EMS Newsletter

May 3, 2019

Dear EMS Families,

The end of a school year brings change - for students the transition to a new grade and new teachers, or for our rising 9th graders, a new school. It also brings transitions for faculty - some retiring and others transitioning to new opportunities.

Before break our Assistant Principal, Fieh Chan, was offered the opportunity to become an Assistant Principal in Milton at the largest elementary school in Vermont. In order to continue his own professional journey, Mr. Chan has accepted this position.Thus, these final weeks of school will be his last at EMS. I want to thank him for all he has brought to the EMS community to date and all he will continue to bring as we wrap up this year. I am grateful for his partnership and unwavering support these last two years. Please join me in sharing your gratitude in these final few weeks.

In partnership,


Friendly Reminders

  • May 6th-10th: Math SBAC testing

  • May 8th-10th: Very Merry Theatre Production of Matilda

  • May 9th: ½ day for students - noon dismissal

  • May 15th: PTO Meeting in EMS Library/MakerSpace 5-6:30 p.m.

  • May 16th: Orchestra Concert in EMS gym 7 8:30 p.m. 8th

  • May 20th-24th: Vermont Science testing (8th graders only)

  • May 21st: Band Concert in EMS gym 7-8:30 p.m

  • May 24th: ½ day for students - noon dismissal

  • May 27th: No school - Memorial Day

  • May 30th: Chorus Concert in EMS gym 7-8:30 p.m.

  • May 31st: School dance in EMS gym 6-8 p.m. *with 8th graders able to stay for an extra 30 min.

  • June 7th: Whole school awards assembly in gym 1-2:45 p.m.

  • June 10th: Team trips *All day final end of year field trip varies by team

  • June 11th: ½ day for students - noon dismissal

  • June 11th: 8th grade Celebration of Learning in EMS gym 1 - 2:30 p.m.

  • June 13th: Last day for students (half day)

Community Announcements



May 15th

7:30 - 8:00 a.m.

Principal’s office

*Please join Ms. McDonough for a cup of coffee to share your thoughts or ask questions about EMS.



8th Grade Community Potluck Dinner


EMS “New" Cafeteria


Parent/Guardian Volunteer Organized

Volunteer Organizers Contacts:

Annie Howell annebhowell@gmail.com

Gail Rose grosevt@gmail.com

8th Grade Overnight Class Trip

Camp Hochelaga-South Hero, VT


Depart 3:30pm

Return Saturday 11am


Parent/Guardian Volunteers to Sleepover-NEEDED!

Sponsored & Organized by EMS Parents

Volunteer Organizer Contact:

Clare Wool clarewool@me.com

8th Grade Celebration of Learning

12:30pm 8th Graders Line Up in EES Gym

1-2pm Ceremony EMS GYM
2-3pm Reception EES Gym

8th Grade Families Voluntarily Donate Shared Reception Food Items

Student Last Name A-K (Cheese, Crackers, Veggies, Dip, Dumplings, Fruit…anything!)

Student Last Name L-Z (Desserts: Cookies, Brownies, Cupcakes…whatever you think is special)

Thank You 7th Grade Parent Organizers!:

Nancy Westbrook: nswestbrook@yahoo.com

Jenni Allaire: jennifer.allaire@gmail.com

8th Grade Student Cookout

BTC (Burlington Tennis Club)

Gathering for 8th Grade Students Only
Parent/Guardian Volunteers Needed

Sign Up Genius Coming!

Donations Fund This Gathering

Volunteer Organizer Contact:

Jennifer Sumner jlcolbert@yahoo.com

Equity Conversations Continue

To address student concerns about diversity and equity at EMS, social studies teachers spent two days last week discussing the strange career of a troublesome word: the N-Word. Please ask your child about this important conversation.

We started the lesson off in a circle to get buy-in and properly set the tone for the lesson. We listened to Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit and discussed the lyrics and tone of the song. Then we analyzed two iconic images taken during the Jim Crow era: the lynching in Marion, Indiana and Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine. As we analyzed these images we wrote down pathos, ethos and logos of the people in the pictures. We learned about the Jim Crow era by watching a video and comparing the video to the current administration in Virginia. After this we discussed the differences between overt and covert racism, listening to Roy Wood Jr.'s interview with Terry Gross to help illustrate the two. We continued by learning strategies for “calling in” and “calling out” in times of tense discussions about race. We finished by illustrating the connection between the N-Word and the general feelings white people had toward people of color in the Jim Crow era and explaining who can and who can not use the N-Word. Each student made a pledge to help with this.

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EMS Yearbooks

Yearbook Orders!!!

  • Purchase & Customize Your Yearbook

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Edmunds Community BBQ

A Community BBQ sponsored by the Burlington Police Department will take place at Edmunds on May 7th from 4-7 p.m.! See below for the proposed layout. South Union Street in front of the middle school will be closed for this event.

Activites: Street games including cornhole, oversize jenga, oversize checkers, street chalk, face-painting, CHAMP, K9 Demo, Drone Demo, Touch-a-Truck, partner outreach w/ giveaways/activities and more.

