This morning, Colchester High School administered a total of 309 Practice SATs to students in grades 10 and 11 thanks to the VSAC Gear Up Grant. The Practice SAT or PSAT is designed to measure readiness for college, access scholarships, and practice for the SAT. The test is composed of four sections: critical reading, writing skills, and two math sections. It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
Approximately 3.5 million students across the nation take the PSATs to get a feel for the exam and to use their scores to discover what areas they should focus on in advance of taking the SAT.
Typically, families have to cover the exam cost and provide transportation to and from a testing facility on a Saturday. Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, CHS was able to cover the cost for all students and administer the exam right at CHS during the school day. This gave all students, regardless of their ability to pay, the opportunity to prepare for the SAT.
PSAT scores are also used as the qualifying test for entry into the National Merit Scholarships Program. In September, the 16,000 students who scored in the top one percent of the nation were notified that they had qualified as a semifinalist in their state. This year, CHS is proud to have three students among those with the highest scores in Vermont; Charlie Davidson, Megan Lagerquist, and Jacob Dell.
The three CHS semifinalists will be notified in February if they have advanced to the finalist round with a chance to win a National Merit Scholarship worth $2,500.
A stimulating set-up in the CHS art room is inspiring students to tap into their creativity. Art 1 students have been applying concepts and techniques they’ve learned through a series of still life drawings.
In the several weeks since the installation was set up, they’ve had the chance to practice their skills and recently started on their final drawings last week.
Using every bit of space surrounding the 360º set-up, students chose their favorite composition (making sure to include at least 5 objects), and got to work.
With the goal to fill the entire sheet of paper they used viewfinders to help sight and measure the proportions of objects.
Prior to starting the project students learned the basic concepts and vocabulary of still life to include things like: construction, contour, and gesture lines; highlights, grounding an object, and cast shadows. They worked to utilize these techniques throughout their individual compositions.
One of the final requirements of the project asked them to create a fantasy creature or monster who would “live” in their still life drawing. They then drew their monsters in 3D form and added any other features that related to their creature’s environment.
The addition of the creatures promoted the project’s overall objective of reality and observation vs fantasy and imagination. The students should be finishing their drawings within the next week.
If you happen to be in Union Memorial School on Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings, you’ll notice the hallways buzzing with beginner readers.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
On behalf of the Colchester School District we would like to thank the members of our community who participated in the collaborative process to find the next principal of Colchester High School. A selection committee consisting of students, parents, support staff, teachers, administrators, a school board member and other community members screened and interviewed candidates before recommending a finalist to the school board. I would like to extend special thanks to the selection committee, school board, and all individuals who attended the employee and community forums last evening.
CHS is a high-functioning school that requires a candidate who will continue the trajectory of the school. We believe that an effective administrator pushes professional practice and promotes effective classroom and system-wide practices, while always doing what is best for students.
I am extremely pleased to announce that Heather Baron has been selected as the next Colchester High School Principal! Heather was selected as a result of her ability to:
Understand what all learners need in order to be successful
Foster our culture of collaboration and curiosity
Develop and implement a vision for teaching and learning
Build strong relationships with students, staff, families and the community
Build capacity for teacher leadership
Seek out and listen to multiple perspectives
Make informed decisions confidently
Heather currently serves CHS as a science teacher, professional development coordinator and instructional coach. During her 17 years in education she has demonstrated excellence both inside and outside of the classroom. We are certain that she possesses the qualities and the capacity to lead Colchester High School to even greater heights.
Best wishes to Heather and Colchester High School for continued success! Many thanks to all of the community members who participated in the comprehensive principal search process.
On Wednesday, April 8th beginning at 6:15 p.m. Malletts Bay School will sponsor a unique celebration of mathematics, open to the entire community. Entitled “Math and Cookies,” the evening is billed as “a deliciously smart family night.” Participants will learn how community members use math in their occupations. Presenters include Eric Nelson of Eye and I Glass; Leah Chiarmonte of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; computer scientist Tom Bacon; and Sean Parker, meteorologist for local station Fox 44. In addition to the presentations, participants will be able to view displays including “math and quilting” by Town Clerk Karen Richard; “rising nutrient levels in Malletts Bay” by Karen Bates; “math and legos” by Rachel and Mason Alling; and many student displays. The gymnasium will be filled with activities led by fifth grade students who are part of the school’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” student wellness team. Of course, there will be cookies!
This unique event is sponsored by the Malletts Bay School’s “School-Community Council” and the Title I program. To RSVP, please visit the Malletts Bay School home page at http://www.csdvt.org/mbs or call us at 264-5900.
CHS junior Josh Wallis and guidance counselor Bob Hall approached NEFCU about funding to support the launching of a Maker Club at the school in an effort to encourage students’ interest in technology.
What is the maker movement?
Those interested in the maker movement engage in such engineering-related pursuits as robotics and electronics as well as other creative pursuits in which inventing and prototyping are encouraged. At it essence, the maker movement is about learning practical skills and applying them in creative ways. It focuses upon informal, shared learning that encourages fun.
Why is this new program important?
Increasing technology in our schools is a priority affirmed by the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017. At CHS’s Hour of Code event in December (please click here to read more about it and to watch a video featuring our students), students spent one hour in math and science classes writing their own simple computer programs, the impact of which was an increased desire to learn more about coding and to have more access to computer technology. Consequently, CHS saw an immediate upsurge in student interest in taking more computer science classes. The Maker Club aims to further support student interest in technology by utilizing a variety of open-source platforms to create their own projects—from simple computers to advanced electronics projects like micro drones.
For more information, please call CHS at (802) 264-5700.
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Students closely examined a variety of plants arranged in various stations, completing a scavenger hunt and matching specific characteristics of each plant. Palacio-Lopez and Molofsky conducted three separate workshops in MBS’s new outdoor classroom, accommodating all seven fourth-grade classes.
This special presentation aligned with the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which contains a number of important pathways, including “Learning Outside Our Four Walls,” “High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners,” “Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners,” and “Wellness-Oriented, Balanced, and Healthy Learners.”
If you would like more information, please contact MBS Principal Julie Benay at (802) 264-5906 or by e-mail at BenayJ@csdvt.org.
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Colchester High School recently applauded twenty-eight top-honors students at a celebratory banquet in South Burlington, continuing a long and proud tradition honoring students who have maintained academic excellence throughout their high school careers.
The students, celebrated for graduating magna and summa cum laude, were distinguished guests for the special evening, celebrating with a sit-down dinner. Melanie Laquerre, the Vermont health teacher of the year, was the honors banquet keynote speaker. Each honored student was recognized for his or her accomplishments, and all received honor cords to wear during their upcoming graduation ceremony.
The students honored at the special event for their outstanding academic achievements are as follows: