Region In Review

November 1, 2019

Pep Rally & Homecoming

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Despite challenging weather, Shepaug Homecoming 2019 was a success. The field hockey team, after having their initial contest postponed due to storms, performed very admirably in a hard-fought 1-0 defeat to non-league opponent Joel Barlow High School. On the following day, an all-school Pep Rally allowed Shepaug students and faculty alike to show their "Spartan Pride", by competing in relay races, donut eating contests, and dodge ball competition.

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Later that night, girls soccer cruised to victory in their homecoming game, establishing an early lead against Gilbert High School and playing well in a 5-0 victory. In the final homecoming contest, the boys' soccer team battled in a very exciting game, breaking a tie against the Yellowjackets with a late goal and holding on for a 2-1 victory.

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Cross Country

Off-campus, at the Berkshire League Cross Country Championships, three Spartan runners earned Berkshire League All-Star status.

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The girls' cross country team ended the regular season in fourth place with a 5-3 record. They were finally at full strength for the Berkshire League Championship meet and were looking to avenge early season losses to Nonnewaug and Northwestern. The team led by first-team all-league runners Isabel Eddy and Eilish Foy along with newcomer and second-team all-league runner Emma Perun. The girls performed valiantly at the championship and blew out a good Northwestern team but came up two points short against Nonnewaug for the league runner up position. Nadia Ostrosky and Olivia Schulta rounded out the varsity scorers, while Peyton Nash, Lily Schur, and Lucy Puskas all ran well that day.

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For the boys, senior Jayden Cornwall achieved All-Star status with his 5th place finish.

The cross country team will be heading to the CIAC state championships on October 26, and the field hockey and soccer teams still have several regular-season games to play, with their final contests scheduled for November 6.

Supporting our Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers

by BJ Hosking, K-5 STEM Teacher

Recently, I was stopped by a kindergarten parent to share the excitement her son has for being a scientist when he grows up. Hearing about a student's love for science, and seeing classrooms filled with practicing scientists and engineers, brings me a sense of pride and excitement. Even our youngest level STEM students are doing what “grown-up” scientists and engineers do on a daily basis.

“Doing what real scientists do” or the Science and Engineering Practices, as named in the Next Generation Science Standards, are one of the three key components of science instruction, and a primary focus in Region 12's STEM classes at the elementary level this year. Supporting students' growth in these practices will help build engagement in science now as well as prepare our next generation of scientific thinkers and problem solvers.

Here are some ways we use these practices in our classes, and some suggestions to support these practices at home for our scientists and engineers:

1) Ask questions and define problems

Students may wonder about something they notice or try to figure out why something works in an unexpected way. At home, encourage students to ask questions and help brainstorm things that need fixing on both a small scale such as a broken leaky faucet as well as large scale problems such as waste reduction.

2) Develop and use models

Students might draw representations of something they observe or act out how materials interact. Encouraging young scientists to show or draw what they think is happening when they ask a question will help them use models like a future scientist while at home.

3) Plan and carry out investigations

Students might attempt to answer a question by controlling variables. For example, when they wonder how weight affects flight, they might add more paper clips to a paper airplane to see how its flight will be changed. At home, students can act like engineers by making a plan and noting why their plan worked or did not work the way they expected.

4) Analyze and interpret data

Students might compare results and find patterns in multiple trials. At home, scientists can look at data (sports scores or weekly temperatures) and share what they predict will happen next time and explain how it connects to what has just happened.

5) Use mathematics and computational thinking

Students might record data numerically and graphically, and begin to see reactions as cause and effect (if this, then this). At home, engineers can map out potential outcomes to plans and consider the probability of these possible outcomes to inform their plans.

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6) Construct explanations and design solutions and

7) Engage in argument from data

Students always support their plans and thinking with evidence, both from data collected during their investigations, as well as the core ideas of science (The object fell because gravity is a force that pulls objects down, for example). At home, scientists can use data and facts to not only explain their current understanding but also support an argument. (Your scientist or engineer will love to share why they think something is true AS MUCH AS why they should stay up late! Just be sure they convince you with evidence.)

8) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information

Young scientists and engineers, at home and school, should actively seek deeper understanding to their questions, think critically about where those understandings come from, search for proof themselves, and as they find new understandings, want to share with others.

By focusing on these practices, we are preparing our next generation of scientists and engineers to be active, engaged, and informed critical consumers and creators ready to make their communities a better place.

