Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Berlin Voting


Your vote does make a difference, please take the time to find out about what’s on the ballot this year and cast your vote.

Deadline for becoming a registered voter for this years’ Town Meeting is February 25th at 5pm Contact Rosemary Morse, Town Clerk, at 229-9298

The Berlin school budget presentation is accessible on line – the link is on the main page of the school website http://www.berlinschool.org There’s also a link for the details as to what is on the Australian ballot this year and the agenda for the 10am Town Meeting.

The Town & School Report is back from the printers. Copies went home to each elementary school family. Copies can be picked up at the Town Office, Berlin Elem. School, SW Rentals, and the Chamber of Commerce on Stewart Road

Pre-town meeting, your final opportunity to hear about items on Australian ballot will be held on Monday, March 2nd 7pm at Berlin Elementary. U-32 will have an informational meeting regarding their budget at 6pm Monday, March 2nd at U-32 in Room 131.

Both the Berlin Elementary School budget and the town budget will be on Australian ballot this year. Also on the ballot is the U-32 budget and requests from other community organizations. The polls are open from 10am – 7pm, Tuesday, March 3rd at the Berlin Elementary School.

Absentee Ballots can be requested between now & March 2nd –if you’ll be out of town or may have trouble making it in to vote on March 3rd, please request one from the Town Clerk.

Berlin Town Meeting will take place at 10am on Tuesday, March 3rd at Berlin Elementary.

The Berlin Volunteer Fire Dept.WILL be offering lunch 11am on Tuesday, March 3rd. Take a brown bag lunch back to work with you or eat at the school. Corn chowder or minestrone soup, a sandwich (tuna, egg salad or ham), beverage & dessert all for only $4.

Berlin Dogs will be able to be registered at Town Meeting this year (dogs must be licensed by April 1st) The cost is $7 for a dog that has been neutered or spayed and $11 for those that haven't been. Please note that our Town Clerk, Rosemary Morse, will only be registering dogs when the actual Town Meeting is not going. Bring proof of current rabies vaccination and if it’s the first time registering, the spay or neutering certificate.

Please contact your school board members or the principal with questions regarding

the Berlin School budget

Berlin Elementary Board of School Directors:

Linda Beaupré, chairperson 229-4580

Jonathan Goddard 223-7876

Amy Brewer 223-3259

Vera Frazier 229-0074

Jonathan Boyd 229-9517

Charlie Watson, BES principal 223-2796 x120

Berlin representatives on the U-32 School Board are:

Mark Berry 479-2686

Mike Stridsberg 223-1948


Berlin Elementary School currently has 222 students enrolled preK – 6th grade. Preschool is offered two mornings a week for 3 year olds and two days a week for 4 year olds

There are 2 classrooms for grades K- 6 although in 5th & 6th grade classes are combined.

Berlin Elementary employs about 43 people. This includes 15 classroom teachers (preK-6), teachers for art, music, PE and a librarian, 2 special educators and a part time SLP (speech language pathologist), a part time reading specialist, a part time technology person, 9 paraeducators, a guidance counselor, a nurse, 3 custodians, 2 kitchen staff, two administrative assistants and the principal.

The curriculum includes reading, writing, math, social studies, science, physical education, library, technology, music, art, and guidance. For foreign language, which is now a part of the state’s grade expectations, we hope to add a part-time teacher. Currently the 5th year U-32 French & Spanish students visit us and share these languages with us. Please note that this doesn’t meet the state requirements and may not be possible in the future.

The Parent Teacher Neighbor Association (PTNA) shares the cost of our Arts Enrichment program which brings performances and artist residencies to our school along with taking our K-6 students to a performance either at the Barre Opera House or Flynn Theater.

5th & 6th graders sell popcorn for snack time twice a week, raising money for a field trip to Boston every other year. This year they also made & sold quick breads & held a 50/50 raffle to raise money

Our kitchen feeds about 140 students and 10 adults a healthy lunch each day, while about 50 students are served a healthy breakfast daily.

The proposed budget for Berlin Elementary School for 2009-2010 is $2,852,220. This is a 4.57% increase ($124,764) from the current budget. The increase in taxes from the Berlin Elementary and U32 budget will be 2 cents, or for example on a homestead appraised for $100,000 a total of $20. When you include the Common Level of Appraisal and Act 68, it becomes a 8.5 cent increase or $85 on a homestead appraised at $100,000.

Most items in the school budget are controlled by contracts leaving very little that we have control over. In order to make significant cuts such as the governor has suggested, teachers and/ or paraeducators would need to be cut, which would reduce services to children.

Households with adjusted annual income below $114,000 may qualify for a prebate to ease their tax burden. It’s estimated that 90% of Berlin residents qualify for this. You must apply yearly. VT Homestead Declaration & Property Tax Adjustment application: https://secure.vermont.gov/hd/index If you don’t have internet access, you should be able to find the form at the post office or your local library.

Our families are fortunate to have Kid Watch, a before and after school child care program located at the Berlin Elementary School. Kid Watch also offers programming on most inservice and vacation days.

