COVID-19 Updates

Below, please find links and information for the latest updates on COVID-19 and how OESU and the State of Vermont is responding.

Technology Survey

Vermont Principal’s Association (Athletics information available here)

Vermont Agency of Education

Vermont Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control

CDC Considerations for School Closure

Vermont Department of Labor

United States Department of Education

Employee Assistance Program

OHS_Bus_Routes_2019-2020

OESU Resource Emails

November 24, 2020

Blue Mountain Union School

Orange East Supervisory Union

Dear OESU, 

First and foremost, I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you find time to relax–even for a short time. Go for a walk, read a book, enjoy a wonderful meal. I plan to cook my typical large Thanksgiving meal, despite having only my own family to enjoy it with this year. I am quite sure that my children will be very tired of turkey by the weekend. 


In a memo we received yesterday and in Governor Scott’s press conference this morning, it was announced that we should consider limits on multi-household social gatherings as an extension of the state’s travel guidance. As such, we will include the participation in multi-household social gatherings as a condition in the required daily Health Screenings for students as specified in the A Strong and Healthy Start guidance. 

While these limits are in place, students participating in multi-household social gatherings will be excluded from attending in-person instruction. They will be required to complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test. This will begin on Monday, November 30, 2020. 

Please note that gathering in pre-established “pods” related to education and/or childcare remains allowable. Pods related to a social activity or informal playgroups are prohibited at this time. New pods of any kind are discouraged. Also, for clarity, incidental contact of fewer than 15 minutes, occurring with masks and physical distance (such as to check on a neighbor, friend, or family member, not in your household) is not considered a social gathering. Coming in contact with members of other households in settings that continue to operate – such as schools, workplaces, retail stores, close contact businesses, etc. is not in violation of the Order, provided all required health protocols are followed.


These new regulations also apply to all staff in our schools. 

Waits River Valley School

November 23, 2020

November 22, 2020

Dear OESU,
COVID results are still coming back in, but the majority appear to be back. We will not receive any notice from the AOE or Department of Health when they are all back, so that is not information I will have to share with you because I’m am not privy to it.  
Waits River and Blue Mountain are learning remotely tomorrow and Tuesday.  As of my writing of this quick note, all other schools are operating their typical schedule. As is always the case, we continue to monitor cases and information as it come to us and are ready to pivot as needed. 

November 21, 2020

November 19, 2020

Waits River Valley School

Dear WRVS Community,

Good morning, contact tracing is now complete. At this point, anyone considered a close contact has been notified. If you were not notified, that is good news, you are not considered a close contact by the Vermont Department of Health. If you have concerns about your own health, we urge you to speak with your primary care physician.

We have made the decision for WRVS to remain in remote learning through Tuesday, November 24th. We will return to in-person instruction on Monday, November 30th. It is our goal to re-open school for in person instruction, there is value in our students being together. 

We are asking you all to remain vigilant in monitoring yourselves for COVID symptoms. If you have symptoms, we urge you to reach out to your physician to discuss being tested for COVID. If there are more cases we want to know, and we ask that you keep us informed. Our ability to work together for the greater good of all who live within these towns, is more important than ever before.  

Please remember: 
-Wear your mask
-Limit contact and avoid gathering with anyone outside of your household
-Follow travel quarantine guidelines
-Get tested if you’ve been to a social gathering or exposed to COVID-19.

Attendance at all public and private social gatherings, indoor and outdoor, including social gatherings incidental to ceremonies, holiday gatherings, parties and celebrations, shall be limited to participation with only members of a single household. Individuals who live alone may gather with members of their immediate family residing in a different household.

Continue to stress these ideas with your children when they are in and out of school. We appreciate the flexibility and hard-work of all the students, teachers, staff, and parents as we work together to get through this. I appreciate you and thank you, as a parent of school-age children, I know how hard it is to balance it all through this pandemic. 

Sincerely,

Emilie Knisley
Superintendent of Schools

November 18, 2020

November 17, 2020

Dear OESU Staff and Community,


As you know, the Governor has ordered a surveillance testing program for COVID-19 for all staff in Vermont schools. Our  tests are being administered tomorrow, and then once a month moving forward. Participation is voluntary. 


It continues to be our goal to keep schools open to serve students and families. However, I do want to note that this will be the first time we will see the results of wide-spread testing throughout our system. It is certainly possible that we will see positive test results in our schools as a result of the testing–and indeed rather likely. Currently, we are being told that the results of these tests will be available within three to four days. Test results will be returned to individuals, not the school district. We anticipate that results will begin to roll in this weekend. It is our hope that staff will notify their building leaders and central office if they receive a positive test result. 


If positive cases are found in the schools, contact tracing will begin and that school will move to remote learning for Monday and Tuesday of next week. If there are positive cases in your school, you will be given more details as we receive them and are able to release them. We want to forewarn people that remote learning may be a possibility on Monday and Tuesday if positive cases are found in schools.  


Why are we not making a decision to go remote ahead of these tests? Our Leadership Team, made up of administrators across the SU, considered a move to remote learning on Monday and Tuesday. After discussion and debate, the majority of us continue to feel that keeping schools open for children is in the best interest of our learners. Therefore, any closures will be the result of a positive test in a school community, not a pro-active closure.


Obviously we continue to monitor cases and staffing levels on an hourly basis, and we continue to consult with the State, Vt. Department of Health, and medical experts to guide our decision making– and we remain ready to pivot as conditions require.  


Thank you for your support, continued flexibility, and hard-work during this period. We know that this is not easy. 


Sincerely,
Emilie B. Knisley, M.Ed., CAGS, CAEL
Superintendent

November 12, 2020

November 9, 2020

Dear OESU Families,
I want to start out by saying how appreciative I am of the volume of responses we received to the survey. As of the close of the survey this morning, 699 individuals responded–how amazing! Here are the results:
7.4% of families plan to travel at Thanksgiving to an area requiring quarantine
10.6% of families plan to travel in December to an area requiring quarantine
59.9% of families DO NOT support a move to remote learning during the holiday periods
There were also many comments received via email; thank you to those that reached out. Here are some highlights from families:

  • Schools should remain open for those who choose not to travel. Those who travel should remain at home in quarantine.
  • Our schools serve many essential workers who need schools to remain open for them to do their jobs.
  • For students with intensive needs, school closure is particularly difficult.
  • The infrastructure of schools is essential for providing students with social emotional support and meals.
  • We all need to make sacrifices to keep schools open for our children.

