IAA Newsletter

October 2021

Principal's Note

Happy autumn to all of our IAA families! I hope each of you are well and enjoying the beautiful cooler fall weather. As we’ve now progressed through the first weeks of our school year, I have pleasantly observed our students co-creating inclusive learning environments with their peers. I’ve observed students demonstrating our ROAR rules consistently by respecting each other and their learning. Students have settled into their content curriculum and are engaging in active learning as they’re being supported by our wonderful IAA teachers and staff. It has also been good to see many of you as you’ve brought your students to school in the morning or as you attended our September Virtual Open House. I believe it has been a good start to our school year. I also hope we will continue to have many opportunities to partner as we each support making our IAA learning experiences valuable for all of our students.

As required by the Vermont Department of Public Safety and Vermont Agency of Education, our students and staff are required to prepare for emergency situations that may arise. These emergency situations include Egress (Evacuation) Fire Drills as well as Lockdown Drills. For both of these drills, we take an instructional approach. We practiced our first Egress (Fire Evacuation) Drill on Thursday, September 16th and students moved quickly, calmly, and safely. Our remaining Egress (Evacuation) Fire Drills for the year will be instructionally-based occurring in students’ classrooms with teachers talking through the procedures with students. For more information, families are encouraged to review the Drill Guidance from the Division of Fire Safety and Agency of Education, which can be accessed by visiting this link.

Upcoming activities:

Oct. 7: PTO meeting, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11: Indigenous People’s Day (schools closed)

Oct. 15: BSD Professional Development Day (no school for students)

Oct. 21: School Picture Day

School News

We have two exciting Artist Residencies coming up this Fall. Please review the dates for the Burlington Taiko Drumming residency carefully. There are opportunities to engage alongside your student and also see your student perform!

IAA staff and students are joined by Kennedy Center teaching artist, Bomani Armah, for professional development and work with students to integrate the arts and our local curriculum. For almost twenty years Baba Bomani has used the art of Hip-Hop songwriting (MC’ing, rapping) to teach valuable ELA and math skills and guide students as they create rhymes that summarize and help them memorize every subject. Baba Bomani begins by engaging students in his high energy and interactive assembly performances that highlight the Writing Process and historical figures like Frederick Douglass. This introduces the students to songs and dances that coincide with the exercises and graphic organizers that he uses in residencies and workshops and makes available to teachers with professional development and the BARS Teacher's Guide.

Important dates:

  • Aug. 20-- 3 hour professional development workshop with IAA staff

  • Oct. 12-- Outdoor kickoff sessions!

  • Oct. 12-14- Sessions with IAA students

  • Oct. 15- 3 hour follow up professional development

  • Oct. 29- Virtual Town Meeting Celebration

Burlington Taiko will work with IAA students, staff, and community in the role of Teaching Artist to bring the community together through music. Taiko drumming is an engaging vehicle for bringing people together while paying respect to traditions of Japanese culture. This residency will not only be an immersive experience in Japanese culture, but also empower participants in a number of SEL components (regulation, spatial awareness, collaboration, focus, growth mindset, etc.), and aspects of music, math, and literacy. Students will use their writing and reading skills to share information about the residency and further explore and make connections in stories about drumming. Burlington Taiko will perform for the school community, then work with each class to learn about and practice Taiko drumming for a performance and parade. Practice sessions will occur inside, in the gym. If your student has sensitivity to sound, feel free to send in earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. Please coordinate with your student's teacher.

Important dates:

  • Oct. 22-- Kick off performance from Burlington Taiko, 8:10-8:45 AM

  • Nov. 4th-- Community Drum Night, 6PM sponsored by the IAA PTO

  • Nov. 5th-- Final Community Performance by students, 1:45-2:40 PM

  • Nov. 19th-- Virtual Town Meeting Celebration

Town Meetng

On October 1st we held our first Town Meeting of the school year. The plan this year is to produce a virtual Town Meeting at the end of each month while sprinkling in some in-person experiences throughout the year. The first Town Meeting of the school year is short and sweet. It features a welcome from Drama Coach, Ms. Piper, September students of the week, and information about a yearlong, schoolwide art/mindfulness project from Ms. Sami. There will be an opportunity for the community to engage with the IAA Sticky Notes to Self project later this school year.

