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January 4, 2021

Hello FNESU Families, 

I hope you all had a nice winter break.  We were excited to welcome our FNESU students back today.  Thank you for understanding the need for us to have a remote learning day today.

We have assessed our staffing availability for tomorrow, and we are happy to report that, with the exception of Sheldon's 6-8, all other FNESU schools will be in-person tomorrow, January 5, 2021.  The schedule for the rest of the week in all schools will be ACBB.  The A Cohort will be in-person on Tuesday.  Wednesday will be a typical Wednesday call-back day. The B Cohort will be in-person on Thursday and Friday. We are expecting the Sheldon 6-8 to be able to return to in-person learning on Thursday.

Meals will be delivered on Wednesday.

Happy New Year everyone!  Let's hope 2021 is filled with hope and brighter days ahead!


Lynn Cota

FNESU Superintendent

December 16, 2020
Dear Berkshire Parents/Guardians and Community,

I am reaching out to update everyone on progress reports and our school's plans for the first week back from Holiday Break.

Progress Reports:
- Cohort A students in 6th through 8th grade received  their Progress Reports on Tuesday. Cohort B students will have their Progress Reports sent home on Friday, December 18th.

- Students in K-4th will have their Progress Reports sent home on Friday, Dec 18th.

Return from Holiday Break
We are expecting to see our students for in-person learning on Monday, January 4th. However, we want to be prepared for other scenarios that may arise between December 18th and January 4th.

With this in mind, on Friday of this week, students will be sent home with learning materials and their computers so that they can learn at home during the week of Monday, Jan. 4th through Friday, Jan. 8th. 

We are currently expecting to teach in-person on Monday, January 4th, but sending these materials home on Friday ensures that students have what they need to access their learning in the event that we need to shift to remote learning.

Between now and the end of our Holiday Break, Supt. Lynn Cota will communicate with staff and families if we need to shift to remote learning.

IF  we need to shift to remote learning for any number of days, I will share with you the remote learning schedules that our teachers have prepared as well as the remote learning expectations.


Leonard Badeau

December 11, 2020
Dear Berkshire Parents and Guardians,

I wanted to give you an update on how we are sending out Progress Reports for this marking period. Progress Reports will be sent home the week of December 14th.

6th-8th grade Students in Cohort A will have their progress reports sent home in their classroom folder on Tuesday, December 15th.  

6th-8th grade Students in Cohort B as well as all other grades will have their progress reports sent home in their classroom folder on Friday, December 18th.


Leonard Badeau

December 4, 2020
Dear Berkshire Community,

I wanted to update and clarify expectations for teachers, students and families for when a student is learning from home.  There are 2 main reasons why a student may be learning from home at this time:

1) Berkshire has shifted to Fully Remote Learning
2) A student is quarantining at home

Our school has been working diligently to come up with a plan to best support student learning in either of these scenarios. This email is going to focus on learning expectations for when a student is quarantining at home. I will send a separate communication regarding Fully Remote Learning at a later date.

For Students learning at home due to Quarantine:
1) During Quarantining, the primary instructional goal will be for a student to maintain learning.  This is because it is often not feasible for a teacher to provide new learning instruction and materials to students who are learning from home, while also planning and delivering instruction to the students who are in school.

2) Your student's teacher(s) will do the best they can to upload assignments on SeeSaw and share learning materials.  If you do not have the internet then we will arrange for you to pick up those learning materials, or deliver them if necessary. 

3) These learning materials and assignments may not be immediately available the first few days a student begins a quarantine as a teacher will need time to arrange those materials, but we will communicate with you when they are available.

4) It is an expectation that students engage in their quarantine work daily.  Teachers will be checking and monitoring student engagement daily.

5) Daily Attendance will be maintained for students who are quarantining once materials have been sent. Your child is PRESENT for quarantine learning if:
- They log into see-saw and engage in the learning activities (complete assignments, attend live class times - if possible, ask for help and attend help sessions)

- For students unable to connect to the internet, you are present if you engage in learning activities (complete assignments) AND make contact with the teacher by video chat or telephone at least once a week

- If something comes up and your child cannot engage in their quarantine learning, then it is the family's responsibility to communicate with the child's teacher to help create an alternative plan.

