EMS Newsletter

February 21, 2020

Dear EMS Families,

Please join us on March 10th when we host A world of Difference for a powerful workshop on Building Unity in Our School Community.

This interactive and experiential presentation will explore ADL’s Peer Training Program and the ways in which the Program 1) increases participants’ awareness of identity-based bias and manifestations such as bullying and cyberbullying; 2) empowers participants with knowledge and skills to address bias when they encounter it and be allies for those who are targeted; and 3) provides participants with leadership development opportunities to actively promote a school culture in which human differences are respected and valued. Additionally, the presentation will highlight ways to raise children in a bias-free environment—and, in doing so, help build a more supportive, inclusive community.

Last month Student Leaders kept circles for PTO attendees. This month we’ll continue the work of sharing what our students are doing at EMS to support all in feeling connected - safe, seen, heard, understood and respected. Middle School is a time of life when children are trying to identify who they are and how they fit into this world. This often means trying out words and actions that push boundaries and might inflict harm. Our hope is that the A World of Difference program can support our community in fostering greater empathy and understanding. For a community as diverse as EMS, understanding another’s perspective and lived experience is a must.

Let’s continue this collaborative work by continuing to come together to learn more about the work ahead this spring at EMS.

In partnership and with gratitude,


Friendly Reminders

  • 02/22 - 03/03 - No School - February vacation

  • 03/10 - 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. - Engage EMS meeting; EMS LIbrary/MakerSpace

  • 3/11 - Orchestra Night 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.; BHS auditorium

  • 03/13 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Faculty vs. student basketball game; EMS gym

Community Announcements

  • *Parents of Eighth Graders*: Registration for high school classes has begun at EMS and will finish up on Friday March 13th. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Pat Hulbert at phulbert@bsdvt.org or call 864-8486 ext 41011. *Math recommendations have been made by the math teachers based on how your child is doing right now in school. Recommendations may be reassessed at the end of the year.
  • All parents: Check out this recent article from The New York Times entitled "Why Teenagers Reject Parents’ Solutions to Their Problems" https://nyti.ms/2P3hpbv
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Congratulations MathCounts Team!

On Saturday, February 8, the EMS math competition team earned the 4th place trophy (out of 12 schools) at the regional MathCounts competition at UVM.

Photo above of the competition team: Aoife, Elizabeth, Hannah & Daniel.

Also participating as individual EMS competitors, but not pictured: Lisa Zhou-Hackett & Olivia Sullivan.

Congratulations to all!

EMS Art on display in Sen. Sanders' Office

Congratulations to EMS students Phoenix Ashby, Hawa Awayle, Annabelle Lakstutis, and Yosia Damas Mwene! Their abstract paintings done in Art 7 & 8 were chosen to be on display in the office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. They are the first student artists to have work on display in the Senator's Burlington Office. The four pieces will be on display through May of 2020.

This is what Bernie Sanders' office shared with us:

For Senator Sanders, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a U.S. Senator is meeting young constituents across the state of Vermont. Bernie knows that the future of our country is in the hands of our youth — he deeply cares that young people are civically engaged and that they have the tools to be successful in their education and career. By showcasing the artwork of Edmunds Middle School students in the lobby of his Burlington, VT, office, Bernie is excited to celebrate the artistic talents of young Vermonters, as often the arts are under-recognized in our education system. Study after study has shown that access to quality arts and music programming not only increases overall academic achievement, but also gives students avenues to success that they might not otherwise have. Arts and music education nurture the development of critical thinking, collaboration, and creative problem-solving — all of which are essential for future success in college and career. Bernie wants students across our state to know that their contributions matter; continue to invest in your academic and creative interests, and you will undoubtedly have a significant impact on your school, community, and our country.

Unicorn Cafe Returns!

Ann's Unicorn Cafe EMS students and staff are excited to expand our business model this school year. We are fundraising to add a Bitty & Beau's Coffee Cart. We are also excited about being able to have a monthly Zoom video conference call with members of the Bitty & Beau's Coffee team and ongoing support from Bitty & Beau's Coffee headquarters as we launch and expand our Unicorn Cafe operation. The mobile cart will support increased community connections, further career development and provide greater opportunity to practice transferable skills, reinforcing and deepening existing learning while also empowering us to generalize skills in more settings. Educators and the community have been a big part of our success over the years, supporting our efforts, consuming our goods, and sharing in conversation while attending the cafe as customers. We truly can't thank you enough for your support, and we wish to thank you in advance for considering making a donation that will allow us another opportunity to demonstrate our workplace skills and expand our worldly connections with like minded friends from Bitty and Beau's. Eighty percent of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are unemployed across the nation, according to a national employment report. But Bitty & Beau’s Coffee and EMS's Unicorn Cafe hope to partner on this new venture to change this narrative.

Join our journey and please support our effort to create a culture where diversity is not just appreciated, it's celebrated.

