As the first trimester of our 2020-2021 school year comes to a close on November 13th, I’d like to remind you that our first trimester report cards will be issued on November 20th. Report cards will be sent home with students; however, you may also view report cards in PowerSchool by going to reports via your child’s tab.
Parent-teacher conference times will be available on November 23rd and 24th. Parent-teacher conferences are a great time to check-in on the status of your student’s learning from this past trimester and learn about key learning goals for the upcoming trimester.. Classroom teachers will be sending information to you so you can sign up for a conference time.
Our school will be a polling site for elections on Tuesday, Nov. 4th, from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. We have worked with our site’s poll manager to ensure there are no interactions, or crossing of paths, between our school community and members for our voting community. Voters will use the Walnut Street entrance and gym lobby exit and these will be blocked off to students and staff for the day. Poll workers will be in place to monitor the flow of voter circulation throughout the day to ensure voters know how to properly enter and exit our school. We will also have a district staff person onsite to help monitor and ensure both populations remain separated throughout the day. School restrooms will not be open to the public to avoid crossing of our school community and voters. Please note some of the logistical operations for that day.
No parking Monday in the Walnut St. parking lot for tent & portlet delivery
All lunches will be delivered to classrooms to minimize student traffic near the gym.
No parking Tuesday in the Walnut Street spaces of the building as they will be reserved for poll workers
Walnut Street entrance and the front gym lobby entrance will be used as the entrance and exit for voters. These entrances will not be available for students and staff. Matt’s class should use the front entrance that day.
The Spring St. parking lot may be blocked off to prevent voter parking. If you move an orange cone, please replace it.
On Tuesday, September 15, 2020 the Burlington School Board passed a resolution to hang the Black Lives Matter flag at all of our school buildings. The flag raisings symbolize commitment to Black students in one of the most diverse school districts in Vermont. The School Board’s decision to fly a Black Lives Matter flag at every school demonstrates how student activism of the past has led to continued support for Anti-Racist work from school leadership. Our IAA fifth grade students are working on plans to raise the Black Lives Matter flag here at IAA on November 20th.
At IAA, we strongly believe in building supportive relationships with all students. With the current racial reckoning in the USA, it is important to ensure that our students of color are particularly supported. One way to do this is developing Affinity Spaces. Affinity Spaces are groups that purposefully bring people together with shared identities. We recognize that navigating the school system as a student of color is challenging and that life outside of school compounds this. Affinity Spaces are one way to help with this. The BSD Office of Equity is supporting the creation of Affinity Spaces for Students of Color district wide with an elementary pilot program at IAA as well as middle school and high school programs. These Affinity Spaces will be open to all interested 4th and 5th grade students of color at IAA.
Dates to remember:
Nov. 3rd: Election Day - IAA is a polling site.
Nov. 5th: PTO meeting
Nov 13th: Trimester 1 ends
Nov. 20th: Report cards issued
Nov. 23rd & 24th: Parent-Teacher Conferences (virtual conferences)
Nov. 23rd-27th: Thanksgiving holiday break - no school for students
Dec. 1st: Student Picture Retake Day
We are getting into a rhythm filming content, editing, and producing the weekly IAA Town Meetings. There are now 8 Town Meeting videos posted to the IAA Playlist on the BSD Youtube channel! Students and staff enjoy Town Meeting in their classroom communities every Friday afternoon. Some highlights from the past month of Town Meetings have been: Music composed by 5th graders in Mr. Currier’s class, Writers Read, Creature Sightings around the Old North End, photo montages, Student of the Week, and more!
At IAA, the arts show up in three variations: Arts as Curriculum, Arts-Enhanced Curriculum, and Arts-Integrated Curriculum. We have adopted the Kennedy Center’s definition of Arts integration. Arts Integration is “an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject and meets evolving objectives in both.”
Art as Curriculum
We currently have visual arts, drama, and music classes for all of our students. Students develop knowledge and skills in a particular art form. Often referred to as “arts learning” or “art for art’s sake,” the programs are guided by national standards.
The arts are used as a strategy to support other areas such as math, literacy, or science. In an Arts-Enhanced Curriculum, no objectives in the art form have been identified. For example, students sing the ABCs as a means to other ends—remembering the letters and sequence of the alphabet. Arts-Enhanced Curriculum acts as a “hook” to engage students in learning content. Teachers do not need training in the art form.In most schools Arts-Enhanced Curriculum is often mistaken for Arts-Integrated Curriculum. Here at IAA, all of our classrooms enhance the curriculum with the arts.
