Posted in General

Jump Start Your Summer

The dreaded and overwhelming, “summer slide”. The idea that these few precious summer months will contribute to children forgetting some of what they’ve learned or slip out of practice on subjects such as reading. Overcoming the “slide” is not as hard as you may think!

Fact SheetAs a District, we absolutely believe that summer break should be fun, but we also want each child to come back to school on an equal academic level. Just about every adult would agree that the best reading is the kind that interests you. To that point, our kids should focus on spending the summer months reading books that interest them. We hope our students have lots of adventures this summer, especially the kind that develop in their imagination!

The District’s Literacy Coordinator, Sara Blake, says to check out this fantastic book list resource. It has hundreds of books all categorized and listed by grade level. She also put together a padlet full of articles, links to websites, reading challenges, and incentive programs.

Book Tasting for MBS 4th graders 6Prior to the end of the year, schools throughout the district held several events to encourage kids to keep reading through the summer. The most creative concept went to Malletts Bay School Librarian, Ms. Oglesby, who organized a Book Tasting for 4th graders.  She set the ambiance with all the essential Italian fare: red-and-white tablecloths, battery operated candles, placemats, and menus with 12 books listed for the students to “sample”. Once they made their decision she took their “order” and each student got to go home with their selected book! In the fall the students will participate in discussion groups about the books.

Reading 1Each school also got a visit from the wonderful folks at the Burnham Memorial Library. We are such a lucky community to be able to take advantage of a robust library program. They offer several summer programs to help motivate your child to keep reading. With the Summer Reading Program, each child who participates will document their books in a reading log and can earn some great prizes. The Reading Buddy Program pairs young readers with teen partners to meet with throughout the summer (great for older kids who need volunteer hours!). They also offer Summer Storytime 3 times a week and you even can sign up to read to Willy Wonka the Volunteer Therapy Dog. To register for any of these programs or to ask questions, you can call the Library at 264-5990.

Reading 2Lastly, this weekend the Library will he hosting it’s Summer Book Sale at the High School. You can help support the library while scoring gently used books, CDs, and DVDs all at bargain prices! There will be a Preview Sale on Friday, June 23, from 5-8 pm (there’s a $5 suggested donation for the early birds). Then it will be open from 8 am – 4 pm on Saturday and 10 am – 2 pm on Sunday. They’re also looking for volunteers, call 264-5660 for more information.

Happy reading, Colchester!

Posted in General

New Location for Colchester’s 4th of July Parade

IMG_0089Due to the extensive construction on the intersections of Routes 2, 7, and 2A near Main Street, Colchester, the Colchester Parks & Recreation Department will be moving the 2017 4th of July Parade to Blakely Road.

This decision was reached with the help of local emergency response agencies, including Colchester Police, Colchester Center Volunteer Fire Co., Malletts Bay Fire Dept., and Colchester Rescue, and was determined to be the best course of action for the safety of parade participants, parade spectators, and travelers along those affected routes.

The parade will begin at Colchester High School at 11:00 AM, proceed east along Blakely Road and end at Lavigne Road. The parade will travel one mile (an equal distance as the Main Street route). Blakely Road has suitable sidewalks for pedestrian traffic, and also offers adequate parking for visitors at the Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Malletts Bay School, and Colchester Town Offices. Blakely Road will be closed to thru traffic between 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM. Visitors are asked not to park on the Blakely Road shoulders during the morning hours of the parade. Traffic delays are expected to be minimal along Lakeshore Drive, Blakely Road, Williams Road, and Malletts Bay Avenue.

Parade participants will be given more information prior to the event with regard to parade staging at the High School and dismount zones on Lavigne Road. All other 4th of July events will remain the same as in prior years. The annual fireworks show will be displayed over the Bayside Softball Field at dusk. For more information, visit http://colchestervt.gov/363/4th-of-July-Celebration, email recreation@colchestervt.gov or call (802) 264-5640.

fireworks21

Posted in General

Upcoming Events at CSD

April break is officially over and Colchester Schools haven’t wasted any time jumping back into the swing of things. There are a bunch of exciting events happening throughout May, here’s a snapshot.

If you can’t make it to some of the events, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to catch up on photos and videos!


teacher apple
Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week
Monday, May 1st – Friday, May 5th
Colchester School District

We’re right in the middle of appreciation week for our phenomenal staff! Click here to read the April 26th letter from Superintendent Amy Minor.

