Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, General

Celebrating Independence Day!

Colchester Middle School music teacher Emily Desautels will conduct the Colchester Community Band in the forty-fourth annual Colchester Independence Day Parade on Thursday, July 4—and everyone is invited!

In addition to the exceptional musicianship within Colchester School District, alumni and citizens of all ages participate in the community band, which is directed by Colchester High School band teacher Evan Peltier. It offers free performances for the Colchester community throughout the summer season (click here to view a video clip of a performance at the Colchester Farmers’ Market last summer).

The community band has been rehearsing traditional Sousa marches for the parade for several weeks, and more participants are still needed and welcomed! This year’s band will perform from a flatbed truck (which will also bring participants back to the starting point at the parade’s conclusion), so marching is not required. (To participate, please arrive with an instrument at Colchester Middle School on Monday, July 1 at 7:00 p.m. Rehearsal will be held in the band room and will run until 8:30 p.m. Stands, chairs, and music will be provided.) For more information about the community band, please e-mail colchesterconcertband@gmail.com or call (802) 734-2686.

Participants in the community band are requested to wear red, white, and/or blue and arrive at 10:30 a.m. on July 4 at Creek Farm Plaza. It is recommended that participants also bring water, sunscreen, and sunglasses and/or hats.

Anyone interested in supporting the Colchester Community Food Shelf can donate items at boxes located at Colchester Creek Plaza, Burnham Memorial Library, and the Colchester Community Food Shelf—which will be open to welcome visitors—located at the old fire station next door to Claussen’s Florist and Greenhouse.

The parade will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 at Creek Farm Plaza and will proceed down Main Street, finishing at Burnham Memorial Library. The parade is expected to last approximately one hour.

Important note: Because of unusually high water levels this year, the fireworks will be launched from Bayside Softball Field; spectator seating will be available at Colchester High School’s practice fields and at Upper Bayside Park. Accordingly, the Town of Colchester’s Parks and Recreation Department admonishes that it may be difficult to obtain an optimal view of the fireworks from boats. For questions relating to the parade and the fireworks, please contact Glen Cuttitta at gcuttitta@colchestervt.gov or call (802) 264-5641.

We are proud to be a part of this community! Please join us!

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

Posted in General, Other Important Information

Important Public Service Announcement—Severe Weather

Lightning

The National Weather Service has advised of the potential for significant rainfall and high winds from today into next week. The Town of Colchester would like to caution drivers in areas of steep grades and significant stream crossings about potentially dangerous areas for washouts and risk of flooding. Specific areas of concern are Brigham Hill Road, Coon Hill Road, Curve Hill Road, East Lakeshore Drive, East Road, Galvin Hill Road, Malletts Bay Avenue, Middle Road, Mill Pond Road Bridge, and Raymond Road. During periods of high winds, caution is also advised in heavily wooded areas where trees may fall into the roadway. We would like to remind drivers never to cross flooded roadways or approach downed power lines and to use extreme caution when traveling during severe weather.

A self-service sandbag station is located just outside the Public Works garage where Colchester residents can come and fill sandbags twenty-four hours a day. Sand, bags, and shovels are available at this station.

For more information, please contact the Town of Colchester at (802) 264-5500.

?????????????????????????????????????

Posted in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Programs

Vermont Adopts the Next Generation Science Standards

MP900337296

In a recent unanimous (9–0) decision, the Vermont State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), joining Rhode Island, Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland in adopting these standards.

Based on the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, the NGSS are voluntary, internationally benchmarked, and were written collaboratively by teachers across the nation. They are designed to enhance the cohesion of science education, emphasizing hands-on exploration and critical analysis while also aligning with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

If you would like to read the Vermont Agency of Education’s press release about the recently adopted NGSS, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact CSD’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction Gwendolyn Carmolli by e-mail (carmollig@csdvt.org) or call (802) 264-5999.

MP900390131

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

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

Best Wishes for a Fabulous Summer!

Today is the last day of school for the 2012/2013 year!

It has been a great year in Colchester School District, and the hard work in preparing for the upcoming school year is already well under way. We will keep you posted throughout the summer with what is going on behind the scenes with your schools. And please remember that we always welcome your comments, questions, and engagement; please call our administrative offices at any time at (802) 264-5999.

Wishing you all an amazing summer!

Summer1_s

Summer2s

Summer4_s

Summer6_s

???????????????

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

Posted in Colchester High School, Community, General

LCATV to Provide Coverage of Eighth-Grade Recognition Ceremony

Lake Champlain Access Television (LCATV) will provide coverage of Colchester Middle School’s Eighth-Grade Recognition Ceremony, which will take place on Thursday, June 13 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Colchester High School gymnasium.