Street Closure @ 3pm: We plan to shut down S. Union between Main and King at 3 p.m.

Food & Grills: We are teaming with BHS Food Service to handle this. They plan to have the food delivered to the kitchen at Edmunds and the grills set up where noted on the map below, all beforehand. We’ll have sushi, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, chips and more.

Porta-Potties: Will be available.

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The winners of the 2019 Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition were selected from 197 entries from Vermont eighth graders statewide. In the words of Hildene President Seth Bongartz, “Using Abraham Lincoln’s legacy as touchstone, the goal of the competition is to promote awareness in the minds of a young generation of Americans of the responsibility each of us has to do our part to make our community, our state, our country and even our world a better place.” This is an objective that fits squarely within Hildene’s mission: “Values into Action” and this year’s prompt.

In the fall of 2019, application packets for the competition were distributed to teachers of 8th grade English, history, and social studies, and to librarian and homeschool networks statewide. All materials were also available online at https://hildene.org/learning/lincoln_essay. This year the design of the competition was reconfigured into four regions instead of one statewide competition, to encourage participation from all parts of the state. Region One is comprised of Grand Isle, Franklin, Orleans, Essex, Lamoille, Caledonia, and Washington Counties. Region Two is Chittenden County. Region Three includes Addison, Rutland, and Bennington Counties. Region Four is Orange, Windsor and Windham Counties. A first, second and third place winner was chosen from each region. In addition, judges could choose up to four honorable mentions from anywhere in the state.

Before taking on the 2019 challenge, students were reminded that today and throughout history, people have been forced to reckon with difficult issues and have passed through what Lincoln might call, “fiery trials.” They were then asked to identify a current change agent with the following prompt: Pick one person who inspires you because they have chosen to take on a daunting societal challenge. This challenge could be within their community, their state, their nation, or the world. Describe the challenge this person is tackling, the actions they are taking, the character traits that compel them to act, and the lesson(s) you draw from their example.

Blind judging was done by a panel of judges based on the content, the student’s understanding of the subject and her or his ability to convey that understanding using good writing practices including style, composition, grammar and factual accuracy – all in 500 words or fewer!

Out of the field of 16 winning essays, three focused on the Parkland, Florida shooting survivor and activist, Emma Gonzalez, and her advocacy for stricter gun legislation. Three focused on Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s efforts to secure girls’ rights to equal education worldwide. As a point of interest, 14% of all of the participating students either wrote about Emma or Malala. Other inspirational individuals, while perhaps lesser known, impacted these young writers as well. In addition to Malala, leaders whose actions impowered women loomed large among the winning writers’ choices. To mention a few: Sonita Alizadeh, an Afghan singer who protested with her music; Sabra Davidson, the founder of Vermont’s “Little Bellas,” who paired young girls and biking with building their self-esteem; Ricky Bernstein, who worked for the literacy of young Nepali girls; Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who gave testimony concerning her sexual assault allegations against, then Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh; and Isatou Ceesay, a Gambian woman who created a women-run recycling business that turns waste into saleable products. Essays also told stories about climate change and endeavors to heal the planet, such as: Boyan Slat’s efforts to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s advocacy of the Green New Deal; and young William Kamkwamba’s creation of a windmill made from scrap materials, in order to bring electricity to his remote Malawian village.

First Place Winners receive $600, Second Place $400, Third Place $250, and Honorable Mentions $200. This year’s winners from Region One are: First Place, Sage Conley, Glover Community School, Glover; Second Place, Kathryn Cox, Harwood Union Middle School, Moretown; Third Place, Jillian Stevens, Glover Community School. Winners from Region Two are: First Place, Lydia Sheeser; Second Place, Georgia Wool; Third Place, Aya Goldstein, all from Edmunds Middle School, Burlington. The winners from Region Three are: First Place, Ainsleigh Johnson, Middlebury Union Middle School, Middlebury; Second Place, Gabrielle Lucci, Christ the King School, Rutland; Third Place, Maria Hogankamp, Rutland Town School, Rutland. Region Four winners are: First Place, Avery Swett, Upper Valley Waldorf School, Quechee; Second Place, Fern Patton, Putney Central School, Putney; Third Place, Anthem Philip, Upper Valley Waldorf School, Quechee.

The 2019 Honorable Mentions are: Greta Kilburn, Edmunds Middle School, Burlington; Olivia Campbell, Mt. Abraham Union Middle/High School, Bristol; Paige Samuelson, Maple Street School, Manchester; Lily Welch, Upper Valley Waldorf School, Quechee.

Winners will be honored at a celebratory luncheon hosted by Hildene at The Lincoln Family Home on Sunday, May 19. All 2019 Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition winners in attendance will receive their awards and the First Place winners will read their essays aloud. These essays will be available for viewing online at www.hildene.org, beginning May 20, where Hildene will also list the topics addressed by the 197 participants.

To learn more about Hildene’s Lincoln Essay Competition or to make a reservation to attend the luncheon ($25 per person), contact Stephanie at 802.367.7960 or email stephanie@hildene.org.

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