ONE Sings!

ONE-Sings is in full swing once again outside. Students in grades Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd will have ONE-Sings for 30 minutes, once a week, for seven weeks.

The ONE Sings program supports the use of singing in the curriculum of the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington, Vermont. The ONE Sings program assembles and teaches a repertoire of traditional songs relevant to the teaching curriculum and to the population served by the school. The goals of the program are to support the intellectual and social development of the students, to provide support and guidance to teachers and staff, to prepare students for future engagement with musical activities, to foster an appreciation for traditional singing and to support the communities of Burlington with their rich musical traditions.

Big picture

ONE Strings!

ONE-Strings is back for its 9th year at IAA. ONE Strings is a music program IAA launched in 2013. It is based on a Venezuelan-born program called El Sistema that has successfully brought orchestral access and instruction to underprivileged school children in several countries for more than 30 years. With financial help from the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival and the IAA PTO. 4th and 5th graders engage in a sixteen to twenty week Strings program and receive two 30 minute lessons per week. 3rd graders get a taste of what’s to come with a six week introductory session in the Spring semester. Our string instructors are Kathleen Kono and Rachel Keyser.

Arts Integration

Integrated Arts is in its first unit of the school year in grades 2-5. The Unified Arts team is collaborating with classroom teachers to co-teach and integrate the arts with science, math, and writing.

2nd grade is integrating Science, English Language Arts, and Library Media Arts as they read about pollinators, write found word poems about pollinators, build their own pollinator, create a rap about their pollinator, and present their understanding!

3rd grade is integrating music and math. Students are asking the question, “How can I show my understanding of music notation and unit fractions?” They are exploring the world of fractions through keeping a steady beat and creating their own compositions to share with their peers.

How do artists use math? How do mathematicians use art? Why do artists make art? 4th grade seeks to answer these questions as they integrate geometry with art. They are measuring and identifying angles as they work toward creating a Sol LeWitt inspired collaborative installation piece for our hallways.

5th grade is focusing on Writing and Drama during Integrated Art. They are improving their abilities to add details, include various story elements, and adhere to a clear story structure.The essential questions for the unit are: How do authors create compelling stories? (a story that pulls you in, with lots of details, that you want to read!) and How do actors tell compelling stories?

Instructional Coach

Hello Families, your children are exploring a variety of math concepts through our Burlington School District Math Program-Eureka. Please enjoy these photos of Kindergarten and Grade 5 mathematicians in action. This week, we have begun administering the district math assessments at each grade level. These assessments focus on skills that students are able to accomplish independently, by June 2022. By administering the same assessment three (fall, winter, spring) times during the school year, we can measure student growth. Part of my jos is to work collaboratively with teachers to look at the data from these assessments and determine next steps for the whole class, as well as for small groups of students. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions about our mathematics program (Eureka) at IAA.

In addition to math assessments, we are also administering Literably in grades 1-5 and a range of assessments in Kindergarten to learn more about your children as readers and emerging -soon to be readers. Literably is an on-line resource that captures students’ oral reading and responses to comprehension questions. Teachers use the information from our assessment tools and their own knowledge of what they see your children doing each day in class to plan instruction. Reading at home with your child and/or supporting quiet silent reading are the best ways to support your child’s growth in reading. Enjoy these photos of third grade students reading together at school.

Betsy Knox (bknox@bsdvt.org) - SA and IAA Instructional Coach


Hello IAA! It has been such a joy coming together again on a weekly basis with students. We have been reviewing and learning the Actor’s Toolbox (body, voice, imagination, concentration, and cooperation). Ask your child to show you :) We have been building our concentration muscles through the focus challenge. Students have been putting these skills into practice to deepen reading comprehension through snapshots (frozen gesture) and tableau (group frozen picture). Our focus has been around working together as a community. We explored the books “Swimmy”, “ Up The Creek”, and some of Mo Willems' favorites in kindergarten and first grade. I am looking forward to a fabulous adventure this year as we work to bring stories to life and learn about the world around us.

Art News

Things are hopping in the art room with students able to be in the space this year. So much more is possible and the excitement is palpable. The focus has been on self portraits, personal stories and getting to know one another. The K’s have done a lot of work around different sorts of lines and can spot and name all kinds. They are having a lot of fun exploring and navigating their way around the art room.


