"A school climate that recognizes and values the inherent dignity of each individual is everyone's right. Creating such a climate is everyone's responsibility."

OVUU Elementary School Choice

A Message from Jeanne Collins; Superintendent of RNESU:

Dear Parents & Guardians,

The Otter Valley Unified Union School District has opened up elementary school choice within the 5 schools in the district starting in August 2017. To apply for another school, please fill out the application form and read the FAQs about the process. First consideration will be given to applications in by 
March 30, 2017. Capacity of the requested school and grade will be the primary factor in consideration, as noted in the policy. 

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APRIL 13, 2017 3RD & 4TH GR CONCERT 6:30PM

MAY 11, 2017   5TH & 6TH GR BAND & CHORUS SPRING                           CONCERT 7PM

Neshobe School

Alice Letter

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Acts of Kindness

Tuesday March 28, 2017
Offer someone your seat.
"No act of kindness is ever wasted."-Aesop

Principals Corner

In this month’s corner I have expanded upon my report for the Annual Report of the Otter Valley Unified Union District for our families.

  Principal’s Report for Neshobe Elementary

Over the years I have never ceased to be amazed and thankful for the great support shown by our community and staff for our school and students. 

In November 2015, voters approved a bond to renovate the heating and ventilation systems in the main and brick buildings, improve insulation and increase energy efficiency.  Improvements included a wood pellet boiler, a 26-ton exterior pellet storage silo, and two 300 gallon thermal storage tanks to improve pellet boiler system efficiency.  Our two oil-fired boilers remain as a back-up heat source.  The unit ventilators in classrooms were replaced with vertical type unit ventilators with a heat recovery wheel.  Ventilation throughout both buildings was accomplished with new central air-to-air heat recovery units and a new ductwork distribution system for common spaces (gym, offices, lobby, hallways, and restrooms). The pneumatic control system was replaced with a modern direct digital control system. 

Neshobe Elementary now complies with current indoor air quality standards.  Other improvements include the replacement of windows and doors, replacement of the backside of the gym roof, and the replacement of the main roof of the brick building.

In June, the Goshen School Board donated $9,600 for the purchase of instruments for our music program.  This enabled us to purchase classroom drums, marching percussion equipment, a tenor saxophone, a euphonium, two electric keyboards, and a drum set. 

They also donated $4,000 which, combined with our funds, enabled us to purchase musical equipment for the main playground and add more wood chips to increase the level of safety under all playground equipment on both playgrounds.  The Neshobe PTO also purchased a piece of musical equipment and installed all of the new equipment on the large playground.

The preschool playground had new musical instruments purchased with their STARS funds and Neshobe budget money.  STARS is a statewide program which uses child care quality indicators to identify strengths and areas for improvement.  Our preschool programs received 5 Stars (the highest achievable level) and $1,250.  This equipment was installed by Wendy and Karl Fjeld.

While there is great importance to maintaining our facilities and conserving energy, Neshobe Elementary is also committed to maintaining high expectations for our students that we have set as a school community.  It is our belief that all students can learn with the appropriate level of support and opportunity, and we provide a solid framework for providing a strong learning environment educationally, socially, and emotionally.

We work very hard to achieve this goal for every student who attends Neshobe School.

As a faculty, we are in our third year of Brain Based Learning which includes updated research on how our brains work.  This learning has not only informs our instruction, it is enabling our students to understand how their brains work and empower them as learners.  We have strengthened our first instruction within each classroom.

To ensure we are on target with each student’s needs, we analyze our assessment data which is collected from standardized testing, classroom assessments, classroom performance, and teacher observations. Meeting as data analysis teams, we are able to identify the different learning needs of our students.

Students meeting and/or achieving the standards are ready for enhanced learning opportunities, which we are working to continue to develop and expand.  Students needing support in achieving the standard are identified for in-class support and placed on a watch list where their progress is monitored; this is called Tier I support.  Students identified as needing more support, work with an interventionist in a small group; this is called Tier II.  A learning target is developed based upon the identified need of each student with regular progress monitoring.  Progress monitoring enables us to track the progress of each student to ensure the intervention is meeting the student’s need and identify when the target is mastered.

