News and Announcements

Windham Central schools declared "Idle Free" zones

posted Mar 27, 2015, 10:21 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Mar 27, 2015, 10:31 AM ]


Health News!

posted Dec 5, 2014, 4:52 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Dec 5, 2014, 4:58 AM ]

When to keep your child home from school


Does your child have a fever? Keep him/her home with a temperature of 100.0 or above. He/she may return to school when he/she has been at least 24 hours fever free without the use of Tylenol/Ibuprofen or other fever reducing medication. Fever is a symptom of illness, not an actual diagnosis, and usually indicates that the body is battling an infection. If the fever does not resolve in 2 to 3 days, or if your child appears sick with any fever, call your doctor to have your child evaluated.

Do you think your child has a contagious illness? Unless a doctor has cleared him/her to return to school, keep him/her home to avoid spreading it. If your child appears really sick, keep your child home and arrange an evaluation by your doctor that day. Call your doctor’s office for advice if you are not sure about your child’s condition or have questions about whether your child should stay home from school. Physicians have an answering service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So even after hours you will be able to reach someone for assistance. If you can’t get through to your doctor and you are really concerned, either call 911 or bring your child to the nearest emergency room for evaluation. See below for some examples of contagious illnesses.

If your child complains of not feeling well but otherwise has no definite symptoms, he/she can likely attend school. The school nurse or staff member will typically call you if something more develops. Be sure to contact your pediatrician if the complaints persist or other more definite sick symptoms develop. The effect on a family with a sick child is enormous – home, work and school lives are all impacted and often at the least convenient times! To complicate matters, it can be difficult deciding when to keep a child home and when to send them to school as usual. It is helpful to have a plan developed for someone to be available to care for your child in the event they are sent home from school or needs to stay home. Be sure to update your emergency phone numbers when there are changes. If you have these plans in place, you will not be caught off guard when the dreaded phone call comes. Please keep in mind that the school nurse by law cannot diagnose or treat any illnesses or injuries (beyond first aid) and will refer you to your primary care physician

Sickness is a part of childhood, whether it’s a fever, sore throat, cough or just not feeling well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the typical child has 6 to 12 illnesses a year ranging from mild to severe. Illness can occur throughout the year, but usually cluster in the winter due to flu season. These illnesses can seem to spread throughout classrooms affecting other students, teachers, and family members. Families and schools need to balance the child’s school attendance with the risk of spreading the illness to others in the school. Sometimes even minor illnesses require the child to stay home just to prevent the further spread of a contagious disease.

Many illnesses can be stopped before they spread by reminding everyone to practice frequent hand washing, blowing noses into tissues, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, If only it were so simple – even the best hygiene practices can’t avoid the spread of all winter illnesses. Sometimes staying home is the only way to benefit our kids as well as the school staff.


 Highly contagious agents:  May include but are not limited to the following:

Strep throat:   signs include:  sore throat, fever, swollen glands, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing.  He/she should be evaluated by a doctor before returning to school. Call your child’s school and ask if strep throat is going around; if so, have your child tested.  A child with a diagnosis of strep throat needs to stay out of school until on antibiotics for 24 hours.

Pink eye (conjunctivitis): needs to be treated by a doctor.   Children should stay home from school for the first 24 hours after treatment begins. Symptoms of pinkeye include eye redness, irritation, swelling, itching or burning, light sensitivity, drainage, or overnight crusting of eyelashes.

Rashes:  not sure if it is contagious?  When in doubt, keep them home until a doctor has determined the cause.  Many rashes will resolve spontaneously and are not reason alone to keep a child home from school.   Any rash associated with symptoms such as trouble breathing or swallowing, fever, or ill appearance, should be evaluated by your physician. Rashes that are itchy or scaly may be contagious and should be evaluated before sending a child back to school.


Head lice:  Needs to be treated at home, may return once no live lice are found. 

Vomiting/diarrhea:  May return if both have resolved and child is tolerating food.

