managers and tenants interested in becoming a smoke and vape-free property, contact: alison@healthylamoillevalley.org.

Community events
Anorexia & Bulimia Anonymous – Sundays 10 AM; North Central VT Recovery Center, 275 Brooklyn St., Morrisville; info@ncvrc.com; 802-851-8120

Create with Clay facilitated by River Arts

  • Mondays 5:30-7:30
  • North Central VT Recovery Center, 117 St. John’s Road, Johnson
  • info@ncvrc.com
  • 802-851-8120

Mosses, Mushrooms & Mammals: Old forests are so much more than old trees.

  • 1/19, 7-8 PM
  • Vermont Land Trust
  • Virtual

Fundamentals for Early Childhood Professionals training registration is open at Northern Lights at CCV. Designed to build a foundation of knowledge and best practice skills for professionals working with groups of children ages birth to 8.

Teens and Cannabis: A look into the data on the impacts of legal retail markets on youth

Click here for information on the conversation around retail cannabis.

Johnson public library:

  • Weekly story time on Facebook live Tuesdays at 9AM
  • Take-home activities for toddlers through teens
  • Story time bags with books and activities

Tobacco Prevention Taskforce Meeting. Address underage tobacco and vaping in our community.

Lamoille Area Coaching Collaborative: youth sports coaches, be part of this important collaborative. Contact alison@healthylamoillevalley.org

Human servicesAmeriCorps VISTA is accepting proposals for host sites for the 2022-2023 program year.

Professional development

  • Mental Health first aid: Identify and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in the community. Register for both sessions: 1/13 & 1/14.
  • Designing and facilitating useful meetings. 8 steps for powerful meetings. Register for both sessions: 2/3 & 2/4.
  • Trauma, treatment, and recovery. Learn the latest research on the physical effects of trauma on the brain and body and what a trauma informed system looks like. 2/10

Job openings

Case manager for HomeshareVT: Want to find creative housing solutions for our community? Like people? The Case Manager will work with both those looking for housing and those considering sharing their homes and provide community outreach & education about homesharing. Learn more here.

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