Additionally, several of you reached out to voice your support for school being remote in the case of a school safety or health decision. Pro-active closure was not supported, but a closure for the health and safety of our community was supported. Please know that reactive school closures/remote learning may occur at any time, and we all need to do our best to be prepared for that reality. 
We administered this survey to collect real data and feedback from our families to make decisions based on your needs. It is our goal to keep our schools open to the best of our ability. At this time, there will be no pro-active closures of OESU schools in November, December, or January. Fluctuating health conditions in our State and our schools may lead to reactive closures at any time based on COVID cases or quarantine needs. 
I want to stress that keeping schools open requires the work of our whole community. As cases rise in Vermont, we are hearing more and more from Dr. Levine and Governor Scott that it is essential that we limit our social interactions with others. This is hard. We don’t like it, and we all want it to go away. We yearn for normalcy and holiday routines.  Pandemic fatigue has set in. 

The following was released last night by the Vermont Department of Health:

Governor Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD are calling on Vermonters to strictly observe health guidance to protect themselves and others – and to help keep Vermont’s economy and schools open. In addition, everyone is being asked to avoid unnecessary travel, including for the upcoming holidays, and to limit the size of gatherings.

The state is now strongly advising that any private social gatherings include no more than 10 people, and with a very limited number of trusted households. This applies to all types of private gatherings, including just getting together with friends socially at home, on campus or around town.

If you have attended an event with people who are not in your usual social circle, please avoid close contact with others and consider obtaining a test now as well as 7 days after the event or gathering. To see options for testing near you, please go to healthvermont.gov/covid-19/testing. Call your health care provider if at any point you develop any symptoms.

Once again, thank you for your participation and feedback. 

Sincerely,

Emilie Knisley

Superintendent of Schools

October 20, 2020 Continued

Good evening,

We received information this evening that the case at Oxbow High School has been traced back to the Central Vermont hockey and broomball outbreak that has been in the news. We were given no further details on the case, but we wanted folks to be aware of this update. 

“34 cases are now connected to the hockey and broomball outbreak in central Vermont. Half of those infections are people who play at the Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center in Montpelier. The other half caught it from those players. The outbreak now involves Union Elementary School in Montpelier and Oxbow High School in Bradford. The ice rink remains closed, but the health department gave them info in order to be able to open as soon as Tuesday. Vt. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine says the spread mostly likely happened off the ice, in activities like carpooling and social events before and after games.”

Sincerely,

Emilie Knisley

Superintendent of Schools

October 20, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff and Students,
Later this week our Daily Health Check cards will include a new travel question due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Grafton County, NH located just across the river.  The VT/NH border towns will affect our local travel the most however Grafton County is one of 6 counties in NH that currently requires quarantine.
Each morning families will be asked to accurately answer the question regarding their child’s travel to ensure the safety of students and staff: “In the last 14 days have you traveled outside Vermont to a yellow or red county for a non-essential reason?”   Y   or   N
What is a “yellow” or “red” county?
These counties have travel restrictions due to the number of active COVID-19 cases which means, “Vermonters will be required to quarantine upon return.” First, find out what county you are traveling to.  Then identify if the county is “yellow” or “red” on this travel map.  If you plan to travel outside Vermont please check it before you leave as the site contains valuable information to guide your activities.  Use the status, or color, of the county on the day you leave Vermont to determine if you need to quarantine when you return.  You may travel to counties with low rates of active casesshown as green on the travel map.What is a non-essential reason?If your travel falls under one of these categories it is defined as essential otherwise, it is non-essential:  Work or school          Medical care                   Parental shared custody  Personal safety         The care of others          Food, beverage, medicine  “Vermonters who live near a border and regularly travel to and from a neighboring state may make day trips to that state for work, health care, to commute to attend PreK-12 school or college, and for other essential needs like groceries or visitation for parental shared custody, without quarantining. The quarantine exemption only applies to the person under essential travel rules. It does not apply to anyone else who travels with you, for non-essential reasons.”
If you travel outside of Vermont to a “yellow” or “red” county for a non-essential reason, whether for a day trip or longer, you have 2 options regarding quarantine;  either complete a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative COVID test (you must continue to quarantine until you receive your test result).
When you travel, only stop when necessary. When you stop, wear a face mask, keep a 6-foot distance from others, and wash your hands/use hand sanitizer often. Stay home and do not travel if you are sick.
Please call your school nurse if you plan to travel, or have traveled, outside of Vermont and would like additional assistance navigating the requirements.  You can expect new cards to be sent home in the next 2 days. 

October 18, 2020

Dear Oxbow Community,
 
Good morning, contact tracing was completed late last evening. At this point, anyone considered a close contact has been notified. If you were not notified, that is good news, you are not considered a close contact by the Vermont Department of Health. If you have concerns about your own health, we urge you to speak with your primary care physician.
 
We have made the decision for Oxbow High School to change to remote instruction for this upcoming week–through Friday, October 23rd. This decision was made in consultation with the Vermont Department of Health. To be clear, we have made the decision to go to remote learning for the week for operational reasons—not because we have any information that points to a need to go remote to stop the spread of COVID in our community. We feel it is important to be transparent about our rationale and decision-making process. We know that some will agree and some will disagree with the choice, but we are making the best decision we can with the reality we are faced with. It is our goal to re-open school for in person instruction, there is value in our students being together. 
 
We have several staff who are in quarantine. In order to cover these classes, we would need to have several substitutes come into the building. In discussing the matter with Principal Wheeler, we made the decision to go remote because it would enable teachers to continue to educate their students. We have many substitutes who are reluctant to come in right now, and we can sympathize with their position. We value and appreciate the hard work of our substitutes; they are essential to our work. 
 