Hello IAA families! Good news from the music department: the students are back in the music room! We are making full use of this opportunity by doing lots of singing, playing instruments, playing musical games and moving gracefully to music. Additionally, we are able to have Integrated Arts in the music room. Currently, I am working with the 3rd grades on an engaging integrated arts unit that combines music and math (fractions). The students learn about both fractions and reading and writing music. Fun and engaging!

Feel free to contact me anytime!

Mr Myregaard

Email: bmyregaa@bsdvt.org Website: www.iaamusic.weebly.com Twitter: @IAAMusicVT

Instagram: @iaamusicvt
Big picture


Hello IAA Families! It feels so wonderful to have students back in the library and able to browse, read, and explore in the space. Currently we are working on Square 1 Art. If you don’t know about this incredible fundraiser here’s the lowdown: students create an original piece of art guided by a theme (this year’s theme is landscapes and nature) and we spend 3 weeks drawing, tracing with sharpie, and painting with liquid watercolors. I ship off these pieces and in a few weeks each student will receive a custom catalog with their art on various items that families have an opportunity to buy. Families place orders and those orders are delivered to school in time for the holiday season. Typically, students receive stickers with their artwork on them but this year, due to Covid, the sticker supply will not be available. All money raised from Square 1 Art goes directly to the library budget and helps us buy more amazing books!

Keep your eyes peeled for your students' custom catalog soon.

Library Wish List

Ms. Jen

Instagram: @iaa_library

Big picture


Hello IAA Families. My name is Sean Fink and I am the new PE teacher here. It has been a great start to the school year in PE. It has been great to see what the students know about PE, and what I am able to teach them. We started off the year, doing cooperative play games, soccer, and tag games. For the Kindergarten students we worked on body movement and locomotor skills. I can’t wait to see how the year unfolds, and be able to teach the students new games, and why lifelong activity is so important. The goal is by the end of 5th grade, to be able to take what they learn and transfer it into their middle school PE curriculum.


Please read this message from our district lead nurse! Also, please see the document below from the Vermont Department of Health regarding returning to school following illness. The document is translated to the languages listed below:

English Arabic

Burmese French

Kirundi Nepali

Somali Spanish

Swahili Vietnamese

Stay healthy!

Nurse Ali



Fall Festival

Please join the PTO on Thursday, Oct 7 from 6-7pm on the IAA playground to help us plan the Fall Festival. Fall Festival is a time for IAA families and community members to unwind and celebrate the season together through food, games, music, dancing and art. This year’s Festival will take place outside on the IAA playground on Friday, October 22 at 6pm. Interested in helping to organize an activity station? Please email Fauna, faunashaw@gmail.com.

Classroom Connections

Classroom Connections is a new PTO initiative to facilitate connections between student families and the classroom. A parent/caregiver point person in each classroom will work with the teacher to support teacher/classroom needs and to help build an inclusive and supportive community among parents/caregivers in each classroom. This fall, we will explore what teachers and families want and need to feel connected, and experiment with ways to facilitate those connections. Although every combination of teacher and parent/caregiver will be unique and based on their combination of needs, the Classroom Connections team will convene as a learning group to brainstorm ideas, reflect on what worked, and build a framework for future years. Look for more info soon from your Classroom Connection! Interested in participating or learning more? Please email Molly, mollyqloo@gmail.com.

Raise $ for IAA

The PTO needs your help fundraising for essential arts programming such as ONE Sings, ONE Strings, ONE Step and artists in residence. If you’re willing to reach out to a potential sponsor or funder to ask for support; to research and/or help write grants; or to organize a fundraising dinner at a local restaurant, please email Molly, mollyqloo@gmail.com.

Grounds Clean Up

Mark your calendars! On Saturday, November 6, 1-4pm, we’ll meet at IAA to prepare our fields, flowers, berries and vegetable beds for winter. Join this fun and collaborative work day to help keep our grounds and gardens looking beautiful. No experience necessary! Email Niles with questions, nyc.niles@gmail.com.

Stay Informed!

Feel like you’re missing important information? Want to start a community-wide conversation? Make sure you’re signed up for the IAA Community Google Group - a great way to stay connected, ask questions and share information about the IAA community throughout the year. Email K8 to sign up, k8lasko@gmail.com.