Champlain Valley School District
Family and Student Handbook
Champlain Valley School District Mission Statement with Graduation Standards
A student attending a school in the Champlain Valley School District must be a resident of one of its member towns, (Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George, Williston or Charlotte), an approved participant in the Vermont School Choice Program, or an approved foreign exchange student. Students/parents may be held financially responsible for tuition covering the period of time in which a student is in attendance while not meeting the criteria above.
The Champlain Valley School District composed of Allen Brook School, Charlotte Central School, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg Community School, Shelburne Community School, and Williston Central School hereby provide the following notice in compliance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) 40 CPR 763.93 [g.]  Requires that written notification be given that the following schools/buildings have Asbestos Management Plans for the safe control and maintenance of asbestos containing materials found in their buildings. These Management Plans are available and accessible to the public at the administrative office of each facility listed above. Dated August 13, 2018.
The Champlain Valley School District implements a local comprehensive assessment system at all grade levels to monitor student progress and respond, as necessary. In addition, all Vermont students in grades 3-9 are required to participate in state-mandated testing developed as part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), or an alternative assessment, as appropriate. State-mandated assessment measures student progress in English Language Arts, and Mathematics. In addition, students in grades 5, 8, and 11 will participate in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Assessment, and students will also be assessed in Physical Education/Fitness. The Vermont Agency of Education does not permit parents to opt students out of state-mandated assessment.
In accordance with Vermont law, the Champlain Valley School District requires school attendance of students between the ages of 6 and 16 years of age. The Champlain Valley School District believes consistent attendance is a prerequisite for the academic, social and emotional growth of students. It is very important that all children be in school on time each day. If they are not, valuable learning time is lost. In addition, punctual attendance is important to the development of responsible and effective work/study habits. If your child is going to be absent or tardy, please call the school first thing in the morning. Please inform the school if your child needs to leave for an appointment during the day, or has any other changes in their schedule. As required by the state and our Attendance/Truancy Policy, if a pattern of absenteeism develops, you will receive a communication from the school for every 5 days of absence. At 20 days of absence, outside agencies may be notified.
Planned 10 Day or Longer Absence: While absences from school can be disruptive to the educational process, we are aware that, on occasion, students need to be absent from school for extended periods of time. If a planned absence will extend 10 or more consecutive days, the Planned 10+ Day Absence Form must be filled out and signed by the principal, student, and parent/guardian, in order for the student to remain enrolled in school and earning credit/grades. The family is responsible for proposing a learning plan, which the student will complete as a result of the planned absence, and submitting it to the principal for approval. Absences through this plan will be noted as planned absences, and truancy action will not be pursued based upon these days of absence if the approved learning plan is completed. However, letters indicating the number of absences a student has will continue to be sent to the parent/guardian. Please note that the school is not responsible for fully “catching up” a child during a voluntary planned absence nor are they responsible for replicating any experiences the student misses during the planned absence. The Planned 10+ Day Absence Form (Attachment A) is not to be used when a student will enroll at another school or educational program for a period of time within the school year and return. In that case, the parent must withdraw the student. When the student returns, he/she can be re-enrolled.
Regular Weekly Absence for Attendance at a Part-time Program: If a student attends another program outside of school on a part-time basis, a parent/guardian is expected to complete the Form for Regular Weekly Absence, and return it to their school’s main office.
It is the policy of the Champlain Valley School District board to provide a safe environment on school buses transporting students to and from school and school activities and to maintain student discipline policies. Bus drivers are authorized and expected to maintain appropriate student behavior on the bus. Riding the bus is a privilege. Students who engage in inappropriate conduct may lose this privilege. In the event a student is denied transportation privileges by the principal or designee as a result of disciplinary action or consequences, the parent/guardian will be notified.
Communication with parents and guardians is a key component in maintaining family engagement and support. Currently, every teacher/team and school communicates regularly in some way to families. Emails, blogs, newsletters, websites, and Facebook, are a few of these ways. If you reach out to a person who works in the district, you can expect a response to your communication within two (2) school days (keeping in mind that weekends and the days school is not in session are not included). In the event that a response will take more time, district employees may acknowledge receipt of your email with information about when they will be able to provide resolution to your request. Please remember that if you have a concern, please go to the person most directly involved first.