We are asking you all to remain vigilant in monitoring yourselves for COVID symptoms. If you have symptoms, we urge you to reach out to your physician to discuss being tested for COVID. If there are more cases we want to know, and we ask that you keep us informed. Our ability to work together for the greater good of all who live within these towns, is more important than ever before.  Again, this case did not originate in the school or the communities of Bradford and Newbury, but we should all remain vigilant nonetheless. 
 
In the meantime, remember to always wear a mask and keep your distance from others. Continue to stress these ideas with your children when they are in and out of school. We appreciate the flexibility and hard-work of all the students, teachers, staff, and parents as we work together to get through this. I appreciate you and thank you, as a parent of school-age children, I know how hard it is to balance it all through this pandemic. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Emilie Knisley
Superintendent of Schools
 
Remote Learning Directions from OHS
 
Attendance – ALL students must sign into Infinite Campus and complete the survey for daily attendance, or call 222-5214, before 9:00 AM.
 
Learning Activities/Assignments – Go to www.oxbowhighschool.org; and, open the quick link – Weekly Syllabus (What are my assignments?). Here students and parents will find the individual teacher’s expectations for the week. THIS MUST BE DONE BEFORE 7:55 AM – AS SOME CLASSES WILL BE MEETING ONLINE DURING THEIR REGULARLY SCHEDULED TIME. FAILING TO ATTEND YOUR ONLINE CLASSES WILL RESULT IN AN ABSENCE.
 
It is important that all students check their Oxbow email regularly; and, use this account when communicating with their teachers.

October 17, 2020

Good Afternoon,

In working with the Vermont Department of Health, we have determined that no students at Oxbow are considered to be close contacts who require testing or quarantine to limit spread. This is excellent news for our students. 

Contact tracing has begun. We have been able to isolate the positive case to the 8th grade.  While we know the positive case is in 8th Grade, I am asking our community to not speculate as to who it is, remembering that we all are doing our best to avoid this insidious virus.

What we have learned from this process is that we are doing an excellent job as a school community. We were able to limit the number of close contacts because we have been following the guidelines from the Agency of Education and the Department of Health. The State Epidemiologists thanked us all for our efforts.  We must continue to always wear a mask, and strive to be at least six feet apart from others. It is making a difference – and it did specifically in this instance.

We anticipate contact tracing to be completed by this evening. We will then determine if remote learning is required on Monday, or if we will be returning to our typical schedule. We will communicate with you when contact tracing is complete by the Vermont Department of Health. 

For those of you asking, there is no impact on River Bend Career and Technical Center or on our shared bus routes. 

Sincerely,

Emilie Knisley

Superintendent of Schools


Dear Oxbow Community:


This morning, we learned about a staff member with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Oxbow. We recommend that you take action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, even if your child is not experiencing symptoms. Please answer the
phone if the Health Department contacts you. A contact tracer may be trying to reach you with important information. As we talk to the Department of Health today, we will reach out to you with updates and next steps.


I recognize that this situation is scary. We know that this infection began outside of our school system, and we are working with the Department of Health to notify anyone who may be considered a close contact. As this list is developed, we will also reach out to families that the Department of Health considers to be close contacts. A close contact is defined as someone who: is within 6 feet of the sick person, with or without a mask, for more than 15 minutes.


Time and time again this community comes together in moments of hardship to support everyone’s well-being. We need to continue to be vigilant in our safety precautions–always wear a mask, keep safe distance from others, keep kids home when they have any symptoms, and wash your hands often.


We will continue to pass along information when we can this weekend, while also maintaining the privacy of our community members. The Department of Health has strict protocols as to what we can and cannot share. We are also following their
guidance on when information can be shared. Together we will get through this.


Any changes to the schedule at Oxbow will be announced as those decisions are made. Oxbow will be closed this weekend for a deep cleaning. Our first step, is to notify families and work with the Department of Health. Please stay tuned throughout the weekend for updates.


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at emilie.knisley@oesu.org or the Vermont Department of Health.

Many thanks,
Emilie Knisley
Superintendent of Schools

The most important things you can do:
• Make sure your child is wearing a mask.
• Make sure your child is washing their hands.
• Keep your child home if they are sick.
• Call your primary care provider if you or your child has symptoms of COVID-19.


A new coronavirus causes COVID-19, which is an illness that was discovered in 2019. Coronaviruses are a type of virus that are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are many kinds of coronaviruses including some that cause respiratory illnesses, like the common cold.

The specific symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea


How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads mainly from having close contact with someone who has a COVID-19 infection. The virus is thought to spread by droplets from person to person when they speak, cough, or sneeze. Droplets travel less than 6 feet. When droplets from another person get in your mouth or nose you can inhale into your lungs. This virus can be spread by people without symptoms.


How can parents and guardians help prevent COVID-19 from spreading?
• If your child is sick, keep them home.
• Make sure members of your household wash their hands often using soap and water for 20 seconds.
• Make sure every member of your household covers their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their elbow, and then washes their hands afterwards.
• Wear a mask in public when you cannot stay 6 feet apart from other people.

We are working with the Health Department to keep our community safe
• We continue to follow the Health Department’s guidance for Childcare and Summer Programs.
• We are cleaning and disinfecting per the Health Department guidance.
• Employees and sick children will not return to work until they are healthy.


Learn more about getting tested in Vermont.

 

October 15, 2020

Dear Families,

As you know, we monitor the travel map put out by the Governor each week in order to comply with quarantine requirements. The map is updated and released each Tuesday afternoon.
Please see the map here: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel
This week’s map marks Grafton County as a hot/orange zone. This means that non-essential travel to Grafton County requires quarantine upon returning to Vermont. This is not a rule we make, but a rule issued by the Governor. Here is what is designated by the Governor as essential travel: People traveling for essential purposes, including work, do not need to quarantine. Essential travel includes travel for personal safety, medical care, care of others, parental shared custody, for food, beverage or medicine, to attend preK-12 school and college if commuting daily, or to perform work for businesses that are currently allowed to operate.

