Mid Winter Newsletter

Quarter III - Spaulding High School

Greetings from Administration

The information below is intended to help you understand the work we are doing in Barre related to Vermont’s Act 46 and merging school districts.


In August, the school boards of Barre City and Barre Town approved formation of an Act 46 Study Committee with 10 members, 5 each from Barre City and Barre Town. The 5 members from each community include preK-8 board members, Spaulding board members, and community members. This committee met several times between September and January, held one public forum, and produced an Exploratory Study Report, which is attached. The purpose of this Exploratory Study was threefold:

(1) Identify opportunities and challenges of merging districts;

(2) Identify essential questions to be answered in making a decision to merge; and

(3) Decide whether to recommend continuation into a more in-depth “Merger Study” per Vermont Statute 16 VSA Section 706.

The report lists the opportunities, challenges, and essential questions identified, as well as the committee’s recommendation to continue with a Merger Study. That study has begun. It will determine whether it is advisable (or not) to bring a yes/no vote to our two communities on whether to merge into a single district. If it is advisable, the Articles of Agreement will be drafted defining details of the new district, so the voters know what they are voting about.

In the end, the decision to merge or not needs to be a decision of the community, not a decision of the superintendent, the school boards, the staff, or the study committee. Keeping the community informed will help them make a well-informed decision.

For more details and meeting times, please click on this link:
BSU Act 46

Student and Parent Resources


Supporting Our Students & Creating a Caring Community

We continue to offer a variety of support services, especially in terms of transitioning incoming students to the school as Freshmen by working collaboratively with Midnight Mountain every year.

The goal of Midnight Mountain Transition Program is to build healthier skills for 8th graders transitioning to 9th grade at Spaulding High School. Participating students are challenged to think outside of their usual “comfort zone” by handling horses, juggling, theatre games and group challenges, such as low ropes and obstacle courses. All of the activities are aimed at building self-esteem and relationships as echoed by one participant, Autumn Wheeler, who initially signed up to get out of school for three days... She giggles when sharing this tidbit with Georgeanna, PJ, and Mrs. Portelance and notes how meaningful those three days were for her, especially as her Freshman year neared.

Goals of the program are to assist students in learning self-control, body awareness and age appropriate decision-making skills, while facilitating group cohesiveness between Barre City and Barre Town students. According to Shyanne Chase, "If I didn't enroll in this program, I probably wouldn't be open to other things... my relationship with others has changed and I now have more of an open mind than I did before." Shyanne attributes this to PJ, Mrs. Portelance, and Georgeanna Stapleton from Midnight Mountain who have been working collaboratively for at least seven years. Under their guidance, over 150 students have experienced what it means to be a part of a community and overcoming barriers, such as meeting new people and not allowing this mentality of us vs. you in regards to students entering Spaulding from Barre City and Barre Town.

Hollis Ostrout reiterates the same feeling, "... who cares? it's just a nice way to meet new people" and have a familiar face when entering the building which is echoed by all three students whether it be a peer, teacher, PJ, or Mrs. Portelance. "We have made several connections with people and even though, I am graduating this year, this program has been a positive influence on me and enabled me to connect with others that I normally would not have had the skills to do on my own," as noted by Shyanne.

If you would like to know more about the program, please feel free to contact Mrs. Peggy Portelance, Educational Success Counselor & Co Coordinator of the MM Transition Program at pportshs@u61.net.

Cast & Crew of the Spring Drama Production

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SAVE THE DATE - The Wedding Singer

Thursday, April 7th, 7:30pm to Saturday, April 9th, 9:30pm

155 Ayers Street

Barre, VT

Spaulding High School Drama Club presents The Wedding Singer! Based on the Adam Sandler movie, The Wedding Singer is a rockin' romantic comedy that pays tribute to the catchy music, bad hairstyles, and pop trends of the 1980's. Performances will be held at the SHS Auditorium and run from April 7th - 9th at 7:30 pm, with a matinee on the 9th at 2:00pm. Please note that due to some language/innuendo, this show may not be suitable for all audiences.

Tickets are on sale for $10/adults, $7/students & Seniors, and $5/children. For further information, you may contact Mrs. Brennan at SBrenshs@u61.net.



Start Your Day Off with a Nutritious Meal

Mrs. Gardner and Mrs. Noyes are reminding the school community that having a well balanced diet is key to academic success, especially for our students who start their day off at Spaulding High School without having breakfast.

Since 2010, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act recommends students eat fruits and vegetables every day, consume more whole grain rich foods, drink low fat or fat free milk, limit the number of calories, and reduce the amounts of trans fats and sugars in our diet. They know this may be a challenge for some of us, but their goal is for us to live a long and healthy life.

Both nurses urge everyone to eat a nutritious breakfast and they hope your daily meals include a colorful palate of fruits and vegetables. If you can't eat breakfast at home due to time, then start your day off in the cafeteria because under the direction of Mr. Locarno and his staff at Fitz Vogt, our school's meals provider, they are continuously preparing nutritious and delicious meals for us to eat, which is important to one's learning. Mrs. Noyes also notes if your family's income fluctuates throughout the year, she encourages families to apply for the National School Lunch Program at Spaulding High School enabling our students to eat a 'nutritionally balanced free meal.' You can contact Mrs. Noyes at LNoyeshs@u61.net for further information or go directly to this link that provides you information on the program:


Monday, April 11th, 8:30am to Friday, April 15th, 3pm

155 Ayers Street

Barre, VT

Members of the Junior Class will be taking SBACs during the week of April 11th and have been assigned a particular time throughout the week. If students miss their designated time, make up is scheduled for Friday, April 15th. For more information, please contact Mr. Nicholson at dnichshs@u61.net


Jan McCormick Gangsei's mission is to find the main entrance of the building, so she can meet up with Ms. Smith in the Library. She travels around the campus, orienting herself looking for the Main Office and even the tennis courts that are no longer there. She realizes its been almost 28 years since she set forth in the building and soon discovers things have disappeared. As in her newly released book, Zero Day, she too must complete her mission as does her main character, Addie.

Jan currently resides in northern Virginia with her family and she has been writing for some time, but still travels home to see her mother and friends. She was delighted when her agent reached out to her on behalf of Disney Hyperion to write a young adult thriller. "It's been a wonderful relationship working with Disney and talking about the book with others." Knowing this, Ms. Smith, our school librarian, thought it would be a great opportunity for Spaulding High School students to actually meet an author who has published a book and be inspired. Thus Jan would be the ideal candidate to participate in the launch of Meet an Author Series because not only is she is an author, but an alum of Spaulding High School.

What advice did she leave with our aspiring writers? "Get out there and experience life, soak things in, and be a part of the world because those experiences can inspire you to write." Don't let rejection define you as she chuckles when noting the 13 page editorial critiques on Zero Day. "Persevere, write and rewrite, and write again."

For more information on Zero Day, feel free to click on this link to Jan's website:



Saturday, May 14th, 8-10pm

10 Jefferson Street

Barre, VT


Deep gratitude goes out to the voters for passing the school budget and allowing us to continue to serve the Barre Community in multiple ways.