Posted in Colchester High School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Student Spotlight, Videos

Calculus in the Classroom at Malletts Bay School (Contains Video!)

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.

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Other Important Information, Programs, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

A Hands-On Approach to Life Beyond the Classroom (Contains Video)

As we’ve mentioned before, arguably, one of the main purposes of education is to prepare students for life beyond the classroom—the component of daily living that involves supporting one’s self by means of employment.

Colchester Middle School recently hosted its annual Career Carnival, granting students the opportunity to engage in a number of college- and career-related conversations and activities. Please click here for a video of a day in the life of Colchester School District, which includes footage from the Career Carnival.

With the goal of connecting school and skill sets to students’ lives beyond graduation, the event was designed to demonstrate the vast opportunities awaiting the students and the ways in which those various opportunities combine to make a community and an economy thrive.

A committee championed by CMS’s Kara Pawlusiak that included teachers, parents, and engaged community members organized the event (as is affirmed by the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which specifically encourages community involvement in our schools). Community representatives from an array of industries supported the effort, providing career-oriented, hands-on activities and real-world challenges in order to demonstrate what their jobs actually entail.

The 2014 Career Carnival presenters spanned an immense variety of career fields:

Culinary
Chef Christine Frost from the Essex Cook Academy

culinary 3_s

Communications
Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading with WCAX
Brent Hallenbeck with the Burlington Free Press

WCAX's Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading offered a presentation about communications to students
WCAX’s Keith McGilvery and Jennifer Reading offered a presentation about communications to students

The Arts
Abby Manock
Andy Duback with Duback Photography
Libby Davidson with Starflower Studio

art 3_s

Fitness
Danielle Vardakas-Ducko with Honest Yoga
Jen Barden with Spotlight on Dance
Sarah DeGray with REV Cycling Studio

Animals
Wendy Sorrell with the UVM Extension’s 4-H and Youth
Dr. Nancy Frantz with Milton Veterinary Hospital
Joan Powell and Sam Bigger with the Farmhouse Center

Lola the therapy dog pitches in
Lola the therapy dog pitches in

Health and Wellness
Dan Curry with Appletree Bay Physical Therapy
Jessica Barrow with Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center
Dr. Thomas Ruescher with Timberlane Dental Group
Dr. Jessica Stadtmauer with Mountain View Natural Medicine

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Mark Lagerquist and Bob Zwonik with IBM

Information Technology
Ed Booth

Law and Public Safety
Jeffery Fontaine with the Colchester Police Department
Michelle Bourgeois with Colchester Rescue
Attorney Matt Shagam

The US Border Patrol landed a helicopter on the CMS/MBS green, much to the delight of the amassed crowd
The US Border Patrol landed a helicopter on the CMS/MBS green, much to the delight of the amassed crowd

CMS_helicopter2s

Marketing and Advertising
Peter Mitchell and Jordan Carrell with Burton Snowboards
Lindsey LaCross with WPTZ

Banking and Finance
Betty Koshinsky with People’s United Bank
Trish Phelps with Vermont Federal Credit Union

Building Design and Construction
Jason Lavoie and Austin Chagnon with Lavoie Plumbing and Heating
Matt Pinard with Pinard Electric
Tricia Roy with Smith Alvarez Sienkiewycz Architects

Career Carnival_s

Tech Programs and Military
Center for Technology, Essex
Pilot Philip Small with the Army National Guard
Garrett Greer and Seth Fiore with the Department of Homeland Security

Carnival1_s

Auto and Aviation
Keith Schnabel with MasterTech Automotive
Rick Sylvester and students with Burlington Technical Center’s Aviation program

To learn more about what Colchester School District offers to help prepare students for their careers, please click here to read our primer about it, and be sure to check out an article about it in the May 2014 issue of Currently Colchester.

Many thanks to all of the community volunteers who helped to make this event possible!

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, District Office, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Porters Point School, Student Spotlight, Union Memorial School, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Introducing CSD’s Very Own YouTube Channel! (Contains Videos)

We are pleased to announce the formal launch of Colchester School District’s YouTube channel.

Please click here to access it—there are already nearly fifty videos spanning several years!

We have a wide variety of communications avenues, and video is an important component in our outreach efforts.