  • Diarrhea is often the result of infection, food poisoning, or a side effect to medications like antibiotics.  Keep children home until stools are formed and your doctor gives the okay. Make sure your sick child stays well-hydrated.  Diarrhea that is bloody or associated with fever, abdominal pain, or vomiting should be evaluated by your doctor.
  • Vomiting is another way for the body to rid itself of the germs making it sick, and is usually caused by a stomach virus or stomach infection. Keep children home if they've vomited twice or more in the last 24 hours. They can return to school after symptoms clear up or your doctor says they're no longer contagious
Severe cough:  Cold symptoms such as frequent cough or greenish nasal drainage should keep kids home from school. A serious cough could be a sign of contagious conditions like whooping cough, viral bronchitis, or croup. It can also be a sign of asthma or allergies.  Please consult your doctor if the cough is productive (has phlegm) or is associated with fever or trouble breathing.

Mild cold or respiratory symptoms are no reason to keep children at home so long as their nasal drainage is clear and their cough is mild.  Cough alone may not prevent your child from attending school unless it is interfering with a child’s sleep or ability to participate in school activities.   Encourage fluids, plenty of rest, and treat the symptoms as needed to keep your child comfortable.   


Notice of Special Education Records Destruction

posted Jul 3, 2014, 11:23 AM by   [ updated Aug 25, 2016, 1:10 PM by Alison Hescock ]

Windham Central Supervisory Union —

Individual student special education records which have been collected by the Windham Central Supervisory Union related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of special education in the district must be maintained under state and federal laws for a period of five to seven years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student no longer is eligible for services, graduates, completes his or her educational program at age 22 or moves from the district.

This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of the Windham Central Supervisory Union’s  intent to destroy the special education records effective October 30th, 2016 of students who are no longer receiving special education services and whose birth year is between 1995 and 1999. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise.

After five to seven years, the records are no longer useful to the district but they may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for Social Security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible adult student may contact the Special Education office at 802-365-9515 to make arrangements to pick up their records or you may contact us in writing at the following address:

Windham Central Supervisory Union, 1219 Vermont, Route 30, Townshend, Vermont 05353. Attn: Student Services.

Your request for the original file must be received by September 25th, 2016. For more information call 802-365-9515.


Musical Composition by Leland and Gray Student to be Played by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra

posted Dec 27, 2013, 4:39 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Dec 30, 2013, 6:27 AM ]

 SFrancy    Leland and Gray sophomore Susie Francy will listen to members of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra play her original composition, “Beowulf’s Last Battle” at the State 
House on January 22, 2014. Asked about the title of the four-minute, thirty-second piece, fifteen-year-old Susie said, “I was inspired by reading Beowulf in English class.” She expressed her gratitude towards her music teacher, Mr. Ron Kelley, for introducing her to the annual student Opus Competition held by Vermont Music-COMP (formerly the MIDI project). VMP’s mission is to encourage and support students in composing and arranging music, as Susie has done. Professional composers, teachers, and students engage in mentoring and online discussion of student work, culminating in exemplary student compositions posted on their website:

Windham Central Schools receive VTPBiS Awards

posted Dec 4, 2013, 11:52 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Dec 4, 2013, 12:11 PM ]

Three schools within Windham Central have been acknowledged for their efforts in implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS).  PBiS is designed to help school teams form a proactive, school-wide, systems approach to improving social and academic competence for all students. 
Over the past few months many schools applied for Vermont PBiS (VTPBiS) Annual Acknowledgements which required schools to meet a variety of criteria to receive the following awards.  These acknowledgements were awarded by the VTPBiS state team to the following schools in Windham Central:
  • NewBrook Elementary School received the VTPBiS Certificate of Recognition "...for achievement in one or several areas including increased staff collaboration, increased use of data to make decisions, and decrease in behavior problems."
  • Both Jamaica Village School and Wardsboro Elementary School received the VTPBiS Exemplar School Ribbon "... awarded to schools that meet criteria for the first two Awards and show evidence of:
    • Sustaining fidelity of implementing Universal PBIS as demonstrated by 2 consecutive years of Benchmarks of Quality at 70% or 80% on School-wide Evaluation Tool
    • Sustained implementation has had positive effects on their academic and behavioral data.

    Currently 39% of Vermont schools (126 schools) in 79% of Supervisory Unions/Supervisory Districts (49 SUs/SDs) are implementing PBiS practices.  Of those, only nine received the "Exemplar School Ribbon" and two the nine are part of Windham Central Supervisory Union!