 

2017 banner working file AI

Green Up Day
Saturday, May 6th
Town of Colchester (Police Dept., Library, Niquette State Park)

Join over 22,000 Vermonters throughout the State to help to green up our communities! Grab some family members and friends and head over to the Colchester Police Department, Burnham Library, or Niquette State Park to pick up bags and sign-up for your location. Giving your location where you and your team are cleaning is important because it will help determine what areas are left to clean up and where to send other groups. The Conservation Commission will be at the Police Department from 8 am to 2 pm and be sure to also stop by from noon to 1 pm for a cook-out sponsored by the Colchester-Milton Rotary and the superb cooking team from the Colchester Lions club. The Town would like to thank Meyer’s Red Can Family for their contribution of a dumpster for Green Up Day trash. It will be located in front of the Colchester Town Offices.

 

Walk-to-School-FIN2

Walk to School Day
Monday, May 8th
Porters Point School

Students at Porters Point School will be getting in some extra steps on Monday! Just like they did in the fall, PPS buses will drop students off at the top of Greenwood Drive so students can walk from there to the school. Great job kids!
Visitors enjoying one of Bristol Astronomical Society's stargazing evenings at Tyntesfield, North Somerset.

Astronomy Stargazing Night
Thursday, May 11th at 7:30
Colchester High School – Free and open to the whole community

Join the community for the third annual stargazing even at CHS, hosted by Dr. John O’Meara from St Michael’s College. The event will start at 7:30 pm in the CHS auditorium with a star talk and questions period and then conclude on the athletic fields with a stargazing event using telescopes. CHS Science Teacher, Mr. Scheuch says, “This is a really cool opportunity to hear an expert talk about space and astronomy and the new insights that we have learned from research, curiosity, and knowledge. Dr. O’Meara just so happens to live, teach, and conduct his research (using the biggest telescopes around the world) right here in our area.” Mark your calendar and bring the whole family to this exciting event!

 

sfw_newsflash.png

“Unplugged Digital Detox”
Monday, May 8th – Friday, May 12th
Malletts Bay School

Malletts Bay School students will be challenged to put down their screens for the whole week! Although our connection with our phones, tablets, and computers often plays a big role in learning, it seems like everyone nowadays is hard to get away from it even when we’re home! MBS is challenging students to have an entertainment screen-free week.

 

District Art Show

District Wide Art Show
Tuesday, May 9th – Friday, May 12th
Colchester High School Gym

Don’t forget to mark the District Wide Art Show on your calendar. It will feature pieces from all five schools! Check out a wide variety of mediums including watercolors, ceramics, photography, pastels, and much more.  The artwork will be displayed in the CHS gym and will be open to visitors from 8 am – 4 pm daily. There will be a special Artist and Community Reception scheduled for Thursday, May 11th from 6 pm -8 pm where refreshments will be provided.

 

IMG_5249

Bike to School Day
Wednesday, May 10th
Malletts Bay School

Get those bikes out of the basement, it’s time to bike to school! Students at Malletts Bay School will have the opportunity to pedal their way in on Wednesday, May 10th.

 

mcdonalds.PNG

McDonald’s PTO Fundraiser for Grades K-5
Wednesday, May 10th from 5 pm – 7 pm
McDonald’s on Prim Road, Colchester

Head over to McDonald’s on Prim Road for a night of food and fun. They’re celebrating their 30th year in the community by holding a fundraising event for the Colchester K-5 Schools and PTOs. 20% of all sales between 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm will go to Malletts Bay School, Porters Point School, and Union Memorial School.  Plus, all elementary students will receive a free ice cream cone!

 

red-cross-blood-drive.png

National Honor Society Blood Drive
Wednesday, May 17th
Colchester High School Gym

The need for blood is always high, consider donating during the National Honor Society Blood Drive at CHS. It’s open from 9:00 am -2:00 pm, you can make an appointment by emailing Deborah.Deschamps@colchestersd.org or logging onto your Red Cross account at www.redcrossblood.org.

 

240_F_59128133_oR9tmpH2H5UBx10r0jbSpPNUbw7ZSxH6.jpg
Final Band & Chorus Concerts

District Wide

Mark your calendars for the final CSD music events of the year. All of the performances are free and open to the public.