Some students require more intensive support (Tier III) and work 1:1 with an interventionist; as with the other tiers, progress monitoring is an important component.  Tier IV is special education for students who have met Vermont’s Special Education Eligibility Regulations for this level of support.

Over the last two years, four interventionists (two for math support and two for reading support) have been hired with Title I federal funds.  These interventionists work with students identified for Tier II and III support.  This has enabled us to provide additional in-class support for students identified for Tier I support, which is enabling more immediate support.

While we have strengthened the quality of first instruction within the classroom and have a strong support system in place, which is meeting the needs of many students, there are still students who are unable to fully access learning. Barriers exist for these children which prevent them from accessing learning.

Some barriers are easier to identify and remove than others and for some of our children there are multiple barriers.  Some of the barriers may include homelessness, truancy, trauma, mental and physical health challenges, poverty, emotional and /or social challenges.

We have a breakfast and lunch program to ensure all children have access to two meals a day.  We have a full-time nurse who is able to identify and support student health needs throughout the day, as well as provide supports to parents.  She also provides proactive care through vision and hearing screenings and health classes.

Neshobe School has two counselors available to our 424 students and families.  They provide individual and small group support and teach guidance and health classes in collaboration with the school nurse. This year all of our fifth and sixth graders have participated in the Brandon Cares Community Book Read of The Seventh Wish and Dialogue Night with same grades from Sudbury, Whiting, and Lothrop as part of our science unit on drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.  We also have two school-based Rutland Mental Health case managers who support students and families open to Rutland Mental Health services.

Our staff has had training in understanding trauma and emotional regulation, the impact of addiction on students and families, bullying, harassment, hazing (BHH), and developing empathy.  While it is important that we have the training and understanding, it is equally important that we teach and support students in learning how to deal with these barriers.  Our teachers and counselors are implementing the Mind Up curriculum where students learn strategies to help focus their attention, improve their self-regulation skills, build resilience to stress, and develop a positive mind-set in both school and life.

In February, we implemented the Kindness Matters at Neshobe School project.  Someone once said, “Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers.”  At Neshobe School, students and staff are involved in a kindness project.  It is an ongoing project that is changing our school climate one act of kindness at a time.  An “Acts of Kindness” daily calendar suggests an act of kindness that can be carried out by students and staff alike.  One small act of kindness towards another can change someone’s day. 

It makes the doer and the recipient feel good and creates a sense of being valued and belonging. 

Better yet, being kind costs nothing and takes very little effort as it makes our school a happier place to be.

Our hope is that as we pay these acts of kindness forward, kindness will spread throughout our school and out into our homes and community.  We all have the opportunity to do something great by just being a little kinder.  One component of the kindness project is the monthly kindness calendar.  Wendy Fjeld is the creator of the monthly calendars.

Congratulations and best wishes to Harriet Wyman on her retirement after 36 years of teaching! 

She leaves a legacy of caring for her students which extends long after they leave her classroom.

We believe the whole community is essential to each child’s success in our school community.  We have faithful community and parent volunteers supporting  programs such as Odyssey of the Mind, Four Winds and Everybody Wins, as well as volunteers in our classrooms, library, and on field studies.

We have a committed PTO which works hard to bring opportunities for students and their families, as well as raises funds to support these opportunities.  Our collaborative partnership with Bill Moore, Brandon Recreation Director, provides additional learning opportunities for our students and the Brandon Community through physical activities, seasonal events, and adult programs.  It also ensures that Neshobe School remains a resource which benefits the community outside of school hours.  And, finally, we have a very supportive community without which none of this would be possible.

It is my privilege to be part of the Neshobe School Community where I have the opportunity to work daily with students and families, a dedicated staff, and community members in our quest to ensure learning opportunities are meeting the needs of all students in a warm and welcoming learning environment.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to know more about our school or become involved in our learning opportunities.


Judith A. Pulsifer, M.Ed., Principal

Neshobe School Guidance

Please contact our Guidance Counselor,
Ms. Spaulding, with any questions and/or concerns.

Thank you.