At this point sports practices and other extracurricular activities are not considered essential travel by the State of VT- heading to Grafton County for martial arts, gymnastics, etc. would require quarantine upon returning to Vermont. Again, if you have questions on these issues, please refer to the Vermont Department of Health. Our screening questions ask if you have travelled outside of VT/NH. However, state guidelines say you must quarantine after visiting any red or yellow county on the map. 

August 20, 2020

URGENT COVID NOTIFICATION

Dear NES Community,
We received information this morning that a person who tested positive for COVID was in the school building on Sunday. We are taking the precautionary step of closing the building for a deep clean while we work with the Department of Health. No one will be allowed access to the building except for custodial staff.  


In working with the Department of Health Contact Tracers, we determined that no one at NES had exposure that would lead to further actions beyond a deep clean of the building. No one in the building was exposed to the individual.  In order to be at risk for COVID-19, an individual would need to have been in contact with a positive case within six feet, for greater than fifteen minutes. That did not happen at NES. No one had exposure requiring testing or quarantine.
I want to thank all of the staff at NES for working through this stressful day. Principal Morgan Moore and I appreciate you, and all that you do–even more now than ever before.


I would also like to thank the custodial staff from Bradford and Blue Mountain for volunteering to help deep clean the building to re-open it for Tuesday. We appreciate the community of support we can call upon in times like this. We are thankful that we can rely on our neighboring schools and OESU family to come to the aid of one another when there is a need. 


We plan to re-open the building on Tuesday. In-service will be held remotely on Friday and Monday.  If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out. 

In closing, these are the steps we took based on the Department of Health guidance as well as a video on contact tracing for more detailed explanations and facts:

Contact Tracing video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPH5K8yDG70

Cases of COVID-19 in School

If COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member:

  • The person diagnosed with COVID-19 should isolate according to guidelines set forth by the Vermont Department of Health.
  • Staff or students that have been identified as a close contact should quarantine.
  • Open outside doors and windows and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation inthe area.
  • Close off areas used by a sick person (e.g. offices, bathrooms, classrooms and commonareas) and keep them closed until disinfected according to the following protocol:

o If possible, wait 24 hours since the person has been in the space before

cleaning.

o Focus on frequently touched surfaces and shared electronic equipment.

  • Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, includingstoring products securely away from children.
  • Participate in contact tracing as requested by the Health Department.

• Communicate with staff and parents/caregivers with information while maintaining patient confidentiality. Sincerely,
Emilie B. Knisley, M.Ed., CAGS, CAEL Superintendent

August 10, 2020

July 24, 2020

VT State Guidance for a strong healthy start to school

July 21, 2020

July 20, 2020

Superintendent Letter

May 29, 2020

Bradford Elementary School

End of Year Activities

May 19, 2020

WRVS Letter

May 18, 2020

Blue Mountain Union School

Dear BMU Families,
We hope this email finds you all well.  Finally, we have turned the page with some nice weather and much needed sunshine!  
We are writing today with some important information regarding upcoming dates.  This Friday, May 22nd, is an early release for students.  Therefore, there will be no student programming after 12:00 PM this Friday.  Additionally, Monday, May 25th is Memorial Day, so there will be no school and no meals delivered that day.  In place of meals on Memorial Day, there will be two days worth of meals delivered this Friday, May 22nd.      
Friday, May 29th is the last day of school for preschool students.  Friday, June 5th is the last day of school for K-12 students.  More information will be coming as to how we close out the year, so please stay tuned.  We appreciate all the work and effort you continue to put into your child’s education and hope we can have a strong end to the school year.  
Take care,John Barone and Scott Blood

Orange East Supervisory Union

Dear Families, Today we received guidance from Secretary French regarding end of year activities. Based on this guidance, we will not be able to hold in person end of year celebrations. We know that this news is devastating for many of our Seniors and their families. Please know that we plan to work collaboratively with students and families to find ways to mark these milestones in your lives. We share in your disappointment; while understanding the need of the Secretary to balance public health during these trying times. I will be meeting with all of the principals in the next few days to share ideas and create plans to move forward. Students will have a voice in the decision making. Sincerely, Superintendent Emilie Knisley For the details of the guidance, please go to the following link: https://education.vermont.gov/documents/guidance-end-of-year-gatherings-graduations

May 4, 2020

Waits River Valley School

Newsletter 5/4/7

May 1, 2020

Orange East Supervisory Union

Good Morning, During this uncertain time, The Department for Children and Families-Family Services Division is hard at work anticipating the needs of caregivers and the children being cared for. While we have not yet had a child in foster care test positively for COVID-19, we must anticipate and plan for that possibility. As you know, the volume of COVID-19 cases in the State has risen. On April 9, 2020, Governor Phil Scott extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 15, 2020. We hope that all children and youth in DCF custody will be able to remain in settings they are in today throughout this pandemic. Additionally, we recognize that as the volume of positive cases increase, some caregivers may be unable to continue to care for the child in their home. For that reason, we are actively developing emergency/back-up/ temporary caregivers to support a child or youth who needs to leave their current foster home. We are turning to the people of our communities who in this time of need have chosen to volunteer, to see if you could consider your capacity to temporarily provide care to this very vulnerable group. We are looking for adults, who are able to care for a child/youth under the following circumstances: The child/youth has tested positive for COVID -19 The child/youth requires a level of isolation We are looking for caregivers who: Have a desire to support a child/youth who is likely feeling scared and vulnerable; and Fall into a low-risk category themselves due to age or health status; and Are able to meet foster care licensing standards; and Who optimally have space in their home that could support a level of isolation Training for how to properly care for child who has tested positive for COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment will be made available. Caregivers will receive a stipend for the care they provide. If you believe you have the capacity to provide for a child who requires this type of care, please click here to visit the webpage (https://dcf.vermont.gov/foster-care-inquiry) to share your contact information. A member of the Family Services team will follow up with you promptly. Thank you for your willingness to consider this unique opportunity to support Vermont’s children.