Building changes - last year Phase I was completed which included wheel chair accessible doors in most classrooms off the Learning Center, installation of walls where there had been collapsible partitions, along with adding security doors for our hallways. Phase II is postponed although it is all work needed. Phase II will complete the wheel chair accessible doors, make the fire & safety alarms and PA system available in all the rooms, clean duct work, make exterior doors open by swinging out (currently they swing in), changes to the sink & water fountains including their height, and other code compliance. Eventually there will be a separate bond vote to have this work done.

The temporary building at the back of the Berlin Elementary School parking lot was installed by and paid for by Washington Central Supervisory Union to house seven early education employees who work throughout the district. When WCSU moves to their new location, these employees will join them.

Please vote!

To find information about Berlin go to:

The town website: http://www.berlinvt.org;

the school websites: http://www.berlinschool.org and http://www.u32.org and

Corinne’s blog of events and news from Berlin & beyond: http://socialenergy.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Transportation proposal, meetings & more

Please join us for the Berlin PTNA meeting tonight (February 11th) 6:30pm in the Learning Center.
Be sure to be saving Box Tops for Education and Campbell Soup Label points for the Berlin PTNA. There is a collection container for them in the school office.
U-32 Middle School Parent Teacher Council meeting Thursday, Feb 12th 6:30pm - 7:30pm in the conference room at the back of the library. Agenda: Parent Workshop Opportunity; U-32 Substance Abuse Policy; Combined Bussing Proposal
The Drugs & Alcohol policy can be found on the U-32 website:
Bus proposals can be found at http://www.berlinschool.org in Announcement box on main page.
U-32 POPS CONCERT - Thursday, February 12th 7pm - FREE - enjoy some wonderful entertainment!
WCSU TRANSPORTATION PROPOSALS - There are two bus proposals being considered, Option A & Option B. The details of these proposals can be found on the school website (http://www.berlinschool.org ) This decision will be made by the district and not by individual schools. An opportunity to ask questions about these proposals is at the Berlin School Board informational meeting on Monday, February 16th at 6pm.
Saturday, Feb 14th 10am at the Riverton Fire Station

Monday, Feb 16th 6-7pm at Berlin Elem. Learning Center (regular board meeting to follow) At this meeting a transportation proposal will also be discussed, the proposal includes possible changes in bus routes and school start/end times.

Find Berlin school & town voting information on the school website (http://www.berlinschool.org) . This includes 2009 Annual Town Meeting Warning; Annual Berlin Elementary School Meeting Warning; U-32 Warning; Town & Elementary School Sample Ballot and U-32 Sample Ballot.
VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE - Berlin Residents who have not yet
registered to vote must be registered by 5pm on Wednesday, February
25th, 2009 to be able to vote at the Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


one more!

Lotus Lake Discovery Center Winter Fest this Saturday February 7th from 10-2. Route 14, two miles south of Williamstown Village. Dog sled demo, ice harvesting, ice fishing, snowshoeing/tracking, sledding, entertainment, cookout. Free event, donations accepted, small cost for food. There are snowshoes that can be used or bring your own. For more information contact: Becky Watson 433-5400

Monday, February 02, 2009



Check out the new Google on-line BERLIN SCHOOL EVENTS CALENDAR! Find it on the school website on the front page under Announcements http://www.berlinschool.org Field Trips, performances, basketball games, public meetings, and more! Please note these items are subject to change so be sure to call coaches with questions on game schedules and continue to carefully read the weekly school newsletter & classroom newsletters.
COMICS CLUB Tuesdays at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library - THE COMICS CLUB starts up another great year of writing, drawing and sharing comics on Tuesdays from 3:30 - 5 pm at Kellogg Hubbard Library. For ages 8-18. Drop-in anytime!
VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE - Berlin Residents who have not yet registered to vote must be registered by 5pm on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 to be able to vote at the Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd.
Berlin Elementary Winter Carnival will take place during the week of February 16th. Folks are needed to help out with both the indoor and outdoor activities. If you're available please contact Jessica Heinz at school to discuss the details.
WEDNESDAYS Farmer’s Night series takes place at the Vermont State House every Wednesday night at 7:30pm through the legislative session. Feb 4th Kern Hattin Jazz Band; Feb 11th "An Evening with Thomas Jefferson"; Feb 18th The Fred Haas & Sabrina Brown Duo; Feb 25th Linda Radtke performing her Civil War Songbook; March 4 NO PROGRAM; March 17 - 40th Army Band of the VT National Guard; March 25 Sweet Music and the Feminine Tone and Apr8il 1st South Royalton Band For more information, visit http://www.leg.state.vt.us/schedule/Farmers%20Night%20Schedule%202009.pdf

