Now that the weather is getting more beautiful by the day, it's really time for our kids to get outside and get active! Today's Showcase is a special treat as we get to spend time in BCEMS Physical Education teacher Jay Baitz's class with a group of kindergarteners! Mr. Baitz and his PE partner Jodi Bushway are doing wonderful things with our youngest learners as they learn to have fun being physically active.
Latest News & Events
For this week's showcase, we have the great pleasure of spending some time in BTMES Math Teacher Glenda Allen's class with her group of 6th graders. Like all of our visits, there is so much to celebrate here, and we hope this brief visit will help you see how our teachers strive to meet the needs of all our kids. Students in this 6th-grade classroom are active participants in their learning and having fun while doing so. Ms. Allen makes it clear that she is working hard to improve her practice and make every student feel welcome, challenged, and successful in her classroom. Even our most veteran teachers are lifelong learners looking to grow and improve!
We are very excited to introduce the brand new Spaulding High School administrative team to the community this week! Please offer a warm welcome to new Co-Principals Luke Aither and Marlon Maylor along with new Assistant Principal Mari Miller to the community! They will be officially starting as a team on July 1.
To read more, please click here.
This week's Showcase comes to us following a recommendation from incoming Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Karen Fredericks, and it will be a different experience than we usually share. For this visit, we get to join BTMES 3rd-grade teacher Merrin Rousseau's reading group for an eyewitness account of how children learn to read. Typically, our goal is to show you a 2-3 minute snapshot of some of the learning opportunities we have for our students across the arts, athletics, and academics. For this, however, we are taking a much deeper look into how students learn to read with a talented teacher and their classmates. This eight-minute clip includes two separate uncut mini-lessons with Ms. Rousseau and two students. This is going to be worth your time!
One thing I've learned in over thirty years as an educator is that the best way to put yourself in a good mood is to visit a Pre-K or Kindergarten class. There is nothing like it! For this week's Showcase, we are visiting the Pre-K programs of BCEMS and BTMES, and I can assure you that you will soon have a smile on your face! We joined BCEMS Pre-K teacher Nancy Benoit and BTMES Pre-K teacher Kelsey LaPerle's classes recently and learned a whole lot about car detailing and the solar system during our visits.
We had a chance to visit Ujamaa math teacher Tana Cosgrove's 7th-grade math class yesterday and witness the students working together on ratios in a math lesson. The kids' engagement was amazing to watch.
What was most impressive about this math lesson was the collaboration I witnessed both between Ms. Cosgrove and Ujamaa Special Educator Becky Dwyer and the various groups of students who were working beautifully together throughout the lesson. It was great to hear the students talk about how they mix up groups and learn how to cooperate and problem-solve together. Ms. Cosgrove and Ms. Dwyer "work the room" following the lesson, but the focus is on having the students problem-solve with each other. Real-world skills in a real-world math lesson that focuses on financial literacy!
SHS student, Christian Titus, has been accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point. Only 12% of applicants are accepted into the academy and to be eligible, applicants must not only earn high test scores and grades, but also complete a physical fitness assessment and apply for a nomination from a congressperson, a senator, or the vice president.
Christian excels academically, is a two-season student-athlete, and has participated in our JROTC program throughout his high school career. We wish Christian our best as he embarks upon his military career!
I'd like to thank BTMES Technology Integrationist Jess Van Orman for giving us a great tip for this week's School Showcase! Ms. Van Orman has been working with BTMES 5th Grade Social Studies teacher Darby Heibert on an outstanding North American Indigenous Peoples literacy research project using 21st Century technology. Ms. Heibert's students were incredibly proud of the progress they're making on their projects and eager to share them with us!
This week's Showcase brings us to the SEA Program! "SEA" stands for Spaulding Educational Alternatives, and the program is a brand new addition to our community this year. Located on Allen Street in Barre City, SEA provides an alternative opportunity to access high school for up to 60 of our students, and the plan is to also open up these opportunities for our 7th and 8th graders in the years ahead. We met with SEA Director Jason Derner, teachers Stephen Kelley and Chris Wood, and some of their students yesterday, and it was a great visit.
On behalf of all of us in the Barre Unified Union School District, I want to sincerely thank the Barre community for supporting our school budget! As you can see here, the passing of our budget means a lot to our students too…
We've been saying from the start of the year that we don't take your support for granted and that your voice matters. You can count on that continuing! Have a great rest of the week.
Our first Hero Spotlight is BCEMS Building Facilities Coordinator and SHS JV girls soccer and lacrosse coach John Walker. BUUSD Facilities Director Jamie Evans nominated John, and you will see in the following brief video how valuable he has been to the BCEMS community!
Stay tuned for more Hero Spotlights in the coming weeks and months, and please feel free to reach out with more heroes who have helped us all through these last two years.
I got to spend time with the BUUSD Art teachers last week as they set up the annual BUUSD Art Show at the Aldrich Public Library. The work on display from students of all ages was beautiful and I strongly encourage you to attend - the show is on display now through the end of March. This show has always been a highlight of the year for me and many others, and after hearing from our student artists you will understand why!
We are currently hiring for multiple administrative positions in the BUUSD. To learn more and keep up with each committee's work, please visit our Admin Search Committees page.
For this week's School Showcase, we honor and celebrate our SHS Winter Sports teams. What a fun and incredibly successful season this has been! I will let you watch and listen to the team captains in the showcase to hear all of the highlights instead of sharing them here, but many of our teams are among the top in the state.
I would like to recognize the heroic efforts of SHS Athletic Director, Natalie Soffen, in making this season the success it has been. Natalie's thoughtful approach to Covid mitigation, her exuberance and enthusiasm, and her overall presence have all been essential to our teams' success! Families and friends have been able to attend games and cheer our teams on, sportsmanship has prevailed, and the athletes have clearly had a blast competing. Thank you, Natalie, and congratulations to our coaches and student-athletes for this wonderfully successful season!
We had a great visit with the SHS Interact Club yesterday, and I can promise that you will be impressed with the leadership skills of these students! Club Advisor and SHS Flexible Pathways Coordinator Margo Austin joined us with four of her club officers to talk about a "Tree Plenish" project they are conducting with the Barre Rotary Club to offset Spaulding High School's paper usage. (We currently use approximately 200 trees worth of paper a year at SHS!)
To order a sapling go to spauldinghs.org/treeplenish and follow all the steps.