Posted in Colchester High School, Community, General

Upfront with CHS Students

Patricia Smith, the senior editor of New York Times Upfront magazine, visited with Colchester High School students on May 22.

After meeting with Ms. Smith to discuss the department’s use of the magazine and its online features, CHS’ Humanities Department team leader Wayland Cole arranged the visit for the students.

A news magazine targeted toward high school students, the New York Times Upfront—which is published fourteen times during each school year—contains articles provided by the New York Times, and it is published by Scholastic Inc. Colchester High School is Upfront’s largest subscriber.

Since her first visit in 2005, it has become something of an annual tradition to invite Ms. Smith, who lives in and telecommutes from Vermont, to speak with CHS students about her job, including the education and experience it requires, the job of a writer and editor, and some of the decisions involved regarding magazine content and coverage. The visits also provide Ms. Smith with the opportunity to gauge student and teacher opinions about the publication in the hopes of further tailoring its content and design for its target audience. Our students posed a wide range questions to Ms. Smith—everything from her travel opportunities to coverage of presidential elections.

“It’s always a pleasure to visit,” she said. “CHS is a beautiful school.”

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, District Office, General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, Union Memorial School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

What Has 66 Legs, Runs More than 400 Miles, and Cares About Your Kids?

MBS’s Casey McCuin, CMS’s Aubrey Garrison, Superintendent Larry Waters, MBS’s Aimee Boucher, and Ashley Cota at the Vermont City Marathon on May 27.

Incredibly, thirty-three Colchester School District employees—approximately 17 percent of our total organization, the oldest runner of whom is sixty-four years old—participated in the twenty-fourth-annual KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and Relay on May 27.

Malletts Bay School’s Jennifer Jacobson
Colchester High School’s Morgan Samler, Laura Sommariva, and Tara Sharkey

Consisting of both individual runners and relay teams, employees representing every school in the district—as well as the district’s administration—collectively ran more than four hundred miles! That is approximately equivalent to running from Colchester to Toronto or from Colchester to New Brunswick!

Colchester Middle School’s Evelyn Stenroos
Team “Spare Parts,” among whom is Porters Point School’s Dawn Bissonnette
Union Memorial School’s Sherry Thibault
CHS’s Pat (Patricia) Schiller, CHS’s Mary Romary, CMS’s Shari Amour, PPS’s Fred Moses, and CHS’s Anne Cummings

Our proud runners are:

Aimee Boucher
Amy Tosch
Andrea Boehmcke
Anne Cummings
Aubrey Garrison
Betsy Ferry
Carolyn Millham
Casey McCuin
Danielle Grise
Darlene Lamphier
Dawn Bissonnette
Elizabeth Thomas
Erin Sorenson
Evelyn Stenroos
Fred Moses
George Trieb
Gwen Carmolli
Jennifer Jacobson
Jo Berry
Kelly Barnett
Larry Waters
Laura Sommariva
Mary Romary
Morgan Samler
Patricia Schiller
Robyn Schenck
Sandra Dickin
Sean MacArdle
Shari Amour
Sherry Thibault
Shirley Sebo
Tara Sharkey
Tracy Hughes

The district’s marathon participants represented not only administration and every school but also a myriad of personal backgrounds—everything from first-time runners to lifelong runners and including some who have recently recovered from serious illness and injuries. It was a very proud day for Colchester School District. Congratulations to everyone!

And for the seventh consecutive year, a number of Colchester High School employees—many of whom ran in the marathon—also recently ran in the twenty-ninth-annual Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race in Montpelier on May 17. Three teams consisting of three runners each participated in the race. The five-kilometer event benefits programs and events of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

  • Laura Sommariva, George Deane, and Rachel Wood comprised the “George & the Ladies” team, taking second place for mixed nonprofit teams.
  • Andrea Boehmcke, Danielle Grise, and Chris Lang made up the “Barely Capable” team, placing twenty-fourth in the mixed nonprofit teams.
  • Morgan Samler, Sean MacArdle, and Zach Kramer called their team the “CHS Role Models.” They won first place among the men’s nonprofit teams.