6) If possible, teachers may arrange for a student to "sit-in" in a classroom, by watching classroom instruction through google video and/or watching a video of the lesson.

When we see your student in person we will begin to catch them up on anything we did not get to them while they were out. 
Please know that any time spent practicing math facts, practicing sight words, reading, writing, creating art, problem solving, moving their bodies, spending time outdoors, and helping with chores, is time well spent and will help continue to keep routines and learning a part of their day.

Leonard Badeau

Principal of Berkshire Elementary School

4850 Water Tower Road

Richford Vt, 05476

(802) 933-2290

“Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.” -- Kouzes and Posner. 

November 24, 2020

Dear FNESU Parents,

New AOE guidance regarding the Governor's Executive Order was released last night and the Governor made a statement about multi-household gatherings at today's press conference. 

The following are our latest FNESU updates:

Update Letter - 11/24/2020

Update Video - 11/24/2020

Wishing you all a healthy, restful, and happy holiday!


Lynn Cota


October 26, 2020

Here's a link to the fundraiser below:  www.charlestonwrapstore.com

October 9, 2020

IMPORTANT Return to School COVID Guidelines

We are sharing with you a two-page communication from the Vermont Department of Health about symptoms and when a child should or shouldn't return to school.  If a student has any one red or two yellow symptoms, they should be out for 10 days unless they have had a negative COVID test.  If a student has one yellow symptom they may return after 24 hours if that symptom is improved or resolved.  


Also shared with is a chart of COVID-19 symptoms and how they are the same as many other illnesses and conditions.  This is why it remains very important to stay home if you have symptoms unless otherwise directed by your physician.


Flu Vaccine Clinics

Thank you to NOTCH Health Centers who are providing the community with flu vaccination clinics in the coming weeks.  Insurances are accepted, but no one will be refused if uninsured.  Walk-up, no appt. necessary.  Upcoming clinics are as follows:

Richford NOTCH parking lot:  October 14th from 11:00-3:00

Enosburg NOTCH parking lot:  October 30th from 8:30-12:30

October 8, 2020

October 6, 2020

Dear Berkshire Parents and Community:

I want to update you on a few important pieces of information, dates, and events:

Health and Safety:
As the cold weather arrives I want to remind families about the protocols we have regarding COVID related symptoms:
- It is important that you keep your child home this school year for any one symptom listed by the Department of Health as being possibly COVID-related.  (refer to stoplight symptom list, re-sent by Brandy on Friday to all parent emails)

- If your child is without a fever due to the use of fever-reducing medication, your child is not considered symptom-free and cannot attend school in-person.

- If you medicate your child prior to the school day for any other reason, please call or e-mail to make the school nurse aware

Schedule changes:
- Starting Tomorrow Wednesday full day LEAPs and Callbacks will start at 7:45 instead of 8:00. Be on the lookout for your child's bus sometime between 6:45 and 7:40 to pick up your child.  We can not give an exact time to the fluid nature of who is and isn't riding the busses each Wednesday.  Bus dismissal for Callbacks is 10:30 on Wednesdays.
- Next week we do not have school on Friday, October 16th.
- Due to no school on Friday we will have a modified schedule for the week.  Cohort A will have school on Monday and Tuesday.  Cohort B will have school on Wednesday and Thursday.
- There will be no full day LEAPs on Wednesday the 14th and no Call back on that Wednesday as well.

Food Service:
- The Vermont Foodbank has partnered with our school again this year to offer the backpack program.  Forms were sent home with your child to sign up for the backpack program.  This is an additional offering for any family, and the food is provided free to any family who signs up.  If you would like to sign up and did not see the form please contact Brandy at school.

On any short weeks where Wednesday is going to be used as an in-person day for any Cohort, we will not be providing home meal deliveries. Instead, meals will be available for pick-up only. Meals will be available for pick-up on Tuesday (for cohort A) and Wednesday (for cohort B) from 3PM - 5PM.  


