EMS Newsletter

January 10, 2020

Dear EMS Families,

Happy New Year! This week we swung in the New Year with UVM’s swing dancing team at Community Time. The energy of our community filled the room as we were then challenged to get up and give it a try ourselves.

On February 5th, EMS will raise the Black Lives Matter Flag, thanks to the work of a group of students in our Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) Collective. The board passed their proposal unanimously in November (see articles below for more details.)

In preparation for this significant moment, we will spend Monday, January 20th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and our community time in the coming weeks, to consider the why behind the raising of the Black Lives Matter flag.

We will start with the viewing of three different films. Students and families will choose a film to view. The choices include The Hate U Give, Akeelah and the Bee, and Remember the Titans. These films will provide context for upcoming conversations on race, equity, and the raising of the flag.

The Black Lives Matter Movement reflects our goal at EMS that all community members feel connected, safe, seen, heard, understood and respected. Specifically, as articulated by the movement on their site: “Every day we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family, a culture where each person feels seen, heard and supported.”

As our YPAR students identified in their research, racism is a reality in our community and silence would be an injustice. Thus, we seek this opportunity as a community to, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said “commit ourselves to the noble struggle for equal rights [thus] making a greater person of [ourselves], a greater nation of [our] country, and a finer world to live in."

In partnership and with gratitude,


Articles published based on the work of EMS’ YPAR students to raise the Black Lives Matter Flag:

Common Sense Media reviews:

Friendly Reminders

  • Students who chose to see The Hate U Give must have a Permission Slip signed by a guardian, given its PG 13 rating. Permission slips need to be turned in by January 17th.

Community Announcements

  • 01/14 - 6th grade Performance Music concert 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. - EMS Gym

  • 01/21 - Engage EMS meeting 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. - EMS Library/Makerspace

    • Agenda items:

      • Update regarding Foreign Language for 2020-2021

      • Review of Home School Compact

      • Review of Parent Involvement Policy

      • Review of the school’s participation in Title I and of the right of parents to be involved.

  • 01/24 - School Dance details

    • Tickets sold before and after school next week in the lobby of the school for $5.

    • Location = EMS gym. Entrance through side door by the gym driveway.

    • Dance doors will be closed from 6-7:30 p.m.

    • Snacks and drinks for sale (range in price from $.25 - $1) throughout the dance.

    • Games offered in addition to dancing.

    • Students must stay in the dance until 7:30 after entering.

    • Suggested drop off and pick up location: South Union St.

After School Activities

Please check out the attached after school brochure. Session 3 begins January 21!

EMS Art Studio Blog

Take a look at the cool things happening on Judy Klima's Art Studio Blog: http://emsartstudio.weebly.com/

Tie One On for Safety!

On December 18, our friends from the Edmunds Be Above Prevention Group headed out to the parking lot to tie red ribbons on cars. This red ribbon is a friendly reminder to drive drug/alcohol free, buckle up, ride with drivers who are sober and to stay safe today, tomorrow

and always.

Be Above reaches out to the Edmunds Community by engaging in projects that focus on Prevention, Wellness, Making Awesome Choices and Being Above the Influence. All are welcome to join Be Above. There is an in school Be Above Group coordinated by Angela Halsted, and there is an after school group that meets on Wednesdays coordinated by Jessica Summer from the Burlington Partnership for Healthy Communities. Both groups work together to celebrate prevention efforts at Edmunds and in the Burlington Community. Be Above supports, reaches out, cares and educates. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Angela Halsted, Edmunds Middle School SAP Counselor/Prevention Coordinator, #864-8486 x41010, ahalsted@bsdvt.org.

Here are some 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Statistics (YRBS) to share that reflect our Youth in the Burlington Community:

  • 14% of 9th Grade BHS Students reported riding with a drinking driver within the past 30 days of taking this survey, up 2% from 2015.
  • 9% of 9th Grade BHS students reported riding with a driver who had been smoking marijuana within the past 30 days of taking this survey, down 2% from 2015.
  • 7% of 9th Grade BHS students reported driving when drinking within the past 30 days of taking this survey.
  • 7% of 9th Grade BHS students drove when smoking marijuana within the past 30 days of taking this survey.

