First Day of School

Dear Grafton and Athens Families,

Ready for a great year at Grafton Elementary School?  The staff are so very excited to see each student in a few weeks!  I could not be more happy to begin the year as a Grafton Panther! We will have quite a few new faces here at GES.  Please join me in welcoming:

Angela Cartier is our new 3/4 multiage teacher. Angela is new to GES, but is not new to teaching.  She has taught both 3rd and 4th grade in Holyoke Massachusetts.

Kimberlee Abrams is our new 5th grade teacher.  Kim is new to GES but not new to our supervisory union.  She taught 5th grade last year at Westminster Center School.

Scott Febbie is our new Art teacher.  He will be teaching at GES on Mondays and is excited to start creating with our students!

Liz Bourne is joining us as our new librarian.  She may be new to GES, but has thirty years experience as a librarian at Westminster Center School.

Marjie is joining us as our new special educator.  Margie is new to GES, but is not new to special education or our supervisory union, joining us from Central Elementary.

  • Classroom walkthrough will be Tuesday, August 28th from 2:00-3:00.  Feel free to check out where your classroom will be and meet your new teacher.
  • Our first day of school will be Wednesday, August 29th.  School will begin at 8:05. Students can arrive as early as 7:45 for breakfast

 

Dear Athens and Grafton Families,

Ready for a great year at Grafton Elementary School?  The staff are so very excited to see each student next week!  I could not be more happy to begin the year as a Grafton Panther! We will have quite a few new faces here at GES.  Please join me in welcoming:

Angela Cartier, our new 3/4 multiage teacher. Angela is new to GES, but is not new to teaching.  She has taught both 3rd and 4th grade in Holyoke Massachusetts.

Kimberlee Abrams, our new 5th grade teacher.  Kim is new to GES but not new to our Supervisory Union.  She taught 5th grade last year at Westminster Center School.

Scott Febbie, our new Art teacher.  He will be teaching at GES on Mondays and is excited to start creating with our students!

Liz Bourne is joining us as our new librarian.  She may be new to GES, but has thirty years experience as a librarian at Westminster Center School.

Marjie Ottenbreit is joining us as our new special educator.  Marjie is new to GES, but is not new to special education or our Supervisory Union, joining us from Central Elementary.

  • GES Classroom Walkthrough will be Tuesday, August 28th from 2:00-3:00.  Feel free to check out where your classroom will be and meet your new teacher.
  • Our first day of school will be Wednesday, August 29th.  School will begin at 8:05. Students can arrive as early as 7:45 for breakfast.

Water Sampling at GES

Dear parents, staff, and community members:

Grafton Elementary School recently participated in a pilot program initiated by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to determine if per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are present in on-site drinking water supply wells at schools. This pilot test was part of a statewide effort to identify potential sources of PFAS throughout Vermont.

PFAS have been identified in various floor cleaning products, stripping chemicals, waxes, and polish that may be used at schools. If PFAS-containing wash water is disposed of on the ground surface or into an on-site septic system, these compounds have the potential to impact groundwater.

The DEC worked with the Agency of Education and the Department of Health to develop a voluntary pilot program, and requested participation from ten schools, including Grafton Elementary. These ten schools were selected for the pilot study following an evaluation of historic water quality monitoring data including levels of chloride, nitrate, and/or total coliform. Based on this data, these ten schools were prioritized because they were believed to be vulnerable to surface water impacts or septic system leachate. If PFAS-containing products were disposed of on the ground surface or into the school’s septic system, the potential pathway for these compounds to impact the drinking water source may exist.

The water supply well at Grafton Elementary School was sampled on July 12t​ h​ and July 26t​ h​. Both samples were consistent and had a combined PFAS concentration of 22 parts per trillion (ppt). These results are above the drinking water health advisory of 20 ppt.

As a result of the PFAS detections, bottled water is being supplied to anyone at the school until further notice. The water should not be used for drinking, cooking, or other consumptive use, but can be used for washing hands. Staff from the DEC sites management section and drinking water program are working to implement a short-term solution to install point-of-use treatment systems at locations such as drinking fountains and kitchen sinks that will remove the PFAS from the water. The Sites Management Section will also be working with their contractor to identify the source and extent of the contamination through additional testing. At this time, the source of the contamination has not been confirmed. This testing may need to be expanded to nearby drinking water sources in the future. Concurrently, DEC will evaluate long-term solutions including a point-of-entry treatment system or replacement of the drinking water source.

Questions regarding the testing at the Grafton Elementary School can be directed to Liz Harty at 802-843-2495 or elizabeth.harty@wnesu.com or Kimberly Caldwell of the Sites Management Section at 802-461-5857 or ​kimberly.caldwell@vermont.gov​.

Sincerely,

Liz Harty Principal

Chris Pratt
WNESU, Superintendent of Schools

Dear GES Families

My name is Liz Harty and I am so excited to introduce myself as the new principal of Grafton Elementary School. I hope that this note finds you enjoying the rejuvenating days of summer and that you and your children are looking forward to beginning a wonderful school year together on August 29th. I am thrilled to be part of such a tight-knit, supportive community.

I arrive in Grafton as a seasoned elementary teacher and school leader. I have taught in both Lawrence, Massachusetts as well as Springfield, Vermont. I consider a large part of my job to be that of a child advocate, ensuring that your children receive a quality education. I will spend a lot of time with your children, getting to know their personalities, learning styles, and interests. I will celebrate their successes, small and large. I will encourage them every day and let them know they are valued and have a special place in our school community.

Not only am I excited to begin working with your children, but I look forward to the work we will do together. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child, and I am excited to see your children through your eyes. I cannot wait to share with you the great things they do throughout their days here at GES. And of course I will be here to work with you should they need any help navigating any aspect of the school day.

While this will be my seventeenth year in education, my greatest achievement comes not professionally, but personally, as I am the mother of two beautiful children: Quinn (8), and Marlow (6). People often say I treat all children in my school as if they were my own. Please know I will work tirelessly to ensure all your children have the best possible experiences while at Grafton Elementary School.

Once again, I am so thankful to have the opportunity to bring all that I have experienced and learned with me to your wonderful community. I look forward to getting to know you and your children. I will be working most days this summer to ensure a smooth transition and opening in late August. Please stop by to say hello. We will also be having a Visitation Day at GES on August 28th from 2:00-3:00 pm.

I look forward to meeting you soon.

Warm Regards,

Liz Harty
GES Principal