Connecting Youth is a 5-12 program of CVSD with a mission of promoting a culture that develops in our youth the power and conviction to make healthy choices. Overseen by Christine Lloyd-Newberry, Director of Integrated Wellness, CY is guided by an all volunteer Prevention Advisory Committee. Funded through a combination of federal, state and local grants as well as support from CVSD, CY offers substance use prevention, health promotion and youth leadership opportunities in CVSD schools. Programs include:
For more information, check out CY online at www.seewhy.info, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/connectingyouth, or contact the CVSD Director of Integrated Wellness, Christine Lloyd-Newberry firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (802)985-1931.
Champlain Valley School District and the state of VT have adopted the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts, and the Next Generation Science Standards which demand rigorous teaching and learning of knowledge and skills for college and career readiness. Effective with the Class of 2020, and aligned with Vermont’s Education Quality Standards and the Champlain Valley School District Graduation Policy, students will meet the requirements for graduation when they demonstrate evidence of proficiency in the following academic content and transferable skills.
Curriculum and instruction focuses on both the academic content areas and the transferable skills. At the middle level, student learning becomes more personalized through the introduction of proficiency-based learning and the development of personalized learning plans (PLPs). At the high school, students continue to develop PLP’s to reflect on their learning and explore individual pathways to graduation. Curriculum documents may be viewed online on the CVSD website.
Schools in the Champlain Valley School District may disclose designated directory information on students without the prior consent of the parent or eligible student, and without any record of such disclosure. The following types of personally identifiable information may be designated directory information: Student’s name, address, telephone number, electronic e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, grade level, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities or sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, and/or degrees, honors and awards received.
Disclosure may also include such personally identifiable information contained or reflected in photographs. As a parent/guardian of a student currently attending school in any of the supervisory union school districts, or are at least 18 years of age, you have the right to refuse to permit the designation of any or all of these types of information as directory information concerning your child, or self, by providing written notice of your refusal listing the type(s) of information which you refuse to have so designated to the principal of the school your child attends (or the school you attend, if you are an eligible student), on or before the last day of September. This notification is only a summary of rights. Further details are contained in the school district’s Education Records Policy.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) has afforded students the right and protection of confidentiality. Parents and legal guardians have the right to inspect and review any and all of the official records, files, and data related to their children, but may not take them out of the school’s office. If requested, copies will be made and given. The request should be made in writing to the office and it will be handled as expeditiously as possible. Parents and legal guardians also have the right to seek amendment of the record if it is inaccurate or misleading. All student records, and any personally identifying information other than student directory information is confidential, and other than being shared with persons within the school who have legitimate educational interests in reviewing the records, will not be shared with others without expressed written permission of parents or legal guardians. If parents are divorced or separated, both parents have the same rights to review student records, receive progress reports, etc., unless a court order provides otherwise. If the provisions of a divorce decree limit the rights of the non-custodial parent, please provide the school with a copy. Otherwise, the school will afford the same rights. For more details, see Education Records Policy.
The Champlain Valley School District has a Multi-Tiered System of Education Supports (MTSS) which is a school-wide academic and behavioral instruction and intervention framework to efficiently monitor and support student progress. The MTSS process uses student work and assessments to make data-based decisions and provide accommodations for any student who requires support beyond what can be provided in the general education classroom. As part of a Multi-tiered System of Supports, and per the Vermont Agency of Education, each school in CVSD has an Educational Support Team (EST). The EST teams consist of teachers, and often an administrator, who meet regularly to review student progress and develop strategies that can be implemented universally in the classroom, as well as develop intervention plans for targeted or intensive interventions. A statewide steering committee on MTSS has published an MTSS Field Guide to support this work.
