We are quickly approaching the end of the first trimester. Families can expect an email from me right after Thanksgiving break that will contain the Jumprope link to view students’ first progress report. The report will give an overall mastery score in the content standards and habits of learning for each class. To see more detail, it will be necessary to go into the Jumprope program and click on the individual assignments and scores that were combined to arrive at the mastery score listed on the progress report. Should families not have access to the internet, please call 878-1388 to request a hard copy of the progress report to be sent home. Families are also encouraged to visit ADL before, during or after school to use our computers to access the Jumprope program and view student progress on an ongoing basis. We would be very pleased to have you in the building.
Laurie Singer, Principal
Fall Band Concert: The ADL Band will have its first performance of the year on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. The concert will feature the Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band. We hope you will join us. Also, mark your calendars now for the annual Holiday Concert, which will take place Dec. 17 at 7 p.m., featuring the String Ensemble, Chorus, Select Chorus and Handbells. More information will follow in future Essex Reporter articles.
Scholastic Book Fair: The fall Book Fair, sponsored by Parents as Partners, continues on Nov. 12 before and after the band concert for anyone interested in purchasing some great books for your children. With the holidays just around the corner, it is a great opportunity to get some of your shopping done and support the work of our Parents as Partners organization.
- 11/19: Thanksgiving Poetry Assembly
- 11/23-24: No school for students – Professional Development
- 11/25-27: No school for students – Thanksgiving Break
Melissa Stewart, a prolific science author, visited Essex Elementary School on Oct. 26 and 27. This event was made possible thanks to the support of the school’s PTO and Book Fair profits.
During her visit, Ms. Stewart met with seven small multi-grade groups. In each group, first-graders and kindergartners enjoyed watching the second-grade students present a type of performance called Readers’ Theater based on Ms. Stewart’s book “When Rain Falls.” Afterward, the author read aloud her book to everyone, and then prompted children to reflect on the differences between the book and the live readers’ theater. Ms. Stewart walked the children through the writing- and book-making process, from idea to published book. We learned that one of her books, “No Monkeys, No Chocolate,” took 10 years to be published, involving more than 50 edits and rewrites. First- and second-graders loved reading this one, and then examining real cocoa bean and pods.
Ms. Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 185 science books for children. She has always been fascinated by the natural world and is passionate about sharing its beauty and wonder with readers of all ages. Melissa believes that nothing brings nonfiction writing to life like firsthand research. She has written everything from board books for preschoolers to magazine articles for adults.
Her website: www.melissa-stewart.com/ has a wealth of information and activity suggestions to extend the experience after reading her books. The Learning Center library has purchased many of her books for students to borrow and enjoy at home with their families.
We value reading
In our class, reading time is a special part of the day. The students love getting cozy in their assigned reading nooks and getting lost in their stories. They often want to share with their peers and teacher what they are reading or an exciting fact they may have learned from their book.
The third-graders are also doing a year-long author study of the well-known children’s author, Kate DiCamillo. They read her first book called “Because of Winn Dixie,” and they loved it! We had many wonderful conversations about this book, and the children made some great predictions and connections to their own lives. We also did some fun activities with character traits and development.
After reading the book, the third-graders were able to watch the movie. They used a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the similarities and differences. We are currently reading our third DiCamillo book called “The Tale of Despereaux.” As we read, we will discover similar themes between her books.
In our class we also enjoy having “mystery readers” visit and share their favorite books with us. Parents, friends or other family members can sign up to be a mystery reader with Mrs. Stone. Since this is a surprise, they write five clues about themselves that we read right before their visit. The children love to figure out who the mystery reader is, especially if it is someone from their family!
What comes to mind when a group of students brainstorming for a product idea suggest a GaGa Pit? What does Lady GaGa have to do with a seventh-grade Design Technology Education (DTE/STEM) class trying to use what they are learning about materials and processes to produce a product and meet a human need or want?
Apparently for those of us now in the know, GaGa is a game that is played inside or outdoors in an octagon shaped enclosure. Students were very excited about manufacturing this GaGa Pit for use during lunch/recess time. The class researched different materials, calculated the length of the sides, and what angle to cut each piece to create the octagon enclosure. The final product finish was decided to be an exterior stain tinted blue and white for each side. The GaGa pit has just been completed and is outside the cafeteria for students to enjoy a quick game or two.
