School Newsletter

Quarter I - Fall 2018

Message from the Supervisory Union

From the Desk of the Superintendent

With winter weather approaching us rapidly, it is time again to prepare for school cancellation and delay decisions. This page provides an outline of the process we follow for making school cancellation/delay decisions for weather events.


1. Prior to a “weather event” and early in the morning of an event, we gather information from a variety of sources:


- We look at forecasts from a variety of sources well in advance.


- We contract with Roger Hill to provide regular updates and consultation, both prior to and on the morning of events. We receive consultation and advice from NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) as well.


- We communicate, as appropriate, with the road crews and/or police departments for

both Barre Town and Barre City, as well as our contracted transportation company and

our own staff who are on the roads early.


- We communicate with other school superintendents in the region to coordinate

closing/delay decisions when it makes sense, realizing localized conditions and other

factors may necessitate different decisions for different supervisory unions and districts.


2. Our goal is to have a decision made by 5:30am.

- This is not always possible, as there are many things happening quickly.


- Most often, Roger Hill and NOAA make a recommendation and we follow it, as they get

automatic input from many sources and have expertise that we do not. They consider

what has happened, what is happening currently and what is most likely to happen as the day goes on. It is rare that our own information does not align with their recommendation.


- If the recommendations have not come out by 5:30am, we wait a little longer.


- If we feel like we have information and circumstances that requires a different decision

than the experts’ recommendations, we review everything again carefully before making that decision.


3. Once a decision is made to delay or close, we communicate in the following ways:

- We initiate a “Call Em All” through the phone system.


- We contact the media.


- We send out an email to all staff.


- We post on Facebook, Twitter, web pages, and phone greetings.


- We contact the police and road crews.


- We contact the food and transportation companies.


The decision to delay or cancel is extremely important for everyone’s safety. We take it very seriously. There is no guarantee that we can make the correct decision every time, but we do our absolute best. Please help us by being patient and understanding, and providing appropriate and constructive feedback.


Sincerely,

John Pandolfo

Superintendent of Schools

Save the Date: General Election

Tuesday, Nov. 6th, 7am-7pm

Barre, Vermont

Voters in Barre Town and Barre City will soon be deciding – for the third time in Barre Town and the second in Barre City – whether to merge their school boards.


The vote on November 6 comes just weeks before the Vermont State Board of Education’s November 30th deadline; if the Barre Town and Barre City do not both vote for a merger, then the State Board of Education will be compelled to make a decision on whether to merge the Barre districts as part of the final Statewide Plan of Act 46.

STUDENT and PARENT RESOURCES

SAVE the DATE: Senior Class Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 6th, 12pm

155 Ayers Street

Barre, VT

The 2nd Senior Class meeting will be held in the Auditorium during Band C. This is an informative meeting about Scholarships, Yearbook Deadlines for Proofing, Caps and Gowns, and events associated with Project Graduation.


Please spread the word and encourage your fellow classmates to attend.

SPOTLIGHT on STUDENTS

ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHTS

Big picture

A New Vision for PE

When we find ourselves lost on the open road many of us typically recall Dorothy’s famous line when she landed in Oz. “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”


That might be the response of many Spaulding alums from the 1950s and ‘60s if they revisited the school gym and watched a modern PE class.


Oh, there’s still plenty of sports action with laughing, happy-to-be-moving-around students, but second-year PE teacher Nick Ross, working alongside six-year veteran David Ball, have re-envisioned “gym class” to embrace what Nick calls “multiple learning opportunities.”


For example, the closing segment of a class now could include a video presentation by a student who filmed his track and field meets. Alongside Nick, he will discuss to the class how the skills were demonstrated, what game strategies were employed, and why certain tactical decisions were made during the meet, among other topics.


For another example, there are often segments (many technology-aided) during the 75-minute classes that teach students how to breakdown a motor skill, how to analyze game play, how to work with others in a group setting, how to set and implement personal fitness goals, how to avoid injury, among many other health and fitness subjects.


“Dave and I collaborate almost daily,” Nick said, “on how to incorporate new technologies to improve our instruction and provide different ways of learning. Students are videotaping themselves playing a particular sport and then – with our and their classmates’ help -- analyzing their various motor skills, decision making, etc. both to improve their game, and later to demonstrate a certain level of mastery.”


Among the dozen or more sports that students can choose to play throughout a semester, Nick says the most popular one is badminton. In PE terminology this is called a “net wall” game, as in volleyball or pickle ball. Other game categories include “invasion,” (floor hockey, soccer, basketball); “striking,” (wiffle ball, cricket, kickball); and “target,” (golf, bocce, and kanjam).


“I think badminton is so popular because it’s seen as more of a lifetime sport that doesn’t require highly organized teams and leagues to continue playing it as you age,” Nick said. “It’s still competitive though and fun for all participants the way we organize our classes which provides a pretty level playing field for all.”


Nick, a former player for Spaulding’s soccer, golf, and hockey teams (and still playing hockey in a local men’s league), presently coaches the Spaulding golf team, which has seen a spike in players from last year’s lone golfer, to eleven this year.


“I think the Barre youth program got a lot of kids interested,” he said. “The kids are realizing golf is a great sport to learn to play. Golf is a game that teaches players a lot of valuable life lessons.”


Nick earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Castleton University in Physical Education (Pre-K--12). He is also enrolled in the Master’s program in Education at Southern New Hampshire University. What’s second-year teacher Nick have to say about Spaulding students? “I find that most students are respectful, inclusive, and helpful.”


