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  • Writer's pictureSarah Schoolcraft

Brookside Blast 10/20/23

We've had a busy and fulfilling week at BPS! Students from HUHS joined us on Tuesday to volunteer, students enjoyed the warm fall weather and did much exploring during outdoor learning, and students continued to work hard to improve their reading and math skills.

As you know, our school was placed in "secure the perimeter" by the Vermont State Police late this morning. This means that we brought all students and staff inside immediately and restricted anyone from entering or exiting the building. Our staff did a great job remaining calm and sharing that calm with our students. All exterior doors of our school are always locked when school is in session. We were able to continue with our school day and make the day as normal as possible for students. Around 1pm, we were given the "all clear" from the Vermont State Police. We finished our day as we always do. It will be natural for your child to have questions about today's events as we did not share any specific details about what transpired in Waterbury today. We simply told them that they were safe and that there was a potential danger outside. We used the example of the moose on the playground from last year.

Though the unknown can bring up anxiety for some of our students, having priming, validating, and reassuring conversations at home with your student(s) can help them feel more calm, prepared, and comfortable when a drill or safety event may occur. Do not hesitate to reach out to Kately Mosher, Ashley Bergeron, Chris, or Sarah with any questions or concerns. Make sure to check out the comfortship website for additional resources.

Helpful guidelines for talking with children about school safety

For some children, even participating in a drill may cause some emotional distress. This is especially true if it reminds them of a prior crisis event, or if they otherwise are feeling vulnerable or anxious.

As a caregiver, you are in the best position to help your child cope with trauma they experience during an emergency or safety drill or event at school. Any conversation with a child must be appropriate for their age and developmental stage.

  • Young children need brief simple information that should be balanced with reassurance. This includes informing children that their school and home are generally safe and that adults are available to protect them. Young children often gauge how threatening or serious an event is by adult reactions. This is why, for example, parents are encouraged not to get overly emotional when saying goodbye on the first day of school. Young children respond well to simple examples of school safety, like reminding them the exterior doors are locked, just as you lock your doors at home at night.

  • Upper elementary and early middle school children may be more vocal in asking questions about whether they are truly safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Parents can share the information they have about the school's safety plan and any other relevant communication to ease their child's mind.

  • It is important to have conversations with your child, explaining that safety drills occur and why it is important to take them seriously. Be careful not to interject any of your own anxieties or feelings into the conversations, your child will pick up on that and may mirror those feelings. Instead, create and maintain an atmosphere of openness and support, encouraging your child to share with you all aspects of their day, both positive and negative. You’re in this together! Let them know whatever they are feeling; fear, dread, confusion, indifference, is normal and be supportive.

  • Make sure your child understands the importance of paying attention during the drill and carefully following the directions they are given. Please encourage them to use mindfulness to help them get through it. The same simple strategies they use to calm themselves down before a big test or important game can work here. Tell them to be aware of their body and surroundings, listen to what is around them, be present in the moment. One exercise they can do before, during, or after) is the S.T.O.P. meditation; Stop what they are doing, Take a breath, Observe their surroundings, body, mind, and feelings, and Proceed with a clear mind. They can do this quickly, in the moment, as a way to calm down and focus during the drill.

  • Caregiving experts have long espoused the importance of having dinner together as a family when possible, being present in the moments you have with your child. Make sure you take some time every day to really talk with your child, ask them powerful questions about their day that encourage more than one-word answers. Ask them how they felt physically, emotionally, and mentally after the drill. Discover, notice, build, and reward their strengths of bravery, judgment, perseverance, social intelligence, perspective, and hope. These strengths, along with mindfulness activities, can help your children build resiliency.

PBIS All School Reward

We are excited to share that students have been working hard this fall to earn their first school-wide PBIS reward, to celebrate the safe, kind and responsible choices students are making at school! We will have a color parade (similar to the rainbow parade last fall) on Friday, November 3rd from 8:30am-9:00am. We will walk through the neighborhood, and each grade will be assigned a color. Classes are encouraged to get creative and make signs, hats, etc. with their grade level color. If caregivers and families are able to, we encourage you to watch the parade on Stowe Street. Please see the colors below:

PreK & Kindergarten: Red

1st Grade: Orange

2nd Grade: Yellow/Gold

3rd Grade: Green

4th Grade: Blue

(We have extra shirts in these colors that students can borrow if needed.)