Pictured in the photos are EMS Students: Erin Noel, Walker Stapleton, Noah Neddo, Carter Cheney, Wyatt Lamell, Brady Martisus, Ryan Clark, Jessy Chen and Sabrina Chapdelaine.
PHOTO | SABRINA CHAPDELAINE
Spelling competition success: Congratulations to the Thomas Fleming School Fifth Grade Spelling Team. The team came in second place behind Warren Elementary School in the VPA Regional Grade 5-6 Spelling Team Competition on Oct. 31 in Hyde Park. We are extremely proud of this team of spellers for their hard work and dedication.
Veterans Day assembly, Nov. 11: Fleming School is very proud of its annual Veterans Day program to honor our nation’s men and women in uniform, both past and present. The program was held in Fleming School’s Gymnasium on Nov. 11. Fleming students and their families gathered in assembly to pay tribute to those who have dedicated their time and service to our country. We recognized the service of our community members with our annual slide show, and we talked about the commitment these individuals have made and expressed our appreciation for their dedication.
Thanksgiving Food Drive, thru Nov. 13: The PTO will be collecting canned goods and hygiene products for the Essex Junction Food Pantry through Nov. 13. Collection boxes are stationed in the school lobby for donations. This is an excellent opportunity to teach children empathy and awareness, and to contribute to our community members in need. Please consider joining the PTO in this community effort by donating.
End of trimester 1: Friday, Nov. 20: Nov. 20 marks the end of the first trimester at Thomas Fleming School. Report cards will be sent home with students on Dec. 4. Our students are off to a great start this year, and we look forward to their continued hard work and success.
Thanksgiving break: School will be closed Nov. 23-27 for Thanksgiving break. Students will return to school on Nov. 30.
Third Grade field trip: An all-third-grade field trip to Snake Mountain was held on Oct. 15. We lucked out and had a beautiful day and all the kids made it to the top for a lovely lunch and an amazing view. Great job kids and teachers. At this time in third grade, they are learning about erosion and, along the way, children made several comments about seeing erosion and how they too, are agents of erosion if they go off the path. What a great way to make connections from inside the classroom to the great outdoors of Vermont.
Bee celebration: Our children celebrated another Bee Celebration here at Hiawatha recently. This year, by far, has been one of our best openings. Our children are working very hard at practicing our school expectations: Be Kind, Be Safe, and Be Your Best. Thank you so much for all that you do to support this effort at home. We have planned a special November celebration, and Principal Tom Bochanski will provide more details as the event approaches.
PTO: On Oct. 18 we had the Hiawatha Fun Run and fun it was. Even in the cold, children and parents participated in either quarter mile, half mile or one mile fun. Thank you to the families that participated and donated canned goods for the Food Shelf and congratulations to those families who won raffle prizes. The next PTO meeting is scheduled for November 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Hiawatha. Everyone is invited and free childcare is available. Thank you for your support and we hope to see you there.
**Nov. 20 – Third Grade Talent Show at 9 a.m.
**Before school Exercise Project starts soon
**Nov. 10-12 – Book Fair
As the school year progresses, we’ll include in this column notes from teachers about some of the topics taking place in their classrooms. We begin this week with science teacher Amy Vensel, who teaches earth science and botany this year. She shares the following:
Something pretty cool is happening in the greenhouse. Shawn Rocheleau, a teacher at the Center for Technology-Essex has just completed a new heating system for the greenhouse with his students. This system relies on heat produced using biomass; mine is run using wood chips donated by Barrett’s Tree Service. It consists of a large pile of bark mulch with water filled tubes running through it. These tubes then run underground, into the greenhouse and along a register-type system (like radiators). As the wood degrades it produces heat that warms the water. The hot water is then pumped throughout the greenhouse and along the registers, much like a furnace/hot water system. The degradation of the wood chips releases enough heat to warm the water up to 110-120 degrees. The cool part is that it’s completely free (outside of initial set-up costs) and the chips will last for about 18 months. It’s a great system that’s not only a money-saver, but it can eventually be used for various science classes to study alternative fuels.
