MCS has some new info for you and a Cross words too!

Messages from Shawn Gonyaw and Gary Bagnato

It was an awesome week back to school at MCS as evidenced by the comments in this story. In spite of the difficult week around the nation, the staff at MCS handled things OK on the local front. They gathered the children together and had meaningful conversations with them keeping in mind the ages of the children etc. Take a look at Cross words and the reports from both Shawn Gonyaw and Gary Bagnato.

Message From The Principal

Dear MCS Community,

What an awesome week back from vacation!  Even though the week started out with some fire alarm excitement on Tuesday morning, we quickly settled into our familiar routines.  The world around us was a bit unsettled this week.  I commend our teachers in the older grades for taking the time to have meaningful conversations with students about the unrest that we saw occur in our Nation’s capital.  Teachers were mindful to keep in mind the age of students and to not cross the line between informing and giving students a space to react and sharing their own personal views. 

We continue to do everything possible to keep MCS students, staff, and families healthy.  Health screenings will continue during morning drop off, along with temp checking, and increased sensitivity about allowing sickness to enter our building.  The weather over the next few months will only continue to get colder.  Because of this, there are a few requests that will make the drop off time smoother and faster.  Those staff members who stand outside in the cold each morning appreciate you considering the following…

  1.  Please have your children ready to exit the vehicle.  That means backpack in lap, and mask, jacket, boots, and mittens on.  

  2. Please have the child you are dropping off seated on the passenger side.  It is dangerous for parents and children to get out of vehicles on the driver’s side.  As snow accumulates and the drive gets narrower, it is essential that children exit the vehicle on the passenger side.  

  3. Please do not come late.  All members of the screening/greeting team have other commitments once this time is over.  Please plan to come between 7:50AM and 8:10AM.  

  4. Please continue with the friendly good mornings.  As a morning greeter, I enjoy seeing students and families each morning.  Your kind words and greetings keep us warmer on cold mornings!

See you soon!

Important Dates

  • Holiday, School Closed - Monday, January 18

  • Winter Break, School Closed - Monday, February 15 - Friday, February 19

School News and Information

To the Marion Cross School Families,

We would like to thank you for the thoughtful holiday gift cards. We appreciate the gifts, kind wishes, and the year-long support. We also want to say thank you to all of our families who are following the Vermont safety rules which has helped to keep us in school in-person and all of us safe.

We are truly grateful to be teaching and caring for your students.
MCS Faculty & Staff

Cookies from Girl Scout Troop 13123! Order now and get cookies in February. $5 per box. Choices: 

Kinds are:

Lemon-Up, Tagalongs, Trefoils, GS S'mores, Samoas, Do-si-dos, Thin Mints, Toffee-tastic  (GF) Any questions email Dodi at or 802-249-2274.

Thank you,
Troop 13123

Talking with Children about the News

A lot has happened this week and I know the upheaval at the Capitol may be heavy on your minds so wanted to share a few resources on how to talk to kids about scary things in the news. Our kids are listening to us all of the time, and providing a space and place for them to share their feelings and questions about what’s on their minds is integral to them feeling safe, secure and heard. Engaging in tricky topics may seem daunting, but it’s important.  It’s also OK to let your kids know that you don’t know all of the answers and reasoning around what’s happening, but you are always available to listen.  


What to Say to Kids When the News is Scary (NPR)

How to Talk to Kids About the Riots at the US Capitol (NPR)

Don’t Shy Away From Talking to Kids about the Capitol Riot (Washington Post)

Thanks for all you do to help your children learn and grow; please reach out with any questions or concerns.


Katie Cormier
MCS School Counselor

Health Office Information

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a restful vacation. It was definitely hard this year not spending time with our extended family as we usually do. 

There has been an uptick of COVID cases in the Upper Valley area.  Luckily, school continues to be one of the safest places for our children to be. With masking, social distancing, and frequent handwashing we are recognizing a decreased number of absences and illnesses. We are lucky to have students, families, and staff that are working together to keep school in-person.

If your child will be ABSENT or LATE, please email your child’s classroom teacher and include the office: and School Nurse:

Please continue to do a daily health screening with your children at home, this includes taking their temperature. 

Your child should remain home if they have any of the following COVID-19 related symptoms:

  • Fever (over 100.4 F)

  • Chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

If your child is ill, please contact Pam Hausler, School Nurse, to discuss Vermont guidelines related to return to school. 802-649-1703 x 5114 or email: Do not hesitate to contact the health office with any questions or concerns. Communication is essential during these times.

The Vermont Health Department continues to strongly advise against non-essential travel, even within Vermont. All travel to and from Vermont requires quarantine.


Please refer to these links:

If you travel out of Vermont whether for a day trip or longer, you must quarantine in Vermont when you return for 14 days. You can end your quarantine early if, you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19, get a PCR test on or after Day 7, get a negative test result, still do not have symptoms, and continue to monitor yourself for symptoms for the full 14 days (it is important to remember that you should be diligent for the full 14 days).  A negative test result must be confirmed before quarantine can end.

It is essential to be tested if you or your family has any COVID-19 related symptoms, been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, traveled or attended a social gathering.