May 10 – CMS Spring Choral Concert, 7 pm in the CHS Performing Arts Center.

  • The CMS Spring Choral Concert theme is “Musicals through the Years.” Each of the three choirs (6th, 7th/8th, and Select Choir) will be singing pieces from popular musicals of today and the past.

May 11 – MBS 3rd and 4th-grade Concert, 6 pm (3rd grade); 7 pm (4thgrade) at MBS
May 17 – MBS 5th grade Band and Chorus Concert, 6:30 pm in the CHS Performing Arts Center

  • The MBS concerts will demonstrate the growth of these young performers and ensembles over the school year.

May 17 – CMS Spring Band Concert, 7 pm at CMS

  • The CMS Spring Band Concert theme is “Up in the Air,” featuring songs about the wind, sky, stars and beyond. The Concert will include performances by the 6th and 7th/8th-grade bands as well as the Jazz band.

May 24 – CHS Choral Pops Concert, 7 pm in the CHS Performing Arts Center
May 30 – CHS Band Pops Concert, 7 pm in the CHS Performing Arts Center

  • The CHS Choral and Band Pops Concerts will feature performances by all the band and choral ensembles. As the school’s final public performances of the year, the seniors will also be recognized. Friends of Colchester Music (FCM) will host a reception for the CHS band and choral students and their families after each of the Pops Concerts.

Friends of Colchester Music (FCM) will be selling DVDs and flowers at all events (except for the MBS May 11 and May 17 concerts). DVDs are $5 each and must be ordered and paid for at the event. Money from the sale of flowers and DVDs raise much needed funds for CSD music students throughout the district. FCM helps support the CSD music programs with donations of instruments and concert attire, financial aid and class trips, festival fees, and scholarships.For more information, visit www.friendsofcolchestermusic.com.

 

ab.PNG

Author Visit
Thursday and Friday, June 1-2
Union Memorial School

If you have a child at UMS, they’ll be visiting with author and illustrator, Abbie Bowker. Along with her passion for art, she’s a local teacher! You can learn more about Abbie and her books on her website.

Posted in General

CHS Students Win Awards at SkillsUSA Competition

Several Colchester High School students won medals at the Vermont SkillsUSA state competition held at the beginning of April. Three CHS students won gold and will be competing in the national competition in Kentucky this June.

image (2)SkillsUSA is a career and technical student organization serving more than 360,000 high school and college students who are enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations.

All of the students who participated in the competition attend the Center for Technology Essex (CTE), which provides comprehensive technical programs including career exploration, preparation, and technical literacy.

Gold medal winner and image (1) (1)CHS junior, Jessica Bortz, says CTE is a great fit for her learning style. “It’s a very hands-on school that gives you skills that a regular high school wouldn’t be able to give you.” She said winning the promotional bulletin board category with her two teammates was exhilarating. “It was like getting the air knocked out of you. It was hard to breathe as all three of us walked to the podium. The feeling of having a gold medal around our necks was proof that we could do it.”

The categories of competition varied from 3D animation to commercial banking, firefighting, dental assisting, interactive game design, cosmetology and over a dozen more.

CHS junior, Alex Cardosi, won gold in the web page design category. “I worked with my partner Ryan Witham to create a website based on the assignment we were given the day of competition. In this case, it was to recreate the Mimmo’s website.” You can visit the winning site by clicking here.

MimmosAlex said he enjoyed working as a team. “It allowed me to have a lower workload and focus on the aspects that I wanted to work on, while my partner could work on the aspects he enjoyed.”

As for winning first place, Alex and his teammate are thrilled. “I’m mostly looking forward to being able to compete with people from all over the country at Nationals. I’m curious to see how Ryan and I can hold up against the best.”

image (3)Classmate Alicia Tebeau-Sherry also won gold at the state competition, although her category could not have been more different than Alex’s. She competed in the medical terminology contest which involved an 80-question timed test covering medical terminology, abbreviations, and other medical concepts. She said that the preparation required a lot of memorization. “After I found out I won, I was surprised, but also very excited. I was proud of myself because all the studying had paid off!”uvm alicia blood

All three of the gold medal winners will travel to Kentucky to compete in the National Competition. All of us here at CSD offer our congratulations and wish them good luck!