Julian Bradshaw, whose first semester schedule includes art I, art II, art III and AP art, reports she has hard-working students in all levels this year. One particular project her students have become involved with is the AP Memory Project. The Memory Project receives photographs from an orphanage in Madagascar. AP students then use their skills to make an oil painting, which is sent to the subject upon completion. It’s a touching project that students really invest themselves in, and we hope to have some of the paintings on display before sending them to their recipients.
Visitors from Japan: A group of students from Japan visited Vermont this month. Several of our students were hosts and participated in a welcome dinner at Burlington High School. The students visited sights of interest including the Statehouse in Montpelier, Middlebury College, and UVM. They spent their last day shadowing students at South Burlington High School and Essex High School. Thanks to Yukari Dougherty, our Japanese teacher for making this all possible.
VIA Update: After two years of planning, and connecting virtually through Virtual Intercultural Avenues (VIA), 24 Belgians (22 students and two teachers) arrived at the Burlington International Airport on Oct. 24. The group came from Brussels, where they attend Athénée Emile Bockstael. The students stayed with fantastic EHS host families. Hosts ranged from freshmen to seniors, and are French and Spanish students at EHS. In addition, the Belgian students each had a Student Ambassador who accompanied them to more than 60 different EHS classes in all. A highlight of the week was a visit to Molly Edwards’ World Cultures class, where the Belgian students were paired with American students to discuss different cultural perspectives related to school, family, friends, lifestyle and values. Later in the week, all the Belgian students met Erin Kranichfeld’s Creative Writing class. Both classes had received the same writing assignment, but on two sides of the Atlantic. The prompt was to write a spooky (Halloween-themed) story. After sharing their work with their American and Belgian partners, and choosing the best excerpts, the students shared their work in an open mic forum. On Friday, ADL and Westford seventh- and eighth-graders came to the high school for an assembly just for the middle school students. They got a chance to ask questions about everything from school and sports, to language and food!
Throughout the week, the Belgians and American hosts visited some of the “must see” spots in Vermont, including the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, the Shelburne Museum, Burton Snowboards, Nightmare Vermont, and Jay Peak, to name a few. The whole exchange was a true community effort, supported by EHS families, EHS faculty and staff, and especially EHS students.
Community Service Days at Center for Technology, Essex
Senior citizens (aged 60+) are invited!
Students and teachers at the Center for Technology, Essex maintain a proud tradition of community service learning. Each year, every CTE program meets a wide variety of community needs while students get real world application of their skills and a healthy dose of civic responsibility. And of course, the annual Senior Service Days, attended by over 150 community members each year, is coming up soon.
This two-day event has welcomed seniors from Chittenden County and beyond since 1995. Conversations and laughter between seniors and teenagers go a long way toward dispelling stereotypes and distance. Students feel appreciated and respected for the skills they have, and seniors generously share stories and praise. Everyone gets in on the event. Teachers park and walk so the lot is free for visitors. The school is then full with elders in the tech center enjoying manicures, playing bingo, monitoring blood pressure, eating lunch and amazing desserts, having snow tires mounted, getting computer tips. There’s even a jazz concert.
This year’s event features the generous participation of students in many CTE programs: health informatics, professional foods, computer animation, graphic design, computer systems technology, automotive tech, cosmetology, childhood education and dental assisting. Students and teachers are all preparing for the Nov. 12-13 event.
Free services for seniors include:
- Have tires rotated and car checked for winter. Due to popularity, tires are done by lottery.
- Have a manicure, paraffin wax treatment and haircut.
- Learn about email, the internet, and using your computer or cell phone.
- Enjoy a buffet lunch (assigned seating time is based on when you arrive).
- Have your blood pressure monitored.
- Socialize in the café with arts and crafts and games.
- Enjoy a music concert by EHS performing arts students (Friday only).
- Maximize your health: information on nutrition, lifeline, exercise, diabetes.
- Bring your computer (we’ll carry it in!) or cell phone for help.
- Bring a favorite old photo that needs repair or restoration (e-mail address needed).
- Students will provide yard clean up and basic tree care service. Call in advance 857-7000 ext. 1329.
We ask anyone interested (aged 60 and up) to choose one day (either Nov. 12 or 13) to attend. Please register at the school between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Plan to enjoy the students, catch up with old friends, eat wonderful food, and be cared for! Questions? Call Center for Technology, Essex at 802-857-7000 ext. 1329.