Governor Scott recognized the need for connection with others during the holidays. He had temporarily changed the policy so that one household was able to gather with one other trusted household for the 10-day period of December 23,2020 through January 2, 2021.  The recommendation was to get tested 7 days following those gatherings.  

 Meatless Mondays from Norwich Rec

We are about to open the second round of Norwich Nailed It – this one is a 6 week series of menus from our sponsors, all focused on ‘Meatless Monday’!   Our partners for this session are Cabot Cheese Coop, King Arthur Baking, Norwich Farm Creamery and Pete & Gerry’s Eggs, which means that if you add on the ‘local suppliers’ option, you will also receive a bag that includes:

  • Cabot cheese or coupon for the product

  • 3lb bag of King Arthur Baking All Purpose Flour

  • 1 half gallon of Norwich Farm Creamery whole milk/other dairy product (dependent on the week)

  • 1 dozen Pete & Gerry’s Eggs 

Not only is this a pretty great deal, it’s an easy way to get some of your grocery shopping done while supporting Norwich Recreation!  

The guidelines for competing in Meatless Mondays are a little different:  each menu includes a soup/salad, main dish, garnish/side dish and a dessert.  You can create all or one of these items.  You can also create them throughout the week, and then submit in a photo collage.  Since we cannot base judging on taste this time around, we are giving you an opportunity to let your kitchen prowess shine through in a variety of ways!  Prizes for this round are pretty spectacular, as always.  Winners of each category (Youth, Adult and Family/Group) will be awarded a stainless steel pint cup (photo attached), a $5 gift card to a local business and another little celebratory item.  There is no pressure to compete, though.  We had quite a few participants in the first round who cooked along with us at home without submitting photos to be judged!

The program begins on January 18th and runs through February 22nd – you can sign up here, starting tonight: Norwich Recreation Department: (

Have fun everyone!
Brie Swenson

New Food Pantry information for residents of Hanover and Norwich

There's a new food pantry in the region. It's supported by the Haven, hosted (outside) by The Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, and organized by the Hanover Community Food Security Team. It operates Saturdays from 11 am-1 pm, in the church's driveway (40 College Street). It is open to anyone who's short on food. No registration needed but masks will be required.

Questions: (802) 222-7337 or

PTO Bulletin Board

Thank You, MCS Families!

MCS families continued their tradition of generosity and stepped it up during this challenging school year. Learn more below...

19 Days of Norwich -- From PTO Food Drive Chair Emily Bradley: "Thank you Marion Cross community for all your canned tomato donations this December!  We were able to collect 229 cans of tomatoes that were delivered to the Haven Food Shelf in time for holiday meal preparations. The 19 Days of Norwich is such a wonderful united effort that boosts the lives of so many in our community.  This outstanding contribution by the children and families of Marion Cross far surpasses any food drive donations we have made in recent years, and was so appreciated by the staff of the Haven.  The entire food drive donation shelf at the Haven was filled from top to bottom with tomatoes! Well Done! Happy Holidays to you all!"

Giving Tree -- Our new Giving Tree system this year worked out well received positive feedback from parents who enjoyed being able to select individual items for the classroom.  MCS families purchased a total of 320 items from the Giving Tree!  Your children will see these items in use starting today.

Gifts for MCS Staff -- This school year, every single MCS staff member, regardless of his/her role, received a holiday gift as a small token of thanks for the particularly difficult nature of work this year. Each PTO Room Rep collected donations from families for the homeroom teachers in their room and distributed those gifts prior to break. Each non-homeroom staff member received a gift from the non-homeroom gift collection pool. The non-homeroom outreach received over $1500 in donations from MCS families, and each non-homeroom staff member received a $25 gift card to King Arthur Baking plus a $30 gift certificate to Dan & Whits.  If you are an MCS staff member and have not received your gift, please check with Joy in the office who has the cards that have not been picked up.  

Thank you to our fantastic MCS staff and our generous MCS families!

MCS Breakfast and Lunch Program


Greg Bagnatovia 

Fri, Jan 8, 4:27 PM (16 hours ago)

Dear MCS Families,

It is very hard for me to believe that vacation ended only four days ago!  So much has happened at school and in our country.  When I feel pulled in many directions, I try to focus on what I am grateful for.

This week one thing I am grateful for is the huge effort put forth by SAU staff, school staff, and Cafe Services staff for getting the SFS breakfast and lunch program operational.  The program provides lunch and breakfasts daily without cost.  This week, demand for breakfast and lunch had more than doubled and, on some days it has tripled.  Everyone has stepped up to prepare, deliver, and serve these meals without batting an eye.  Thank you.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please visit the website and click on the MCS lunch menu for the press release or the fresh picks icon to create an account and/or order your lunch and breakfasts.  Remember that all meals come with milk, so you do not need to order milk a la carte if you also order a meal.  IMPORTANT - if your child wants chocolate milk with their Friday free lunch meal, you must select the chocolate milk on the menu.   Please order by noon the day before the meals are prepared.  Of course feel free to order the week of meals at one time, that would help staff be prepared.

Finally, since we are still offering milk for .30 on the a la carte menu (this is now the only way to order milk), you will be asked for your credit/debit card.  However, you will not be charged for the breakfast or lunch you ordered.  Families receiving free or reduced lunches will not have to put in a credit/debit card.

Thank you, 
Greg Bagnato
Coordinator of Student Services