School experiences two very different weeks

The last two weeks at Charlotte Central School have been a study in contrasts.

Two weeks ago, all grades at the school were engaged in end-of-year assessments with all the challenge and excitement that involves.

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Starting with the wrap-up of the 2021-22 school year, the assessments can sound daunting and taxing, but it is also a time of classroom celebrations for students and teachers alike. Students are able to show many of the personal skills they have been working on — perseverance, patience and problem-solving, to name a few.

There is also time for students to reflect on their experience with assessments, and there are countless celebrations of things that students feel proud of regarding the knowledge and skills they have gained.

A few highlights include:

  • Student-led morning announcements have returned and are a great way to start the day.
  • Second graders performed their music on the outdoor theater stage.
  • Students in seventh and eighth grades held their spring music concert.
  • Fourth graders participated in an afternoon of screen-printing class T-shirts.
    Champlain Valley Union High School drama students performed “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” for the second through fourth grades.
  • Kindergarten students had a chance to fly their kites.
  • Eighth grade science students had a chance to do microscopy using specimens gathered from pond water.Sixth graders did a trout release at Cota Field.

However, last week was a time of immense sadness and sympathy for educators and families in Uvalde, Texas, and the citizens of Buffalo, NY.

This concern was heightened by the threat made to CVU and another Vermont school.

It is important to share the Champlain Valley School District experience and responses with the community, as this partnership is critical to the overall safety and well-being of the students. Strong communication and collaboration with families is one element that can be very effective in preventing school violence. The “see something, say something” by local students and quick outreach to school officials at CVU by a concerned parent is just one example of how our partnerships support the safety of students and educators.

Like educators and families everywhere, Charlotte Central School staff are grief-stricken, angry and worried. Through that, there is a steadfast commitment to continuously learn more about school safety practices and structures, including school violence prevention, to create the safest possible learning environment.

The difficult emotions being felt by many this last week were balanced by the adults in the building being very mindful and responsive to their students and one another. The focus in each learning space has been on connections and relationships, listening and ensuring social-emotional well-being, and in general, just wrapping students in environments that are supportive, caring and conducive to each student being able to navigate their own understanding in a developmentally appropriate way.

On that somber note, Charlotte Central School students and staff will be heading to summer vacation next week, which means that the news from the school will be on hold until next September when all the excitement will begin again.