Here’s the full list of CHS winners:
Chris Adkins, Silver in Information Technology
Jessica Bortz, Gold in Promotional Bulletin Board
Hailey Blondin, Bronze in Customer Service
Alex Cardosi, Gold in Web Page Design
James Irish, Silver in Interactive Game Design
Alicia Tebeau-Sherry, Gold in Medical Terminology
Savanah Tebeau-Sherry, Silver Medal in Advertising Design and T-Shirt Design

Posted in General

CSD’s Drama Clubs Take on the Classics

Colchester School District has two major productions running in back to back weeks. First up this weekend is Beauty and the Beast by the CHS drama club. Next week, CMS will perform Alice in Wonderland.chs cast

For both clubs, this will be their first drama production in the newly removed Performing Arts Center. Throughout the summer and fall construction crews worked tirelessly to update and replace everything from the seating and curtains to the lighting and sound boards.

“This truly has been a community effort,” says CHS English Teacher and Theater DirecCHS_BeautynBeast_Lopez_Houletor
Amanda Hughes. “Colchester voters approved the use of bond funds that enabled us to make major renovations and turn the theater into a great resource for the entire community…we also invited community members to be involved in the making of this production, helping us with set design and building, promotion efforts, and even the choreography.”

Glen Wallace is the drama coach for the 25 middle school cast members taking on Alice in Wonderland. “The new light and sound capabilities are going to bring a whole new realm of possibilities and professionalism to the show, and everybody will notice an immediate difference in quality,” said Wallace. “We are all extremely excited to be in the renovated space at the high school.”

 

In both productions, student involvement has been key both on stage and behind the scenes. Wallace says aside from providing the tools and supplies, the kids did it all. “It was my goal to have the production be as entirely student-driven as possible. This means that my crew made up of about 12 students, designed everything, sets, props, and costumes, and made the majority of items as well.”

As the students try to shake out opening night jitters, their teachers have full confidence in their abilities. “I couldn’t be more proud of the students that have chosen to dedicate so many hours over so many months to this musical. There’s a chance for individuals to shine, as well as a cohesive group effort that can be found in few places other than the performing arts” said Wallace.CHS small group

Here’s the when and where to catch the shows and support our young performers:

CHS: Beauty and the Beast
Friday, April 14 at 7:30 pm 
Saturday, April 15 at 2 pm
Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 pm 
Tickets cost $5 each (all ages) and can be purchased at the door or online at Eventbrite.

CMS: Alice in Wonderland
Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 pm
Friday, April 21 at 6:30 pm
Tickets cost $3 for children and seniors and $5 for adults

Posted in General

How a Kindergarten Class Bought a Goat (and Why!)

 

Allbee Classroom 2

It all started with a book.

“The thing with teaching kindergarteners is, it doesn’t often go according to plan,” explained Porters Point Teacher, David Allbee. “I’ll have planned something and I’ve planned it really well, and all of a sudden I have to adjust my plan because their interest is so great in a certain subject. So, I have to be quick on my feet. This project came about in that sort of way.”

After spending some time with these energetic and imaginative kindergarteners, it is notEsther Gray and Ava Viens Reading a Book hard to understand what he is talking about. Especially when the timing of the visit falls on St. Patrick’s Day and the class just finished making leprechaun traps. However, all you have to do is mention the names Beatrice, Katjie, or Goat Lady, and they will proudly switch gears.

“She sold her goats to the same project that Beatrice got her goat, and that’s where we’re going to get our goats!” explained kindergartner, Esther Gray.

Beatrice is the main character in a book by Page McBrier called Beatrice’s Goat. The children’s storybook is based on the true account of Beatrice Biira, an impoverished Ugandan girl whose life is transformed by the gift of a goat from the nonprofit world hunger organization Heifer International.

booksPrior to Beatrice, the class read Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming. They thoroughly enjoyed the story of two girls from separate countries who bounded over sending each other packages. The Goat Lady by Jane Bregoli came last. It tells the story of an elderly woman who sent her extra goats to the Heifer Project so they could distribute them to those in need, like Beatrice.

“I specifically chose a few books that had international themes because I have kids in my class from other countries who have moved to this country,” said Allbee. “The connection between the characters in the books were that people were helping each other across international lines. People were sending aid to different countries and friendships grew out of that.”

