Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Grants, Wellness

Six Things You Might Not Have Known About Colchester Middle School

Did you know these facts about Colchester Middle School?

CMS is dedicated to the community. In addition to the monumental effort the school put forth to support the victims of Hurricane Irene, a group of students called the Caring Cougars works tirelessly to raise money to donate to a variety of charitable causes in our greater community, including the Colchester Community Food Shelf and Toys for Kids. And CMS’s Infinity Team performs a considerable amount of community service, including raking leaves for senior citizens, assisting with the Salvation Army of Greater Burlington’s holiday toy sort effort, the Colchester Community Food Shelf, the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging, the Town of Colchester’s Parks and Recreation department, and Lucy’s House, as well as others.

CMS strives to implement technology. As part of its ongoing efforts to incorporate technology into its curriculum, CMS pursued and was awarded a $3,500 education grant from Berlin City Auto Group to purchase six netbooks for use in its classrooms.

CMS students have received positive press. CMS’s student-produced video news team, Cougar Mews, has attracted quite a bit of attention in the community, including claiming a feature on WCAX. Cougar Mews airs every Friday morning in CMS’s classrooms, not only providing an interesting way to share school events with all of CMS but also providing hands-on experience with communications. And CMS student chefs were featured on WCAX’s “Across the Fence” to showcase their skills in advance of the Jr. Iron Chef Vermont competition.

CMS has implemented a number of initiatives to encourage a supportive academic climate. Such efforts include a peer mentoring program, the adoption of a cougar mascot and creation of a school rally song, participation in the national Mix It Up Day, a canine-assisted therapy pilot program, creation of a knitting club, and educators at CMS are in the process of composing an original school song that will be representative of the CMS experience. (Stay tuned for that!) In addition, the recent drama production of The Music Man Junior involved more than fifty students—and participating in group performance has been shown to enhance camaraderie and collaboration, self-confidence, speaking skills, and imagination.

CMS focuses on real-life learning. In addition to Cougar Mews, CMS students can participate in a number of opportunities designed to provide exposure to career opportunities. Community members present workshops about a wide variety of professions at a comprehensive, hands-on career fair every year (stay tuned for more information about this year’s upcoming career day), and CMS educators arrange campus visits for eighth graders to a variety of local institutions, including the Center for Technology in Essex, St. Michael’s College, and the Community College of Vermont.

Wellness is a priority. In January, the entire CMS community participated in the 30-Day Wellness Challenge, aspects of which were filmed for use in the rest of the state. Principal Dawn Gruss and Assistant Principal Peg Gillard were also interviewed as part of a public service announcement about how school administrations can can support and engage faculty, staff, and students in wellness-related endeavors. The resulting video, which was created by the Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI), was developed in order to help other schools replicate this important program.

For more information about Colchester Middle School, please visit their website or call (802) 264-5800.

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