The Mountain Times

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News briefs from Killington Elementary School

"Be respectful! Be responsible! And be safe!" This is the mantra at Killington Elementary School (KES) as we begin our third year of participation in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). At KES we call this program our "Superstar" program, named after one of our students' favorite trails on Killington Mountain. Children receive stars and praise to reinforce expected respectful, responsible, and safe behaviors.

School-wide, we set goals for ourselves and hold all-school celebrations when we reach each goal. However, the over-arching goal is for the faculty and staff to maintain a school environment that is most effective for achieving academic, emotional, and social goals. Talk to your child about this to gather more information and ask about our most recent snow-sculpture celebration after students earned a collective 12,000 stars!  

Once again this year, our Superstar Program includes an opportunity to offer greater support to students in need, upon teacher and/or parent referral. If your child is selected to participate in this, you will receive a letter from us with a request to act as a partner in helping your child achieve her goals. If you would like to select your child for this type of program, please discuss this with your child's teacher.

PBIS is a research-based program that focuses upon sound educational practices grounded in psychological and sociological theory.

•    "To visit the old quarter in the city of Fez and to go hiking in the Atlas Mountains, you would travel to what country?"
•    "The Edwards Plateau, where many tributaries of the Rio Grande rise, is located in what state?"
•    "The Kutznetsk Basin, a region of heavy manufacturing, lies approximately 1,000 miles east of which major mountain range?"
Members of Mrs. Garland's and Mrs. Simonds' Geography Team answered these questions and more as they competed to win the school-wide Geography Bee on Friday, Jan. 11. Congratulations to sixth grader, T.J. Borzekowski, for winning the competition and congratulations to his fellow teammates and competitors for their quest to gain geographical knowledge. T.J.'s next step is to move on to the regional competition in Middlebury. Good luck, T.J.!

This past week KES had a visit from Vermont State Police Lieutenant Chuck Cacciatore, along with Killington Town Constable Whit Montgomery, to review crisis procedures in the school. Overall, KES has solid plans and procedures in place to guide us in the event of a crisis.

In the upcoming months, children and staff will continue to practice drills, and law enforcement officers plan to join staff and children during these exercises to determine if there are any new considerations to be made by the KES Crisis Team and the KES School Board. In addition to this, Tim Vincent, from the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust, visited KES to discuss ideal plans for safe schools and to offer new resources, such as a "Threat Assessment Toolkit" to schools throughout the state. It was noted that programs for school climate, such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Crisis Prevention Intervention, are designed to help schools create a positive and supportive environment and act as an important initial step to becoming a safe school. 

By Jamie Sudol, R.N., School Nurse at KES
As a community, it is important for us to recognize if and when a child is in harm's way. Child abuse and child sexual abuse are more prevalent than most people realize. If we are educated about the "warning signs", we can help prevent unthinkable outcomes. As many of you remember from last year,Vermont now has a mandate called "ACT I" that requires schools to educate the staff, students, and community about child sexual abuse. Please be on the lookout for a booklet that will be sent home for all parents to read, entitled "STEP UP: Protect children from sexual abuse." This book contains valuable information for everyone. I understand that this is an uncomfortable subject, but together we can do something to help keep our children safe.

In health classes, ACT I will be covered by using materials and curriculum that have been carefully researched and are approved by a multitude of child advocacy groups including the Vermont Department for Children & Families. Lessons will be age appropriate, always using anatomically correct terminology for body parts. If you have any questions regarding these lessons, please contact me at 422-3366 ext 212. I would be happy to share with anyone what the children are learning in the classroom. Once again, be on the lookout for the booklet that will be sent home in the near future. As a caring community, we can be a "safety net" for our children.

Tagged: News Briefs, Killington Elementary School