#pouring it forward #its more than a cup of coffee

Burlington Middle School Climate Summit

Save the Date for the Burlington Middle School Climate Summit on Thursday, April 16th!

We hope you will join us on the morning of April 16th to view our 7th and 8th grade students' culminating climate action projects. This event will occur simultaneously at both Hunt and Edmunds Middle Schools. Exact times and details will follow in March.

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Lacrosse Opportunity for Burlington Kids

Burlington Youth Lacrosse is a nonprofit committed to providing kids the opportunity to be great teammates, have fun, and learn a healthy/fast-growing sport.

It's in that spirit that we share some exciting upcoming opportunities:

Spots to play in the Spring season are already filling up, but we have openings left for the upcoming season that begins on April 1. Sign up is available at https://burlingtonyouthlacrosse.org/registration.

Burlington Youth Lacrosse is a 501(c) organization committed to providing opportunities for all children and families. Any child who wishes to play and needs financial support will receive it; program fees will be waived and the child will be provided equipment to use free of charge.

While it’s helpful to have a lacrosse background, it’s not a prerequisite. Our coaches are positive, supportive, and make things fun. If that sounds like you or someone you know, please email us at btvlax@yahoo.com to inquire about becoming a Head Coach or Assistant Coach.

On March 21, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Williston Edge Turf indoor field (115 Wellness Drive, Williston, VT), we are offering a free clinic, open to all. Donations are accepted. If you have one, bring a lacrosse stick (otherwise one will be provided) and a water bottle. No other equipment is required.

Please help us spread the word about these great experience for kids and community members.

Bill Carter
Coach, Girls 10U and 12U & Father of Two Burlington Students

Our mailing address is 110 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401

Spring Play!

Very Merry Theatre will once again be at the helm of this year's EMS spring play (we're somewhere around year 22!). We're happy to announce that this year's play will be Big Fish, an upbeat, fun musical with great roles for all genders that can support a big cast. Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish tells the story of Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose incredible, larger-than-life stories of a giant, a girl who lives in water, circus performers, and more, thrill everyone around him —most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son, Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Overflowing with heart and humor, Big Fish is an extraordinary musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre—for an experience that’s richer, funnier and bigger than life itself.

Information about the play will be going up this week outside the gym so remind your kiddos to take a look if they're interested. We'll need both cast and crew as well as parent volunteers to pull off this big show!

Auditions will be held on Thursday, March 5th from 3-4:30 p.m. on the EMS stage.

If you'd like more information, including key dates, or are interested in joining the official 2020 EMS VMT play mailing list, please email Nicole Twohig directly at nctwohig@comcast.net. Any other general questions about the play or process can be directed to VMT Executive Director Don Wright at don@verymerrytheatre.org.

Summer Camp Offerings

Please check out these summer camps offered by Generator: https://generatorvt.com/summer-camps/#!event-list

Education First High School Exchange

I am an International Education Coordinator (IEC) for EF High School Exchange Year. We are a non-profit organization designated by the U.S. Department of State to connect students from all over the world with host families in the US to promote cultural exchange. We are currently seeking host families for the 2020/2021 academic year and would love to connect with families who may be open to hosting. If someone from EMS refers local host families and they host EF international students, EF High School Exchange Year will donate a $200 grant to EMS for each qualified family that hosts an international student. There is no limit on the number of host families your school can refer! https://welcome.efexchangeyear.org/refer-a-family

Every year, families, schools and communities across the U.S. welcome thousands of EF exchange students into their homes, classrooms and everyday lives. Our international students come from over 15 countries in Europe, South America and Asia, eager to refine their English and fulfill their dream of spending a life-changing year at an American high school.

Exchange students bring the world to a classroom. Over the course of an academic year, Vermont high school students gain first-hand knowledge of different cultures and customs. In sharing their America, they’ll discover what they love about their own county, and examine their own values and beliefs more critically. Hosting exchange students in our community can help broaden our students’ worldview and prepare them for a multicultural world.

Thank you for considering this very worthwhile experience. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Jan if we can provide any further information or should you have a potential host family for next year.

Thank you,

Jennifer Haselman, International Education Coordinator (IEC)


Jan Bedard, Regional Coordinator (RC)


If you're looking for a unique way for your family to learn about the world, and promote international understanding through cultural exchange, why not host an EF (Education First) High School Exchange student? The United States Department of State relies on American families to serve as citizen ambassadors and help foster positive impressions of the United States in other countries.

Hosting an exchange student is a great step toward preparing your children for the 21st century. There are few experiences that can spark interest in new cultures like welcoming an international student into your home. Students have excellent language skills, carry full insurance and have their own spending money. On-going support is provided at local, regional and national levels. To learn more, contact Jennifer Haselman at 802-343-8918, chrisjennhaselman@yahoo.com and/or Jan Bedard at 802-482-3494, gbedard920@gmail.com, See also http://www.efexchangeyear.org.