Act 77 of 2013 expanded the availability of “flexible pathways” for students. Flexible pathways promote opportunities for Vermont students to achieve postsecondary readiness through high-quality educational experiences that acknowledge individual goals, learning styles, and abilities; and increase the rates of secondary school completion and postsecondary continuation in Vermont. Flexible Pathways provides for: Expansion of the existing statewide Dual Enrollment Program; Expansion of the Early College Program; Increased access to work-based learning; Increased virtual/blended learning opportunities; Increased access to Career and Technical Education; Implementation of Personalized Learning.
The CVSD nursing staff collaborate with the other school staff in their buildings to maximize learning and wellness and to promote a healthy and safe school environment for every student. If you have any questions about medication, illness, and allergies, please contact the health office of the school.
Illness: If you question whether to send your child to school due to illness, please call the school’s health office. Please keep your child home if there has been fever, vomiting or severe diarrhea within the last 24 hours. Please also notify the health office if your child has a contagious condition, including but not limited to, chicken pox, strep throat, head lice, conjunctivitis, impetigo, and fifth disease.
Immunizations: The Vermont Department of Health requires that all schools collect and assess immunization records and follow up with students who do not meet the immunization requirements listed below. As of 2017, the State of Vermont School Immunization Law requires the following:
Students entering kindergarten must provide documentation of the following:
• 5 doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine
• 4 doses of polio vaccine
• 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine
• 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine
• 2 doses of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine. If the student has previously had chickenpox disease no vaccine or exemption is needed.
Students entering the seventh grade must provide documentation of the following:
• All of the immunizations listed above and
• One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine
These requirements also apply to students in any grade entering a new school from outside of their previous supervisory union.
Please note that the above are MINIMAL requirements for immunization. Students who do not meet requirements must either be admitted provisionally or have a signed exemption on file in order to attend school. Additional information about immunizations can be found here.
Medication: Prescription medication Pk-12, and non-prescription medicine for Pk-8, must be brought to school in a container labeled by the pharmacy or physician, and delivered directly to the school nurse or designee. For more details, please see Student Medication Policy.
Allergies: Each child with a known life-threatening allergy will have an Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP) in compliance with Act 158, which governs safe school environments. Please see your health office for more information.
Bloodborne Pathogens: In order to protect employees who are reasonably anticipated to be exposed to bloodborne pathogens as part of their regular job duties, the Champlain Valley School District complies with applicable Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules. For details, see part D of this related policy.
Communicable Diseases in School: Please notify the school nurse of the school when a child is out of school due to a communicable disease. When appropriate, parents are notified when there is a communicable disease present in a class.
Concussion Guidelines: Act 58 of 2011 requires that PK-12 schools educate their coaches, their youth athletes, and the youth athletes’ parents and guardians regarding the prevention and mitigation of concussion-related injuries. In accordance with Vermont State Law, any student diagnosed with a concussion will follow the “Return to Learn” protocol, then begin the “Return to Play” protocol. The health office, classroom teacher, parent/guardian and student will be responsible for reporting and tracking symptoms as the student moves through the steps of recovery. For details, see Vermont’s Return to Learn and Return to Play Guidelines.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act makes special education and related services a federal entitlement for students with disabilities. It requires that these students be offered a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and focuses on parent participation, procedural safeguards, and confidentiality. Amendments have extended the entitlement for education to students three to five, and addressed the needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. States receiving federal education funds are required to identify and evaluate students with disabilities and offer them an individualized education plan (IEP) or, in the case of infants and toddlers, an individual family service plan (IFSP) of special education and related services.
