Thursday, November 22, 2007


Early Release / Game Night / Book Sale

There will be two EARLY RELEASE days at Berlin Elementary School coming up that weren't in the original school year calendar. The first one is on Friday, December 14th the second one is the Friday, February 22nd (which is the Friday leading into vacation).

I do not have the rest of the details for you but since the decision was made tonight at the school board meeting and there is no school newsletter this week I wanted to help get the word out so people can start planning. I'm sure Community Connections and KidWatch will get the word out as soon as possible as to any programming being offered in the afternoon on December 14th.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy time with your family and friends.


Please consider purchasing a book to donate to a classroom while you are at the book fair next week. There will be a display with book donation ideas (teacher wish lists) at the book fair. You can choose to donate a flat dollar amount in the form of a gift certificate or buy a book that the teacher has specifically picked out. Book donation stickers will be available for you to place inside the book you purchase so that the donation can be made in your child's name. The book fair will be open Nov. 27 - Dec. 3 and there will be evening hours during family game night on Nov. 30 ~ 6:00-8:30.

Come enjoy a fun filled evening with your friends and neighbors at the Family Game Night on Friday, November 30th from 6-8:30pm in the learning center at Berlin Elementary School. Bring a dish or beverage to share for the potluck or just come and have fun! We'll supply all the games! Games include Othello, Rack-O, chess, checkers, Connect Four, Slide Checkers, Rummikub, cribbage, Yahtzee, Quarto, Pig-Out, Mexican Train Game, and so many more along with games for the younger kids like Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry-O and Memory. Call your friends and have your kids call their friends to make plans to meet at school on Friday, November 30th at 6pm for FUN & GAMES! Please let me know if you think you'll be joining us!


Let's Talk Turkey

Berlin friends and neighbors -

If anybody out there has any EXTRA Shaw's turkey points the school will put them to good use. The staff has already started to bring some in. Please get them to Diane in the office before the end of the week. Thanks so much.

Also note that the PTNA continues to collect Box Tops for Education from food and paper products and Campbell Soupl labels. There is a collection bin in the front office at school.

Funds are being collected to buy books in honor of Pat Nelson who was the Berlin Elementary School librarian for 29 years. Mrs. Nelson retired this past summer. Donations can be sent to the school with checks being made out to Berlin Elementary School Special Accounts and please be sure to note that it's for books in honor of Mrs. Nelson.

The Scholastic Book Fair will be set up from November 27th - December 4th. We also have a permanent Book Swap bookshelf to give students access to books they can keep - donations to this shelf are always appreciated.

The next Family Game Night will be Friday, November 30th - bring an item for the potluck or just come and have fun playing games that we'll supply. The book fair will be open during this event.

CHESS? If you have students who would like to improve their game of chess, please let us know. Mike and I are trying to figure out a time for a chess club - perhaps we'll do it one evening a month for an hour or on the weekend. We need to know who is interested and when they're available. This will not be a drop off activity but for kids who seriously want to sit down and play chess. We're also wanting to know if there are other chess playing adults who may like to help make this happen, or happen more often.


Events This Weekend

Tonight is Family Game Night at Berlin Elementary School from 6pm - 8:30pm. Bring a dish +/or beverage for the potluck to be shared if you can and we'll provide lots of fun games for everyone to enjoy. All children need to be with an adult.
Games include: Othello, Yahtzee, Checkers, Candyland, Rummikub, Quarto, Chutes & Ladders, Sequence, Rack-O, Slide Checkers, Backgammon, Connect Four, Chess, Pig Out, Monopoly Junior, Mexican Train Game, etc,

Saturday morning is the 5th annual K-12 Chess Tournament at Berlin Elementary. Come in and register between 9-9:30AM, $10 per player or $18 per family. The first of four rounds starts at 10am. All players will play four games. Top players in each division will receive a trophy and everyone participating will receive a certificate and a token of our appreciation for their participation.