February 3rd - Concert on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd 7pm for 3rd - 6th graders. Afternoon dress rehearsal at 2pm
February 3rd 5pm-7pm Potrait Show - this art show will highlight portraits created by students in grades 3,4,5,6. The portraits will be on display in the Learning Center. This work reflects weeks of student work drawing and learning how to draw a realistic face. The work will be on display for two weeks.
February 4th - Parents, staff and community members are invited to join board members and legislators at 7pm on Wednesday, Feb. 4th at U-32 for an opportunity to hear from our legislators about issues of concern and upcoming legislation related to education.
February 7th - KidsVT Camp & School Fair - ONE DAY EVENT at the Hilton Hotel, Battery St, Burlington. Vermont's Family Newspaper hosts their 12th Annual Fair. Gather information and meet with Schools and Summer Program and Camp representatives. Free admission. All ages welcome. www.kidsvt.com. 802-985-5482
Be sure to check out the KidsVT calendar of events http://www.kidsvt.com/
February 9th - Berlin Charter Changes - the second of two public hearings on this topic will be at 7pm at the Berlin Elementary School. The most significant proposed changes are to elimate several elected positions and have them as hires by the Select Board.... e.g. Treasurer, Auditors, Listers... etc. If that goes through, the only position you will elect is that of the Town Clerk.
News stories on the Charter Changes:
February 9th - Mother / Son Bowling (Moms, Relatives, or Special Friends and Sons - Kindergarten through grade 6) Sponsored by the Montpelier Rec Dept. ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY $12 per person at the Mplr Rec Office 225-8699 http://www.montpelierrec.org Bowling will be at Twin City Bowling Lanes 3:30 - 5pm on Monday, Feb. 9th.
February 11th - Berlin Parent Teacher Neighbor Association (PTNA) 6:30pm in the Learning Center
February 12th - Father / Daughter Valendtine Dance (Dads, Relatives, Special Friends, & Daughters of all ages. Open to all families) Sponsored by Montpelier Recreation Dept. and Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center. $15 in advance at the Mplr Rec Dept or $20 at the door. Thursday, Feb 12 6:30 - 8:30 at the Capitol Plaza Governor's Ballroom. DJ Jim Severance, photos available for purchase.
February 12th - The Berlin Democratic Committee invites you to join them for an evening with some prominent local and state Democrats. 7pm in the Berlin Elementary School Library. VT State Treasurer Jeb Spauldin, Senator Ann Cummings & Senator Doug Racine will talk about their current work and their futures in the Democratic party. A question & answer period will follow. Coffee and Dessert will be served. For more information, call 522-4927. Hope to see you there!
February 14th - Young people ages 6-10 are invited to "Celebrating George Washington: Creating Wigs and Silhouettes" at the Pavilion Building in Montpelier on Saturday, February 14, from 10 am to noon. VHS's Family Fun series mixes entertainment, hands-on activities, and snacks to create a fun and memorable educational experience! The price is $8, $5 for members, and free for parents. To register, call 828-2180 or email Geraldine.brown@state.vt.us. One of the biggest holidays of past centuries was George Washington's Birthday, February 22. Our first president is often portrayed wearing a "powdered wig" and pictured as a silhouette. We'll recreate these for ourselves and see how they make us look. The Vermont Historical Society is a nonprofit offering the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier, the Leahy Library in Barre, and statewide programming. Established in 1838, its purpose is to reach a broad audience through outstanding collections, statewide outreach and dynamic programming onVermont history. The Vermont Historical Society believes that an understanding of the past changes lives and builds better communities. Visit the Society's web site at www.vermonthistory.org for directions, admission fees, and hours, or call 802-479-8500.
February 14th - Latin Dinner and Dance -dinner at 6:30, dance starts at 7:30. Put some spice in your winter and some heat to a cold night! Feast on a gourmet Mexican meal prepared by NECI chefs and their staff; learn Latin dance steps with a Salsa dance instructor; dance to the shounds of two U-32 jass bands, groove to the music with a Salsa DJ, break the Pinata for great goodies. Tickets can be purchased over the hpone at 229-0321 x3047, by email at tcate@u32.org or from student members of the U-32 Music Department Students $7, Adults $15 or Families $35. (there are Stridsberg students in the music dept so let me know if you need help getting tickets)
February 16th - Berlin School Board information meeting 6pm - 7pm on the school budget and transportation proposal followed by a regular school board meeting.
February 22nd, Sunday, FREE Ice Skating Party - the Town of Berlin Recreation Board cordially invites you to the annual Ice Skating Party at the Berlin Town Skating Rink (next to the Town Offices) from 12:00 Noon - 3pm. Refreshments provided by the Berlin Police Department and the Recreation Board. There will also be a Historical Society Open House. Admission and Refreshments are FREE TO ALL
Monday, March 2nd - Pre town meeting - INFORMATIONAL meeting regarding items on the Australian Ballot including the school budget, town budget, and other organizations requesting funds. Location: Berlin Elementary School.
Tuesday, March 3rd - TOWN MEETING 10am (Yes, there is still a meeting) with Australian Ballot voting from 10am - 7pm. It is possible to discuss items on the Australian ballot but not possible to change what's being voted on.

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