To find out more detailed statistics reflecting our Burlington Youth, please check out the Vermont Department of Health Youth Risk Behavior Survey Website for Burlington, Vermont schools:


Host an Exchange Student!

Meet Jin Tae from Korea!

16 y/o // 8 Eng // B- GPA // 251 Eltis // Open to DP & SP

Jin Tae is a very happy and positive 16 year old boy from Korea who loves making friends all over the world. He likes sports like golf, basketball and soccer, not only because of the exercise, but also because of the social component. He is working hard to improve his English and even went to boarding school in the Philippines for it. His hope is to bond with his family over everyday activities such as watching TV, cooking and traveling.

  • Sporty: Plays golf, soccer & basketball
  • Very family-oriented
  • Positive, Sympathetic & Ambitious
  • Moved to Philippines to improve his English (successfully)!
  • Loves meeting people from all over the world
  • Won a contest for giving a speech in English
  • Hopes to bond with his host family through everyday experiences!

What can you tell us about yourself, your personality or your habits that will help us match you with a host family?
I am an outgoing person which is why I am into sports, especially when I am bored or stressed. I can help them even though they don't ask me to. Everybody says that I'm good at making fun and making others happy. I'm also good at adapting to new surroundings; that's why I am always positive. My friends like to say their concerns to me because I'm good at keeping secrets and expressing sympathy. I have a mindset that I easily find interest in trivial things.

What are your goals in life?
I aim to be a global person. Since I was young, I've hoped to make many friends wherever I go. I was really glad when I had a chance to study abroad in the Philippines. As time passes by, having lots of global friends will become a good benefit. In addition, one of the things in my bucket list is to travel the country with my family to where my friends live. With this in mind, my goal is to be a diplomat. Lastly, I will strive to have a stable job and life.

Why do you want to spend a year abroad?
I encountered English when I was 7 years old. I studied at lots of English academy in Korea. One day, I noticed that I didn't have any development even though I studied English for a decade. Because of my desire to improve, I transferred to the Philippines. I studied well every day to become better in English communication. While studying English in the Philippines, I felt interest in facing new cultures, making new friends and communicating with others. Now, I am not scared of facing new things. I want to learn different cultures of America and make new friends. Ultimately, I also want to develop my English skills there. I believe that it will make me a global person.

Meet Min Jae! He’s one of our Full Year South Korean students!

17 y/o // GPA B // ENG 6 // ELTIS 226 // KRS127767

Open to Double Placement & Single Parent

Will attend services occasionally!

  • He loves winter and the snow
  • Likes playing with his cat
  • Hopes to try new things – he would love to go fishing
  • His dream is to be a hairdresser – he’s even won competitions
  • Close with his mom and loves to help her in the kitchen

What can you tell us about yourself, your personality or your habits that will help us match you with a host family? I am honest and like to spend times with people. Also, I think I am brilliant because I solve problems by my own way. I don't care what people around me. I often hear things like "creative" and "hard to understand," but I tend to take them as advice rather than nags.

Why do you think you will be a successful exchange student? I can't hope for a change without doing anything. I can't guarantee for myself that I would become a successful exchange student, but I think depending on how I do it, I can be successful enough and to make that happen, I will do my absolute best.

Why do you want to spend a year abroad? I wanted to be a better me than now, so I decided to join an exchange program. I thought various cultures and unfamiliar environment will give me a lot of inspiration and it will be an opportunity to learn many things in depth. And it is a chance to find out who am I. It is the most important for me. I think I can find what I like and do well, and I think I can solve my problem about career path for future.

Jin Tae Kim KRS128010 is our Korean student. EF and I are looking to match him for this spring semester.

Min Jae Kim KRS127767 EF and I are looking for a full year placement, but half year is an option.

Thank you for helping me promote diplomacy and good will among nations through cultural exchange.

What's next? Please call or email me to share your interest in hosting. I look forward to supporting you in this amazing journey, and hope we can find Min Jae and Jin Tae Vermont families.

Also, please consider referring a family to host. Refer a caring family you know and we will pay you $200 when they host with EF. Refer as many families as you like and earn more!.

More information about this opportunity is in this link: https://welcome.efexchangeyear.org/refer-a-family

Jennifer Haselman, International Education Coordinator


EF Education First

One Education Street, Cambridge, MA 02141