BABES IN TOYLAND presented by the Montpelier Theatre Guild. November 8,10,11 and 16, 17, 18 at Union ELementary School Auditorium. Look for Isabel Taylor, Morgan St. John and Loren Spencer all from Berlin! Friday and Saturday performances are at 7pm and tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. Sunday matinees are at 2pm and tickets are $8 adults and $6 children. Tickets available at Bear Pond BOoks, at the door, or by reservation at 229-9355.

Look for winter sports equipment? The 28th annual Waitsfield PTA Ski and Skate Sale is scheduled for November 10th and 11th, 9 am to 3pm. You may drop off your consignment items on Friday, November 9th, from 4:00 - 7:00 pm. Come and join us for this great fundraising event and economically supply your family with winter sporting equipment. If you are interested in volunteering or need
more information, contact Krissa Hammond at or call the Waitsfield School (496-3643). All profits go to support Waitsfield School enrichment activities. For more information check out our website


November News / Date change

The Berlin Elementary School Harvest Dinner date has been changed. The dinner will take place on Monday, November 19th. Reservations must be made by November 9th. If your reservation is not made, you will not be able to participate in this delicious meal. Please pay for your lunch on the day of the meal with a cash or check. Checks can be made payable to Berlin Elementary School - Lunch.
Berlin Nature Trails - A work party is being held on Saturday, November 3rd from 7-10am to work on the Berlin Nature Trails. Projects to work on include: bridge repairs and relocation, raking of trails, brush trimming. Bring gloves, rakes and a smile, donuts provided.
Please take just a few minutes to complete the Berlin Elementary parent climate survey at the following link:
Most questions ask you to just click on your response and there are two questions that if I recall ask you about the schools strengths and weaknesses.
Honoring Patricia Nelson - The school is collecting donations to purchase books of Mrs. Nelson's choosing for a permanent collection on a special bookshelf in the school library in honor of her 29 years as part of our Berlin community as. If you would like to contribute to this fund, send your donations and / or notes to the school office. If writing a check, please make it payable to Berlin Elementary School Special Accounts. Please help spread the word to others in our community.
The Facilities Committee will meet in mid-November to consider possible renovations to the school to address issues of safety, code compliance, and maintenance. Community members are welcome to join this committee. They will meet one or two evenings a month. Contact principal Charles Watson if you're interested.
Photo retake day will be November 9th at 9:15am in the Berlin Elementary School learning center.
Family Game Nights - Friday, November 9th and Friday, November 30th 6pm - 8:30pm at Berlin Elementar School. Bring a dish or beverage for the potluck, we'll provide the games!!
The Scholastic Book Fair will be November 27th - December 4th at Berlin Elementary School
Chess Tournament - for K-12 students throughout the area on Saturday, November 10th at Berlin Elementary School. More details at This is an annual event and a good place to attend your first tournament.


Schedules / School Newspaper

Recently the Scheduling Committee presented 4 possible schedules for U-32 Middle and High School. These proposed schedules can be found on the school website at:

(if you have trouble with the link, go to and look for the link in the News & Events box).

One schedule is the current trimester system, while the other four are based on the semester system and would most likely include quarterly reporting on student progress.

Note classes need to meet for a total of 200 minutes per week and that is why you'll see some schedules propose 50 minute classes four times a week, 40 minute classes five times a week, 67 minute classes three times a week, or some combination of those times.

Please know that the scheduling committee has looked at 100 schedules over the past two years. Many will not work at U-32 since we have both a middle and high school and therefore share staff and space.

Michelle McFadden, a member of the committee, would like to encourage parents to email Tim Flynn with feedback

The scheduling committe will consider feedback they have and continue to receive over the next few days. They will make a recommendation to principal Keith Gerritt. Keith Gerritt will in turn recommend a scheule to the school board on Wednesday, November 7th. This could be to recommend to keep the current trimester calendar, or could be recommending one of the semester schedules.

Please take the time to look over the scheduling information that is posted on line. Send your comments to Tim Flynn If you have questions, those could also go to Tim.


