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!

Earlier that same day South EL took a field trip to the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center to do some on site activities with Linda Whelihan. Next week school bus driver Peter Barus will take the Junior High to the Newark airport to depart for their trip to Costa Rica. Our buses get a lot of use!

I will be in Costa Rica with the Junior High from April 5 to April 12. During that time Ellen Martyn will be acting principal and Gail Chaine will work with Andrea, the bus coordinator, to make decisions around bad weather and roads.

Wayne Kermenski, our new principal, enjoyed his visit with parents Tuesday evening. He hopes to spend some time at school later this spring. Thanks to Gretchen Webber and P&F for organizing this meet and greet!

And thanks to 60% of you for taking the Family Survey! We really appreciate the input and will use this as we work on our Continuous Improvement Plan for the coming year.

Another successful Winter Sports season is behind us and I’d like to express great appreciation to the staff and parent chaperones who made it happen: Emily Walsh (and other skiing and snowboarding parents), Kat Ellison, Nancie Angell, Lois Smith, Ben Mousseau, Sarah Lavigne, and Mae Star Salinsky.

Starting next week South EL and North EL will take the SBAC assessment. Although we do not teach to the test, we do our best to prepare students so that they have a positive experience. This year there is added importance to these tests as we work our way through Act 46. The school board is planning to present a proposal for an Alternative Structure. This will require demonstrating that our students are learning and meeting the academic expectations set by the state. Test scores are one way of showing that. Please be sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and encourage them to do their best. Thanks for all your support! ~ Francie