A Final Note from Francie

On Monday the 8th graders will graduate. All week they have been presenting their graduation portfolios organized around the Marlboro Realms of Learning: Problem Solving, Communication, Civic and Social Responsibility, Personal Development, and Knowledge. I learn so much about each of these students as they reflect on their learning and the work they’ve done at Marlboro School. They are well prepared for their next step. Ben, Samantha, Jordan, Lilly, and Sloan will go on to Brattleboro Union High School; Forrest and Nieve head off to the Compass School; and Merou and Broden will attend the Putney School. Congratulations and best wishes to the 8th grade class!
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Note from Francie June 2, 2017

As we get closer to the end of the school year students continue to learn by doing and demonstrating that learning in many ways. Here’s a peek into each classroom!


    • Kindergarten – Chicken eggs will hatch next week. This miracle reinforces all the hard work students have been doing as they turn the eggs and check the temperature every day.
    • Primary – Students are demonstrating reading fluency and proficiency with Readers Theater performances for other classes. They also celebrated their work with Ann Gengarelly in a Poetry Reading.
    • North EL – Students are making clay boats and using the data they’ve gathered to learn about math concepts such as mean, median, and mode. math activity. More math is involved as they learn geometry to help them plan the planting of the garden.
    • South EL – As part of a unit on the Odyssey, students are creating dioramas and writing opinion pieces to address the question, “Is Odysseus a hero?”
    • Junior High – In preparation for graduation students are culling their work folders, adding to their portfolio binders, and beginning to work on their reflections. Next Thursday the 8th graders will go to the Town House in the evening to share their most polished writing pieces.


For Art and Music, the Spring Concert and Art Show, June 6, 6:30pm will be the culmination of a year’s worth of work. I look forward to seeing you there!   ~  Francie

Note from Francie 5/26/17

Teacher Appreciation Week is a wonderful thing! Thanks to all of you who have contributed in ways large and small. Every morning we’ve been surprised by a table full of delicious goodies – and today we’re looking forward to having lunch together in the library with P&F providing supervision coverage for recess and classrooms and more yummy food. It’s a great way to end the week.

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Note from Francie 5/19/17

Spring is the season for stepped up Outside Works at Marlboro School! The South EL trip last week is a great example. Kudos to staff members Gary Keiser, Andrea Howe, Nancie Schwartz Angell, and Erik Schickedanz, and parent chaperones, Emily Walsh, Forrest Holzapfel, and Tara Brown! The three main activities took us all over Vermont – to Fort Ticonderoga, VINS, and the Montshire where we learned about history, natural history, and engineering! These activities were great, but an unexpected bonus to the trip was our time in Tunbridge. Andrea has lots of family there and, thanks to her, we were offered amazing hospitality. One of her cousins is the president of the Tunbridge World’s Fairgrounds and he worked it out for us to stay in one of the pavilions – a surprisingly comfortable concrete floor! Another cousin is an organic dairy farmer and he invited us to his farm at the end of the evening milking. The kids had a chance to learn about dairying and to meet the cows up close and personal. All in all we learned a lot about many different aspects of Vermont! Continue reading “Note from Francie 5/19/17”

Note from Francie 4/28/17

Dear Families,

It’s been a week full of many emotions and much uncertainty as we learned of the illness of Pamela’s daughter Alice and began to understand what that means for Pamela and Alice and what it means for us.

Pamela and Alice are home now. Intensive treatments for Ewings Sarcoma, a form of cancer, will start in several weeks. If you would like to support them, there is a Meal Train site where you can sign up.  https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/7n260n Continue reading “Note from Francie 4/28/17”

Note from Francie 4/14/17

The Junior High field research trip to Costa Rica was a resounding success! The students were totally engaged, embracing every new experience – walking in the tropical forest, looking for animals and birds

such as monkeys, pizotes, and quetzals; milking cows and learning about the biodigestor that turns their manure into methane for the kitchen stove; viewing bats in a cave and learning about their importance to the ecosystem; visiting an elementary school where the students danced for us and several of our students danced the Sword Dance; sharing a meal in a local home where they were challenged to communicate in Spanish; and topping off the trip with a day at the beach. They learned a lot about the country and the culture, about each other, and about themselves. Continue reading “Note from Francie 4/14/17”

Note from Francie 3/31/17

Last week South EL students presented the independent research they had been working on for weeks. The topics ranged from dirt biking to Benedict Arnold to women’s suffrage to how cats’ eyes work – each student chose something of special interest to them. I was able to sit in on several of the presentations and was impressed by the quality of the slides and the students’ delivery – speaking slowly and clearly with good eye contact. Congratulations, South EL!