Thank you for supporting your student and the BPS community, for more information about PBIS click here.

Thank you,


Katie Quaranta, Amy Cunningham, JoAnne Smith, Eliza Chittenden, Rachael Wells, Matt Currier, Chris Neville, and Kately Mosher

Please click here and see if you notice anything that might belong to your child:

PE News

Choice day was a huge success this past week! The students work hard to earn points at the end of class toward their choice days. I have added another way that classes can earn an extra point- if everyone has a water bottle for PE. If your child needs a water bottle to keep at school, please let me know.For the next 3 weeks: we will be doing mini units in basketball, soccer and football. Grades PreK-2 will work mostly on skill development (Shape Standard #1). Grades 3&4 will be using their skills to work on game concepts (Shape Standard #2).

Although Harwood Youth Basketball registration has closed, if your child really enjoyed the basketball activities in PE, your child can still register to play basketball this winter by emailing Brian Godfey at

Family Conferences will be held the week of 11/13-11/17. We will again use Canyon Creek for sign-ups, which will be live on Monday 10/30 at 8am. More information, incluidng login information, will be forthcoming.

If you are interested in joining us - please do! We will meet the 2nd Thursdays of the month at 6:30pm in the Library at BPS - the next meeting will be 11/9. Remote option available.

Enjoy the weekend!

Sarah & Chris


Please note that the opportunities/events listed below are not specifically endorsed or screened by school staff. As always, families should use their own standards and review processes to determine appropriate activities.

Harwood Youth Basketball Association

Please use the below link to register. Registration is set to close end of day Oct 22:

New MakerSphere Art Classes Start Soon!

MakerSphere art and making classes are a fun way to spend after school time. Kids can get creative with drawing, painting, building and crafting of all kinds. Kids can take the bus right to the studio from school.

K - 2nd Grade Studio Art on Tuesdays starting Nov 7

Grades 3 - 4 Studio Art on Wednesdays starting Nov 1

Classes are from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

At the Seminary Building, 201 Hollow Road, Waterbury Center

Info and to register for all programs:

Soccer for Little Feet Preschool Pickup Sessions:The Children’s Room and the Waterbury Recreation Department are pleased to offer FREE soccer pickup sessions for 3-5 year olds with the financial support from Waterbury Winterfest and Friends of Waterbury Area Recreation Development. Children and accompanying adults will participate in fun activities geared towards helping develop skills of kicking, passing, sharing the ball and enjoying playing ball games with others. Just bring sneakers/cleats and yourselves! Questions? Email childrensroom@huusd.or

  • Ages: 3 to 5 year olds (only preK 5 year olds not participating in Waterbury Youth Soccer program)

  • Dates: October 15th and 22nd

  • Time: 10:00 am

  • Location: Hope Davey Park soccer fields

  • No registration required- come to one or both pickup sessions!

Sleepy Hollow Ski and Bike Center announces...

2023-24 Bill Koch League Youth Nordic Ski Programs!

BKL Youth Ski Program

Grades K-8, Fridays or Sundays We teach the fundamentals of cross country skiing, while incorporating games, fun and adventures on the ski trails at Sleepy Hollow. BKL Youth Ski Program meets 1 day a week, either Friday afternoon (4:00-5:30 pm) OR Sunday afternoon (2:00-3:30 pm) from mid-December through February. $170 per child and it includes a season’s pass! Scholarships available. Interested in helping? We also need ski leader volunteers- sign up to help if you can! See the website link below.

BKL Middle School Race Program

Grades 5th-8th, Tuesdays and Thursdays plus races A ski program for 5th-8th graders who are excited to ski, to try racing and to learn both classic and skate skiing techniques. We work on striking a balance between doing some good skiing and racing, learning technique, building endurance and strength, building group camaraderie and having FUN. Practices are on Tuesday/Thursdays (4:15-5:45 pm) and races throughout the season, starting after Thanksgiving and going through early March. $310 per child and it includes a season’s pass! Scholarships available.


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