Next week is our first short week so the schedule will be as follows:


Tues., Oct. 13: Cohort A meals will be available to be picked up from 3PM - 5pm


Wed., Oct 14: Cohort B meals will be available to be picked up from 3PM - 5pm

Please contact the school by Friday, October 9th, if you want to have meals for your family.

If your child is fully remote you can also have meals, please contact the school and let us know which day you intend to pick up the meals.

Progress Reports:
- We will not be doing progress reports for Quarter 1.  Staff are busy collecting data, and supporting students, however we felt that having only seen students in person 12 times did not provide us with enough data to provide a meaningful progress report at this time.

Parent Teacher Conferences:
- We will have Parent Teacher conferences after school on Tuesday and Thursday of next week, October 13th and 15th.  Please make sure to reach out to Brandy to schedule a phone or video conference with your child's teachers.

October 5, 2020


On any short weeks where Wednesday is going to be used as an in-person day for any Cohort, we will not be providing home meal deliveries. Instead, meals will be available for pick-up only. Meals will be available for pick-up on Tues., Oct. 13 (for cohort A) and Wed, Oct. 14 (for cohort B) from 3PM - 5PM.

Remote students may pick up their meals either day. Please email Brandy at Brandy.Johnson@fnesu.org or call the office to let us know which day works best for your family. 


The week of October 12 is our first short week so the schedule will be as follows:


Mon., Oct. 12

Tues., Oct. 13: Cohort A meals will be available to be picked up from 3PM - 5pm


Wed., Oct 14: Cohort B meals will be available to be picked up from 3PM - 5pm

Thur., Oct 15

Friday, Oct. 16: No School

If you would like to be added to our pick-up list for the week of Oct. 12th, please respond to this email or call the school by Friday, Oct. 9 to let us know.

September 19, 2020

Hello FNESU Families,

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful "almost" fall weekend!  Please review the latest FNESU Parent Update Letter.

Be well everyone,

Lynn Cota

FNESU Superintendent

September 16, 2020

Good Evening Berkshire Community,

I want to update you with a few more Hybrid Learning topics.  Specifically, I wanted to talk about Wednesday "Call-backs", and student remote learning attendance, remote learning expectations.

Remote Learning Attendance:
There are three factors that we are asked to consider for attendance:
- Did the student make contact with the school?
- Did the student log on to the remote learning system (SeeSaw) and do their work
- Did the student complete their hard copy learning materials (if not able to access the remote learning system)

If we can answer yes to any of those three questions then a child is considered "present" for their remote learning day(s).

Teachers and the school will be updating attendance on Mondays - for students in Cohort A, and Thursdays - for students in Cohort B, for the remote learning days they had directly before that day.

I want to note that being counted as "present" does not necessarily mean that a student is "progressing as expected", which brings me to my second topic for today.

Wednesday  Call Backs:
Schools have the ability to "call back" students from remote learning to do in person learning on Wednesdays from 8:00-10:30.

The intention of call backs is to provide greater support to students to ensure they are sufficiently progressing in their remote learning.

A  callback is a mandatory attendance expectation, as we can provide bus transportation to and from school, and we can also provide breakfast for any child who is called back.

When a child is "called back" they will get direct instruction and support from their classroom teacher or interventionists.  All COVID related safety measures will be followed as we would any other school day.

We will try to communicate this to you by the Friday of the week before the call back, and no later than the Monday before the call back.

Remote Learning Expectations:
I want to stress that as our teachers continue to learn their students we will be able to greater refine and improve our remote learning instruction. The amount of time the work assigned may vary greatly from student to student. I also want to point out that remote learning tasks are designed to be done independently by the student, which again, does not mean it will take the same time for every child.  What one child can do independently can be done much faster than what another child can do independently. 

As always, we are a proficiency based school and the focus is not on how long a student is working, but rather, are they understanding the material and progressing in learning that material.  If you have questions or concerns about the work please reach out to the school, and our teachers can utilize their office hours to further support your child.

Also, don't forget the LEAPS after school program registration.  The first after school day is next Monday! Below is the link to the leaps registration.  You can reach out to Ethan Moss at Ethan.Moss@fnesu.org or call him at 933-2290 extension 3007.