It's very exciting to be able to point out that the U-32 student newspaper, The Chronicle, can now be found on line. Currently the link is in the News & Events box on the main page (



BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION - these squares from various products that are worth 10cents each are continually being collected at the school to benefit PTNA. Julie Pryce-Kelley is shipping off a collection of them this weekend so if you have any you've been meaning to send in, please do. These are collected in the front office along with Campbell Soup labels.

STATEWIDE SCHOOL CALENDAR MEETING AT THE MONTPELIER HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY TONIGHT (WEDNESDAY) 6:30-8PM. The Department of Education will be hosting five public meetings across the state to take public input on the development of a statewide school calendar. Students, parents, educators, school board members, community members, businesses, legislators and school administrators are encouraged to attend. The committee has drafted three calendars that would represent possible considerations for discussion purposes, which will be presented at the meetings. The complete press release was linked on 10/19 "Statewide School Calendar Public Meeting Schedule" and draft calendars will be on that site as of the 24th.

Family GAME NIGHTS at Berlin Elementary School on Friday November 9the and Friday November 30th. Mark your calendar and bring something for potluck. 6pm - 8:30pm.

PTNA needs you! If you're able to volunteer some time, please let us know. We're in need of officers along with help on specific projects / events such as game nights, holiday bazaar and gifts for giving in December, talent show & ice cream social in the spring, club month, teacher appreciation breakfast in May, end of school year picnic, etc. Contact Jill Murphy, Donna Barr, Corinne Stridsberg or send a note into the office at school and one of us will contact you!

THANK YOU - to all those that placed orders from the Genevieve catalog and those who collected orders from also! The money raised it what enables the PTNA to match funds from the school for the wonderful arts enrichment activities that are both brought into our school and enable our students to attends events elsewhere - such as today when the 4th, 5th and 6th graders are going to the Barre Opera House to see Come Sing, Jimmy Jo based on the novel by local author Katherine Paterson. Note that Genevieve orders can still be made on-line. Thanks also to those who sent along receipts from their purchases at the recent Baked Beads jewelry sale!


October / November

Ski & Skate Sale is on Saturday October 20th at the Montpelier High School gym from 9am to 2pm. New and used winter recreation items will be available. Anyone who wants to sell items has until 8pm tonight (Friday) to get them there. Straight skis will not be accepted this year, shaped downhill skis only.

The National Life craft fair is this weekend.


Foreign Language Forum - Monday 5:30-6:30pm in room 131 at U-32 - WCSU is interested in finding out what parents, school board members, and community members concerns are about the foreign language learning experiences of students in our schools. To do this we have invited Carol Meyer, Ph.D. from Bennington College to work with our district to review our current programs and make recommendations for ways to improve foreign language opportunities for all children in our schools. You're welcome to meet with Carol to discuss K-12 opportunities on Monday.

U-32 Scheduling Forum - Tuesday 6:30-8pm at U-32 cafeteria - For the purpose of reviewing proposed and current U-32 Schedule for the 2008-2009 school year. A committee of faculty members, support staff, administrators, and parents has been working together for the past 12 months to review possible daily schedules for U-32. The committee has decided on four possible options. One option is the trimester schedule while the others use semesters. This forum is an opportunity to review these possible schedules and provide input to the committee before a final decision is made. Schedules may be viewed at: (if the link does work, go to and find the link in the New & Events box of upcoming dates)

The Vermont Big Read kick off is this weekend! Everyone will be reading, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, one of the best detective novels ever written. For more details and to learn about Sunday's event visit:

This year the Vermont Reads program is reading Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop.

Halloween Family Dance, Saturday, October 27th 7-9pm at Berlin Elementary School. Parade of costumes at 7:30pm. Berlin students, staff and their families are welcome. All students must be accompanied by an adult. Bring muchies or beverages to share if you can.
D.J. Mike Stridsberg will be playing your favorite Halloween music - Monster Mash, Thriller, Rock Lobster, Werewolves of London, Ghostbusters and more!
Both students and adults typically come in costume - lots of great homemade costume ideas can be found at:
Contest prizes donated by the Berlin PTNA.