April 30, 2020

Oxbow High School

From the office of the Athletic Director: It is with great regret to have to announce that the Vermont Principals Association cancelled the 2020 spring sports season this morning. The state association held out as long as possible to see if there was a way to save a portion of the season, but with the governor’s decision to extend the stay at home order to May 15th, it became apparent that spring sports could not be salvaged. I apologize to all spring athletes, especially the seniors, and want to thank them for all their hard work and dedication to Oxbow Athletics. I hope that everyone stays safe, and look forward with great anticipation to the Fall 2020 season. If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me at dcipriano@oxbowhs.org. Derek Cipriano Director of Athletics and Activities

Blue Mountain Union

Spring Sports Letter

April 27, 2020

Oxbow High School

Remote learning resumes today, April 27th. Remember to sign into Infinite Campus and complete the survey or call (802)222-5214 before 10 AM for attendance. Be safe and finish strong. We miss you.

The Department of Public Service is asking Vermonters who have a student at home that lacks access to the Internet to fill out a quick survey. This information will be used to identify locations where students lack access to the Internet or where consumers want service to be improved. Responses, without identifying information, may be shared with service providers. There is also a map available showing broadband speeds available at addresses across the state. The map and survey can be found at: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/announcements/map-and-survey-available-help-get-access-internet Consumers can also contact CAPI at 1-800-622-4496 for assistance with filling out the map and survey. Thank you

Waits River Valley School

WRVS Lead Letter 4/27/20

April 17, 2020

Orange East Supervisory Union

We will be following Sec. Dan French’s directive to take the regularly scheduled vacation time this spring. All schools in the OESU will be closed and there will be no remote learning, April 17th – 24th, 2020. We will resume remote learning on Monday April 27th. Have a great time off.

April 16, 2020

WRVS Newsletter

April 14, 2020

Bradford Elementary School

Good Afternoon,

Below are two links from Kate Paxton, Principal. 

We apologize if you have received both of these messages already. We received notification that some parents did not.

Remote Learning Update

Attendance Update

Be safe and stay well. 

Thank you

April 13, 2020

Bradford Elementary School

BES Letter to Families

Letter from Kate Paxton Attendance

Good morning, families. Please check your email this morning for information about our new BES Remote Learning Plan which begins today. If you are unable to check your email, please contact your child’s classroom teacher for further guidance. Thank you.

Waits River Valley School

WRVS Q4 Attendance Procedure

April 10, 2020

OESU- Food Service

We wish to inform parents and guardians that the meals for children 1-18 will continue on the same schedule we have been following during April vacation. The delivery schedule will remain as is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with no break in this service. We are grateful to the many employee volunteers who are supporting this effort. Thanks!

Bradford Elementary School

With approval from the Superintendent, tomorrow, Friday April 10th, will be a teacher work day instead of an instructional day. This means that tomorrow there will be no school for students. Your child’s teacher will be in touch if there is a class meeting scheduled for tomorrow to let you know if that is still happening. Students, enjoy your day off! Kate Paxton, Principal

Please check your email for an important letter from Principal Kate Paxton about new attendance procedures, beginning Monday, April 13. Starting on Monday, students will be required to make daily contact with your BES teacher to count as being present for the day. If you are unable to check your email, please contact your child’s classroom teacher on Monday morning for further guidance. We will also be sharing information on Monday morning about the new phase of our remote learning plan. Thank you, and have a good weekend!

Oxbow High School

Oxbow will begin taking attendance on Monday, April 13, 2020. All students must check their school email prior to 10:00 AM each school day, and fill out the attendance form provided. Students – this is very important. We must have 70% participation each day, or that day will need to be made up in June. More details have been posted on our Oxbow Facebook page, and at www.oxbowhighschool.org. If you do not have access to Internet on Monday, you may call 802-222-5214 and leave a voice message with your name.

Waits River Valley School

Letter to Families 4/10/20

April 7,2020

Oxbow High School

Dear Parents and Students: On behalf of all the staff at Oxbow, we send our love and hope. We can only imagine how difficult it is to manage the shift from school learning to remote learning. Please stay connected and keep working hard. Your efforts during this period do count. Teachers are still guiding your learning and will keep track of how you are progressing toward your learning goals. Over the next 2 weeks, your remote learning will transition from “being maintained” (similar to a review) to “continuation” (new learning, more like regular school but done from home). Each teacher will build the curriculum for the rest of the school year around 3-5 learning intentions/goals that they will use to assess your progress during quarter 4. When we come back together in the fall, you may be put into classes based on the progress you made during this remote learning period. These goals and how you will be assessed/graded will be shared with you by the end of this week. In an effort to help students concentrate their remote learning on core classes, all one-period classes at RBCTC, 7th grade rotation classes, and 8th grade rotation classes have been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Please stay focused. Set up a good routine, try your hardest, and be proud of your efforts. Stay home if you are not an essential worker, and stay safe. We miss you. Ms. Wheeler

OESU- Food Service Update

We have tried our best to communicate the availability of two free meals a day to all children living in towns serviced by The Orange East Supervisory Union. We believe some may still be reluctant to take advantage of the program for fear that it might take away from their more needy neighbors. While this is an admirable sentiment, we wish to assure you that all children can be part of this program and no one needs to hold back from participating. Normally this program (Summer Food Service) bridges the gap between school years, giving children 18 and under the fuel they need to play and grow throughout the summer months and return to school ready to learn. For example, in Summer 2018, 59 sponsors served 427,758 meals at almost 300 sites throughout the state. The program consists of sponsors and sites. Sponsors can be supervisory unions or school districts, private non-profit organizations, government entities, and non-profit residential camps. Sponsors enter into an agreement with the Agency of Education Child Nutrition Programs to provide meals and file claims for reimbursement. Sponsors are reimbursed on a per meal basis for meals served to eligible children. Sites are the physical location where meals are served and consumed. Examples of sites include schools, parks, housing complexes, and libraries. Sponsors often have more than one site. The OESU is an approved sponsor and all of our schools are eligible sites. All meals are reimbursed by the Federal Government and this time period of school closure has been approved for using this program. Thanks to quick work by all involved in our Food Service Programs we were able to qualify for this meal program at the very beginning of the Governor’s school closure order. At this time we are serving well over 1000 meals a day, but have the capacity to do more. We are using our bus service to deliver to bus stops in all of our towns and door to door the Waits River Valley School system. We have dedicated Food Service Managers as well as numerous school employees who are devoting their time to this effort. We are grateful. Thank you

