March 15, 2020
Village School of North Bennington to Close on Tuesday, March 17,
for Three Weeks
Due to an abundance of caution and under the guidance of state officials and the CDC mitigation recommendations, we will be closing the school and moving to distance learning starting on Tuesday, March 17, for three weeks. The Village School will be open on Monday, March 16, in order for the teachers to connect with all their students and prepare for the closure. Attendance at school on March 16 is by no means required; if you want to keep your student(s) home, we completely support that decision. On or before Monday, April 6, we will work with the Department of Health and the Agency of Education to reassess the situation and to determine the best course of action going forward.
One of the most important things to do in this time of heightened stress and upheaval is to communicate with our children in a way that is developmentally appropriate and that they can understand. Here is a link to an article that has good practical advice on how to talk to your kids about COVID-19 and this growing community health crisis.
Although school will be closed, the Agency of Education requires schools to make their best effort at maintaining the continuity of students’ education. This means that we are asking students to do a certain amount of work each day for their core subjects. This does not pertain to Pre-K students. For students in Kindergarten and First Grade, students will receive hardcopy packets of work. Students in Grades 2-6 will take home Chromebooks to use e-learning sites they are already familiar with, and they will also have hardcopy packets. Families should expect to hear directly from their student’s teacher with complete details and to be sure families understand the work expectations during the closure. Teachers will provide families and students with everything they need to be as successful as possible with their school work.
Throughout the school closure, teachers will be available by email, phone, and text to answer questions and to provide support. The school’s Director of Technology, Amanda Bickford (firstname.lastname@example.org), will be available for tech support, as well. If you do not have access to the Internet, please let your student’s teacher know and teachers can provide hardcopy work only.
Students’ distance-learning work packets may not be ready immediately. Each teacher will notify their students’ families as the packets are available. Please expect to hear from teachers and the school administrators via e-mail and text message. We will let you know when and how you can pick up these packets. It is most likely that we will ask families to drive up to the school and remain in the car while a staff member delivers the packets to your car.
Additionally, we are prioritizing the preparation and distribution of distance-learning work over Progress Reports. It is likely that students’ Progress Reports will be delayed. As soon as they are available, they will be provided to families. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility, as well as your help in supporting your students’ distance-learning.
To ensure food security for our families during the closure, we will be working with the Abbey Group to make meals available for pick up. Further details regarding meals will be made available as soon as possible.
During the closure, it is strongly advised that families limit their contact with other families and follow the guidelines laid out by the CDC to help keep everyone healthy.
This will be a challenging time for all; we need to come together as a community, a state, and a nation in order to get through this crisis as best we can. If you have any questions or concerns about the decision to close the school, please reach out to me directly and I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion.
I wish everyone good health and peace of mind throughout this period.
Head of School
Children are at the heart of all we do. We nurture a child's curiosity, ignite enthusiasm for exploring, develop tools for inquiry, for invention, for achievement. We welcome families into a community-wide collaboration to help our children grow into their best selves - responsible citizens and stewards of the greater world, makers of the future.