Free Services and Supports for Students, Parents/Guardians, and Families in the West River Valley

posted Aug 22, 2013, 6:37 PM by Matt Martyn

Parents, guardians, students ages 16 and up, and other adults can now learn from a Resource Coordinator at NewBrook Elementary School, Townshend Elementary School, Jamaica Village School, Wardsboro Elementary School, and Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School. The Resource Coordinator will explain and help people sign up for one or more of the following programs:

• Housing Assistance

• Credit Assistance

• Childcare or Eldercare

• Transportation Services

• Healthcare Services

• Disability Services

• Community Resources

• Other Government Programs

The Resource Coordinator is Amanda Sabo, a certified Information and Referral Specialist with Southeastern Vermont Community Action, a non-profit organization serving Windham and Windsor counties. Expanded federal funding will bring Amanda to area schools to help individuals and families through times of hardship from the recession, Tropical Storm Irene, or other personal challenges. This is a free and confidential service. Once a week in September through November 2013, Amanda will be available at each school.

Amanda will begin with appointments for Leland and Gray parents/guardians and students on Monday, September 9th at 3:30-5:30 pm. For more information or to make an appointment at L&G or an elementary school, contact Amanda Sabo at 802-722-4575 ext. 153 or

Contact: Dorinne Dorfman, Principal
Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School

Five Schools Complete "Digital Citizenship" Training Program

posted Jun 5, 2013, 7:58 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Jun 5, 2013, 8:00 AM ]

This year, Digital Wish taught its Digital Citizenship Course in five schools in the Windham Central Supervisory Union, targeting 196 students in grades 3-6. The students from Jamaica, NewBrook, Townshend, Wardsboro, and Windham were given a standard curriculum covering digital citizenship, cyber safety, and media copyright. The curriculum was developed through the School Modernization Initiative, a program that has deployed one-computer-per-child programs across more than 30 schools in New Hampshire and Vermont.
See full report here.

Commissioner Vilaseca visits Wardsboro Elementary School!

posted Sep 17, 2012, 7:20 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Sep 19, 2012, 8:42 AM ]

photo courtesy of (Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer):

Brattleboro Reformer Article
Vilaseca said  "Test scores are not the measure of our students' success or challenges," he said. "It's one snapshot."    ...  "These teachers are doing a fabulous job,"    

"There really is a sense of community and teamwork here," FitzSimons said.    

"We have a lot of positive things going," John said.    

Common Core in VT

posted Oct 18, 2011, 6:53 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Dec 27, 2013, 7:02 AM ]

Follow the link below to learn more about how the "Common Core" will impact teaching and learning in Vermont Schools.

"The 6 Best Common Core Websites"  according to Scholastic Adminsitrator (

See also...
Partners' Perspective  National PTA

Leland and Gray's Tong Chen named Teacher of the Year!

posted Oct 3, 2011, 5:46 AM by Matt Martyn   [ updated Oct 3, 2011, 6:15 AM ]

    On Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Vermont's Commissioner of Education accompanied by Dr. Steven John, Superintendent of Schools, Emily Long, School board Chair, Dr. Dorinne Dorfman, Principal of Leland and Gray, all of Leland and Gray's roughly 400 students, faculty, staff, and her parents from China, offer their standing ovation to a deserving Ms. Chen, recipient of this year's "Teacher of the year" award.  Congratulations Tong Chen!

Dr. Steven John's Comments ~ 

    Ms. Chen is a remarkable teacher and most deserving of this recognition - Vermont's 2011 Teacher of the Year. In her classes I always observe intensely focused engagement by every student combined with high expectations for communicating effectively in Chinese. Students find Ms. Chen's energy, enthusiasm, and sense of humor irresistible. She loves all her students and they reciprocate by rising to her expectation, "You too will learn Chinese. I know you can!"
    Perhaps the most important lesson our students learn from Ms. Chen is this. Extremely hard work to meet a challenging academic goal is well worth the effort.  Congratulations Tong Chen, and thank you for teaching our students at Leland and Gray!

Steven B. John, Ed.D.

See the rest of the story at:

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