Available Resources and Services

April 6, 2020

Waits River Valley School

During this time of remote instruction, Waits River will be utilizing online resources to provide continuing classroom instruction to students. In order to ensure that every child in a class receives the instruction, general education classroom online instruction will be video and audio recorded so that it can be accessed at a later time. The primary focus of the recording will be on the instruction and the teacher, not on the students in the class. We are required by law to have the student release form signed by a parent or guardian acknowledging your understanding that video and audio recording will occur. OESU is pushing out an email tomorrow to all families that will contain a link to be able to digitally sign the form and submit it back to Waits River. Please watch for this notice and if you don’t receive it in your email by the end of the day tomorrow, please let me know. My email is acramer@wrvschool.org. Again, my apologies if we are being redundant in our quest for this documentation. Thank you.

April 3, 2020

OESU

OUUSD board

Bradford, Newbury & Oxbow High School

Starting Monday 4/6, meals will be delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There will be 2 days’ worth of meals plus milk for each. They will be bagged together in black grocery bags, so each child will receive a black bag and milk. Same procedure as currently happens with picking them up at the bus stop or at Grab n’ Go at BES or NES from 11:00-12:30.

April 2, 2020

Oxbow High School

Oxbow – At 1:30 today, 4/2, the drop box will be locked until further notice. You may drop work off before 1:30. Assignments and due dates have not changed because of this closure. Teachers will help you find ways to get work to them during this closure.

April 1, 2020

Oxbow High School

OHS – The main office at OHS will close at 2 PM on April 2nd until further notice. The drop box will close at 1:30 on April 2nd. All Chromebooks must be picked up by 2 PM on April 2nd. We will notify you when the office and these services are able to resume.

Oxbow High School – Beginning on Monday, April 6th, meals will only be delivered on Mon, Wed. and Fri. Delivery will be at the same time and you will receive enough food for 7 days worth of meals.

This message is intended for all parents and students at Oxbow High School: We hope you are all well and staying home and safe. Here are some IMPORTANT details on essential functions at Oxbow High School: 1. Main Office will close on Thursday, 4/2/2020, at 2:00 PM. until further notice. This will affect schoolwork drop off and computer distribution. Schoolwork Drop Off – All school work must be handed in at the drop off box by 1:30 Pm, Thursday, 4/2/2020. Students should reach out to teachers to make arrangements for turning in work after this time. The Drop Box will be locked until further notice.Chromebooks distribution – all Chromebooks will need to be picked up by 2:00 PM on Thursday, 4/2/2020. 2. Meal deliveries will change.Meals will ONLY be delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They will be delivered at the same time on those days. There will be NO deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday deliveries you will receive enough food for 7 days worth of meals.Schoolwork cannot be delivered or picked up using the meals bus. 3. Students will not be allowed to enter the building to collect personal belongings left in their lockers at school until after the Stay Home/Stay Safe Order has been lifted. 4. Teachers are working on creating learning plans that focus on 3-5 learning intentions in each course. This plan will take effect on April 13, 2020. We are striving to keep the expectations clear and concise and readily available for both students and parents as we move into the continuity of learning phase of COVID-19 School Closure. STUDENTS SHOULD BE CHECKING THEIR EMAILS DAILY AND EXPECT ABOUT 2-4 HOURS OF SCHOOL WORK (FOR ALL COURSES COMBINED) DAILY. By Friday, 4/10/202, your child will have received guidance and instruction regarding this continuity of learning plan from each teacher. Please be sure they are accessing their school Google email. If they are unable to access Google, please call 802-449-7047 immediately. Please stay home and stay safe. Jean Wheeler

March 31, 2020

Blue Mountain Union School

Good Afternoon! We are emailing you to inform you about changes that have been made to the end of the third marking quarter and the start of the fourth marking quarter. The Governor and the Secretary of Education for the state of Vermont have been very clear about the difference between maintenance of learning (practicing what has already been taught/learned) versus new learning (new content/information) during this time of school closure and the move to virtual learning. So, given this information: The close of the third marking quarter (at BMU) has been moved, for grades 5-12 at BMU, to Friday, April 17, 2020. The start of the fourth marking quarter (at BMU) will be Monday, April 27, 2020. Teachers will have to have their quarter three grades finalized in Infinite Campus by Wednesday, April 29, 2020. We will then be able to generate a third quarter report card. The start date for the fourth marking quarter is with the assumption that we will still be on spring vacation the week of April 20th. If this is not the case and we are not on vacation the week of April 20th, the start date for the 4th quarter will be moved to Monday, April 20th. For now (at BMU), plan on the third quarter ending April 17th and the fourth quarter starting 4/27th. We will let you know if this changes. Stay well. Stay positive. We will all get through this situation together. We hope to see you soon! All our best to you and your families. Mr. Blood and Dr. Barone

March 30, 2020

March 27, 2020

Orange East Supervisory Union

Department of Labor Paid Leave Updates

Guidance from AOE:

(NEW) Maintenance of Learning Guidelines for Educators (3/26)

(NEW) Maintenance of Learning Guidelines for Families and Guardians (3/26)

March 26, 2020

Orange East Supervisory Union

Based on the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order last night, Secretary of Education Dan French has informed schools that they are no longer required to provide childcare for the school age children of Essential Persons.  Families who have a need for care because they’re Essential Persons may contact VCP Children’s Center in Bradford for care through April 6, per our agreement with them.  