Here are some favorites from the current video collection:

The MBS 2013 walk-to-school event

Union Memorial School 2013 teamwork with Tuberville

A particularly inviting physical education class

The 2013 Malletts Bay School and Colchester Middle School Back-to-School BBQ

A lesson in water conservation at Porters Point School

What makes Colchester proud?

Circle of Courage visits Malletts Bay School

The Colchester High School Hour of Code event

Colchester Middle School’s partnership with the Vermont Children’s Hospital

Colchester School District is working hard to enhance frequent and meaningful communications with the community. We invite you to have an inside peek into your community’s schools and the opportunities offered to Colchester’s young people within them. And we encourage you to share the videos with your friends and neighbors!

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Other Important Information, Programs, Student Spotlight, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

CHS Student to Compete in National Competition in Kansas City … and More About Career Readiness Training (Contains Video!)

A Colchester champion is ready to take on fellow champions from around the nation in Kansas City, Missouri, at the end of June!

CHS student Raymond Donnelly, Jr., a Colchester High School senior who is enrolled in courses at Burlington Technical Center (BTC), won a bronze medal for collision repair and a gold medal for auto refinishing at the March 29 SkillsUSA competition. Donnelly competed against fifteen other talented students from all around the state and made an impressive showing, earning him the right to compete against other gold medalists from all across the country later this year.

Colchester's Raymond Donnelly, Jr. at Burlington Technical Center following his receipt of gold and bronze medals in the March 29 SkillsUSA competition
Colchester’s Raymond Donnelly, Jr. at Burlington Technical Center following his receipt of gold and bronze medals in the March 29 SkillsUSA competition

The annual SkillsUSA event required a great deal of support from area organizations, including Direct Auto Body, Shearer Chevrolet, Rotunda’s Auto Body, Progressive Insurance, State Farm Insurance, and Enterprise, all of which contributed funding, volunteers, and/or event space. SkillsUSA, founded in 1965, focuses on excellence in job training and in citizenship. Ed Companion, an auto body instructor with BTC, said of Donnelly, “He’s a great kid—very deserving. He’s an excellent student; I can’t say enough good about him.”

Donnelly was not the only Colchester student to achieve recognition in the event. CHS senior and second-year BTC welding student Jordan Darrt participated in the SkillsUSA welding competition against seventeen other competitors from around the state and won the bronze medal. The all-day event was held at the Advanced Welding Institute (AWI) in South Burlington.

CHS senior and second-year BTC welding student Jordan Darrt won a bronze medal in the competition
CHS senior and second-year BTC welding student Jordan Darrt won a bronze medal in the welding competition

And 2013 CHS graduate Nicholas Scibek, a post-secondary aviation student at BTC, earned a gold medal in the post-secondary aviation maintenance technology competition.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, arguably, one of the main purposes of education is to prepare students for life beyond the classroom—the component of daily living that involves supporting one’s self by means of employment. Certainly, the skills developed through the study of varied subject matters and disciplines plays a significant role in that. There are a number of programs and initiatives in place at CSD that are geared specifically toward assisting students with the nuts and bolts of planning for their future careers. From College and Career Week at CMS to facilitating exposure to a number of growing sustainability-focused employment fields and from providing interactive, work-related experiences in our community to championing career preparedness through extracurricular offerings, a lot of work is being done in these efforts.

At the Center for Technology—Essex (CTE) in 2012, a group of female students from Colchester Middle School got to roll up their sleeves and try out educational programs that are considered by the US Department of Labor to be “nontraditional” for females (which it defines as occupations “in which women comprise 25 percent or less of total employment”). The event—dubbed “Girls Can Too!”—was designed to encourage young women to consider the vast educational and career opportunities available to them in areas they might not otherwise necessarily even know about. The students had an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities pertaining to careers in engineering and architectural design, computer sciences, building technologies, computer animation and web design, automotive technologies, natural resources, and agri-science technologies.

Chainsaws! Heavy equipment! Pneumatic impact wrenches! Circular saws! It was a pretty exciting day.

Click here to see a video clip of the students in action.

To read our primer about college and career readiness planning at CSD, please click here.

The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017’s pathways include High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners; Learning Outside Our Four Walls; and Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners. Skills training opportunities such as these well complement the vision and strategic plan.

For more information about career planning at CSD, please contact any of your schools, or call our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Colchester Middle School, General, Programs, Videos

VYP Comes to CMS (Contains Video)!