September 10, 2020

September 6, 2020

The SU nurses and Courtney compiled a video that may be helpful to visualize and explain some of the health & safety pieces of the school day.  Please feel free to share with students, families, and anyone you see fit.  Link is below!

September 3, 2020

Good Evening Berkshire Community

Today I want to update you about fall sports as well as our virtual open house.

Don't forget to register for the LEAPS morning program or Wednesday Program, you can use the link below to register your child for the Cohort A or Cohort B morning program and/or the Wednesday full day LEAPs program.

Virtual Open House
All Kindergarten through 4th grade families should be able to see videos of what school will look like by watching the videos posted by your teacher on your child's facebook page.

For students in 5th-8th grade videos of what the school will look like have been posted on the school's facebook page.


We will be having fall sports per the AOE guidance.

For this fall we will have 3rd-5th grade teams and 6th-8th grade teams.

Practices can begin on September 8, 2020

While we are in Step 2, we can only practice and scrimmage with our own team OR we can scrimmage with co-ed teams made of only players from our school.

Once we move to Step 3, teams will be allowed to have games against other teams within the FNESU. 

Because of the late start, the season will be abbreviated and the number of games typically played will be reduced accordingly.  No more than two games per week will be scheduled.

Remember, that a player needs to participate in a minimum of 7 practices before they can participate in games.

Fully remote students, Cohort A students, and Cohort B students can participate in practices or games every day.

If a team does not have enough players to field a full team, competitions will be played on half fields and both teams will play with an equal number of players. For example, if one team has 6 players, then the teams will play 6 vs. 6.

We will be following the Health and Safety Guidelines that have been shared throughout the state:

- Coaches will need to do health screenings for all players and coaches before every practice or game. 

- Players, coaches, and all spectators must have facial coverings on at all times. 

- There will be no public restrooms as schools cannot have outside visitors in buildings. Schools may choose to rent a portapotty for restroom accessibility, and we may collaborate with the Berkshire Rec. department about this plan.

- No more than 150 people can be at any sporting event. 

- We will work to give players plenty of mask breaks throughout the game. 

- Make sure you have a current and up to date physical on file with the school. 

Please direct any further questions to our Athletic Director, Randi Chagnon.  You can email her at randi.chagnon@gmail.com.  

Also note that the 3rd-5th grade team is run through our rec department and not through the school, so questions will need to be directed to them.  We will work to coordinate plans for the rec program in the coming weeks to help provide a safe and enjoyable fall sports season for our younger students.

Dear Berkshire Community,

This weekend we mailed out the Daily Home Screening Agreement, Emergency Bus plans, as well as documents to support you in doing a daily screening with your children.  Please make sure to complete the forms for each individual student and mail them back in the self-addressed pre-stamped envelope as soon as possible.  On Thursday and Friday we will reach out to families who have not returned their documents.  This documentation must be completed before students ride the bus on Tuesday Sept. 8th.

Today I wanted to inform you about our LEAPs morning program and our full day Wednesday (C-day) program.  

The morning program will start at 7:00, and end at 7:45.  Drop offs for the morning program will end at 7:30.

The Wednesday program will run from 8:00am to 4pm.  Students can ride the bus to school, or be dropped off at 8:00am. Parents or guardians will need to pick up their child at 4:00pm as there will be no end of day bus run for this program.

Below is a link to a digital survey for you to fill out for each individual child if you want them to attend the LEAPs morning program on days they are in school, and if you want them to attend the full day Wednesday program.  We are asking for you to identify which cohort your child is in and which program(s) you want to enroll your child in.

We can not guarantee your child will be in every day, due to limitations regarding how many students we can have in a LEAPs cohort. However, we will work to provide even more opportunities for all families in the event that more kids register for a given day than we can accomodate. This could like you being able to access the program for one day, but not both days, or alternating weeks.

If you are not able to complete the registration online, then you can call the school, and speak with Brandy Johnson and she will complete the registration for you over the phone. Registration will close on Friday so that we can formally confirm enrollment with parents.  A registration for the LEAPs after school program will be sent out at a later date.