It wasn’t long before the students started making their own connections, both between the books and within their own lives. They began thinking about how they could help other kids like Beatrice.

Allbee Classroom 1“Beatrice had to work so hard, and then some nice people got her a goat. Then she had to take care of the goat to get money and then she went to school,” exclaimed kindergartener Praydence Handridge.

“It really exposed the kids to the idea that we’re really privileged to go to school in Colchester and that public education is funded here. It also gave them an appreciation of what they have,” said Allbee.

After some brainstorming, the students decided they would make and sell bracelets to raise money to buy a goat through the Heifer Project.

“We introduced the idea to the parents and before we knew it, kids were hawking bracelets at their family birthday parties and holding their aunts and uncles accountable,” laughed Albee. “The money started rolling in, and it was more than I expected!”Books and Bracelets

Friends Praydence Handridge and Madden McMahon were thrilled at how much money the class raised. “We raised so much money we got enough for two goats and some chicks! And people can have milk. They can sell milk for good food so they can survive and they can sell it to get money to go to school,” they said.

The idea behind the Heifer Project is that any offspring produced by a Heifer animal will be gifted to other families. “They [the Heifer Project] helped her. These people give things to other people, and we teamed up with them!” said classmate Nichael Sharma.

“I think the most impressive thing is that somebody can make a difference. One little thing that a child can do, can create an avalanche of good deeds,” said Allbee.

If you would like to find out more information on how to donate to the Heifer Project, visit their website at www.heifer.org.

To watch a video of this story, visit Colchester School District’s Facebook page or website.

Posted in General

Colchester Senior Wins Trip to DC

Ryan Arel, a senior at Colchester High School, was named the first-place winner in the Vermont Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 2016-17 Voice of Democracy audio-essay contest. The annual event encourages high school students to write speeches and essays based on democratic and patriotic themes. Click here to read Ryan’s winning essay.

img_0247
Ryan in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships. The first-place winner from each state wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. This unique opportunity is designed to foster patriotism by allowing students the opportunity to voice their opinion.

After winning the local district with his submission titled “My Responsibility to America”, Ryan was invited to a banquet at Post 782 in Burlington recognizing the top three finalists in Vermont. He left that ceremony having received the top honor for Vermont and the opportunity to represent the state in Washington, D.C.

Ryan says writing this essay helped him to focus on his own values. “It’s important for all of us to really reflect on our true value; reflect on bigger picture ideas; reflect on what we define as right and wrong.”

As for the trip to DC? He says it went very well. “After writing this piece and spending time with people from all across the country, I can safely say that regardless of all our differences, I’ve learned how to get along with people from all different backgrounds a little better than before,” Ryan said.

Posted in General

Join the Fun at the Colchester Winter Carnival

The 34th An2017-wc-logonual Colchester Winter Carnival is coming up on February 3, 4, & 5 at the Colchester High School!  This year’s theme is “Around the World,” and will include a Passport Contest where you can pick up your passport at the entrance on Saturday and learn about the many cultures of the world as you enjoy the attractions and performances.  Collect all of the stamps and you could win a prize.  And don’t forget about the annual Colchester’s Got Talent show on Friday night!  Come out and cheer on your friends and neighbors as they perforimg_0027m their talents on stage.  Skip the lines and purchase your tickets early at the locations listed below, or get your admission bracelet at the Info Booth on the day of the event.
Admission bracelets are $7.00 each (ages two and under free) and include entry to almost every attraction and performance during the whole weekend.  See below for a complete schedule of events.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Visit http://colchestervt.gov/WinterCarnival or follow our event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ColchesterRec for more details and updates.

34th ANNUAL COLCHESTER WINTER CARNIVAL SCHEDULE

*All events at Colchester High School, unless noted

Friday, February 3, 2017

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM                 Winter Carnival Information Booth

6:00 PM – 8:30 PM  COLCHESTER’S GOT TALENT – A COMMUNITY TALENT SHOW

Saturday, February 4, 2017

8:30 AM – 11:00 AM              Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast (additional fee)

9:30 AM – 3:15 PM                Winter Carnival Information Booth

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Passport Contest

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Laser Tag with Colchester Paintball

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Chair Massages with Krista Wilbur

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Horse Drawn Hay Rides

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Marc Hughes Caricatures

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Pirate Dan

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              The Big Blue Trunk

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              Arts & Crafts Room

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              Playdough Extravaganza

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              Inflatable Obstacle Course

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              Pony Rides

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              Face Painting with Face Mania!

