Posted in Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Union Memorial School

Journey to Independent Reading

If you happen to be in Union Memorial School on Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings, you’ll notice the hallways buzzing with beginner readers.blogger-image-424245806

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 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.

Superintendent Amy Minor reads with a student as part of the Emergent Reading Program.

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.

Posted in Colchester High School, Community, General, Music, Student Spotlight

Members of CHS Jazz Band to Perform at Flynn with Acclaimed US Army Band

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-jazz-band_2016

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:

Posted in Community, General, Other Important Information, Student Spotlight

New Member Joins the CSD School Board

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.

Posted in Accountability, General, Malletts Bay School

Successful New Behavior Initiative at MBS

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.

inquiries_diagramStudents 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 keptimg_1074 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  or  Jordan Burke at


Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs

SBAC Results to be Sent Home with Report Cards

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.

Posted in Colchester High School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Student Spotlight, Videos

Calculus in the Classroom at Malletts Bay School (Contains Video!)

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.

Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School

Bus Dismissal Schedule for Last Day of School, June 9

Colchester School District announces the bus dismissal schedule for last day of school, which will be Thursday,  June 9, 2016.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Colchester High School—There will be no bus departing from CHS on June 9. Students requiring a bus may walk to Colchester Middle School for 12:00 p.m. to access them.
Colchester Middle School—buses will depart at 12:00 p.m.
Porters Point School—buses will depart at 12:45 p.m.
Union Memorial School—buses will depart at 12:45 p.m.
Malletts Bay School—buses will depart at 12:45 p.m.

Please call your child’s school with any questions.

Posted in General

Colchester High School Student wins SkillsUSA competition

Alayna Boucher a junior from Colchester High school, is in her first year in the design and creative media program at CTE. She participated in the school wide skills competition which earned her a slot to compete against others from across the state in the Skills USA competition. Alayna attended an all-day event to present her pin design to a group of judges. Alayna was awarded the gold medal for her design which is a tremendous accomplishment.


SkillsUSA is a competition for public high school and college students enrolled in trade, technical, and skilled service profession instructional programs. Alayna will travel to KY this June to present her pin design at the national championships. SkillsUSA Championships, a showcase of career and technical education students — will be held in Louisville, Ky., June 20-24, 2016. More than 15,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners, participate in the weeklong event. Congratulations Alayna we are so proud of you, good luck! If her pin is chosen it will be manufactured and sold around the nation.

Posted in General

Mark Your Calendar for Spring School Music Events

Strong music and arts programs are vital to providing our kids with a well-rounded education. The Colchester School District has more than 520 students participating in its band and choral programs this year.

 The schools are hosting their final musical performances of the school year (all performances are free and open to the public):

 May 11 – MBS 3rd and 4th grade Music Concerts, 6 pm and 7 pm at MBS

May 12 – MBS 5th grade Band and Chorus Concert, 6:30 pm at CHS

May 19 – CHS Pops Concert, 6:30 pm at CHS

May 26 – CMS Spring Band Concert, 7 pm at CMS

June 2 – CMS Spring Choral Concert, 7 pm at CMS

 The CHS Pops Concert will feature performances by all the band and choral ensembles. As the school’s final public performance of the year, the seniors will also be recognized.

 The CMS Spring Band Concert will feature the 6th and 7th/8th grade bands as well as the Jazz band. The concert will feature themes from Schubert’s ‘Unfinished Symphony,’ and Gustav Holst’s ‘Second Suite in F Major.’