By Principal Laurie Singer:
Home of the Free Because of the Brave; that was this year’s theme for the Memorial Day writing requested by the Essex Junction Memorial Day Committee. ADL, EMS and Westford students were tapped to submit writing using this theme and the entries received were remarkable. Students composed both essays and poems that aptly reflected this year’s theme. Four of the pieces will be read by the student authors during the Friday night and Saturday morning Memorial Day ceremonies in Essex Junction. Additionally, several more students will join this group to read their writing during our school-wide Memorial Day assembly on Friday, May 24 at 8 a.m. in the ADL parking lot. Please consider joining us to hear these and many other students lead our assembly.
ADL Memorial Day Observance
The long-standing tradition of honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom will take place on the weekend of May 24-27. For our part, ADL will hold their annual assembly on Friday morning, May 24 at 8 a.m. Members of the Essex High School Junior ROTC will be on hand to present our nation’s colors, members of the ADL select chorus, band and strings will present patriotic musical selections and several students will read their Memorial Day reflections. In addition, we are proud and privileged to welcome Major General Steven Cray, Adjutant General for the Vermont National Guard to give our key address. We invite anyone who is able to join us for this celebration of the lives of the many men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. We would especially like to invite present and past servicemen and women to join us so that we may recognize your service and dedication as well.
ADL Spring Concert
The annual Spring Concert will be held this evening, Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. The band, chorus, strings, handbells and all smaller ensembles will present selections in this final concert of the year. The finale of the concert will feature all students performing, “My America.” This concert is sure to please. We hope you will join us.
Abenaki educator visits Essex Elementary School
Local Abenaki educator, Judy Dow, recently completed a two-week artist-in-residence program at Essex Elementary School (EES). Dow is a master basket maker and outdoor educator with degrees in education and American Indian Studies, and a juried artist with the Vermont Arts Council. Her work with the children at EES included games that incorporated math and biodiversity, toy-making, drum-making, large-group games in the gymnasium, and nature walks to study ecology and patterns in nature. Children learned during Dow’s visit that no word for “art” exists in any Native American culture because every game or undertaking taught a skill or essential knowledge. First graders made and played a game called Hubba Hubba that reinforces odd versus even. Second graders learned a game that teaches the interconnectedness of plants and animals, while Kindergartners practiced their aim in a “dart” game with corncob darts. The entire school was involved with her visit, with coordinated activities in music, physical education and the Learning Center.
Dow’s visit addressed The Essex Town School District’s Ends Policy 1.4 Students will develop the skills to navigate complex school, life, and work environments in a competitive world. These skills include: Flexibility and adaptability; Initiative and self-direction; Social and cross-cultural skills; Productivity and accountability; Leadership and responsibility.
This two-week artist in residence program was possible through grants from the Vermont Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the Essex Town PTO.
Bibs For Babes
Essex Middle School seventh graders recently learned the art of sewing in Family and Consumer Science class (FCS) with the help of their teacher, Mary Viglotti. They used their new skill to complete a community service project, which was comprised of making baby bibs for the Lund Family Center in Burlington. The Lund Family Center is an organization that supports pregnant and parenting teens, adoptive families, and children. This is done by reducing child abuse and neglect, preventing teen pregnancy, and ensuring every child has a loving family and secure home.
This project is one of many service learning projects completed by seventh-grade FCS students at EMS. In the past, students have made pillowcases that were donated to ConKerr Cancer, an organization that brightens the lives of sick children in hospitals through the donation of pillowcases. They have also created baby quilts for Project Linus, a non-profit that provides handmade quilts and blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or in need. Students have also designed and made decorative fabric wall banners to educate others about healthy choices. These works of art have become part of the EMS school community. All are great projects for students to complete so that they realize the importance of giving back to others and how they can make a difference. Thank you seventh graders.