Colchester School District takes wellness efforts seriously. Our vision and strategic plan speaks to it, and we are responding in kind both in and out of the classroom. We are committed to health and wellness for our students and community members every day. Please join us!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Community, General, Porters Point School, Videos

Safety Education: PPS Celebrates National EMS Week

Colchester Rescue helped Porters Point School celebrate National EMS Week on May 22.

Click here for a video clip!

PPS students toured an ambulance and learned about the equipment the EMTs use and the work they do. The event gave the students the important hands-on opportunity to learn about basic safety practices that will serve them throughout their lives. The event was coordinated by PPS’s Fred Moses.

Professionals in emergency medical services provide acute medical care and transport for patients of vastly varying injuries and illnesses, and National EMS Week offers a chance for community members and their emergency medical personnel to connect in a non-emergency environment, encouraging learning and rapport development. And because part of Colchester Rescue’s mission is to prevent illness and injury through public education, the May 22 event was an excellent collaborative endeavor.

Colchester Rescue also participated in the May 11 career carnival at Colchester Middle School. It was the second year in a row that Colchester Rescue supported our students in that career event.

Many, many thanks to Colchester Rescue for its support of our students!

Remember that Porters Point School’s website offers a “News & Events” page, and Colchester School District posts a district-wide calendar of events, as well!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Student Spotlight, Union Memorial School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

Mighty Feats! UMS Student Walks 50 Miles in Fitness Challenge

An inspiring young man at Union Memorial School has taken up the school’s walking challenge in earnest, logging more than fifty miles in his three years as a student.

That is the equivalent of walking from Union Memorial School to Bedford, Quebec or from Union Memorial School to Crown Point, New York!

Evan Audette displays his collection of charms and a “Mileage Marker: 50” sign

Picking up where the challenge’s original designer (former Title I tutor John Carter) left off, UMS’s PE teacher Rob Traquair marked off a quarter-mile loop around the playground to facilitate the voluntary walking challenge in which students can choose to participate during their recess. By presenting the students with a plastic foot-shaped charm for each mile they complete, Mr. Traquair encourages the Champs to pursue exercise as a fun and healthy endeavor. Second grader Evan Audette has amassed a jaw-dropping collection of fifty such feet during his tenure at UMS.

Evan, who wants to be an engineer when he grows up, said that he did not have any particular goal in mind when he first began logging his miles three years ago. “I just like to do it,” he said. “I like getting the feet [foot-shaped charms].” In addition to the walking, Evan says that he has also played hockey since he was four. “It helps you stay healthy,” he said.

Principal Chris Antonicci said that one of the appeals of the walking program is that everyone can do it at his or her own pace. It also ties in well with the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan, which emphasizes the importance of wellness in our schools. The program was implemented more than fifteen years ago, and hundreds of students have participated in it since that time—although no one except Evan has logged fifty miles. Evan’s feat is particularly impressive given that the walking program only happens during the spring and fall and only two or three days per week.

UMS students are no strangers to impressive feats in exercise. They helped to shatter a jumping jack world record on October 11, they participated in the first-annual Chilly Champ Run in November, and they and their families numbered more than one hundred for a school-wide family skating event in March.

As we discussed in our September 22 feature, not only are academics now being incorporated into physical education, but aspects of physical education are being incorporated into classroom environments through a concept called action-based learning. Action-based learning involves using physical movement into the classroom to increase retention and enhance knowledge acquisition, and UMS has pioneered it in the district.

For more information about UMS’s walking challenge, please e-mail Rob Traquair (traquairr@csdvt.org).

Congratulations, Evan!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Colchester High School, General, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Hands-On History: CHS Students Visit Shelburne Museum … and Why Field Trips Are Important

Colchester High School tenth-grade students recently made a pilgrimage to Shelburne Museum as part of their American Experience classwork.

The American Experience course is a unique class that combines the study of US history and American literature in three historical periods.

