October: Blackbird Bugler

Hello everyone and welcome back to VES. We are very happy to have all students back to in-person for the 2021-2022 school year. This is our first edition of the Blackbird Bugler for this year. We had so much information coming out via our new school messenger system with details about September that I decided to wait for October to send out the first edition.

We continue to adapt and adjust our procedures as the year goes on to make them routine. We appreciate your patience and support.

In September we held our three Virtual Open Houses once again. I hope everyone had the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher(s) and learn a little bit about their classrooms this year. Most of our teachers have created slideshow presentations as well. If you missed the virtual open house, just let your teacher know and they would be happy to send you any information you may have missed.


We were excited to hold a few assemblies for students and staff in September as well. We had a celebration of culture and community. Our discussions included embracing diversity and learning about different cultures from all over the world and in our own community. We shared the story “The Day You Begin” with students and staff. The positive time together ended with a group International Line Dance. All grade levels sang the alma mater and our PRIDE chant and we reviewed VES PRIDE.


  • Polite
  • Responsible
  • Inclusive
  • Determined
  • Engaged

We are off to a great start here at VES. September flew by as usual and I expect October to do the same. We will continue to look for opportunities to invite families back to the school in some capacity. Your teachers will keep you up to date on what is happening in their classrooms.

Emergency Drills

October continues to be fire safety month and we continue to take a variety of steps to ensure the safety of your children. The more we practice these safety measures, the more comfortable your children become with each routine. We will continue to have a total of 12 drills throughout the school year and have increased the number of lock-down drills we practice based on new guidelines.

Fire Drills

Over the course of a school year, we are now required to complete 8 fire drills. We use this as an opportunity to remind students of the importance of a quiet, swift exit from the building. We practice these drills at various points in the day so that students are well-prepared should a drill become a reality. Please know that we are taking social distancing into consideration when practicing our drills this year.

Lockdown Drills

Drills in which the building is secured from the outside and students remain quiet and inconspicuous in the classroom will now be conducted four times a year should there be a threat to our school.

Bus Safety

We are fortunate to have very highly skilled, trained, and experienced drivers running our elementary routes. On September 14th, classrooms experienced 30 minutes of on-bus safety training, in which the rules of the bus were reviewed to ensure students recognize why it is important to remain in seats, listen to driver directions (even if it is a substitute driver), and to ensure they are prepared to act appropriately should there be an emergency.

Bus safety and appropriate behavior are something we take seriously at VES, in that, unlike a classroom, our vehicles are supervised by individuals behind a wheel who need and should be devoting their entire attention to the road. Eye contact off the road to remedy poor behavior only raises the risk of an accident, hence why we instill the importance of nothing short of perfect behavior for student transport to and from school. Also, while there are ten official rules to the bus, seating has and always will be at the discretion of the bus driver, just as much as classroom seating is at the discretion of the teacher. (Seating arrangements have been created based on when children are picked up and/or dropped off.)

Please note: be sure to use the side-walks at the end of the day when you pick your students up and are returning to your vehicle. It is very dangerous to walk between the buses

Fall Picture Day

Photos will be taken October 8, 2021. We will continue to practice all social distancing guidelines to ensure your child’s safety during our picture day.

Upcoming dates of interest

  • October 4: BOE Meeting 7 p.m.
  • October 4-8: Kindergarten Field Trips to the Voorheesville Fire Department
  • October 8: Fall Picture Day
  • October 8: Early Release Drill
  • October 11: Columbus Day (No School)
  • October 13: PTA Meeting 7 p.m. Virtual
  • October 29: Possible Halloween Parade (more details to follow)

A reminder from Ms. Brackett:

New York State law requirements for health examinations and in-school health screenings have changed. The new regulations require health exams for all NEW entrants and students entering the following grades: K, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th. The examination must be completed by a New York State licensed physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. A copy of the health examination must be pro-vided to the school within 30 days from start of the school year. If your child has an appointment for an exam during this school year that is after the first 30 days of school, please notify the Health Office with the date.

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We are so happy to have your children back to school with us. We will continue to find ways to keep your children safe and healthy while they are here with us. We appreciate your efforts to do the same and we look forward to a great school year. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly.


Jeffrey Vivenzio
Voorheesville Elementary School Principal