A total of 188 eighth-grade students will be recognized at the ceremony, and CMS Harbor House social studies teacher Marc Gagne will address those assembled. A number of awards will be presented to students, including the Presidential Academic Excellence and Achievement Awards, the PTO Positive Impact Award, the PTO Student Leadership and Cooperation Award, the Lloyd Button Memorial Sportsmanship Award, the Friends of Colchester Music Award, and an art award.

LCATV anticipates that the schedule for the program, which will run on LCATV Channel 16, will be available on the website sometime during the week of June 17. To view the schedule, please click here.

For questions, or to speak with someone at CMS about the filmed and broadcasted coverage of the event, please call (802) 264-5800.

Best wishes to our students for their continued success!

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

Run, Girls, Run!

Girls on Track 5K finishers' medal
Girls on Track 5K finishers’ medal

Colchester Middle School and Malletts Bay School participants in the Girls on Track and Girls on the Run programs completed the 2013 Girls on the Run Vermont 5K event at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction on June 8 (to view a video from the event, please click here).

CMS participants in the June 8 Girls on Track 5K event in Essex Junction
CMS participants in the June 8 Girls on Track 5K event in Essex Junction
MBS participants in the 5K event
MBS participants in the 5K event

Girls on the Run©, a nonprofit program sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, encourages girls in grades 3–8 to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Combining training for a 3.1-mile run or walk with age-appropriate discussions about such topics as tobacco and alcohol use, eating disorders, personal and Internet safety, and harassment, the program is designed to encourage positive emotional, social, and physical development. It also introduces the participants to alternative, fun ways of engaging in physical activity, such as snowshoeing, hiking, and yoga.

The annual 5K is an untimed, noncompetitive event; coaches work with the girls to do their personal best—whether that means that they walk, jog, or run. Many parents and other family members also attend and participate along with the girls.

Girls on the Run© is part of Girls on the Run International, which currently organizes programs in more than 170 cities across the United States and Canada.

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.

For more information about CMS’s program, please contact Danielle Grise at grised@csdvt.org or Rachel Wood at woodr@csdvt.org. For more information about MBS’s program, please contact Erin Randall-Mullins at erandall@sbschools.net. You may also visit the Vermont Department of Health’s website.

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

Posted in General, Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan, Wellness

Biking to MBS Just Got Easier!

As we’ve discussed before, a number of our schools participate in walk-to-school events as a way to increase awareness about healthy physical activity and to create fun experiences for our students. Three of our schools held such an event in early May, and Malletts Bay School also participated in International Walk to School Day on October 3; if you missed the story about that, you can read it here. (And did you see our recent post about Porters Point School’s students walking the equivalent distance of that between Colchester, Vermont, and Culpeper, Virginia? If not, you can read it here. The schools are working really hard to promote health and wellness!)

And now MBS has won a Saris bike rack as a result of their efforts to help build walkable communities!

According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, MBS’s new free-standing, eight-bike rack meets all standards for best practices in bike parking and can be easily moved as needed.

As we’ve discussed in earlier CSD Spotlight articles, the national and worldwide walk-to-school events are designed to build awareness about health and wellness and to encourage the building of safe, walkable communities. And the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 emphasizes CSD’s work to foster wellness-oriented, balanced, and healthy learners; these efforts are a priority for our community!

For more information, you can also visit Walk and Bike to School Day and/or National Center for Safe Routes to School, or call MBS at (802) 264-5900.

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

Posted in Accountability, Colchester Middle School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Employee Spotlight, General, Grants, Other Important Information, Personnel, Porters Point School, Programs, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

CSD Technology Integration Specialist a Keynote Speaker at Technology Convention

Colchester School District’s technology integration specialist, Aimee Boucher, was recently part of the keynote at Dynamic Landscapes, an annual conference co-sponsored by Vita-Learn and the Vermont School Libraries Association.

Technology Integration Specialist Aimee Boucher
Technology Integration Specialist Aimee Boucher

Ms. Boucher offered a presentation about Wonder Blogging, which was developed by our own Natalie LaRose, a second-grade teacher at Porters Point School, in collaboration with teacher Ashley Merced in Chicago. These two teachers began their collaboration by doing a Mystery Skype (if you missed our CSD Spotlight article about that, you can access it here). From the original collaboration has grown a larger-scale project using Wonderopolis, an online education tool with countless classroom applications.

If you would like to view the slides from Ms. Boucher’s keynote presentation, please click here. (The event was also filmed by the Regional Educational Technology Network (RETN); please click here for more information.)

Ms. Boucher also writes a technology newsletter for CSD. Please click here to see it—it is packed with resources and information!