Berkshire Music Festival

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Music Students from Shepaug Valley School recently participated in the rigorous Berkshire Regional Music Festival this October. This festival takes place every fall at a host school from the Berkshire League.

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The choir was conducted by Jamie Spillane, Associate Professor and Director of Choral Music at the University of Connecticut. The band was led by various Directors from Berkshire League high schools. This year, Wamogo High School hosted this outstanding concert and festival.

Ben’s Bells Assembly - Strengthening Our Kind Campus

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On Friday, October 18th, Jeannette Maré, Founder and Chief Kindness Officer of Ben’s Bells Project, visited Booth Free School. Students from Booth Free School and Burnham School participated in an assembly focused on our kind minds and emotional intelligence. Jeannette talked about how emotional awareness is the foundation of empathy and compassion that leads to kindness. This emotional intelligence allows us to draw upon the courage and careful thought required to practice intentional kindness and effect positive change in our schools, families, and communities.

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On Friday, October 25th, Cody Foss, Connecticut Regional Manager, visited Washington Primary School to re-energize students to notice the rippling effects of not only kindness received and given, but also observed. Having an awareness of self, others, and practicing compassion is the pathway to kindness. Mr. Foss invited the school community to be mindful of our influence in practicing and spreading kindness. “It is not always easy to be kind, but it is in our power!”

Lastly, both presenters were delighted to see our kindness murals and our commitment to building positive relationships. Ben’s Bells has become nationally recognized and symbolizes kindness and its power in healing.

An Introduction to Agriscience

The middle school students currently taking Introduction to Agriscience are exploring heritage vs commercial livestock, and working through solutions to act on human impacts and climate change issues affecting a variety of plant systems at a global level.

Students in the Agriscience program (9th & 10th grade) are concluding their work in Power, Structural and Technical Systems (PST) and Plant Science (PS) content. Students in Plant Science have constructed a hydroponic tower to grow their own vegetables to be utilized in the upcoming Food Science (FS) exploration, including pumpkins, chives, lettuce and squash.

Image Below, Grade 9 students after assembling the Hydroponic Unit.

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Students within the PST curriculum have been exploring and comparing various power sources, such as internal combustion engines and electric motors. These students will be concluding this section through a project implementing technology to improve efficiency or sustainability and implications to a variety of careers.

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The Shepaug Agriscience department would also like to welcome “Snoopy” and “Nelly” our two newest rabbits to the program. These animals will assist students in learning and practicing animal handling and care lessons; starting with proper habitat requirements and nutritional needs. Current PST students have been assisting in constructing “Nelly’s” new hutch to meet her habitat needs.

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury Visited Our Elementary Schools

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The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury visited our classrooms. They offered a variety of programs to our students with age-appropriate language and materials. Pre-K, kindergarten and Grade 1 students learned about care, kindness, and respectful boundaries of self and others. In Grade 2, students learned about empathy and identifying others' feelings. Grade 3 focused on bullying and mean behaviors, and Grade 4 and Grade 5 learned about personal boundaries, empathy awareness, and taking care of oneself.

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Our partnership with the Women’s Center has been long standing. Their presentations were informative and provided our students with facts and strategies that promote the development of positive relationships.

Senior Project

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Cole Kerish (2020) gets a hand from Officer Rich Iannaimo as he prepares for his first milestone meeting where seniors present proposals to their technical advisor and senior project teacher.

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Cole’s project involves researching, investing in the stock market, and educating students about economic dynamics.

Flyers & Upcoming Events

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Region 12 Calendar

Nov 3: Fall Festival, BS, 12pm

Nov 4: Building Committee Meeting, SVS, 5pm

Nov 4: BOE Long Range Planning Committee Mtg, SVS, 6:30pm

Nov 5: Professional Development Day, No School for Students

Nov 6: Agriscience Presentation to Grade 8, SVS, 8am

Nov 7: PTO Meeting, BS, 6pm

Nov 8: Homecoming Dance, SVS, 7pm

Nov 11: Veterans Day, No School

Nov 13: Grade 8 Parent Meeting, SVS, 7pm

Nov 14: National Honor Society, SVS, 7pm

Nov 15: Senior Portraits,SVS

Nov 15: Middle School Social, SVS, 2:30pm

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for updates and information!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

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