Upcoming ETSD Events:

January 22-23

What: Preschool Lottery Applications will be available

When: Jan. 22 at 12 a.m. through Jan. 23 at 12 a.m.

Friday, January 23

What: PTO – Bingo Night

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Monday, January 26

What: School Board Meeting

When: 7-9 p.m.

Where: Founders Memorial School Library


Thursday, January 29

What: Title 1 Breakfast

When: 8-9:30 a.m.

Where: EES Cafeteria

Details: Title families are invited to join the title teachers and math/literacy coaches to learn activities and games to support their student’s learning at home. The first 30 minutes will be games with students. The last 30 minutes will be information and question/answer time for parents.

Friday, January 30

What: EMS 8th Graders to EHS for Orientation

When: 8-11 a.m.

Saturday, January 31

What: District Music Festival

When: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.


Monday, February 2

What: Curriculum Parent Night

When: 6:30-8 p.m.

Where: Founders Memorial School Library

Details: Parent Learning Opportunity Series – Part 2. Parents are invited to attend the second of three interactive workshops with ETSD teachers and school leaders on Monday, Focus: English Language Arts & Social Studies, preK-8


Tuesday, February 3

What: Orientation for Parents of Incoming 9th Graders

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: Essex High School.

Wednesday, February 4

What: EMS-Band/Orchestra Bridge Concert

When: 7-8 p.m.

Where: Essex High School


Learning Matters 1: Parent Workshop

Ellen Thompson, Ed.D.
Director of Instruction and Information Services

ETSD parents respond digitally to complex text. PHOTO | WENDY COBB

ETSD parents respond digitally to complex text.

On Jan. 13 parents of students from grades preK-8 in the Essex Town School District (ETSD) joined in conversation about the Common Core State Standards and their connection to learning for their children. With these new standards have come changes in our curriculum frameworks and our instructional practices. ETSD teachers and administrators have embraced this change in state standards and are involved in on-going energizing conversations across grade levels about this work. ETSD is fully committed to making sure that all of our students are ready for the next important steps in their life – college, career and citizenship.

ETSD literacy, math and integrated technology coaches shared how these standards inform classroom instruction. Parents responded to complex text through blogging and also shared how they use multiple strategies to solve math problems. Parents learned the importance for their children to be able to apply their learning to new situations. The coaches explained why it’s critical that students have on-going opportunities to talk and collaborate with each other. Working through real-life problems takes a team effort.

There will be two more Learning Matters, parent workshops: Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Founders Memorial School, Topic: ELA, Social Studies and integrated technology; and March 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Founders Memorial School, Topic: Math, Science and integrated technology. Each of these sessions will involve hands on activities with tips and ideas for how to support children at home. For more information call: 878-8168.


Essex Town School District to be honored at Worksite Wellness Conference

Essex Town School District will be recognized for their efforts in worksite wellness by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and Vermont Department of Health on March 25 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Essex Town School District is one of 92 businesses that will receive an award for 2014. This is the second year the company has been honored.

“Worksites that promote healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use cessation, and breastfeeding, contribute to the overall health and wellness of all Vermonters, and they are one of the key reasons we are routinely rated the nation’s healthiest state,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD.

The awards are designed to highlight and recognize what worksites from around the state are doing to promote the health and wellness of their employees. The organizations that receive the awards vary in size, industry and location but they all have a common thread, a commitment to workplace wellness.


ADL Agenda

From Principal Laurie Singer

Families should have received a recent mailing from ADL. Included in the packets for eighth graders, was information about high school registration and the administration of the NAEP assessment that will be given on Feb. 2. Included in the envelopes for seventh- and eighth-grade students was a flyer announcing the fourth and final technology information meeting (Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m.) for those students who want to bring home their netbook or Chromebook to complete assignments. Included information for all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students was an announcement regarding the upcoming Youth Risk Survey being given in the next few weeks and also a reminder of how to log into PowerSchool to access student progress information when the portal reopens on Jan. 28. The portal will remain open until Feb. 20.  Call 878-1388 if you did not receive this important packet of information.