So maybe those visiting alums from the Fifties and Sixties wouldn’t feel entirely like someone dropped them into Oz after all. Once they get past some of the high tech teaching tools and unfamiliar games, they’d likely see modern students as pleasing echoes of themselves back in the day. -Jim Higgins

SAVE the DATE: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Tuesday, Nov. 6th, 5:30pm

155 Ayers Street

Barre, VT

Clark Amadon, our VSAC representative, will be available to provide guidance on how to complete the FAFSA and Vermont State Grant Application. The meeting will be held upstairs in the Computer Lab from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Students and parents are encouraged to attend.


For more information, please check out

https://www.vsac.org/plan/paying-for-college/fafsa-first .

SPREADING TIDE PRIDE

Gotta Pep It Up

Whether it's spreading the word for a good cause, such as Make A Wish, dressing up for a particular Spirit Day, or taking a risk for the overall good, Mr. Ferland wants to hear about it.


Proudly joining his efforts are students, staff and teachers who nominate each week an athlete, staff member, or student for doing good work. For some, they want to recognize an individual for their academic accomplishments or service work for the community whereas for some, they want to acknowledge an unique trait or interest.


For instance, Mr. Willard nominated Samantha Donahue, a freshman who is competing in the National Barrel Racing Championships in Georgia. According to Mr. Ferland, "Sam's taking the greatest leap of faith and competing at the national level"; this in itself is impressive as a freshman.


Thus, eponymous activities like the Pep Rally are no longer the main factor that unites a school and promotes school spirit, but the people within our community.


Despite the different classes and backgrounds of each individual, Mr. Ferland's vision is promoting an inclusive culture that is not only supportive of sports teams, but performances and individual achievement. He appreciates the weekly nominees and working collaboratively with the Crimson Crazies to determine the pick of the week. Each Friday, members of the Crimson Crazies take the time out and converse as a group on why certain individuals deserve the recognition.


As noted by Mr. Ferland, "they take it seriously and have some great discussion about why they feel certain people are deserving. It says a lot about who these kids are. We have new students come almost on a weekly basis and, even, if they can't join us every week, it shows that they want to be part of something bigger than themselves."


They believe recognizing individuals for their integrity, good work, and just being human matters.


Like his students, Mr. Ferland has such strong convictions on this, he's even willing to now bleed crimson rather than Raider Blue, his alma mater of U32. Just take a look at his right shoulder as he avoids itching it and join his cause...

SAVE the DATE: Production of Pride & Prejudice

Spaulding Drama Club presents Jane Austen's best-loved work, Pride and Prejudice.


Filled with witty repartee, romance, and some serious life lessons, this period drama follows Elizabeth Bennett and her four sisters in their pursuit to secure their futures. Alumnus Alison Norcross directs her fifth production for SHSDC; script is by Robert Stoddard.

Performances run November 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30.


Tickets are available at the door or online.

HONORING OUR COMMUNITY

Tackling Obstacles

As the holiday season approaches, many organizations are in full swing in their efforts to raise awareness about their community needs. However, three groups in particular want to be better informed on how they can help.


Members from Spaulding High School's Key Club and National Honor Society and United Way's Director of Funding & Program Development, Carrie Stahler spent time learning about hunger.


For most individuals, they are only thinking of purchasing a product that can be contributed to the drive, but Manager of Youth & Family Initiatives, Jessie Carpenter from the Vermont Foodbank, wants you "to walk in someone else’s shoes and experience what it is like to struggle with poverty and hunger." She wants you be aware of daily issues facing someone, but more importantly, how one must manage his/her resources and provide enough food to feed his/her family.


These messages were driven home in the Hunger 101 simulation when students, Cellan Hogan, Ella Van Hilton Osdale, and Colleen Couture failed to qualify or even meet with the 3SquaresVT benefits representative in a timely manner.


Through their vicarious experience, they ascertained not only donating money to a cause is helpful, but being aware of how food donations can not always create a sustainable meal for someone.


This was also driven to heart for MJ Chouinard whose role was to qualify for assistance during the role play and obtain food products that were nutritious.


According to Emma Poirier and Makayla Boisvert, along with Carrie Stahler, we need to be more mindful in terms of the donation. This was apparent when the ladies finished the simulation and spent an hour volunteering in the center where they packaged donations to be served as a meal.


These meals included a can of pasta, a can of vegetables, a can of fruit, a single serving of milk in an UHT package, along with a serving of Cheerios and apple sauce. They saw first hand that Ramen noodles was not a viable option or just spaghetti without the sauce. Both were no longer contenders in providing a sustainable meal for a family.


And so as the season of giving begins, please be more conscientious with your food donations and join the efforts in battling hunger.


For more information on the Vermont Foodbank, click on the link provided:

https://www.vtfoodbank.org/

SAVE the DATE: Winter Sports - Pre Season Information Night

Wednesday, Nov. 7th, 6:30pm

155 Ayers Street

Barre, VT

Pre Season Information night will be held for Winter athletes and their parents in the School Gymnasium.

CONGRATULATIONS

Recognizing One of Our Own

On Monday, October 1st, Samantha Mishkit was recognized as an Outstanding Teacher within the state of Vermont at the University of Vermont.


She is a terrific teacher, leader, advisor and coach. She is a member of the Science Department and the Department Head.


Sam cares deeply for students and goes to extensive measures to work with the students to help them be successful. Her classroom is always a hub of activity - whether case managing students on EST plans, assisting students struggling with science, strategizing with students on the next Key Club activity or providing a safe place for students to be.


She is continously creating and refining curriculum and tools to engage students in critical thinking, hands on learning and meeting high standards. Sam strives for excellence in all that she does.