More fun: Monday, 10/31 there will be trick-or-treating at downtown Montpelier businesses 4-6pm, from 6-7:30 at the Montpelier Rec Center free toss games & snacks and at 7:30pm Marco the Magician performs at Rec Center - event ends 8pm. Barre businesses usually also have trick-or-treating and don’t forget the fabulous display of hundreds of Jack-O-Lanterns at Ellie’s Farm Market on Route 12 on both the night before Halloween and on Halloween.


GINGERBREAD HOUSE CONTEST ENTRIES NEEDED!! "Home Sweet Home" sponsored by the Central Vermont Community Land Trust. Saturday, November 10th, 2007 at Montpelier City Hall. For all the details go to: There is a $5 entry for for Adults, Youth, Families, and $20 for Profressionals - all are encouraged to send in an entry form. Maybe some friends or families want to join together to assemble their gingerbread house and share supplies! Drop off for entries is Nov. 10th 7am - 9am. Judging will be 9-10:30 and doors are open to the public from 10am - 2pm. There is an awards ceremony at 11:30am.


5th Annual Central Vermont Scholastic Chess Tournament Saturday,November 10, 2007 Berlin Elementary School Come one, come all! This is an unrated chess tournament open to players of all abilities from Kindergarten through Grade 12, where the focus is on fun and sportsmanship. The Swiss system will be used, and all players will play 4 rounds (no-one will be eliminated.) Please bring a chess board and chess clock if you have one (not required.) Pre-Register by Nov. 7th for only $8 per player, or $15 per family. Register at door - $10 per player or $18 per family. Registration open from 9–9:30 AM. First round starts at 10AM. Food concessions available from 9 AM until 2 PM (including pizza at lunchtime). Awards given at approximately 3:00 PM. Pre-registration form and full details are available at: For more information, contact: Mike Stridsberg (Tournament Director) or Corinne Stridsberg (Event Organizer) at or call (802) 223-1948.

Genevieve On Line - Please note that although the Genevieve fundraising order to benefit the Berlin PTNA is processing, people are still welcome to place orders on line to benefit the PTNA. If you're interested go to: and enter our school account number: 5355. Genevieve's offers not only quality wrapping paper but also products from Crabtree & Evelyn, Pioneer Valley Candles, calendars, the well loved Create-A-Plate (using artwork or photos) and 100 items that are made in New England. Contact Corinne with questions.


