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2015-2016 Back to School Parent/Guardian Letter
August 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are pleased that your child(ren) will be among the nearly 4000 students in grades Pre-K-12 who are enrolled in our schools for the 2015-16 school year. Burlington is home to the largest, most diverse school district in the state of Vermont. As such, we offer our students a unique opportunity to learn how to become productive citizens in a truly global society. We have award winning students, state champion athletes, and a highly accomplished faculty and staff, including the current Vermont State Teacher of the Year and the reigning “Vermonter of the Year.” 
Students at all grade levels will have much to look forward to as they get ready for opening day.  

Click here to read the full letter.

News and Announcements
Back to School Information - August 21, 2015

Dear Champlain Families,

It's hard to believe that we are almost ready to begin a new school year.  We hope your summer has been, and continues to be, restful and rejuvenating. The following information will help ease your transition back into the school routine. 

Please bring First Day of School Information hand-out
Tuesday, August 25th – 8:00am to 10:00am. Drop in anytime during these hours! Please join us for conversation and a tour of the room before school begins.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL – Wednesday, August 26, 2015.  Please note we will have our regular Wednesday schedule with dismissal at 1:50 for grades 1-5. (See below for the Kindergarten schedule for the first three days).

Our PTO welcomes you! You are invited to the PTO First Day of School Family Coffee on Wednesday, August 26th at 8:10am. This is a chance for families to mingle and relax as students settle into the first day of school. You will have an opportunity to connect with other families, learn about the PTO, find out about volunteer opportunities, and meet the interim principal. Please read the PTO letter included in this mailing for detailed information about the 2015 PTO team.

Kindergarten schedule – At the Kindergarten level we administer a literacy assessment called the Primary Observation Assessment (POA). This assessment is done one on one with each student. To allow time to complete this assessment, the Kindergarten students will be dismissed at 11:30 for the first three days of school (Wednesday 8/26, Thursday 8/27 and Friday 8/28). Students will be served lunch before dismissal. Your student will be scheduled to return for a testing time on one of those afternoons. We will get this time and day to you shortly. 

8:08 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. 8:08-1:50 on Wednesdays. Please note the adjustment to the Kindergarten schedule for August 26, 27, and 28 explained above. If you plan to wait with your student(s) prior to 8:08, you are welcome to be with them outside, in the lobby, or in the cafeteria. Students may go to their classrooms at 8:08. The bell will ring at 8:08! 

If there is a change to your student’s after-school plan, please contact the office by 1:00 PM. A lot happens at the end of the day which makes it challenging to reach all students who have a change in plans before the bell rings. 

Breakfast is Free for all Burlington students.  All students receive a morning snack in their classrooms.  Families are always welcome to join their student for breakfast and lunch! Adult Breakfast is $1.75, Student Lunch is $2.25, and Adult Lunch is $3.75. Milk is included with breakfast and lunch. Milk can be purchased separately for $0.50 

Effective October 5, 2015, all students who wish to ride a CCTA bus must have a school issued school ID or pay for the bus each time they ride. Each elementary school will provide every student in grades K-5 who lives at least .7 (7/10) of a mile from school with a school ID with the CCTA logo. This will be the student’s Bus Pass. The Bus Pass will allow the student to get on the Neighborhood Special or other CCTA bus and return home when school is out or after school activity is over. There is no charge for this ID/Bus Pass. Replacement ID’s will cost $5.00. All other students, who live closer than .7 (7/10) of a mile, will be expected to pay $0.60 each time they ride the bus. Discounted 10-ride or monthly passes are available at CCTA ticket outlets. 

For bus routes, maps and times check the website: Click on bus information and scroll down to Neighborhood Specials. 

More information will be sent home on the first day of school. Enjoy the remainder of the summer!  I look forward to seeing you at the beginning of school.  


Maria Horton
Interim Principal  
July 7, 2015

Dear Champlain Elementary Families,

Thank you for your warm welcome. The end of the school year is inevitably challenging and it is impressive to see how well everyone works together to ensure a smooth shift into summer routines. Now that we are settling in to our fall preparation mode, I am happy to write this letter of introduction.

I have over 13 years of K-12 educational experience. My most recent administrative experience was as interim assistant principal in Charlotte. Prior to that, I served for eight years as a teaching principal at St. Francis Xavier School. I taught in the Gifted and Enrichment Program at Cambridge Elementary, and in the Horizons program here in the Burlington School District. In addition, I have taught Applied Math Concepts, Foundational Math, Foundational Algebra, and Intro to College Studies at Community College of Vermont. Before moving into academia, I spent several years in the corporate arena in curriculum design, training and development, and account and project management. I have an MBA from the University of Vermont, an M.Ed. with a focus on technology from St. Michael’s, and I am enrolled in the University of Vermont’s Ed.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies program with a concentration in Social Justice. My area of interest is in addressing socio-economic and mental health issues to ensure educational access for all students.

Champlain’s faculty and staff are known for their collaborative relationships with families, area businesses, and other organizations who share a desire to support all students. It is this legacy of partnership that stands out as a true strength. I am delighted to bring my skills as an educational leader to expand educational opportunities for our students.

I want to hear your ideas, suggestions, and concerns. Until August, when our administrative assistant, Heather, returns, e-mail (mhorton at is the best way to reach me. Please send me a note with your thoughts and questions, or to set up a time to chat.

I am pleased to serve as your interim principal. It is an honor to be a member of this exceptional community. I look forward to working with you to make Champlain Elementary even better.
Maria Horton
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