Yearbook Sales Coming to a Close

Yearbook sales will end on Feb. 20. You may order online or pick up an order form in the front office. Orders with personalization, icons and special packages need to be in by Jan. 30.


A Day at CTE

Submitted by eighth graders

ADL eighth-graders visit the CTE Professional Food Service classroom.  Pictured from left to right: Santhosh Rajendran, Jack  Poratti, Munroe Shearer, Becca Correia, Huntry Poulin, and Auggie Spagnuolo-Chawla. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

ADL eighth-graders visit the CTE Professional Food Service classroom. Pictured from left to right: Santhosh Rajendran, Jack Poratti, Munroe Shearer, Becca Correia, Huntry Poulin, and Auggie Spagnuolo-Chawla.

Over the past week, groups of eighth-graders from ADL have been taking field trips to the Center for Technology Essex. These trips are a part of the recent career unit in the Family and Consumer Sciences class with Mrs. Potvin. The Professional Foods Program at CTE is a program where students are introduced to the professional foods industry, while addressing the Vermont Agency of Education Foundation Core Competencies in Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Armed with aprons and ready to learn, ADL students were taught the culinary arts by students and teachers of the CTE Professional Foods Program. There they went through a series of cooking stations learning how to prepare some delicious foods. The students were divided into five separate groups. Each group was at a station for a time interval of about 15 minutes. They worked up an appetite making pancakes, scrambled eggs, and cinnamon rolls, and after cycling through these stations, they got to gobble down their creations. While they were eating their breakfast, the CTE students and chefs came into explain a little more about the program. Throughout the course, students are exposed to multiple facets of the food service industry, as well as rotating through three areas; bakeshop, service management, and the production kitchen. Former ADL and current CTE student Abby Cordner explained her experience taking classes through CTE and the students asked questions. Special thanks to chefs Zimmerman, Dowman, and Barton, and the students, for their valuable time, effort and use of the space.



School Wide Assembly

On Dec. 15, Hiawatha students and staff were treated to a great performance by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s percussion group Drumshtick. They demonstrated many percussion instruments and gave us a taste of different parts of the world. Thank you Drumshtick, for sharing your music with us.

Thank You Families

A note to thank all of our children and families for their kindness and thoughtfulness over this holiday season. Your notes and thoughts about the Hiawatha staff were appreciated very much. A huge thank you also to many of you who contributed to the candy project for our military who are serving overseas. I am sure that those service women and men appreciated the cards, notes, and treats from Vermont. Thank you.

Family Survey

The three preK-5 Essex Junction schools (Summit, Hiawatha and Fleming) are considering an expansion of before school activities and supports for children in our school district. Those supports could include supervised drop off at 7:30 a.m., an expanded breakfast program starting at 7:30 a.m., and a before school exercise program. We would like to hear your opinion about these possibilities. If interested in sharing your views, please complete the survey that has been forwarded to your email address. The survey should take just a few minutes to complete. If you have children attending more than one school, please complete the survey for each child.


Emergent Reader’s Program still needs volunteers. Contact Amanda Stevens if you are interested

Jan. 30 – Nepali Food Tasting

Feb. 3 – PTO Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Drop off box tops at Hiawatha

When the temperature drops and the wind chill is below zero, we often keep the children inside for recess. However, most days we will be going outside. Make sure your students have ski pants, gloves/mittens, hat, boots and a warm coat.

For more information on school news, visit, contact Amanda Stevens at 878-1384 or Tom Bochanski at


Summit News

Walking Wednesday School Bus Reminder

Summit’s walking school bus, led by Principal Suzanne Gruendling and PE teacher Rosalind Hutton, leaves at 7:35 a.m. every Wednesday from the parking lot on Densmore Drive (the one with the basketball hoop next to the Town Offices). Don’t forget to ‘get on board’ and join others in this refreshing walk to school. Our motto is: Rain or shine; sleet or snow; the bus will go … except … if there is thunder and lightning or if it’s zero-degrees or below.