Thank you to Gail and Dan MacArthur for hosting North EL for an impromptu visit to their sugarhouse on Thursday. The weather was lovely and they were boiling sap for the last time this season. Gail brought the class over in the bus – another advantage to the school owning busses. Dan explained the whole sugaring process. The students gathered some sap and added it to the sap that was already boiling. Then Gail gave them each a nice taste of the final product – maple syrup! Continue reading “Note from Francie 3/31/17”

Note from Francie 3/23/17

The Basketball Jamboree was a great success. Players and parents enjoying light-hearted competition. Pizza was enjoyed by all. Coaches recognized each of the players and the growth they made during the season. And players and parents expressed appreciation to coaches Will Brooke deBock, Matt Chapman, Shawna Smith, and Amber and John Sinclair. Continue reading “Note from Francie 3/23/17”

Note from Francie

Every few years we ask you to complete a survey to let us know how we’re doing. This year we are combining with the other schools in the Windham Central Supervisory Union. We are using the same survey and will use the Marlboro School results to help us with our Marlboro Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) and will use the WCSU results to inform the Supervisory Union CIP.

Please take a few minutes to complete this 10 item survey.  Marlboro Family Survey  Thanks! The survey window will close on March 25. Continue reading “Note from Francie”

Note from Francie 3/10/17

The plan to merge with Dover and Wardsboro to consolidate school governance was voted down on Tuesday. Discussion was spirited at Town Meeting with a wide range of opinions expressed. Support for maintaining Marlboro’s Junior High and keeping the discussion and vote on the school budget at the Marlboro Town Meeting were key reasons voiced for voting “No”. This also gives us a year to develop the proposal for an alternative structure and to see if the state will accept it. I’ll keep you informed as this work gets started. Continue reading “Note from Francie 3/10/17”

Note from Francie 3/3/17

A full week of school without a snow day – yay! We are back in the swing of things with exciting learning going on in all classes.

Monday will be our last day of Winter Sports. The ice rink will be closed so the skaters can look forward to an afternoon of candlepin bowling in Wilmington. This should be fun as well as a chance to try out a new sport.

Wayne Kermenski, our new principal, will be here on Monday to begin to get to know this wonderful school community. He will attend Sing and, afterwards, I am hosting a Parent Coffee for any of you who are able to join us. I know you‘re eager to meet Wayne, so don’t worry if you can’t make it. We’ll let you know soon regarding the date for an evening meeting with parents. Continue reading “Note from Francie 3/3/17”

Marlboro Elementary School Selects New Principal

Marlboro families, I am absolutely delighted to share this very good news with you. Enjoy the vacation! ~ Francie

The Marlboro School District Board is pleased to announce that they have reached agreement with Wayne Kermenski to become the principal beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. Mr. Kermenski was selected after a thorough process involving a variety of stakeholders. In the Fall, outgoing principal, Francie Marbury, hosted a series of facilitated conversation with students, parents and community members, and the school board to develop a job description for the next principal. Continue reading “Marlboro Elementary School Selects New Principal”

Note from Francie 2/10/17

My apologies for making the wrong call on Thursday morning. The snow came in faster and harder than we anticipated. I appreciate both those of you who entrusted your children to us and those of you who made the decision not to send your children to school. And I ask you to join me in appreciating Andrea and Peter, our bus drivers, who got children to school and home again safely.

The weather has been keeping all of us on our toes. With more snow coming Sunday afternoon we are postponing the CLiF sponsored author’s visit by Jessie Haas until Sunday, March 5,  4pm at the Town House, next to the property with the office building and the port moody condos for sale. Continue reading “Note from Francie 2/10/17”

Note from Francie

It’s been a big week at Marlboro School!

The Winter Instrumental Concert was a treat. Hats off to Michael McKinney and Heather Sommerlad for their work with our students. And hats off to your children for the practice and focus they brought to this performance. I particularly enjoy seeing (hearing!) the progression from our youngest students playing songs that are just one note to the complexity of Louie, Louie and Bach.

By now you should all have received your children’s report cards. As I read the report cards, I learn a lot about your children and their learning. I hope you feel the same. Thanks to the teachers for their hard work and insight. Continue reading “Note from Francie”

Note from Francie 1/27/17

Let’s all hope for good weather next Tuesday! The Winter Instrumental Concert is rescheduled for Tuesday, 6:30pm.