March 25, 2020

Orange East Supervisory Union

We are awaiting more guidance from the Agency of Education regarding the Governor’s order to “stay at home”. We have been told to expect that guidance today. We will share the guidance once we receive it, as well as any changes impacting our current operations. 

March 24, 2020

The link below is to the Vermont Department of Public Service, which has links to companies like Comcast that are offering free internet for 2 months for low-income households. Comcast is also committed to serving people, even if they cannot pay their bill. Mobile phone companies are helping out and hotspots will have free access etc.

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/new-connectivity-resources-support-you-during-covid-19-state-emergency-vermont

Oxbow High School

To clarify: We are changing the date for the end of Quarter 3 to April 17th to allow students time to work with teachers upon returning to school. At this time, and this is subject to change, the day we are expected to return to school is still Monday, April 6th.

Due to school closure, quarter 3 at Oxbow High School will be extended to April 17th. All teachers will develop an instructional plan and communicate this information to all students and parents by Monday, March 30, 2020.

March 23, 2020

Orange East Supervisory Union seeks temporary help for the following postings. Please contact Director of Human Resources, Melanie Elliott at melanie.elliott@oesu.org or apply on School Spring.

Temporary Food Service Workers, Job ID #3249838

Temporary Food Service Managers, Job ID #3249839

Temporary Custodians, Job ID #3249842

Blue Mountain Union School

To all BMU Students/Families: 
We will not be moving forward, at least at this time, with the courier service that was announced last week.  Instead, students who wish/need to turn in work, please use the school buses during their food delivery runs.  There is a drop box in the front of the school that students can also use.  Students please be sure your work is clearly labeled with your name and the teacher’s name. 

Also, Students and families can now access the Blue Mountain library collection while they are at home.  To reserve books and arrange for delivery, please call Mrs. Davie at 757-2711 x1142, or visit the library’s page at www.bmuschool.org.

Finally, if you are receiving meals from Mark or Sue’s bus, please know their food distribution run will be 15 minutes late on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

 Thank you. 
Mr. Blood and Dr. Barone

Oxbow High School

We hope this finds you all well. Please remind your child to check their email on a daily basis. If your child does not have access to Internet or to a computer, please notify us by calling 802-222-5214. All students have access to meals that are being delivered Mondays-Fridays. If you need help accessing these meal drop offs, call us at the above number. Do not hesitate to reach out to the office or your child’s teachers. We are here to help.

Waits River Valley School

Good evening. Earlier today we sent a message with a phone number that Corinth residents could call if they had quarantine related needs such as transportation, groceries, prescriptions, heat, etc. The correct number to call is 439-3500 NOT 439-5300 that is indicated on the flyer that was posted on the school’s Facebook page. My apologies for the confusion.

This is Amy Cramer from the Waits River Valley School calling to share important information with you that we would appreciate you sharing with others. In response to Covid-19, residents of Corinth can call 439-5300 and leave a message for help with transportation, groceries, prescriptions, heat, and any other quarantine related needs. To volunteer with this endeavor, please contact Steve Long at slcorinth@gmail.com. For more information go to http://www.corinthvt.org. The contact person for support in Topsham is Jim Bulger. He can be reached at the town hall at 439-5505 or at his home at 439-5259.


March 18, 2020

We are writing to staff and families to inquire about the status of their child care needs. We are surveying families in the SU to better understand the needs of those in our communities who have been designated as essential personnel. If you have a need for child care, please contact us via email at: childcare@oesu.org Please let us know what your need is, ages of the children and grade level, and school of attendance. Once we have assessed the needs within our schools, we will work to connect families to services. If you are a staff member who is willing to help provide childcare during this time. Please email the same address.

 

Orange East Supervisory Union

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In our message yesterday regarding food production and distribution, we failed to clarify that these meals will be no charge to the students. This is a Federal program, so we will need to be sure to record the number of meals given out, but it is for all children. The schedule for the first few days will be tricky, so please be flexible about being at the bus stops a bit early and be patient. If you do miss the bus delivery, please do not hesitate to stop by one of the school sites to “grab and go”.

Again, if you have questions, please call Bruce Williams at 802-222-5216 extension 102 or e-mail at bruce.williams@oesu.org. Be well and be safe. Thank you 

 


March 16, 2020

Blue Mountain Union School District

Dear Parents/Guardians, There will be no school sponsored afternoon activities today (Monday, March 16th) or tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17th). The VPA has postponed the spring sports season until April 6th, at which time it will be re-evaluated. The production of the BMU musical will not happen as scheduled in early April and the school is currently assessing whether it will be postponed or canceled. The after school program will be running today (Monday, March 16th) and tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17th). 

Orange East Supervisory Union

Dear Parents and Caregivers for Bradford Elementary School, Newbury Elementary School, Oxbow Union High School and Blue Mountain Union School, Starting on Wednesday morning, March 18, Grab n’ Go bag meals (lunch for the immediate day and breakfast for the next day) will be available via the bus that your child normally rides. All buses will be leaving Bradford Elementary School at 10:00 am and will continue until they have finished the run. You should look for your child’s bus at the regular bus stop at roughly five hours earlier than the normal afternoon drop off. We will be using the afternoon run as our model.

In addition, these grab and go meals will also be available for pick up every weekday from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm at the front door of Bradford Elementary School , Newbury Elementary School , and Blue Mountain Union School. Lunch for the current day and breakfast for the following morning will be available for anyone who is 1 to 18 years old. Some Oxbow students who reside in towns of Corinth and Topsham will receive this message. Please be advised that Waits River Valley School will be providing access to grab and go meals for you. You will receive a message from the Waits River Valley School about this distribution.

Please contact Bruce Williams, either by e-mail or phone at 802-222-5216, extension 102, or bruce.williams@oesu.org if you have any questions. Thank you 


March 15, 2020

Waits River Valley School:

Kindergarten Registration Thursday, March 26 & Friday, March 27 is CANCELLED….We will contact all families who have made appointments.  We plan to reschedule further into Spring.  All current Kindergarten scholars WILL have school on those dates now.  Please spread the word…..