Under Federal law, undocumented children and young adults have the same right to attend public primary and secondary schools as do U.S. citizens and permanent residents (Plyler vs. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982.). Under state law, all Vermont children, including undocumented children are required to attend school until the mandated age of 16. Meeting this obligation means going beyond telling families to enroll their student(s). It includes working proactively to ensure they feel safe, supported and welcomed. Public schools may not: 1. Deny or terminate a student’s enrollment on the basis of actual or perceived immigration status. 2. Treat a student differently to verify legal residency in the United States. 3. Engage in any practices that have the effect of discouraging students from enrolling or attending school based on their immigration status. 4. Require students or their parents to disclose their immigration status or inquire of students or parents in ways that may expose their undocumented status. 5. Deny or terminate a student’s enrollment due to the student’s or parent’s failure to provide a social security number. See the letter on the State’s responsibility to protect the rights of undocumented Vermont students: Governor's Letter Regarding Undocumented Vermont Students
Visitors to school campuses may only park personal vehicles in designated parking spots. Please do not park in areas not intended for parking, including fire lanes, bus lanes, drop off lanes, fields, courts, and reserved parking spaces. Persons parking in designated “handicap-accessible” parking spots will be expected to display proper permits. The district reserves the right to tow any vehicle that is improperly parked at the person’s expense. The district is not responsible for any damage or loss resulting from the use of a parking area.
Idling of Vehicles: Vermont State Law prohibits a person from causing or permitting the idling of motor vehicles for more than five minutes in any 60-minute period while the vehicle is stationary [Chapter 23 V.S.A. §1110].
The Champlain Valley School District welcomes you to view our policies.
It is the policy of the Champlain Valley School District to comply with the provisions of the federal Pupil Privacy Rights Amendment (PPRA) and Vermont State Board of Education Rules governing the administration of certain student surveys, analyses or evaluations. See Protection of Pupil Privacy Rights Policy. In addition, we follow the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) expectations. Please note that families can opt out of the school directory. For more information on this, see DIRECTORY PROTOCOL, in this handbook, or speak to your school.
It is the policy of the Champlain Valley School District to support the community use of school facilities in ways that complement regular school activities. See CVSD Policy on Facility Rental. The procedures for renting CVSD facilities are here.
The purposes of State Board Rule 4500 are to create and maintain a positive and safe learning environment in schools, promote positive behavioral interventions and supports in schools, and ensure that students are not subjected to the inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion. State Board Rule 4500 defines the appropriate use of seclusion and restraint and the reporting requirements relative to any use of seclusion or restraint in school. See the AOE’s Frequently Asked Questions About Rule 4500.
The CVSD Board of Directors meet the third Tuesday of the month (except December and January) at 6 pm in room 160 at Champlain Valley Union High School. The meetings are recorded and broadcast on RETN. The agenda and minutes are published on the CVSD website, www.cvsdvt.org.
Requests to attend a school in a town within the Champlain Valley School District that is not one’s residence, will be granted based on space availability, and with the goal of creating balanced class sizes in all schools. Transportation to PK-8 buildings will be provided for students attending school within one’s town of residence. For students choosing to attend school in a neighboring town, transportation is not provided by the district, unless the existing bus route passes the child’s residence on the way to or from the choice school, and there is sufficient space on the bus. Younger siblings entering school after a child who has exercised school choice may attend the same school as his or her older sibling. For more details, see the Intradistrict School Choice Program for Elementary and Middle Schools Policy, Procedures, FAQ, and Application.
High School Choice within State of Vermont: In 2012, the Vermont State Legislature made school choice statewide by allowing students to apply to attend any other high school in the state. From year to year, the number of spots available via school choice change. If more students apply for school choice than there are slots available, a lottery will be held to select the students who will participate. Since applications must be submitted for each student, a family may not submit a single application to cover multiple students. If you are interested in applying for school choice, please complete the application, linked below. Applications are due to the high school in the district that you reside. For more details, see the School Choice Application and Procedures for the 2018-2019 school year.
In the event of a school closing, delayed opening, or an early dismissal, families will be notified through the district’s broadcast system, “Blackboard Connect.” Please make sure that you have provided the most updated contact information to the school office. Emergency school closings will also be announced via local radio and television stations.
Act 1 provides Vermont prevention practitioners and schools with the opportunity to work together to support understanding and implementation of comprehensive sexual violence prevention in school communities. Act 1 requires that all school employees, including non-teaching staff (bus drivers, custodians, food service staff), receive training on the signs, symptoms and dynamics of sexual abuse and sexual violence.