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              Henna Tattoos

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM              SNOWZILLA!!! – OUTSIDE

10:30 AM                                Chili Contest (additional fee)

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM           PERFORMANCE: Jon Gailmor

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Food Concessions (additional fee)

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Balloon Animals with the Gratto Family Stilt Walkers

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM              Sugar on Snow & Maple Cotton Candy

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM              Fat Bike Demos with Malletts Bay Bicycle & Ski Shop

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM               PERFORMANCE: Studio 3 Dance Company

Sunday, February 5, 2017

12:20 PM – 2:05 PM               Open Skate with CPD Officers (Leddy Park, Burlington)


Winter Carnival Bracelets: $7.00 per bracelet

Children Ages 2 & Under FREE!

Purchase Bracelets at:

* Biben’s ACE Hardware

* Burnham Memorial Library

* Colchester Parks & Recreation

* Mazza’s General Store


HIGHLIGHTS!

SNOWZILLA * THE ONLY ONE IN THE UNITED STATES OR CANADA!

This inflatable toboggan slide is made for adults and children. This is a massive attraction simulating a slide down a snow-covered hill. Riders slide down on their snow pants for a fast ride to the bottom of this 35-foot tall slide. And it’s the only one in the United States! It has tremendous WOW factor!

THESE ACTIVITIES ARE AN ADDITIONAL FEE THAT IS NOT INCLUDED WITH THE BRACELET ENTRY.

Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast                                               8:30 -11:00 AM

The Lion’s Club of Colchester will be hosting the Pancake Breakfast.  What a way to get the day off to a great start!   $3.00 under six years of age, $5.00 over 6 years of age, maximum of $15 per family of 4.  Location: CHS Cafeteria.

Chili Contest                                                                              10:30 AM

Think you have the best chili in town? Well then, test your chili against your neighbor, and most importantly help support Blue Star Mothers of Vermont (BSMVT) by signing up. BSMVT is a non-profit 501(c)3 Veterans Service Organization whose mission is to support and advocate for our Soldiers and Veterans while also being dedicated to honoring and assisting families of our Fallen. $15.00 to enter with all proceeds going to BSMVT. The top 3 will win a trophy & bragging rights. Stop by the Colchester Parks & Recreation Office to sign up or download a Chili Contest Entry Form from the Parks & Rec website (http://colchestervt.gov/WinterCarnival) or at http://www.bluestartmothersofvermont.org.  Registration Deadline 1/28. Location: CHS, Cafeteria.

fb-header

 

Posted in General

CHS Students Travel to DC for the Presidential Inauguration

Last night, CHS staff and families gathered in excitement for the send-off of the “Election 2016” class as they depart from Colchester, VT and travel to Washington, DC to attend the inauguration ceremony for the 45th President of the United States.

dsc_8327

dsc_8324This trip is the culmination of an after-school elective course called “Election 2016” which allowed students to conduct in-depth research surrounding the 2016 campaign season and the electoral process. There was significant interest in the course and the 15 students who were ultimately invited to participate were chosen through a highly competitive application process. Throughout the first semester, students were responsible for writing their own research questions and conducting ongoing research related to the election.dsc_8325

All three local news outlets were there to capture the send-off. They interviewed the students and their parents about the class, the knowledge they gained about the democratic process, and their excitement surrounding the 4 day trip to DC.

Although the Inauguration is the focal point of the trip, the group plans to see much of the city. They’ll be visiting the White House, Ford’s Theatre, Museum of African American History and Culture, Arlington National Cemetery, Library of Congress, Supreme Court, Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Complex, take guided tours of the National Cathedral and Capitol Hill grounds, and see many of the major monuments (Korean and Vietnam War Memorials; Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King monuments).

dsc_8333

For most of the class, this will be their first time visiting the nation’s capital.

Posted in General

Performing Arts Center Opens for School and Community Use

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.

dsc_8196-2

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.

dsc_8185
Amy Minor, Superintendent

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.

czrwmwvxcaabq_0
Colchester Community Chorus

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.

.