At IAA we focus on an Arts-Integrated Curriculum. We strive to have the arts become the approach to teaching and the vehicle for learning. Students meet dual learning objectives as they engage in the creative process and explore the connections between an art form and another subject area. For example, students meet objectives in theater (characterization, stage composition, action, expression) and in social studies. The experience is mutually reinforcing and students gain a greater understanding in both the art form and the other subject area.
Recently, IAA Kindergarten teacher Emily Stewart and 5th grade teacher, Bronwyn Low gave a presentation on Arts Integration to the IAA PTO. We hope to make the recording available soon.
IAA Creature Crawl-- Whole School Residency 2020-2021 with Alissa Faber
Teaching Artist Alissa Faber is working with each class throughout late-October and mid-November. Keep your eyes peeled for more Michael Badger monsters around the neighborhood as well as student artwork. The first installation is up and ready to be enjoyed. Little Park is serving as an outdoor gallery for Mr. Leal’s class creatures. All creatures have been stamped with the official IAA Creature Crawl stamp.
Arts Integration Co-teaching Blocks
We have seen some innovative and engaging units so far during our Arts Integration co-teaching blocks. The new schedule and format is sparking some innovation and building new connections between content areas. We have a lot of learning to share!
Kindergarten is integrating writing, art, and community building during arts integration time. First they looked at Obama’s official presidential portrait by Kenndey Wiley. Next they used oil pastels to draw leaves for a collaborative mural that will be used as a background for portraits in the style of Wiley. We can’t wait to share them once they are completed!
Ist grade is deep into their study of the moon and its phases. Mr. Leal’s class has been hard at work cutting, labeling, and painting moons, using wet-on-wet technique to paint the night sky, illustrating what happens at night, and writing poetry all to be assembled into an accordion-fold art book! Ms. Regina’s class will start working on their books next week.
2nd graders have been bringing pollinators to life in a variety of ways-- constructing butterflies in art, dramatizing their lifecycle with tiny toys, and researching then applying their knowledge as they write in Book Creator.
3rd grade has explored stories of perseverance and writing their own in drama and library media integration, as well as researching the Earth’s climate zones, creating a representation of the 4 climate zones and the animals that live in them, and then putting all of their new knowledge into a book designed in Book Creator with Ms. Jen.
4th grade studied the different types of waves, especially the type that create music-- longitudinal waves! They also have been writing personal narratives focusing on the parts of a story, juicy details, and bringing it to life using Book Creator-- it is such a great tool.
5th graders were asked questions such as: What is your number story? How do writers tell compelling stories? How do composers tell compelling stories? They answered these questions with Precisionism, Pointillism, writing stories, and composing music in GarageBand. Next up they are working on integrating Social Studies and drama through Slam Poetry!
Music classes have continued to be outside, under our cool tent on the playground. This has allowed us to make use of the state guidelines that allow students to sing outdoors. We have also been doing our usual fun activities that include moving to music (that keeps us warm!), keeping the beat in different ways, and playing musical games. Third and fourth grades have begun to learn how to read, write and compose their own music, while Mr Currier's fifth grade learned to compose using virtual instruments, on GarageBand.
Kindergarten has done their first book checkout, and their books will remain in the classroom for now, until we have a few more checkouts under our belt. Most of the classrooms have done some book checkout and if a classroom hasn’t, they will soon. I am trying to come up with systems that will keep K-3rd in regular books. I have enabled 4th and 5th graders to login, using their Google Login, into our Library Catalog so they can place books on hold. This has been going very well and we are starting to get back to a normal amount of book circulation.
Many of you may have heard that the library suffered from flooding over the summer, and we had to dispose of a large chunk of the collection because of water damage and mold. I have slowly been reordering books to replace the collection, but because of the water damage, you or our students may find that certain books are unavailable. I will do my best to accommodate you with the next closest book, but in some cases I may have to decline a book request.
As always, if you feel like donating to the library, check out the Library Amazon Wishlist.
If you happen to have books still at your home from the spring, please send them back with your child. If you or your student has any questions, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we enter the winter months we want to make sure that everyone remains healthy! Please remember to wash hands often, wear a mask, and stay home when you’re not feeling well. Here is a helpful informational sheet about returning to school after illness, https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/CYF_VT%20BacktoSchoolAfterIllness10.6.pdfPlease let me know if you have any questions! Awasko@bsdvt.org