If you are a student or staff member in the Essex Town School District, this is an incredibly busy time of year for you. Springtime in Essex brings sporting events such as softball, track and field, baseball, Girls on the Run, spring soccer, lacrosse and more opportunities. Add to that the extra learning experiences such as poetry readings, authors’ breakfasts, walking tours in Essex, or trips to Essex Library. And then there are school concerts to prepare for such as the Founders Memorial School (FMS) chorus concert on May 23, the FMS Band/Orchestra on May 29 and the combined EMS/FMS Orchestra concert on May 30. The Essex Middle School Submarine Band will perform on Church Street on June 3 as part of the Burlington Jazz Festival and the entire band will perform at the Annual Spring Concert at EMS on June 6.
In addition to finishing their class projects, adding to their portfolios and wrapping up their courses, the eighth-grade students at EMS are also preparing for graduation on June 13. Parents, students and teachers will reminisce about the past three years at EMS. The students approach moving on to Essex High School with great eagerness and some trepidation. Hopefully, their learning experiences at EMS combined with their new confidence and maturity, will serve them well at the high school.
Staff members will say a fond farewell to retiring staff members at a school reception on Tuesday, June 4, at Essex Middle School from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Retiring this year are: Teacher Deb Richardson; Teacher Linda McKenna; FMS Principal Kathy Barwin; Executive Assistant Lauretta Martin; and Asst. Network-Hardware Technician Mike Potvin.
Before staff members can enjoy a summer break with their families, most will organize their rooms and materials and take courses to help them be prepared for the new school year.
As the school year comes to an end, let’s all remember to take time to be with the ones we love, relax and have fun with our students and not get overly concerned about checking things off the list — there will always be a list.
Hiawatha parents from Japan helped Mrs. Stevens’ kindergarten class learn about Children’s Day in Japan, which is celebrated on May 5. On May 8, Megumi Esselstrom and Miyako Toyama shared with the kindergartners how to make a special carp shaped windsock, a traditional craft in honor of this special day in Japan. Everyone enjoyed making this very special craft that celebrates children and symbolizes success in life.
Green Mountain Sing
Hiawatha staff and students welcome the community to join them for songs during a school-wide Green Mountain Sing assembly on May 28 at 2:05 p.m. This will be the final Sing for the school year. Hope to see you there.
Don’t forget about our fundraiser with the Vermont Lake Monsters! Each ticket costs $6 and for every ticket sold, the PTO earns $3. The date on the tickets is for a game on June 22, which will be Hiawatha night at the Lake Monsters. Additionally, there will be a party with Champ if our school sells 250 tickets. This means only one ticket per student needs to be sold to reach that goal. If you would like to purchase tickets for anyone who is not a student or who is a relative of a student, e-mail Missy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders and Upcoming Events
Kindergarten registration is now open. Contact Mindy Deibler at 878-6419 or e-mail email@example.com to set up an appointment for Kindergarten Screening at Hiawatha on June 7.
- May 20-24 — Book Swap in the Learning Center.
- May 24 — Memorial Day Assembly and Community Walk
Sharing music across schools
On Thursday, May 16, the Founders Memorial School Chorus and the Essex Middle School Chorus, under the direction of Megan Beaucage, the FMS/EMS chorus teacher, performed a joint chorus concert for the Founders students. The goal behind the joint concert was to familiarize the fifth-grade chorus students with the choral music program at EMS, and give fifth graders the opportunity to meet some of the students in the EMS program. It is hoped that this joint presentation will encourage fifth-grade music students to continue their choral experience when they move to EMS in the fall. The concert was very well received by the FMS audience.
Arbor Day Planting
The weather cooperated on Friday, May 3 for planting a honey locust tree on the playground in honor of Arbor Day. Several third-graders recited Arbor Day poems and even performed raps to welcome the cornerstone of the “game table area” of our ever-evolving Natural Playground. Thank you to Horsford’s nursery of Charlotte for donating the lovely honey locust, and to Rachel Boyers, Rich Boyers and Nick Meyers for delivering and planting the new tree.
In appreciation of Summit’s faculty and staff, mothers Amy Jacobs, Theresa Dwyer, Mindy Deibler, Christy Fay and Deb Carlin arranged for various goodies to festoon the staff room every day last week. From notes and flowers to treats and lunch, every day brought new mementos. Thank you to the parents who coordinated the effort as well as to all parents who volunteered.
