Earlier today, I visited BTMES 4th grade ELA teacher Mackenzie Rice's classroom. Miss Rice is a 2022 graduate of St. Michael's College, and this is her first teaching position. I have observed and visited many classrooms over the last 30 plus years, and you would never know that this person is so new to teaching after spending time with her and these 4th graders!
Latest News & Events
A group of about 40 SHS Juniors and Seniors had a great experience attending the Fall College Fair at St. Michael's College yesterday! SHS Work Based Learning Coordinator Michelle LaFrancis leads this trip annually, and according to Michelle, "WBL programming provides opportunities for students to participate in a series of college visits to determine where they can get the education, experience, and training needed to meet their professional goals while experiencing various college campuses." This was an exciting eye opener for our students!
I got to experience an extraordinarily fun and engaging math lesson with some 3rd graders this morning, and I want to share it with you. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Karen Fredericks joined me in BCEMS 3rd grade teacher Carey Miller's classroom for about an hour today, and we got to see our new math program, Illustrative Mathematics, in action. Take a look here: https://youtu.be/YSdSx0WdbtM
Focusing on Student Wellness & Engagement is key to getting everyone off to a positive start to the school year, and I am happy to show you a wonderful example of one of our school communities getting the year off to an incredibly fun and engaging start! The BTMES Middle School had their first "Rock, Paper, Scissors" Tournament in three years on the soccer field last week, and I can promise you that watching this event will engage you and make you feel very well!
We will be sharing a Weekly School Showcase video each week that shines a spotlight on our students and staff across the district. These Showcases proved to be very popular last year, and we look forward to showing you all of the outstanding and exciting learning opportunities that go on in our schools every day!
For this week, we have a showcase video welcoming everybody back and introducing our BUUSD Strategic Plan. We hope you like it!
Congratulations to outgoing Athletic Director Natalie Soffen, SHS Baseball Coach Dan Kiniry, and the SHS Boys Varsity Baseball Team for winning the 2022 Division II State Championship last Saturday! Their 4-2 victory over the Lyndon Institute Vikings was a perfect cap to an incredibly successful season built on outstanding teamwork and performances game after game. Check out this post-championship recap from Coach Kiniry and the players!
Some of you may recall that we started these showcases last summer with a brief visit to all of our schools. When visiting Barre Town, we were in the Susan Barnard Community Garden, where we pointed out that this beautiful place was inspired by the "healthy growth of our community." We thought this special place would be a perfect spot to come full circle at the end of the year to focus on what has been most important in this most challenging of years. The brief video was produced before the news of the Texas tragedy, but rewatching it this morning was a very powerful experience. Powerful not because of anything extraordinary or exceptional going on, but simply because what you see here is so beautifully normal and expected by all of us: kids and adults working and learning together in a caring, loving community.
Spring sports at Spaulding High School are in full swing, and this week's school showcase gives a big shoutout to all of our teams! Playoff pairings will be set Memorial Day weekend, and a number of our teams are having excellent seasons.
Finally, we hope you stuck around for the end of the video (starts at 4:25 in the video) to see a quick promo for the Spaulding Drama Club's production of Amélie this weekend!
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.
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!