Message From The Principal
Believe it or not, soon the days will begin to be sunnier, with more springlike weather. This warmer weather allows opportunities to do a few of the things that we would do during a normal school year. On example, is school photos. We held off on having school photos in the fall because we were just learning how to keep everyone safe. During this school year we have learned a lot about how to keep our community safe during the pandemic. This year we will have spring pictures on April 20th. Photos will be taken by Whipple Studios and will include individual and class photos. We will utilize the Gazebo for safety purposes. Unless we receive a note from parents stating otherwise, individual photos will be taken without masks. All class photos will be taken with masks, what better way to mark a covid school year! As we get closer to the date, you will receive picture day envelopes to complete and send back to school. I am thrilled that we are able to have school photos!
Many families have shared with us that the adults in the household are fully vaccinated and the family has travel plans during vacation. Most of these plans include MCS students and leaving the state. My personal preference would be for families to stay the course and avoid traveling out of state until summer vacation arrives. However, I fully understand that everyone is stir crazy and just itching to leave the area for a bit. Unfortunately, students are not yet vaccinated and must still adhere to the Vermont guidance. Here are two pieces of information to know upfront:
With spring also comes the sugaring season. Our expert sugarer, Lindsay Putnam, has been hard at work with students and teachers to gather and boil sap into delicious syrup. This past Wednesday afternoon some of our remote learning friends came for a visit and were able to enjoy the sugarhouse and maple sugaring experience. I can attest to the syrup being delicious as I greatly enjoyed a fresh cup directly from the evaporator...compliments of the third grade!
Enjoy the weekend,
Message From Student Services
Thank you to the 101 families and 183 students that completed our climate survey. For all the families that still want to give your feedback (link), you are still welcome to, but the survey closes on April 1st (No April Fools).
The bar graph below compares last year’s results to this year’s. There were several questions that led to the average for each category (i.e. Teaching and Learning). A three meant somewhat agree and a four meant strongly agree. It is great to see overall improvement in every category except one. One of our goals for the fall will be to improve our parental involvement, but of course, during the pandemic, this proved challenging.
Students took a shorter survey. The eleven questions referenced in the bar graph were:
1. I like school.
2. I feel like I do well in school.
3. My school wants me to do well.
4. My school has clear rules for behavior.
5. Teachers treat me with respect.
6. Good behavior is noticed at my school.
7. I get along with other students.
8. I feel safe at school.
9. Students treat each other well.
10. There is an adult at my school who will help me if I need it.
11. Students in my class behave so that teachers can teach.
A 1 on this survey was never, a 2 was sometimes, a 3 was often, and a 4 was always. On a positive note all but one category increased (Q4 decreased). During our inservice, teachers met to look at this survey and we created goals to improve some aspects of our climate. Students liking school and behaviors so teachers can teach were priorities.
I hope this survey reflects the attitudes of families and students and if they do, we should be proud of the hard work of our community during this challenging year.
School News and Information
After many weeks of collaboration, the 2021 1st Grade Dinosaur Extravaganza is ready for viewing. Enjoy!
The Harris Center for Conservation Education reminds us that, "Every spring, spotted salamanders, wood frogs, spring peepers, and other amphibians migrate to breeding pools their species have used for thousands of years. Superimposed upon this ancient world, however, is a new world of houses, shopping centers, and, perhaps most importantly, roads. In areas where amphibians must cross roads, many are killed by passing cars. Studies have shown that this road mortality can have a significant impact on amphibian populations, and that efforts to protect migrating amphibians can reverse the negative trend."
This ancient migration is about to begin! You can help them by participating in a Salamander Crossing Brigade. The Norwich Conservation Commission will be forming an ongoing team of helpers in the next year. This year, please consider participating as a family using the following resources. It is recommended that first-timers join up with other families and get advice from the Conservation Commission on locations and safety. It is very important for your safety to wear reflective vests/clothing, have strong flashlights, and monitor children carefully.
If you are interested in helping salamanders in Norwich, you can contact Lindsay Putnam (LEEEP Coordinator) atlindsay.putnam@
Learn more about The Big Night in Vermont from The Harris Center - https://harriscenter.org/
MCS students have been continuing to collect sap that Lindsay is boiling into maple syrup for our annual MCS "Sugaring-Off Day" in mid-April. Classrooms will all have a special treat on that day! We are exploring the science of sugaring, as well as the history and culture of this ancient art. Younger students are hearing Native American traditional stories of sugaring, which in most cases connect directly to modern understandings of forest ecology and maple science. Older students are learning about photosynthesis, percentage of sugar in the sap, syrup density at different temperatures, and the maple tree's unique characteristics which account for us being able to harvest this special food. We have also been working our muscles. The students have been carrying many loads of heavy sap back to the sugar house, working as a team. This year's low sugar content of around 1% sugar, rather than 2%, means that we are boiling an average of 80 gallons of sap to get 1 gallon of syrup! That is a lot of sap hauling and boiling. Enjoy the photos.
Health Office Information
If your child is ill, please contact Pam Hausler, School Nurse, to discuss Vermont guidelines related to return to school. 802-649-1703 x 5114 or email: email@example.com. Do not hesitate to contact the health office with any questions or concerns. Communication is essential during these times.
Please remember if your child has a COVID test done that it should be a PCR test in order to return to school. Clear Choice MD in West Lebanon, NH automatically does a Rapid COVID test which is not acceptable for return to school. Please make sure that a PCR test is done.
There are many people that have been vaccinated and there have been questions about travel for the vaccinated people and also multiple household gatherings.
Please remember VT travel guidelines as you are preparing for April Break. Unvaccinated people are not able to travel without quarantining which means that your children will need to quarantine if they travel outside of Vermont.
Please see the VT Department of Health link below for information related to travel and multiple household gatherings:
Please contact the MCS Health Office with any questions. You may also talk with the Health Department directly at
If your child is in 6th grade and they have documentation of their Tdap immunization, please email this information to:firstname.lastname@example.org. Your child’s PCP can also fax this information to: 802-649-3640. The Tdap vaccine is required for all students entering 7th grade.
Welcome to Cross Words. Here you will find the weekly newsletter as well as its archives. We encourage you to come back often to hear about the fun and exciting things happening around our school.
MCS Cross Words, April 2, 2021