Here is the link to the survey:

September 2, 2020

Good Evening Berkshire community,

I want to let you know about remote learning and fully remote learning material pick ups for the start of the year as well as food delivery.

Remote Learning Material Pick up
All students who are fully remote can pick up their device between 2pm and 6pm tomorrow, Thursday, September 3rd.

Students who are enrolled in the Hybrid model will not be picking up their devices before school, as teachers will want to meet with students and review how to log in and properly use the device before sending them home. Therefore students will have hard copy learning materials for their first remote learning days.

We will not have enough devices for students in K-4 to start the year with devices.  We are expecting to have devices delivered some time in the fall, and will get those ready for students at that time.  Therefore, until further notice all K-4 students will be receiving hard copy learning materials

All Cohort B students can pick up their hard copy learning materials between 2pm and 6pm on Thursday, Sept 3rd.

Food Service Update:
There will not be a meal delivery for the week of Tuesday Sept. 8th through Friday Sept. 11th.  However, you can pick up meals for your students at school on Wednesday, Sept 9th from 8:30 - 10:00 am.

Starting Wednesday Sept. 16th we will deliver meals to fully remote families as well as families enrolled in our Hybrid Learning Model. 

For Family's of students in our hybrid learning model who wish to receive meals for their remote learning days, please complete the following survey for each individual child:

For Families of students enrolled in the fully remote learning academy, please check to receive important communication from Gabrielle Lumbra regarding signing up for meals.

August 28, 2020

Dear Berkshire Community,

This weekend you should be receiving some important documents for you to complete and return to school.

In our efforts to meet the Health and Safety requirements from the state FNESU with guidance from our school nurses and in consultation with the Vermont Department of Health has developed the following Daily Morning Health Screening Protocol:

1) Families will administer a Daily Home Screening before sending their kid on the bus or dropping their child off at school.  The home screening is attached, and has been mailed home.

2) If you drive your child to school, a Health Screener will take the temperature of your child before they leave the car at school.  If your child has a Fever (Temperature 100.4 F or higher) then your child will not be allowed to school.

3) Bus Monitors will ride the bus for all morning bus runs to ensure students are properly seated in their assigned seats, and are adhering to the various social distancing and PPE protocols we have outlined.

4) Bus Monitors will check the temperature of all students before they get on the bus.  If your child has a Fever (Temperature 100.4 F or higher) then your child will not be allowed to school.

5) All families must have a "Daily Morning Bus Stop Plan" which will be shared with the school.  This form has been mailed to you.  If your child is found to have a fever at the bus stop, they cannot be permitted access onto the bus.  There must be someone available to receive your child at the bus stop if they fail the temperature screening.  Two items to ensure you have covered in your plan:
- If you have a child under 10 years of age, who will be present to receive your child back to the home?  
- If your child is over 10 years of age, are they able to get back into the home?

Four Items related to this Daily Home Screening Protocol have been mailed home, with a pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelope for you to return the necessary documents to school:
BES Medical / Emergency form
- You need to complete this individually for every child in your custody and mail them back to school

Daily Home Screening / Daily Morning Bus Stop Plan
- You need to complete this individually for every child in your custody and mail them back to the school.

School Safety Daily Symptom Checklist
- keep this at home to consult when you do your daily home screening

Daily Home Screening
- this one is labeled "Keep this page and display at home", and is sent to outline the screening process questions you are required to ask every day before you bring your child to school, or send your kid to ride the bus.

We are asking families to complete this paperwork as soon as possible, and no later than Sept 4th as we need to have these plans ready for the first day of school. We have also attached these documents for you to see what to look for in the mail.

August 26, 2020
Dear Berkshire Community,

Today we are going to focus on Hand Hygiene.  Proper Hand Hygiene is one of the most effective ways that we can help prevent the spread of germs that make us sick. 
The two best ways to clean our hands are to wash them using soap and water or to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. We will have both options available at school.