CHS American Experience classes participate in the annual Shelburne Museum visits as a way to gain a hands-on perspective of many of the aspects taught in the classes; Shelburne Museum’s vast collection boasts an impressive assortment of primary-source documents and interesting artifacts that directly relate to the historical and literary topics the students study as part of the class. Making real-world connections to abstract classroom learning is important because doing so often piques student engagement and attention—thus encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and enhancing learning. Field trips often serve to strengthen students’ observational skills and allow them to become more actively engaged in their learning, providing additional sensory activities and expanding their curiosity.

Field trips also create an extension of the classroom—and that speaks directly to Pathway C of the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which states:

 

“We wish to ensure an academic environment in which real-world relevancy meets the classroom. This environment must:
• be experiential;
• provide internships and community service within the building and the community;
• complement and enrich classroom learning; and
• move beyond physical and structural confines.”

You have spoken. We are listening.

For more information about the American Experience curriculum, please contact Colchester High School at (802) 264-5700.

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Colchester Middle School, General

Student-Led Environmentalism: What our Students Are Doing

Our choices at all levels—individual, community, corporate, and government—affect nature. And they affect us.
—David Suzuki

Environmental consciousness is alive and well in our schools. Our December 7 CSD Spotlight feature discussed some of the work that Malletts Bay School students have done with recycling, and our July 11 feature showcased some of the district’s green initiatives, as well.

And now Colchester Middle School’s student council has taken on a big project in order to help its school community enhance its recycling capabilities.

With some help from Chittenden Solid Waste District and a grant from the school’s Partners in Education (PIE) group, CMS’s student council “green team” has launched an extensive, multifaceted sustainability project that includes:

  • encouraging increased school-wide recycling with additional classroom recycling bins;
  • creating visual aids in order to clarify where waste goes;
  • composting materials in a garden space outside Ms. Melloni’s Harbor House classroom;
  • preparing gardens for planting;
  • creating a grow lab for seedlings in Ms. Melloni’s classroom;
  • installing a liquid waste receptacle in the cafeteria in order to facilitate the recycling of plastic bottles; and
  • making morning announcements with recycling tips.

Student council members have been assisting diners with where to toss waste; stations have been set up for food waste, recyclables, liquids, bottle caps, and trash. While the blue bins filled up and the compost bins’ weight increased, trash decreased at CMS. Last week alone, CMS kept 107 pounds of food waste out of the landfill! The activists have also teamed up with the Cougar Mews in order to feature recycling-related public service announcements on its weekly newscast.

As mentioned above, Ms. Melloni’s humanities and science classes are planting two beds of vegetables and flowers, spreading compost to prepare the beds for planting as soon as our risk of frost significantly diminishes. The plantings were started in a grow lab in the classroom last February. CMS students are now enjoying a simple outdoor classroom beside the garden, complete with hay bale seating, the supplies for which were generously supported by the PIE grant.

Additional plans to expand upon CMS’s recycling initiatives include touring Malletts Bay School’s student-led recycling operation, introducing additional composting locations, and working collaboratively with Vermont FEED.

For more information, e-mail Julia Melloni or call (802) 264-5800.

Student environmentalism is rapidly taking hold all over the nation and all over the world. These students are all committed to creatively and effectively addressing the daunting environmental challenges that affect each and every one of us, empowering one another and all citizens to bring about positive environmental change.

We are all in this together!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Colchester Middle School, General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, Programs, Union Memorial School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

Rockstar Nutritionist Returns to CSD!

Today, more than 95 percent of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of physical exercise.
—Mike Adams

Our community has told us that wellness efforts in our schools are important. We’re listening.

We are pleased to announce that the nation’s only rockstar nutritionist is returning to Colchester School District—and this time, she will work with students in grades K–8.

“Jump With Jill” is an age-appropriate, interactive, multimedia touring program that incorporates music and movement into nutrition education. It is designed to teach lifelong healthy habits, including choosing nutritious foods, encouraging exercise and proper hydration, and body acceptance and empowerment.