The district complies with state law thereby prohibiting smoking and/or tobacco use on all school district property, including all buildings and vehicles. Smoking is not allowed during any school sponsored activity, including those held off campus. Students must not be in possession of tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery systems, while on campus. Purchase, use or transfer of tobacco products and electronic nicotine systems by minors is against Vermont State Law. Students in violation of the Tobacco Prohibition Policy will be subject to disciplinary procedures. As with all law violations, the administration works cooperatively with the local or state police departments.
It is the policy of the Champlain Valley School District that no student shall knowingly possess, use, transfer, or be under the influence of, any drug, alcohol, or other regulated substance at school or at any school-sponsored activity. Purchase, use or transfer of drugs or alcohol by minors is against Vermont State Law. Students in violation of the Substance Use Policy will be subject to disciplinary procedures. As with all law violations, the administration works cooperatively with the local or state police departments.
The use of District IT resources by students is a privilege, not a right. However, with the privilege of access comes the responsibility to exercise responsible and ethical use of these resources. The same rules and expectations govern student use of IT resources as apply to other student conduct and communications, including but not limited to the District’s harassment and bullying policies. The District’s computer and network resources are the property of the District. Users shall have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, receive or display on or over the District’s equipment or network resources, including personal files and electronic communications, whether using school issued equipment or personal devices. The District reserves the right to examine any computer, imaging or recording device, including but not limited to laptops, desktops, netbooks, tablets, cell phones, cameras, and any other electronic devices with built-in computing, imaging or recording devices or network if there is reasonable suspicion that any of the above guidelines are being violated. This includes any device onsite including both personal and school owned devices. Violations of these guidelines will result in loss of network privileges and/or disciplinary review. In the event there is an allegation that a user has violated this policy, the school district will handle the allegation consistent with the student disciplinary policy. See policy on Responsible Computer, Network and Internet Use.
All students need a safe and supportive school environment to progress academically and developmentally. Many questions arise for students and school staff when considering the best supports for transgender and gender nonconforming students. The AOE’s Continuing Best Practices for Schools Regarding Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students are designed to provide direction for schools to address issues that may arise concerning the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming students.
The Champlain Valley School District welcomes volunteers. In an effort to keep all children safe, there are required steps that volunteers and chaperones must take. There are two levels of volunteering in the Champlain Valley School District, each one having different requirements. Below is a summary of the requirements.
Level 1. Unsupervised volunteer/chaperone may be alone with students, and may drive students with additional steps.
b. Requires a criminal record check and fingerprinting
c. Requires a current photo ID
NOTE: If you would like to be considered as a volunteer/chaperone driver of students, everything above plus
d. Requires a copy of current car insurance with a minimum insurance coverage of $100,000 liability and $300,000 uninsured motorist.
e. Requires a copy of a current driver’s license.
f. Requires appropriate child restraint that meets VT law. Children must wear seatbelts, and children 12 and under are not allowed to sit in the front seat. Children 1 to 4 years must be in a child restraint seat, and children 4 to 8 years of age must be in a booster seat.
Level 2. Supervised volunteer or chaperones may NOT be alone with students and must be supervised by a staff member at all times.
a. Must fill out the VT Agency of Human Resources Consent for Release of Registry Information Form
b. Requires a current photo ID
If you are interested in volunteering or chaperoning, please contact your school, or the Champlain Valley School District.
The district is committed to providing a safe workplace and learning environment and prohibits the possession of any weapon, lawful or unlawful, on school property by anyone including, but not limited to, employees, students, volunteers, vendors, or clients. Students in violation of the Weapons Policy, will be subject to disciplinary procedures. As with all law violations, the administration works cooperatively with the local or state police departments.
Families who plan to withdraw their children from the Champlain Valley School District, or transfer their children to another school outside of the district, should notify their school’s office well in advance of the withdrawal. This allows the school time to complete the transfer so that the student can be properly registered in the new school.
Withdrawal and Transfer within District: For details, see the Intradistrict School Choice Program for Elementary and Middle Schools Policy, Procedures, FAQ, and Application.