We will be making an emphasis school wide to ensure we all have good hand hygiene by cleaning our hands during important times of the day such as:
- Before entering the school
- Before and after eating
- After using the bathroom
- Before and after recess or going outside
- When leaving school

Our School Nurse has created a helpful flyer to review with your children regarding hand washing practices.

August 24, 2020
Good Evening Berkshire Community,

Today I want to discuss our beginning and end of day routine changes due to COVID-19 guidance from the State.  The below procedures were developed based on the guidance from the state to minimize congregation of people, and to minimize the potential for exchanging of potential illnesses.

Start and End times:
The beginning of the school day will be at 7:45am and the end of the school day will be at 3:00pm.

Beginning of the day student drop off:
- Student drop off for the start of the day will begin at 7:45am.  Students will not be allowed to be dropped off before 7:45 unless they are part of the LEAPs morning program.  More information on that below.

- We will have a revised traffic pattern that directs cars from the entrance to school parking lot to the end of the parking lot by the gym entrance.  Cars will not be allowed to park and drop their kids off like we did in the past.

- Health Screeners will administer the health screening at that Health Screening location by the Gym Entrance on car at a time, before directing the student into the building. Students are not to leave the car until they have completed the screening. Parents are directed to remain in their cars.

- This process may be slow these first few days, so anticipate that you may have to wait in line until your car is moved up to the Health Screening area. Our goal is to have all screenings completed by 8:10am.  We plan to have up to 4 Health Screeners working at the same time to help move cars through in an efficient manner.

- If your student is part of the LEAPs morning program your child can be screened and dropped off between 7:00am and 7:30am.  After 7:30am the screening and drop off process will be stopped until the 7:45am start of school drop.  More information on registering for the LEAPs morning and After School Program will be shared at a later date.

Mid Day drop off:
- If you arrive to drop off your child anytime after 8:10 you will need to drive to the end of the clearly marked designated area for student drop offs, and bring your child to the front door.  Again, traditional parking will not occur this year. After you have paged the front office, a health screener will come out to screen your child.

Mid-day pick up:
- If you come to pick your child up before the end of day dismissal you will need to drive to the end of the clearly marked designated area for student drop offs/pickups, come to the front door, page the office, and state who you are picking up.

- After speaking with the office you are expected to return to your car and a staff member will bring your child out to your car.

End of day pick up:
- We will have staff members at the designated pick up and drop off area, communicating with the office about who is ready to pick up.  When your car is moved up to that space you will inform them who you are here to pick up and they will be sent out and brought to your car.

- This is certainly different than in the past but necessary to maintain a safe and healthy exit from the building for all of our students.

- Bus riders will be dismissed one bus at a time, while students being picked up will be released one car at a time (or up to 4 cars based on how many staff we have assisting in the student end of day pick up processes).

End of LEAPS pick up:
- LEAPs After School program ends at 5:00 pm and the pick up process will be the same as the end of day dismissal process, or if you pick up in the middle of the LEAPs program the process will be the same as the mid day pick up processes.

We will provide pictures and or videos of the process in the coming weeks to further review this process with families.

If you have any questions about this process you can contact the school by emailing the principal at Leonard.Badeau@fnesu.org or calling the school at 933-2290.


August 23, 2020
Dear Berkshire Community,

Today I want to review the specific information about face masks in schools based on guidance from the Agency of Education, and the Vt. Dept. of Health.

Berkshire will have face masks available for all students and staff in the event that a mask is lost, forgotten, or soiled.

Masks will be required on the bus and inside the building at all times. We will be able to take our masks off when we are outside at recess while maintaining a safe distance from one another and regularly sanitizing our hands. It is important that your mask fits you properly and that you have a mask that is school-approved.

Your mask must:
- Fit snug around your nose 

- Go to each side of your face 

- Fit snug under the chin

- Be secured around your ears 

Bandanas, Neck Gaiters, and Face Shields are not acceptable.

If you have questions about face masks please reach out to our school nurse, Rachael Hardy, RN via email at  Rachael.Hardy@fnesu.org


Berkshire Elementary School
4850 Water Tower Road
Richford, VT  05476
TEL: (802) 933-2290
FAX: (802) 933-2812