Mrs. Dall’s Kindergarten Classroom

Student have started the year writing their last names on their papers. Most of the children are able to do this so far. As they write their names, we are looking for the first letter to be uppercase and the rest lowercase in both the first and last name. The children are so proud when they finally learn to write it. Mrs. Dall’s students have posted their pattern book stories on the bulletin board outside their classroom. Students created the covers in art and put QR codes to each story. When you scan the QR code on the bulletin board, you will hear each child read their story. If you need to borrow a device to hear your child read, stop in the room and you can use one of our iPads. Sometimes the QR codes take a minute to load up their voices.

Mrs. Manz’s Classroom

Mrs. Ready, Summit’s school nurse, went to Mrs. Manz classroom to help educate students on how to become germ smart. She talked with the students about being healthy and making healthy choices, but then she took the time to tell students about hand washing. She brought some special lotion called Glo-Germs, which lights up germs on your hands when you look at it with a black light. She had two students use the Glo-Germ lotion and then wash their hands and we saw all of the yucky germs that were still there.

Ms. Turcot’s Classroom

Ms. Turcot’s classroom recently had a special guest, Mrs. Sckolick. She exposed us all to money from Germany that is used throughout Europe. One interesting fact was that each bill is a different size depending on how much it is worth. She also exposed us to the alphabet and some of the language used in Germany. Students had fun practicing how to pronounce the letters and words she shared with us. Some were very tricky to say. I know that I learned many new phrases and words in German. Did you know that ‘eye glasses’ translates to ‘nose bicycle’ in German? Thank you Mrs. Sckolnick

Learning Center News

Kindergarten Students Participate in Hour of Code: Summit students participated in the celebration of National Computer Science Education week by taking part in a program called Hour of Code. Hour of Code is an opportunity for students to try computer science, specifically coding, for one hour. Coding is a great way to teach problem-solving skills, creativity and logic. During this one-hour session, students used problem-solving techniques by talking through the problem by themselves or with a friend, having stamina to redo the problem, and debugging their code. Many students exhibited creativity and solved each problem in different ways. The amount of student engagement in this activity was powerful, so you’ll see more coding throughout the year.

Upcoming Events:

Jan. 27 – International Potluck Dinner: bring a food dish to share

Jan. 29 – Assembly at 8:15 a.m.

Jan. 30 – Second grade goes to the Audubon Center, bus leaves at 8:30 a.m.

Feb. 3 – Early Release Day at 12:15 p.m., professional development afternoon for staff

Feb. 10 – Special 100th Day Assembly Featuring Mrs. Manz Class

Feb. 10 – Playground Committee meeting at 7 p.m. in the Learning Center

Feb. 13 – Friendship Day

Feb. 16 – First and third grade classrooms go to the Flynn, bus leaves at 8:30 a.m.

Feb. 17 – Second grade has a video conference in the Gym from 6-7 p.m.

Feb. 19 – Assembly at 8:15 a.m.

Feb. 20 – Learner Characteristics forms sent home in Friday Folders

Feb. 23–27 – No school, winter break


Essex Elementary

First-grader Isaac Wargo works with his classmates to create a sculpture.    PHOTO | EES ART TEACHER JOURNEY BLAIN

First-grader Isaac Wargo works with his classmates to create a sculpture.

EES students have been learning about architecture and design in art class.  Students have been using “social smarts” to include all team members and build with different materials. This unit addresses New National Arts Core Standards unveiled in June that emphasize broad concepts like “Artists and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising and refining work over time.”  The art room has been buzzing with collaborative ideas and excitement as students plan and make sculptures together.









EMS News

EMS Unified Arts Night

On Dec. 19, Essex Middle School held its second annual Holiday Unified Arts Night. The exhibits highlighted student work/demonstrations featuring the Music Department, Art Department, Family Consumer Sciences and Design and Technology while being entertained by live music from student performers in Orchestra and Chorus.

The evening ended with the EMS Music Departments annual Holiday Band Concert. This year’s performance showcased the hard work and talents of over 80 students.

Essex Middle School students create posters to show their interpretations of the book “Wonder”.   PHOTO | SANDRA BAKER

Essex Middle School students create posters to show their interpretations of the book “Wonder”.

EMS orchestra students proudly performed entertainment during the Unified Arts Night on Dec. 19. PHOTO | BOB STONE

EMS orchestra students proudly performed entertainment during the Unified Arts Night on Dec. 19.