Welcome to Deborah Ayer, our new L’After Site Coordinator. Deborah comes to us with lots of experience working with children. She’s a licensed teacher and has worked as a long term sub in several schools. She’s excited to land here in a permanent position and we’re excited to have her. She can be contacted at l’after@marlboroschool.net.

It’s all about the Year of the Book with three major events this week and next. Karen Hesse, author of many outstanding books for adolescents including Witness, met with Junior High students to discuss this book and to talk about the process she goes through when she’s writing a book. The students were well prepared with questions and comments and they had a lively conversation. Continue reading “Note from Francie 1/27/17”

Note from Francie 1/20/17

Living in Vermont we embrace winter and all the wild weather it can bring. On Wednesday the wet snow made for perfect conditions for snow sculpture building. We divided into our multi age teams, rang the recess bell 15 minutes early, and headed out to the field to create animals of every size and description – sea tortoises, a cat, a sea serpent, and several mythical creatures. At the end we walked around as a whole school as the judges (Ellen and I!) pointed out amazing features of each beast. It’s great to be in a small school where creativity, cooperation, and fun are valued! Continue reading “Note from Francie 1/20/17”

Note from Francie 1/12/17

What a great turn out for the first Act 46 merger and alternative structure informational meetings! Thanks to those of you who came, asked good questions, and stated strong opinions.

Special thanks to the Junior High students who provided childcare so that parents could attend, If you weren’t able to make it, there is a second informational meeting here at Marlboro on February 13 at 6:30. There will also be meetings in Dover on January 19 and February 27 and in Wardsboro on January 23 and February 2. Information about the merger is available online at http://wcsu-committee.blogspot.com/. Information about the merger and the alternative structure is available at the Town Office and the school. And, of course, your neighbors and friends are a great source of information. The vote on the merger will take place by Australian Ballot at the Town Office on March 7. Continue reading “Note from Francie 1/12/17”

Note from Francie 1/6/17

Winter at Marlboro School is always exciting! Between uncertain weather, an ever changing playground, Winter Sports, and other special events we are all kept on our toes.

John Bentley, PE teacher, has put together a fun evening for parents and kids to try out our Climbing Wall on Wednesday, January 18, 6-7:30pm. Everyone is welcome! Please see the attached flyer.

On Tuesday, January 24, 6:30-7:30pm your children will entertain you at the Winter Instrumental Concert. Heather Sommerlad, strings teacher, and Michael McKinney, band teacher, are working with their students to put the finishing touches on the pieces they’ve been learning. All 1st-4th graders and many 5th-8th will be playing. Continue reading “Note from Francie 1/6/17”

Note from Francie 12/16/16

This week provided two excellent opportunities to see demonstrations of what our students are learning: the Winter Concert and Junior High I Project presentations.

How great to see you all at the Winter Concert! We filled the theater and the students gave us a great show. Please join me in thanking Charlene for her inspired work with each class. Practice makes progress and she helped them practice until they were polished and confident. She also helped them choose songs that had real meaning for them. Isaac in South El noted that the songs they were singing fit perfectly with the Declaration of Human Rights which they were studying at the time. The students also demonstrated their learning through the performance. We could see the progression from Kindergarten to Junior High in the sophistication of their performances and their stage presence. And, as icing on the cake, we all enjoyed the concert. Continue reading “Note from Francie 12/16/16”

Note from Francie 12/9/16

Another busy week at Marlboro School – which began on Saturday morning with the CLiF and P&F sponsored Holiday Event. Lots of parents and students came and fun was had by all! Thank you to the CLiF committee, Jess Weitz, Robin MacArthur, and Rochelle Garfinkel, for pulling this event together. Thanks to parents Emily Walsh, Heather Sperling, and Patti Donnelly, and former school parent, Paula Lavender, for leading crafts activities for students. Thanks to Junior High rent-a-kid students Merou, Camilla, Broden, and Jeremiah for providing childcare for kids from 2-12 years old. Thanks to Tyler Gibbons, Althea Holzapfel, and Doug Korb for their excellent book wrapping skills. Continue reading “Note from Francie 12/9/16”

Note from Francie 11/18/16

When we return from the Thanksgiving holiday, we can look forward to a very special event, made possible through our CLiF grant with help from P&F. Today you will receive a personal invitation from your child to attend the MES Holiday Event on Saturday, December 3, 10-12 in the Outback. This event is for the whole family and includes a free breakfast and gift books, a visit with an author, and craft tables. See you there! Continue reading “Note from Francie 11/18/16”