Colchester Middle School enjoyed a very special treat on April 8—the Vermont Youth Philharmonia (VYP) Orchestra performed for them!

Members of the Vermont Youth Philharmonia performing at Colchester Middle School on April 8
Members of the Vermont Youth Philharmonia performing at Colchester Middle School on April 8

The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association (VYOA) connected with CMS to organize an opportunity to offer younger students exposure to orchestral music.

“It was an amazing performance opportunity for our developing instrumentalists at CMS,” said Emily Desautels, CMS’s instrumental music director. “There are several musicians here who could and should audition for the VYOA ensembles but just didn’t know enough about it or hadn’t had a chance to hear a live orchestra. The VYP includes many of our recent CMS students; seeing their former classmates perform and hearing the music live may encourage our current students to audition.”

The Vermont Youth Philharmonia’s Dr. Yutaka Kono addresses CMS students
The Vermont Youth Philharmonia’s Dr. Yutaka Kono addresses CMS students

Dr. Yutaka Kono, conductor for the VYP and an assistant professor of music at the University of Vermont, frequently addressed the CMS students, and VYO senior soloist Eileen O’Grady performed Fritz Kreisler’s “Praeludium and Allegro” as part of the special assembly.

 VYO senior soloist Eileen O’Grady performed Fritz Kreisler's "Praeludium and Allegro" for CMS students
VYO senior soloist Eileen O’Grady performed Fritz Kreisler’s “Praeludium and Allegro” for CMS students

Please click here to watch a brief video about the VYP’s performance at CMS.


The VYP’s performance was inspiring and will undoubtedly encourage additional CSD students to consider incorporating music education into their repertoires. Already, more than 450 Colchester School District students district-wide include band and choral curriculum in their studies, providing them with a well-rounded educational experience and offering them a host of benefits associated with music education.

For more information, please call CMS at (802) 264-5800, or e-mail desautelse@csdvt.org.

caption here
Members of the Vermont Youth Philharmonia performing for CMS

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Student Spotlight, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

Student Leaders Address Community Leaders (Contains Video!)

Student leaders from both Malletts Bay School and Colchester Middle School addressed the Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton on March 20 at the Hampton Inn.

To watch a short video highlighting the event, please click here.

Students leaders from MBS and CMS, along with their principals, following their presentations to the Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton
Students leaders from MBS and CMS, along with their principals, following their presentations to the Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton

Each of the students spoke about why they were motivated to organize a student leadership community service project, what they learned from organizing the project, and how they envision themselves using those skills in the future.

MBS students chosen to address the rotary club were as follows:

Tyler Roberge, speaking about his Pop for a Cure project
Isabella Seissen, speaking about the Big Change Roundup
Basma Yahya, speaking about the Pint-Sized Heroes project

CMS students chosen to discuss student engagement and leadership at CMS were as follows:

The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 speaks to, among other pursuits, High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners; Learning Outside Our Four Walls; and Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners.

For more information about the MBS and/or CMS students’ projects, please call MBS at (802) 264-5900 or CMS at (802) 264-5800.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Budgets, Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, District Office, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Personnel, Porters Point School, Town of Colchester, Union Memorial School, Videos

Video Featuring Our Community Members and An Update from the Town of Colchester

Many thanks to the ever-increasing numbers of community members who participate in the annual community dinner before the Colchester School District and the Town of Colchester’s annual meetings. To view a video containing some of the highlights of the March 3 gathering, please click here.

  • Would you like a quick recap of the Town Meeting Day results and how you can offer feedback?
  • Would you like information about an upcoming free breakfast event?
  • Want to know what will be constructed on the site of the old Friendly’s Restaurant at Exit 16?

Please click here to find out more—access the Town of Colchester’s update for the week ending March 7, 2014.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Other Important Information, Programs, Student Spotlight, Videos

Who Wouldn’t Want to Read Books After Seeing These?

A lot of us didn’t have access to opportunities like these when we were growing up.

We recently published a Spotlight article discussing Chromebooks and some of the ways in which they bolster educational opportunities for students in your schools. In that article, we discussed how CSD students in grades 6–8 have explored a wide variety of Google applications using Chromebooks, collaborating—in real time—on writing tasks with their classmates and even with virtual classmates from all around the world, conducting research for argumentative or informational essays, completing differentiated study in science, and completing skills assessments in mathematics.

