EMS Newsletter

November 4, 2022

Letter from the Principal

Dear EMS Families & Community,

As we conclude the first quarter of the school year, you have likely been hearing from your student about project due dates, quizzes, makeup work, and upcoming schedule changes. Teachers across all teams have been working hard to support students in ending the quarter successfully, as we appreciate your support in helping learners complete and turn in any missing assignments, review for assessments, and completing homework.

Parent-teacher conferences are coming up on 11/21 and 11/22, but as you will see below, sign-up begins NOW. Please be sure to check out the section on conferences, instructions for how to sign up, and links to other valuable resources. You’ll see that a feedback form is also linked in the conferences section below. Please consider filling this out after you’ve completed your conference; your feedback is invaluable, and we make changes from year to year based on students’ and families’ input.

Finally, I want to make sure you are aware of the work being done in BSD to promote antiracist teaching and leadership. During last week’s Early Release Day, all secondary faculty and staff participated in training aligned to antiracist educational practices – there will be several other sessions of these trainings over the course of the year. In addition, building and district leaders are also engaged in antiracist leadership training. I also want to remind you of the Equity Ticket system created and monitored by the Office of Equity; this is a simple system that students and parents can use to report inequities and unfair issues that students may be experiencing in our buildings. The Office of Equity is committed to responding quickly, and partners with building leaders to ensure that all schools are abiding by our responsibility to create inclusive, safe and welcoming learning environments.

Thank you for your partnership and support. And please don’t forget to get out and VOTE!

With gratitude,

Sabrina Westdijk

EMS Principal

EMS Announcements

Would you like to raise awareness about equity issues at BSD?

An Equity Ticket is one method to report inequities, injustices and unfair issues that are happening to you and others.

Submit an Equity Ticket today by using the QR code below

Burlington School District Equity Statement In the Burlington School District, equity means meeting the needs of ALL members of our educational community. We strive to ensure that everyone receives the support needed to develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually inclusive of race, class, ability, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, language, culture, and creed.

Expected Outcomes Include:

  • District Office of Equity unpacks the issue and problem solves

  • Documentation of the issue to identify patterns and themes

  • Plan of action may include restorative repair to harm when appropriate

  • Investigation through quantitative and qualitative data collection

  • Direct reporting to district leadership when required

All Equity Tickets are reviewed by the Office of Equity Team. A response is guaranteed within 3 days. Equity Tickets can also be submitted anonymously.

EMS Lake Trip to UVM Rubenstein Lab

EMS 7/8 science students recent visited the UVM Rubenstein Lab to examine Benithic Macroinvertebrates and Plankton! What a great way to extend the boundaries of our learning and to provide a memorable hands on learning experience for our students!

Support Over November Break

EMS Families,

Cold weather and school breaks are upon us. The EMS guidance team is collecting donations for winter/holiday support and will distribute the donations among EMS families that request support throughout the winter months. As of right now, we are only accepting and distributing gift cards to families over November break. More information will be shared in the next few weeks on how to give and receive support during the December break/winter months.

To RECIEVE support over the November break, please complete this form by November 15th. Form to Receive Support

To GIVE support over the November break, please complete this form on November 15th. Form to Give Support

Please note:

Support is not guaranteed and it is given out anonymously.

Please contact Taylor Ostapczuk at tostapcz@bsdvt.org or call her at (802) 864-8486 ext. 41012 with any questions. Thank you!

Update on Run, Hide, Fight Drills

The VT AOE is mandating that all schools run both evacuation drills and options-based drills. Evacuation drills are similar to an older fire drill model, and options-based drills are to replace the former lockdown drill. We recognize that options-based drills can provoke anxiety and a range of other emotions. We will be sure to notify families, pre-teach students, make the drills appropriate for the grade level of the students, and tell the students when the drills are. Schools are beginning to implement these changes and EMS will be communicating with families about their options as to opting out on the individual school level. We will not begin discussing options-based drills until second semester at EMS.

Student Led Conferences: Information for Families

BSD Middle Schools 2022-2023

How will conferences work this year?

The fall conferences for BSD middle schools will be led by students. Many middle schools in Vermont and around the country are moving to this model. Families have the option to have a virtual or in-person conference at both Hunt and Edmunds this fall.

How is a student-led conference different from a parent-teacher conference?

In a student-led conference, the student presents their work and their perspective on their learning, strengths, challenges, and goals. Our 6th, 7th and 8th graders have started preparing to present their strengths, challenges, and goals for this school year, and to show some examples of their work. There will also be a chance for families to share their thoughts and ask questions.

Why is the Burlington School District holding student-led conferences instead of teacher-led conferences?

One of the top priorities for our district is deeper learning for every student. We want students to feel empowered and engaged, and we want our practices to meet the individual needs of each student. We commit to providing students agency in education. A student-led conference is a way to put the student’s learning and their voice about their experience at the center of the conversation, and to ensure that they are partners in their education.

The student-led conferences are also part of the Burlington middle schools Personalized Learning Plans, or PLP, process. Through the PLP, students consider their own strengths and challenges, set goals, identify steps toward progress, gather evidence of progress, and reflect. These are the same habits and skills that students learn by participating in a student-led conference.

When are conferences?

  • Monday, November 21 and Tuesday, November 22.

  • There is no regularly scheduled school on those days.

  • Families have the option to attend a virtual conference; all virtual conferences will be scheduled on Tuesday, November 22.

How do I schedule my student’s conference?

  • We are using PTCFast (a conference scheduling system) to sign up for conferences

  • PLEASE NOTE: Since we need to accommodate all students and families, please know that families are able to sign up for ONE conference with core teams only. If you sign up for more than one conference slot with your child’s core team, we will reach out to ask which to keep and cancel to bring it back to one conference registration.

Reminder: Conferences are IN-PERSON (Monday, 21st) and VIRTUAL (Tuesday, 22nd)

  • Important reminders: Google Meet Instructions

  • Make sure to only join the meet at the time and date you have signed up for and be mindful that teachers are holding a number of meetings throughout the day

  • Access the Google Meet through the link that your student’s teacher has provided (through a Google account) → it should be listed under location on the PTCFast invite

  • If you can’t access the link or can’t make the meeting. Please make sure to email your teacher.

How can I give feedback?

After your student’s conference, please click this link to give feedback! Family Feedback - Student-Led Conferences

Where can I learn more about student-led conferences?

The UVM Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education has some excellent resources.

Community Announcements

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