Ghost Update

December 1, 2021

Dear RU Families,

This week we are all back together in the building. Overall, students seem glad to be back and it's been a good week, so far). There seems to be excitement in the air as students look forward to winter sports (the VPA is permitting wrestling to happen this year) and there will be spectators, with some limitations and an expectation for universal masking, allowed at our games. Students also seem ready to jump into their school work as we approach winter break.


The faculty student soccer game was a success. Advisory groups made signs and were prepared to gather and cheer on their favorite team. This community builder was the idea of the Director of Student Services, Kara Merrill, and with the help of teachers and students she was able to pull the event together for the benefit of our school community.


As we move further into this school year, we are finding that a return to "normalcy" is about more than the daily academic schedule and all of us being in the same school building. When schools were forced to go fully remote for the end of the 2019 school year, in many ways schools, which have long been something students grudgingly rely on, broke a sacred trust with our students. Over the course of one full school year they continued to find their way. At times, they were helping care for siblings and pets, while attending classes on line and balancing chores and other competing interests (often video games). This year, we have asked them to come back to school full time and be full time students again. At best, this is a return to expected routines and predictable growth timelines related to human development and academics. At worst, this feels like it fails to acknowledge the growth that occurred when our children were asked to multi-task and carry on with their education while taking care of other business. It is messy but we are finding our way. Events like the middle school CARE assembly, and our Staff vs. Varsity Athletes soccer game are important parts of how we are finding our way. In this newsletter you will see examples of how our students and staff are finding joy in our community and learning. We know, that bit by bit, by connecting with each other we can rebuild the parts of our community that feel as if they have been weakened by this pandemic.


This is important work, and we need you! Recently, a parent shared that they moved here from a community where community volunteerism at school was an important part of student success. We are eager to see how we can incorporate volunteers to help support our students. Please fill out the survey included in this document, so that we can learn more about how you are able to help support our school community.


Thank you all for the work you are doing to help keep our community strong and healthy headed into this holiday season.


Sincerely,


Lisa & Caty

Varsity Athletes vs. School Staff

On Friday, November 19, varsity athletes faced staff athletes, including their coaches, in a soccer match. The staff won 3-1, and despite the sleet and snow everyone had a great time. Popcorn and hot cocoa were provided. Members of the RTCC Film and Television program photgraphed the event and provided the video below. It was a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving break.
Snow Soccer Faculty vs Students

Hands-on Learning at RU

8th grade students are wrapping up a unit where they study the elements of culture, create their own cultures, and then create artifacts for students in other traveling groups to find and analyze. The pictures below show them analyzing the artifacts that they excavated.


In the Innovation Center students have been working together on a project that 7th graders are completing. Students in the Innovation Management class learn how to use and maintain the equipment in the innovation center. In recent weeks that knowledge has been put to good use as the high school students have mentored 7th graders who have been designing and creating game pieces as they work on a "Game of Health" for Deb Lary's health class.

Test to Stay

Our Test to Stay program is nearly ready. Our plans are in place and we have communication ready to send to families when the need arises. We are waiting for the final details to fall into place, and then we will send the opt in forms and more information to families whose students are implicated through the contact tracing process.

Vape Cessation Forum

Our December Community Forum will bring together partners from Gifford Medical Center, Orange County Sheriff's Dept, RTCC, and Randolph Union to discuss vape access and addiction in our adolescent population. This will be a virtual forum. Please join us on December 15, 2021 at 5:30 PM to discuss this important issue.


Join with Google Meet

meet.google.com/yzw-ebkv-eya


Join by phone

‪(US) +1 563-277-0564‬ PIN: ‪825 073 927‬#

We Could Use Some Help!

Last year we went through a process led by Winton Goodrich of the Vermont School Boards Association that helped administrators and board members learn more about what our community would like from our schools. One thing that we learned is that people are interested in being involved and engaging more with our school community. If you would like to become a volunteer please complete this brief survey. Thank you!

Middle School Recess

Cold weather is upon us! Please send your 7th and 8th grade students to school ready to be outside for break and recess. Unless it is actively snowing or raining or below zero we plan to have recess outside. This gives all students a chance for a mask break and some time outdoors. Thank you!

Contact Us!

We appreciate hearing from all of you. It's useful to hear your feedback when you have a concern, and when you see or hear something that you think is worth celebrating. Please reach out!


Caty Sutton - csutton@orangesouthwest.org

Lisa Floyd - lfloyd@orangesouthwest.org


Co-Principals