October Happenings - don't miss out

BAKED BEADS 15th annual Columbus Day Weekend Jewelry Clearance Sale. Below wholesale prices starting at $2 - earrings, bracelets, rings, toe rings, beads, hair accessories, scarves, belts, umbrellas, reading glasses, eyeglass chains and more!
The Berlin PTNA will receive 10% of sales based on receipts turned into us and mailed in. October 5th - 7th 10am - 5pm Under the tent on Route 100 (46 Carroll Road) in Waitsfield next to the Big Picture Theater & Cafe. Cash, checks, MasterCard and Visa accepted for payment. Please send receipts to school in an envelope marked Baked Beads by October 26th. Please let your friends, family and neighbors know about the sale and that we're collecting receipts!
The Berlin PTNA is looking for people to become involved - cochair, treasurer and secretary along with people who can help out with specific projects. Please contact Donna Barr or Corinne Stridsberg for more information. The first meeting of the year will be announced in a few days.
Genevieve fundraising catalogs to benefit the Berlin PTNA went home with Berlin Elem. students on Friday. Orders are due in by October 12th. If using a check, please make it payable to BERLIN SCHOOL PTNA. If you want out of town friends and family to be able to support this fundraiser, they can go on line to: and enter our school account number: 5355 along with your child's name, teacher and grade details on the "my account information" page. the Berlin PTNA will receive the profit. Of course instead of using this fundraising catalog, the PTNA will also accept a cash donation, or your help with other projects or more hands on type of fundraisers!
Montpelier Youth Chess Club with Bob Nichols has resumed at the Kellogg Hubbard Library, Wednesdays, 5:30pm to 7:30pm. This is a great opportunity which I hope many youth will be able to take advantage of.
Winter Swim Lessons - Derek at First in Fitness tells me you should contact him ( for details regarding lessons. Usually they're held once a week on the weekends, mid to late morning time frame. The cost is $50 for members and $75 for non-members for the five half hour lessons. The groups are much smaller than the community swim lessons in the summer with only 4 or 5 kids.
Central VT Swim Club registration is October 15th 5-6 pm downstairs at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. The swim club meets from late October to late February. For more details see
Jennie Thompson will continue as the leader for Jr. Girl Scouts this year. She is looking for parent volunteers to help out. Jr. Girl Scouts is open to girls in grades 4-6. First meeting on September 19, 2007. All Girls are welcome. We will meet every other week. This year it will be held on Wednesdays right after school, at Berlin Elementary School. If anyone has questions, please call Jennie at 279-6225.
Book Swap - If you've been thinking of joining don't delay. Currently new members receive 3 credits when they have logged 9 paperback books they are willing to mail to a person requesting. Typically it costs about $2 for you to mail a book and in turn you use a credit and one is mailed to you at no charge. On October 5th that policy will change and it will be 2 credits for 10 paperback books posted. Please be sure to use my email address as the person who referred you! There are 1,525,165+ available on this site so you're bound to find something you like - you can search by title or author and the books are categorized also. There are even specials where you can use one credit to receive more than one book - ask me about it if you're new to the site.
The U-32 Boosters next meeting is in November, updates can be found in the monthly U-32 Newsletter. Boosters is looking for help in the concession stand (their largest generator of money for grants). Boosters is also looking for someone to sell 50/50 raffle tickets for the football season, so if there is a middle school parent out there who usually comes to the home games because their son or daughter likes to attend, maybe they would be interested in working the crowd during the game to sell tickets.
Remember Jeremy Bazur who was the art teacher at Berlin? Some of you may not realize that he has a website with some artwork available:
The Onion River Soccer Club is a volunteer, non-profit organization created for and committed to promoting soccer for children ages 9-14. The Club serves the towns in the U-32 and Montpelier School districts.
The Spring Program fields teams at U10, U12, and U14 age levels from late April through June. The program includes practice sessions 2 days a week plus 1 or 2 games each week (games are Sunday afternoons and/or Friday evenings) There are optional tournaments which may require additional fees.
If there are too many players in an age group for one team, an evaluation practice will be held on Nov 4th. The cost is $75 per player for U10 and U12 and $85 for U14. In addition, each player must have an Onion River Soccer Jersey that can be purchased for $25. Payment is due in full by Dec 10. 10% discount for 2nd child.
Players must register by Oct 20, 2007. Send the following information to Rob Allen, 50 Bosworth Rd, Berlin, VT 05602 or email the information to (Player's name, Birthdate, Address, City / State / Zip, Home Phone & email address, and Parents names)
Violin/Cello Lessons - Berlin students interested in playing violin or cello should contact Ruth Einstein at 522-2823, or Lesson cost is $18.50 per half hour session. Scholarship support is available for students in need.
Instruments - if you have a musical instrument that isn't in use which you'd be willing to donate to the school, our music department would be interested in having it donated. Thanks for considering this!
Substitutes needed - If you would like a job that allows you to select your own days, have very limited responsibility outside of work time, and be available to your child(ren) before and after school, this could be the opportunity you've been looking for! Educational requirement is a high school diploma, with two years of university study highly desired. We will provide training and support to be successful. If you go through the process to place yourself on the "sub list", you can specify preferences as far as days of the week, grade levels, subjects (physical education, art, music), etc. Some subs even go as far as to only book in advance and thereby avoid early morning or last minute phone calls. Any and all subs are greatly appreciated and their wishes are honored. Subs are also needed in the Maintenance Department to fill in for illness and vacations, usually in the evenings. Contact Lisa Stoudt, Berlin Sub Coordinator (and Administrative Assistant to Principal Watson).

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