Founders Memorial

FMS Students Out To Save The World

The students in Erik Acanfora’s fifth-grade classroom are on a mission to save the world. Students have identified standby power (also known as Vampire Power) as a major contributor of unnecessary electricity use in homes and businesses across the globe.  The main objectives for this STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) integration study will allow students to understand how electrical energy is produced, why it is important to conserve energy in their homes, become more efficient consumers, and educate their families as well as others in their community about the benefits of saving standby power.

Students are using their Common Core Math and Next Generation Science understanding to read and collect data, make decisions based on energy bills viewed, calculating costs over time, and developing “professional recommendations” for energy reduction in their homes to save energy and money.  We are quite fortunate to be sponsored by the University of North Texas to conduct this study as they have developed our curriculum for this STEAM study and provided each of our students with state of the art Belkin energy use monitors.

The Belkin energy use monitors allow students to make connections with our in class learning and extend it to experiential learning outside of the classroom.  The monitors measure the amount of energy used by various devices in the home and students are able to observe if the devices are actually using standby power or not.  Using the collected information from their in home study, students will then be able to develop a recommendation to their family on how to cut costs within their own homes via electricity use currently taking place.


Fleming Flyer

Geo Bee Competition

Congratulations to fifth-grade student Kaito Esselstrom, who is the Fleming School Geo Bee Champion for 2015. The 10 school finalists demonstrated great poise as they attempted to answer very challenging questions proposed by National Geographic. Fourth-grade student Mia Bacon was the runner-up finalist in this annual school geography learning event.

Winter Instrumental Music Concert

The Fleming Winter Concert is scheduled for Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. Come for an evening of beautiful music at this first concert of the school year by our band and strings students. The PTO will hold a bake sale immediately following the Winter Concert. All proceeds will go to the Principal’s Discretionary Fund.

Dance Off Change

Please note that our annual student “Dance Off” presentation will now be held on Feb. 3 from 10 -11 a.m. This shift in schedule was made due to the start of our Theater Arts Residency on Feb. 4, and due to the early release professional development day during the afternoon of Feb. 3.


EHS News

On Jan. 24 at 5:30 p.m. the Essex High School Bands will present their annual Swing Away the Winter Blues spaghetti dinner and dance fundraiser. The evening includes a spaghetti dinner with garlic bread, salad, and dessert served by our musicians, and live music provided by our two jazz ensembles, the swingin’ Essex Jazz Junction and the Essex Jazz Orchestra. All proceeds benefit the band program. Tickets are $10 each and can be reserved by calling (802) 878-1591. A limited number of tickets have been donated for senior citizens. We hope to see you there.


Attention Juniors and Parents/Guardians

The School Counseling office will have the second college planning evening on Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the EHS auditorium.  The focus will be College Visits and Interviews. Learn how to get the most from a college visit, as well as the different types of college interviews. Included will be a panel of current seniors who will discuss their visit and interview experiences. This is great info prior to the February and April breaks.


For parents

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m., Essex High School will host an orientation program in the school’s auditorium to familiarize parents of incoming ninth-graders with the 2015-2016 EHS curriculum and to answer questions concerning the EHS academic program.  Parents who can’t attend this meeting, or who have questions concerning the course selection process at EHS, should contact their student’s current eighth-grade school counselor.  Parents and students may review the EHS program of studies document at

For students

Incoming ninth-grade students will have an opportunity to visit EHS for an orientation program on the following schedule:

Jan. 29 from 8:30-10:30 a.m.:  ADL students visit EHS for school orientation – ADL students are already registered for this event by their current middle school.

Jan. 30 from 8:30-10:30 a.m.:  EMS students visit EHS for school orientation – EMS students are already registered for this event by their current middle school.

Feb. 2 from 8:30-10:30 a.m.:  Students from Westford, Georgia, South Hero, North Hero, Grand Isle, Alburg, and other towns with school choice – students from these schools are already registered for this event by their current middle school.

Any home-schooled or private school eighth-grade students thinking of attending EHS must call 879-5515 to register for the Feb. 2 event.