On Friday evening, the community gathered inside the newly renovated Performing Arts Center at Colchester High School to cut the ribbon, and officially open the center to both student and community performers.
The audience heard speeches by Superintendent, Amy Minor; Principal, Heather Baron; and School Board Chair, Mike Rodgers. Throughout each speech there was an underlying theme: community pride and a deep appreciation for the tremendous support they have received for this project.
Up until this renovation, the theater and its technology was nearly original to the construction date of 1975. Back in March of 2016, Colchester School District asked voters for their permission to use the leftover money from the the science construction bond towards renovating the aging Performing Arts Center at Colchester High School. The voters said yes, and work began in June, just days after graduation. Six months later the work is complete and it now boasts all new flooring, seating, paint, acoustic panels, curtains, updated lighting and sound technology, and an upgrade to the ventilation system.
In addition to the vast district and school uses, the Performing Arts Center is also utilized by many organizations and community members, all of which will benefit from such substantial improvements. Immediately following the ceremony, the Colchester Community Chorus got everyone in the holiday spirit with their Annual Winter Concert.
The opening ceremony and concert turned out to be an incredible display of community pride among students, faculty, and the residents of Colchester. If you couldn’t be there to celebrate with us, head over to the district’s website or Facebook page to check out the video that was aired during the ceremony. It tours the new center and focuses on the overwhelming impact this renovation has had on the students and faculty who use the space regularly.
Presidential elections are exciting for students and provide a great opportunity to discuss and debate a range of issues in the classroom. On this historic election day, teachers and staff throughout the district have been working to educate and enthuse students on citizenship and civic responsibilities.
To promote community citizenship, the middle school held a mock vote for the entire school (teachers too!). Students had registered ahead of time and checked in with high school students who were running the CMS polling station.
During the election students voted down the ballot from president to local Vermont officials. There was a lot of excitement and questions over what the different elected positions do and who to vote for. After casting their ballots they cheerfully donned the iconic, “I Voted” sticker.
CMS students also spent the day reflecting on what it means to be a responsible citizen, both online and offline, in preparation of bringing their school chrome-books home. They started the day off evaluating balance between interacting with a screen and their individual lifestyle. They then studied some tips and tricks on troubleshooting potential issues and learned how to use new apps and programs through a series of workshops.
At Malletts Bay School and Porters Point School the elementary students learned about ballots, voting, and how the overall election process works. MBS students cast ballots for their favorite yearbook cover, and students in both schools voted for what the next school-wide celebration should be.
At PPS, the voters-in-training had to choose between a dance party or frozen treats. Principal Millham took the opportunity to speak with students about being respectful towards the opinions of others, even in the event their celebration choice was not the winner. In an election year when tensions are incredibly high, we can certainly count on our student community to bring us back to our core democratic values.
A stimulating set-up in the CHS art room is inspiring students to tap into their creativity. Art 1 students have been applying concepts and techniques they’ve learned through a series of still life drawings.
In the several weeks since the installation was set up, they’ve had the chance to practice their skills and recently started on their final drawings last week.
Using every bit of space surrounding the 360º set-up, students chose their favorite composition (making sure to include at least 5 objects), and got to work.
With the goal to fill the entire sheet of paper they used viewfinders to help sight and measure the proportions of objects.
Prior to starting the project students learned the basic concepts and vocabulary of still life to include things like: construction, contour, and gesture lines; highlights, grounding an object, and cast shadows. They worked to utilize these techniques throughout their individual compositions.
One of the final requirements of the project asked them to create a fantasy creature or monster who would “live” in their still life drawing. They then drew their monsters in 3D form and added any other features that related to their creature’s environment.
The addition of the creatures promoted the project’s overall objective of reality and observation vs fantasy and imagination. The students should be finishing their drawings within the next week.
Join the Colchester community for an evening of healthy family fun in a whole community wellness fair and free harvest dinner this Friday, November 4th, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the High School. The wellness fair is FREE and open to the public. Donations of non-perishable food and used eye-wear are kindly requested.
The fair will bring together local health experts and community members to provide information and answer questions in areas of nutrition, fitness, health, and personal well-being for residents of all ages.
Services will include the following:
Prescription Review – Attendees are encouraged to bring their prescriptions for medication consultation with a pharmacist
Health Screenings and Assessments – Vision, Diabetes, Heart Health Assessment, Blood Pressure, and more!
The Harvest Dinner starts at 5:30, followed by the Kids on the Block Healthy Snack Puppet Show at 6:00 pm.
Questions? Contact Thalissa Baptiste at VTWellnessFair@acphs.edu
If you happen to be in Union Memorial School on Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings, you’ll notice the hallways buzzing with beginner readers.
The Emergent Reading Literacy Program got off to a great start at UMS on Monday. The program is a unique reading program centered around the student that brings together families, volunteers and teachers. The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between being read to and independent reading.
Three times a week each student works one-on-one with a literacy volunteer. Along with practicing their letters and sight words, the student gets to choose a book from the school’s collection and participate in shared reading with the adult. The student then brings the book home to read it with their family. During the next school literacy session the student brings the book back to read to a volunteer again, and then chooses a new book to begin the process over. The program focuses on active participation in all steps of the routine which can reinforce concepts and language skills.
The Emergent Reading Program is a great experience for both the child and the adult. The kids love reading to other adults and it can be very rewarding for the volunteer to witness the growth and progress each child makes throughout the program.
Volunteers are vital to the success of the program and the school is always looking for more people to participate. Anyone can volunteer (after a background check); grandparent, aunt or uncle, sibling, community member, or a even high school students. There’s no steadfast commitment to make either; come as often or as little your time permits.