Jill Jayne, a musician and registered dietician, created the program to encourage young people and their families to take good care of themselves. “Jump With Jill” has been performed all over the United States and Europe, and it has received acclaim from Nickelodeon, PBS Kids Sprout, National Public Radio, and the Washington Post. She also recently performed for the Detroit Lions as part of the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Students at Porters Point School benefited from this program a number of years ago thanks to PPS’s Fred Moses. It so impressed CSD Business and Operations Manager George Trieb that he worked to bring the program back so that students in Union Memorial School, Malletts Bay School, and Colchester Middle School could also participate.

Jill Jayne will work with MBS and CMS students on May 24 and PPS and UMS students on May 25. Stay tuned for a follow-up!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Colchester High School, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General

Join Us for the CHS Senior Seminar Celebration Night on May 24!

Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.
—Zora Neale Hurston

Please join us at Colchester High School on Thursday, May 24 beginning at 7:00 p.m. CHS seniors will present their Senior Seminar action research projects to the community in a gallery-style, casual format.

The event, which takes place each semester, provides students with an opportunity to share the results of their efforts with their peers and with the community, allowing them to engage in conversations about their learning and experiences.

The extensive projects—comprehensive research that includes interviews, field research, and community service—are required for successful completion of the Senior Seminar course, which itself is a graduation requirement. They are designed to allow the students to direct their own learning based upon their interests. The projects culminate in a research paper, project publication, class and public presentations, and a reflection essay.

The May 24 event will showcase projects representing the following topics:

Web Piracy
Assault Weapons
Historic Preservation
Down Syndrome
Decriminalization of Drugs
Arts in Education
Nutrition
Concussion Awareness & Prevention
School Budget Campaign
Agriculture in Education
Concussions in Sports
Abolishing the Electoral College
Childhood Obesity
Endangered Species
ATVs on Public Land
Video Games & Violence
Body Image in Girls & Women
Support for Cancer Research
Abortion Laws in the United States
Child Abuse
Renewable Energy
Animal Adoption
Deforestation of the Amazon
Nutrition & Health
Learning Disabilities
Technology in Education
Traumatic Brain Injuries & Veterans
Deafness & Early Childhood Interventions
Fitness & Youth Obesity
Support for the Arts
Social & Emotional Benefits of Athletics

 

For more information, please e-mail Humanities teacher Erin Brady.

Remember that Colchester High School’s calendar of events can be found on the school’s website, and Colchester School District posts a district-wide calendar of events, as well!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”

Posted in Colchester High School, General, Programs, Student Spotlight

CHS Artists Win Acclaim!

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.
—Georgia O’Keeffe

Some Colchester High School art students are gaining wide attention for their creative expression.

Nick Bezio won his grade category’s top honor in the state for his submission to the Junior Duck Stamp Contest. The contest, an educational program sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, presents the “Best of Show” submissions from state/territory competitions around the country to the national competition, the winner of which becomes the image for the next Junior Duck Stamp. The stamps are then sold by various organizations in order to fund environmental and conservation programs.

CHS student Nick Bezio’s award-winning entry into the Junior Duck Stamp Competition

 

Lucie Stein won second place for her entry, “Unfinished Evolution,” into the Congressional Art Competition in Montpelier. She was one of 158 high school students from 34 schools across Vermont to enter the competition, which, championed by Congressman Peter Welch and originally initiated by former US Senator Jim Jeffords, celebrates artistic talent in every congressional district in the nation. Winning entries selected at the district level are displayed at the US Capitol Building for one year.

CHS student Lucie Stein’s award-winning entry into the Congressional Art Competition event in Montpelier

 

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Posted in Colchester High School, Community, General

Please Join Us for the CHS Pops Concert—May 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Treat yourself to an evening of music on Tuesday, May 22 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Colchester High School.

The CHS Pops Concert serves up pieces from both band and chorus, and it recognizes all of the graduating seniors from among both groups. Come on out and join us for this fun, free event!

Remember that Colchester High School’s calendar of events can be found on the school’s website, and Colchester School District posts a district-wide calendar of events, as well!

Keep current with CSD’s news and other education-related information by subscribing to CSD Spotlight. Enter an e-mail address into the field under E-mail Subscriptions in the upper right-hand side of this screen and click “Sign me up!”