Why is all of this so important? Because technological innovation in education is more prevalent—and critical—than ever before. Creative and flexible approaches to instruction are on the rise in our district and around the world. (Did you see our article about “classroom flipping”? If you missed it, you can read it here. It’s really exciting!)

To learn more about CSD’s 2012–2015 technology plan, please click here.

CMS teacher Jenn Roberge was also recently honored for her innovative use of classroom technology; if you missed that article, you can read it here.

The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017’s pathways include Pathway A: High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners; Pathway B: Technology Infrastructure and Integration; and Pathway C: Learning Outside Our Four Walls. There is a lot of forward momentum in our schools on these fronts. Furthermore, the Vermont Technology Grade Expectations outline major focus areas in education, and among them are digital citizenship and technology operations and concepts, so this work is particularly meaningful and relevant.

Your schools are working really hard to implement technology in meaningful, innovative ways (please click here to read about $15,000 worth of grants recently awarded for classroom technology). If you would like more information, please contact our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999, call any of your schools, or e-mail Aimee Boucher at bouchera@csdvt.org.

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Other Important Information, Programs

CMS Commended for Achievements in Reading and Writing!

Achievement_s

The Vermont Reads Institute at the University of Vermont (VRI at UVM) has commended Colchester Middle School for its success in narrowing students’ achievement gap in reading and writing!

Literacy_s

As a result, the VRI at UVM has asked CMS to participate in a survey that will facilitate its research into gaining an understanding of the practices and structures that build success with literacy achievement in Vermont schools. The VRI at UVM, per its website, “conducts high-quality professional development and research in all areas of literacy.” As such, this is a tremendous and important achievement for Colchester Middle School.

If you would like more information, please contact CMS at (802) 264-5800.

Snoozy dog reads a book_s

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Employee Spotlight, General, Other Important Information, Personnel, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

CMS Teacher Honored for Innovative and Transformative Use of Technology!

There can be infinite uses of the computer and of new-age technology, but if the teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom and make it work, then it fails.
—Former US Senator Nancy Kassebaum

Colchester Middle School Humanities teacher Jenn Roberge was honored at the recent 2013 Project IGNITE Recognition Luncheon for her leadership in implementing Google Apps for Education at CMS!

CMS Humanities teacher Jenn Roberge
CMS Humanities teacher Jenn Roberge

The goal of Project IGNITE is to seek opportunities to support and develop the work that educators are doing in the classroom by creating a network experience of the best practices happening in classrooms in Vermont every day.

Thirty educators from around the state were recognized for their innovative and transformative use of technology in the classroom. (To view a slide from the recognition luncheon and to read Ms. Roberge’s explanation of some of her work with technology this year, please click here.)

“This year has been a big year for Colchester Middle School,” Ms. Roberge said. “All seventh and eighth graders have been working with Google Apps for Education, and it is going well! This has been a great opportunity for students to use the most up-to-date and current technologies that 65 percent of colleges and many business models follow. The entire country of Malaysia, as well as many Vermont schools right in Chittenden County, have moved to this model. The best part is that all of these tools are free to schools! This makes the work we do a sustainable plan.

“Students are thrilled to have these opportunities in the classroom and a chance to collaborate with peers in real time with authentic work experiences,” Ms. Roberge continued. “This year, I have helped teachers in language arts, social studies, math, and science—as well as special educators and the library/media specialist—explore the use of these tools as an embedded part of their curriculum. Students have created their own websites demonstrating their research and exploration of real or hoax sites, collaborated on book reviews, developed and maintained their own blogs with regular posting and commenting experiences, and have linked several technology projects (videos, glogs, prezis, spreadsheets, and presentations) that they’ve created as part of content-specific tasks aligned with the Common Core. Students enjoy being able to archive and return to their digital work as well as share with others outside of the classroom walls.”

This summer, Ms. Roberge and some of her CMS colleagues will complete Part II of the Google Tools for School course. “I am very excited to go deeper into the resources and plan for even more rigorous experiences for students,” she said.

The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017’s pathways include Pathway A: High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners; Pathway B: Technology Infrastructure and Integration; and Pathway C: Learning Outside Our Four Walls. There is a lot of forward momentum in our schools on these fronts. Furthermore, the Vermont Technology Grade Expectations outline major focus areas in education, and among them are digital citizenship and technology operations and concepts, so this work is particularly meaningful and relevant. (To read our January 21 CSD Spotlight post discussing other efforts in technology integration around Colchester School District, please click here.)

Congratulations, Ms. Roberge and Colchester Middle School!

Do you like CSD Spotlight? If so, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe! We are working hard to engage our community and keep everyone informed. Please help us spread the word!