Recently, seventh- and eighth-grade students developed book trailers—designed to hook potential readers—as part of their Language Arts coursework using Chromebooks and free Google account tools like MoveNote, WeVideo, YouTube, Powtoon, Google Slides, and Google Docs. Some students also linked Animoto clips to their book trailers’ introductions.


Please click here to watch CMS seventh grader Jackie Palaza’s book trailer about The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Please click here to watch CMS seventh grader Abby Palaza’s book trailer about The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen.

Even Assistant Principal Dovid Yagoda got in on the movie trailer scene with the students; please click here to watch his book trailer about Jinx by Sage Blackwood.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B79Xgw7gCWIbM2VNc3NoQXUzVVE/edit?pli=1


These embedded technology practices in curriculum are taking place right now in your classrooms, providing educators with the opportunity to guide students in appropriate expectations as digital citizens—true real-world practice and preparation for college and career readiness.

Furthermore, such work fosters opportunities for students to connect their reading ideas and thoughts with readers beyond their classrooms’ walls … and differentiated choices allow students to create work that matches their book recommendations with a technology readiness level as they bring their text discussion to life with audio and video features.

The FY 2015 budget includes funding to procure a Chromebook for each student in grades 7 and 8 and a laptop for each student in grade 9 to support academics in the core areas of science, social studies, and language arts.

Questions? Comments? Please contact Colchester Middle School at (802) 264-5800, or call our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999. We want to hear from you!

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Community, Currently Colchester, District Office, General, Other Important Information, Town of Colchester, Videos

February 2014 Currently Colchester Published Today

The February 2014 edition of the Currently Colchester publication is scheduled to arrive in Colchester households today; many Colchester residents can look for it as part of the Colchester Sun, while those who do not receive the Colchester Sun should receive Currently Colchester as a stand-alone publication.

To view the February 2014 issue of Currently Colchester in electronic format, please click here.


Special reminder: have you seen this mini-film yet?


As a friendly reminder, Currently Colchester is designed to offer news and information relating to your school district and your town government in a format that is accessible to all residents, including those without convenient access to the Internet. We continue to strongly encourage our community members to access information about CSD and the Town of Colchester through our regularly updated electronic communications methods; we are working hard to provide a wide variety of avenues through which community members can receive information, including:

The Colchester School Board encourages community participation at their meetings; in fact, the board’s agenda solicits comments from the community at every meeting. (Join them at Colchester High School on the first and third Tuesday of each month beginning at 7:00 p.m. (You can also watch them on Lake Champlain Access Television.)

Can’t make the school board meetings? Click here to submit a question (or e-mail SchoolBoardQuestions@csdvt.org) and enter your contact information and question. During the meeting on the third Tuesday of every month, the school board will review the top questions and themes submitted.

We also host and encourage participation in numerous community events in all of your schools throughout the year to foster the collaborative spirit that is so essential to academic excellence.

The Colchester Selectboard meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Colchester Meeting House on Main Street, and LCATV also airs its meetings.

Remember, we can better tailor our communications with our community when we better understand what our community needs. We hope to encourage dialogue that allows us to be proactive and that enhances our collaboration. Please send us your comments and suggestions to csdwebmaster@csdvt.org.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Accountability, Budgets, Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, District Office, General, Grants, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Personnel, Porters Point School, Programs, Union Memorial School, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

IMPORTANT! Introducing a Must-See Mini-Film

We think you’re really going to want to see this mini-film.

An engaging inside tour of your schools … surprising facts about school funding … a helpful discussion about what the budget might mean for you …

Please click here to watch the film.

This film is also streaming on LCATV; you may click here to view it, or tune into LCATV’s Channel 16 to catch one of its ongoing showings.

We are working hard to make the Colchester School District FY 2015 budget information as widely available and accessible as possible. We ask everyone to review the budget materials, ask questions, and generate dialogue as you consider your vote.

All of this information can also be found on Colchester School District’s website. You may also call our administrative offices at (802) 264-5999 or stop in at 125 Laker Lane to request copies of the materials and ask questions.

We are working to continue the critically important work of strengthening our schools and our community. Please vote on Tuesday, March 4.

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.