If you are interested in volunteering for the program contact UMS at 264-5959.
On Sunday, October 30, three Colchester High School (CHS) jazz band members will perform with the U.S. Jazz Ambassadors at the Flynn Theater in Burlington. The nationally recognized Jazz Ambassadors, a 19-member ensemble formed in 1969, is the official touring big band of the U.S. Army.
CHS Band Director Evan Peltier contacted the group and learned that they were seeking a trumpet player, trombone player and saxophone player to join them on stage to perform a piece during the concert. The following CHS jazz band students are participating: Nikoli Holly (trumpet); Nathan Colgrove (trombone); and, Jacob Dell (tenor sax).
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these students,” said Peltier. “They won’t have the opportunity to rehearse with the group in the days leading up to the concert…They’ll be asked to join the group briefly backstage and then it’s show time!”
The Jazz Ambassadors band has played in every state and abroad; their Flynn performance will feature swing, bebop, contemporary jazz, popular tunes, Dixieland compositions, patriotic pieces and more.
The October 30 concert begins at 3 pm and is free and open to the public. For ticket information, visit: http://www.flynntix.org.
The Colchester School Board welcomed their newest member on Tuesday evening with the addition of student member, Jaclyn Cline. Jaclyn is a senior at CHS and although she is new to the CSD School Board, she is not new to politics.
Last fall Jaclyn lived, worked, and attended school in Washington DC as part of the US Senate Page Program. She was selected and sponsored by Senator Leahy. The program is highly competitive as there are only 30 positions available for 100 Senators. Her primary role as a page was to interact and assist with the daily functions of the House and Senate, Members’ offices, committees, and the Library of Congress. When asked what her most notable moments were she quickly responding by saying, “being on the House floor for the State of the Union delivered by President Obama, as well as the address from Pope Francis”.
During her freshman year at CHS she joined the Girls Rock the Capitol program as in intern, which gave her access to work side-by-side with female State Representatives in Vermont. She has participated in the program every year since; learning about advocacy, how to enact change, and benefiting from an up-close view of our State Government. With her personal pursuits evolving throughout the years she has begun to focus on attending college next year and is planning to study education and human development. With that in mind, this year she chose to shadow a Vermont legislator who serves on the Education Committee.
Jaclyn speaks proudly about her involvement in both State and National politics, however she prefers the excitement local government provides and is not interested in pursuing a career in Washington. Jaclyn is enthusiastic to represent the CSD student body on the School Board. She has volunteered and interacted with several schools and grade levels throughout the district leading up to this point in her education. The Board gave her a warm welcoming at Tuesday’s meeting.
School Board meetings are open to the public and are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Colchester High School Media Center (Library). Meetings are also aired on Lake Champlain Access Television (LCATV). You can stream them live or watch previous meetings on their website.
Malletts Bay School has rolled out a new program this year in an effort to recognize and encourage positive behavior from its students. PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, is a school-wide system that acknowledges the positive contributions of students and focuses on the impacts made towards their social, emotional and academic outcomes.
Students were taught behavior expectations at the beginning of the year with key concepts including how to be safe, respectful and responsible in all areas and times of the school day. Since then, students have been regularly acknowledged throughout the day for their positive behaviors with “fish chips” to feed their mascot, Oscar the Osprey. The fish chips are initially collected in classroom fish bowls and later gathered in a school-wide box shaped like Oscar the Osprey.
Throughout September and October students and teachers alike kept a watchful eye on Oscar and enjoyed seeing him fill up a little more each week. By Thursday, October 13th, Oscar was full which meant the students had earned a well deserved school-wide celebration.
Over 23,300 schools are using this program with the goal of helping each student develop self-discipline and to make positive choices. Safe to say Malletts Bay students are off to a fantastic start to the school year.
For more information about the school-wide PBIS system, contact the PBIS Coordinators: Jayme Gaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jordan Burke at email@example.com
This spring students in grades 3-8 and 11 took a statewide assessment called Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). This assessment shows a student’s proficiency level of our state standards in English Language Arts and Math. It also shows a student’s growth toward college and career readiness.
Student results have just been made available, months earlier than previous years. These results will be sent home this week with your child’s report card. For information about how to read and interpret the SBAC report look for the Individual Student Report Guide that will be included in the report card.
District and state results will be released later this summer. Shortly after this release the district will share results with the community on our website and in your school reports.
Over the last two weeks, several MBS classrooms had special guest teachers during their math class! Ten CHS calculus students paired up to teach standards-based math lessons related to calculus to five MBS classes for their final projects. Their lessons ranged from teaching about speed & measurement conversions to area of a curved shape and volume.
The CHS students were well prepared for their first teaching experience! They began by observing their MBS class and interacting with the students they would be teaching. Each pair of students consulted with the classroom teacher and their calculus teacher to design one hour lessons. Lauren Bergen, Katelyn Hass, Cassie Mallabar, Andrew Lynch, Kristen Schick, Danielle Whitham, Connor Zwonik, Jordan DeMattis, Victoria Mier, and Abby Harrington taught amazing lessons in Mrs. Marlow, Mrs. Ellingson, Mrs. Carney, Mrs. Boucher, and Mrs. Buswell’s classes.
MBS students were impressed that the math they were doing was related to calculus. Many young mathematicians were inspired by these talented calculus students. While the lessons were challenging, the MBS students were engaged and excited to solve problems related to their future study of Calculus, and the CHS students had an authentic opportunity to find relationships between the elementary school math standards and the Calculus they learned throughout the year. It was an excellent collaboration between CHS and MBS!
Click here to see a video clip of the students in action.