 

Newbury Elementary School:

Good Afternoon Newbury Families,

I wanted to follow up on the letter that was sent out yesterday afternoon. As the letter states, the building will be open only to students and staff until further notice. Here are some important logistical updates:
Parents can drop students off at the front door, staff will be there to help students transition to classrooms. If you drop off your student late, just ring the bell and we will meet you at the door to walk your student to class.

At the end of the day, parent pick up will be held outside the front door. If you need to pick up your student during the day, ring to be let in – we will bring your student to meet you at the door. Afterschool and preschool will also adjust their pickup and drop off routines to ensure that only students and staff are inside the building.

Our goal is to help students maintain as normal of a schedule as possible. We will run a usual school day schedule, but students will eat breakfast, snack and lunch in their classrooms. The hot lunch menu will still be available to students, but the cafeteria will be closed.

Students will also have their specials classes in their classrooms, or outside. We won’t be having school assemblies, field trips, or guest speakers at this time. We will continue to teach academics as normally scheduled, and teachers and staff are prepared to respond to student need to talk with students about these changes.

Also, there will be a food drive table outside the front door, starting on Monday morning. Please feel free to take any items you need from this table, or drop off items if you are able throughout the week.

Please reach out with any questions. I will continue to update you as soon as I receive any further information. Have a good evening, I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, after the delay.

Thank You,
Morgan Moore
Newbury Elementary School Principal


March 13, 2020

Oxbow High School:

ATTENTION: The Winter Sports Banquet scheduled for next week has been canceled.

 

Announcement 2:

Dear OESU Families: COVID-19 is now considered a global pandemic and is a rapidly changing situation here in Vermont. OESU is following all guidelines and communications from the VT Department of Health and Agency of Education. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and to actively participate in regional and state-wide coordination efforts. The Governor has a press conference scheduled for this evening to discuss statewide plans. We are developing contingency plans should we be required to suspend operations. We ask that families begin to make the same plans for their own families in case prolonged school closures do occur. At this point, we are not aware of any members of our school community who are among the confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19. However, we do anticipate that that cases in our State will continue to rise. As a result of COVID-19 we are taking the following steps: 1. Until further notice, OESU is not allowing any usage of the school facilities by outside groups. This does include outside entities wanting to use the District’s facilities in the evenings and on weekends. 2. All field trips scheduled through April will be cancelled or postponed. There will be no exceptions to this rule. 3. As of Monday, March 16th. We will be limiting access to OESU schools to staff and students only. We will continue to allow contracted mental health providers to use our schools during this time. News reports of large-scale school closing in other parts of the country have all of our attention. We are working closely with the Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health on this developing situation. I have heard concerns from many of you regarding the issues of school closure (both pros and cons), and I have relayed those concerns to the Secretary of Education. Our Leadership Team is meeting to continue our planning for long-range closures. If the situation changes over the weekend, I will be in contact with families. In order for us to give teachers time to plan for instruction, OESU schools will be having a delayed opening on Monday, March 16th. All schools will be operating on a two-hour delay (except Thetford, which has no school). Teachers and staff will report to work at their usual time to work on preparing learning opportunities for students in the event of a long-term closure due to COVID-19. OESU staff should check their email for details on Monday’s plans. Sincerely, Emilie Knisley

 

Announcement 1: The VPA has announced they will not be rescheduling any further winter athletics events, including the Oxbow girls’ basketball game.  More information is available here.


March 12, 2020

Announcement 4: BES Play Performances Friday and Saturday Postponed Indefinitely. Please see email or today’s newsletter for more info.

Announcement 3: Dear Parents/Guardians, We will be closing our building from 1:00 PM on Friday, March 13th, through Sunday, March 15th. That means there will be no activities happening at BMU during that time. This includes, but is not limited to, all meetings, play practice, and all community events scheduled throughout the weekend. Our custodial staff will be here during that time to complete a thorough cleaning of the facility to prepare our students and staff for a fresh start on Monday, March 16th. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to support the health and wellness of our school community. Sincerely, Dr. Barone and Mr. Blood

Announcement 2: Update: We have just received word from the VPA that the Oxbow Game is postponed indefinitely. Please hold onto tickets until further notice.

Announcement 1: ATTENTION ANYONE GOING TO THE GIRLS SEMIFINAL GAME TONIGHT AT BARRE AUDITORIUM: The VPA has determined that the girls basketball semifinals game tonight (3/12) WILL NOT be open to the public. The game can be streamed on www.nfhsnetwork.com and will be broadcasted on WYKR at 101.3 or at https://wykr.com . Any tickets that were purchased at Oxbow High School can be returned for a full refund at Oxbow on Friday (3/13) and Monday (3/16). The VPA will handle the refunds for all on-line tickets purchased. Please direct any questions to the Main Office at Oxbow High School


March 9, 2020

We are making the decision to close Waits River Valley School tomorrow, Tuesday March 10th. Out of an abundance of caution, we will be taking a full day to disinfect the school. Due to staffing levels, it would not be possible to complete a thorough disinfection process this evening in time for scholars to return to school tomorrow morning. Therefore, school will not be in session tomorrow. Waits River currently has several staff and students out with flu like symptoms, as well as a viral stomach bug. Additionally, a Vermonter with ties to WRVS community is currently being tested for COVID-19. This person has not had contact with the school and the risk is very low, but we feel that a deep cleaning is an appropriate precautionary measure to take at this juncture. We anticipate school being in session on Wednesday, and we will update you with any further information as needed. If you have any questions, please direct them to either Emilie Knisley, superintendent of schools or Carlotta Simonds-Perantoni, principal.

 
 

March 5, 2020

Update: The CDC is stating that adults and students alike be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school. This means they need to be fever-free without the use of fever reducing medications.

Please remember to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, please use the crook of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eye, nose or mouth.
  • Clean & disinfect frequently touched objects & surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.

The Vermont Department of Health is closely monitoring the rapid developments in the
outbreak of respiratory illness called COVID-19 that is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.
Vermont is prepared to respond to protect and support Vermonters.

Please check out this link for more information: COVID-19 Guidance