The final PTO meeting last Tuesday included the Election of Officers for the 2013-2014 school year: former co-treasurer Nicole Giard-Jeter succeeds outgoing co-chairs Mindy Diebler and Christy Fay; Sarah Mosley replaces co-secretaries Casey Carmolli and Elizabeth Boland; and treasurer Sachi Hergesheimer will be joined by Kelly Adams. The PTO would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to all of the members who will move on to Fleming, including Mindy Deibler who has served Summit Street School with dedication for over twelve years.
The PTO also voted to donate $2,000 to purchase new cross-country skis to be used in Rosalind Hutton’s Physical Education classes.
Thank You Fleming Parents and PTO
A big thank you to Sathya Amouretti, the Fleming PTO, and the many Fleming parents and community members who organized, sent cards, baked and otherwise fed the Fleming teachers and staff this week. We appreciate all these efforts — these gestures from the community make our school a great place to work.
Field Trips And Volunteers
With field trip season upon us, we wanted to remind any parents or guardians who are interested in chaperoning of the following guidelines: No parents or guardians may chaperone a Fleming field trip without first completing our School District’s on-line volunteer registration form. This allows Fleming to conduct a background check on all volunteers. You will find the link on our school website: www.ccsuvt.org/fleming/new-volunteer. Within a few days of completing the form, you will receive an email letting you know if you have been approved as a Fleming school volunteer. Thank you for your assistance in this process, and for your willingness to chaperone our field trips.
Family Sock Hop
A family sock hop will be held on Friday, May 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fleming students attending the sock hop must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This is always a fun family event. It will be the final sock hop on this Fleming gym floor — our gym floor will be replaced this summer. Enjoy the dance.
Planning Room Data
During the month of April, 35 students were referred to the Planning Room to develop written behavior plans. A total of 47 plans were written. Fleming School is being visited next Tuesday by Jon Udis, a behavioral systems consultant, who will work with our teachers and staff to review our planning room process.
Bike Safety Reminder
All students should wear their bike helmets when riding their bikes or scooters to school. They should also remember to use bike locks on their bikes and scooters. Students must walk their bikes across the crosswalks and follow all staff and crossing guard instructions. Fleming students know that must walk their bikes and scooters down Prospect Street hill. Thank you for your help in making these reminders to students to keep them safe going to and from school.
EHS offers a number of seats to online classes each year for free. Through Virtual High School and Vermont Virtual Learning Co-op students can take courses during the school year. This offers options that would not be available otherwise here at the high school. Some of the courses available are Chinese I, Civil War, Latin, SAT Prep, The Teenage Brain, Peacemaking, Pre-Vet Medicine, Investing in the Stock Market and many more. The websites to check out for complete listings are: www.TheVHSCollaborative.org and www.vtvic.org. After checking out the possibilities a student should take the next step and consult with his/her school counselor.
The Essex High School Jazz Band under the direction of Joshua Pauly has performed for several groups during the past few months. This week the band performed at Maple Street Park for area senior citizens and couldn’t have felt more appreciated. Many thank-yous later, our senior citizens are still raving at the performance and as we’ve heard many times this year, amazed at the professionalism of our student musicians. Among the students included in this year’s stage band are Ethan Benton, Olivier Bishop-Mercier, Mathew Bushey, Julian Cunningham, Hillary Danis, Nicholas Hella, Lee Murphy, Theodore Ninh, MacKenzie O’Connell, Jeffrey Ouellette, Jacob Smith, Kevin Van Allen, Kyle Van Dzura, Ryan Wolbach, Alec Zieff and Matthew Davis. Thanks for sharing your wonderful sound with our community.
Thanks, Color Guard
Thanks to Col. Spaulding, Sgt. Cook for arranging a color guard presentation recently. On April 30 The Department of Homeland Security held its Executive Awards Banquet at the Hampton Inn in Colchester. Three Essex High School cadets were responsible for the Color Guard Flag Presentation. They are Carolyn Harnois, Keelan Foy and Jamieson Barber. They made us proud once again.