Integrated Arts Academy


A Message from Principal Bobby Riley

On our first Monday Morning Meeting of October I read a book called, Talk and Work it Out by Cheri Meiners. The book outlines how we solve problems peacefully. At school we have so many students at different developmental levels with a variety of needs, its important for us to discuss many social situations and skills as often as possible at school.

The book talks about a 4-step process for solving problems:

  1. Talk about the problem.
  2. Listen to understand.
  3. Think of ways to solve it.
  4. Choose the best plan.

We encourage you to have those same conversations at home. Social Emotional learning is something we do our entire lives and a concentrated focus on social emotional skills at school benefits all students. Here are some guiding questions you can use at home to talk about problem solving and conflict with your children:

  • Is there someone you often get along with? Why do you enjoy being together?
  • How do you feel when something really bothers you? Whose feelings are you thinking about? Why is a good idea to try and work things out?
  • Taking a slow deep breath can help you calm down. What helps you calm down when you're upset by something or someone else?
  • How do you work out problems?
  • When you its hard to work out a problem what do you do?

We often think of school as an institution that focuses solely on math and literacy. Be clear, these things are vitally important to the success of our children. But equally, if not more important, is the basic understanding of social emotional wellbeing and needs. Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. These are the benchmarks of a successful human being and the hope we have for all our children, so that they can find hope and joy in the world. We can not make assumptions that our students are getting these skills and needs met outside of school, because the reality is, many are not. As such, it behooves us to make it a priority in our schools and support families in addressing the needs in positive ways in the home.

So if you have any questions or want to see it in action stop by IAA, especially every Monday Morning, when we focus on a social emotional message for our entire community, then honor our students of the week that have exemplified these principles. If we remind students daily that this is important and acknowledge and recognize these actions in meaningful ways, it creates a whole school environment that is committed to social emotional learning, not only in school and not only during the school years, but in our communities and throughout life, for all students.\


Mr. Bobby

Calendar - Important Dates

October 19 - No School

October 25 - 1/2 day - Early Dismissal 11:30 am

October 26 - IAA Halloween Party - 6-7:30 pm

October 26 - Friday Town Meeting - Halloween Video

November 2 - Friday Town Meeting - Magic Mailbox

November 9 - Friday Town Meeting - Class presentation - Ms. Jen and Ms. B's class

Lost and Found

Have you been wondering where the new location for the Lost and Found is? Well, look no further! It's now located by the Walnut St. entrance, just through the gym. If you student has lost anything, or you just can't find it at home, come check here.
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Mohamed Abozekry and his band Karkadé at Monday Morning Meeting

On Monday, September 24, Flynn Artistic Director Steve MacQueen and his programming staff presented a special concert by Mohamed Abozekry and his band Karkadé at morning meeting. Abozekry, who performed the night before at the Flynn, fuses Egypt’s popular and classical music traditions with virtuosity and mystique. Sufi calls and secular poetry mark a musical pathway to an Arab world at peace with its history and turned towards the future. “I never move backwards,” Abozekry says of his songs, “but in a circular motion, returning to the place I started from with more experience.” Watch for more opportunities to experience internationally acclaimed artists at IAA this year! Brought to you by the Flynn/IAA partnership.

Art Studio News: What can I add, change, or improve in my art?

Students in grades 3-5 have begun using reflective language when thinking about their art. When a student believes they are finished with their art, they will now be prompted with the question, “What could you add, change, or improve in your art?” It will then be the student’s responsibility to go back to their seat, and revise their work.

  • Add (What else does this art need?)

  • Change (Is there something I could remove?)

  • Improve (Is there a part of my art that I could make better?)

We have been practicing this language with sketchbook drawings, asking students to share with the class what they would like to add, change, or improve. Try this prompt with your child at home!

Ada Leaphart, Visual Art Specialist, @iaaartstudio on Instagram

What's happening in the Library?

Square 1 Art is going out in the mail today, so keep your eyes peeled, in a few weeks, for catalogs with your child's art! (They should arrive the first week of November, and will be sent home with by your child's classroom teacher). We've been creating some pretty amazing art, and I can't wait for you all to see it.

We also just got our first big order of brand new books for this school year, and there are some pretty amazing titles. Parents are always welcome to come on down to the library and see what's new, and if you haven't already, open a school library account for yourself. Parents can set up their own accounts to check out books from the IAA library, that they can share at home with your child. If this sounds exciting to you, stop in at the library and see Ms. Jen.

We have begun reading our Red Clover Nominees for the 2018/2019 school year. This years crop of nominees is already proving to be exciting and thought provoking! Come see some of our art, inspired by The Book of Mistakes, in the the hallway outside of the library door. With 4th and 5th grades we have been reading one of the Dorothy's List nominees, Ban This Book and talking about our rights as readers.


Jen Peake, Teacher Librarian

Wanna see what cool stuff is happening in the library?

Follow us on Instagram: @iaa_library

Drama with Ms. Jenny

Drama is about stories. We can play theater games until we are blue in the face (we have!), but the real fun comes when we explore stories and play characters.

How does Humpty Dumpty feel when he is on top of the wall? How do the King’s men react when Humpty Dumpty falls? Why did Jack jump over the candlestick? Why is the Grandma in George’s Marvelous Medicine so horrid? How might she say, “I gobble up slugs. Delicious!”? How will George react?

It is rewarding to witness the inventive and unique artistic choices students make when they play different characters. Enjoy this photo of Second Graders watching Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall!

Jenny Norris, Drama Teacher

Health Screenings at IAA

Did you know that there are VT Agency of Education mandated screenings at all schools? That’s one of the many duties as part of my job as a certified school nurse. Screening tests are designed to identify students who may have a problem.

While the state requires testing only for grades K, 1,3,5, all students at IAA, will have their near and far vision checked, as well as their hearing. I believe every child should be screened every year to make sure they can best access their education. While not required by the state, I collaborate with Ms. Vierling to record height and weight data for PE and health records.

A child who has difficulty reading the board or books may not know that they are seeing differently from anyone else. Even mild deficiencies of sight or hearing can significantly affect a child's ability to learn.The first round was done during the first 3 weeks of schools with assistance from a UVM nursing student. Students who failed the initial screening get a second chance to meet the minimum standards. These are ongoing until I finish everyone. If they do not pass the second time, I will send a letter home to advise families to contact their child’s primary care provider or specialist. Most of the students have been evaluated. Please ask your child about the letters or check in their backpacks. If you have not heard and have a concern, please give me a call.

Nurse Mongeon

Physical Education and Activity

We just wrapped up our two weeks with our bike trailer. We had many students who were able to ride for all four of the PE classes in the last two weeks and enjoy even our tandem bike. Many students were able to have an experience on a balance bike or mountain bike. Ask your child if they know how to do an ABC check on their bike. I want to thank Local Motion and Kohl’s Kids for the Bike Smart Trailer. I also want to thank Liam Griffin, Becky Taylor, Todd Chewning, and Mark Heinzer for volunteering their time to help with classes. We look forward to bike riding in the future. If you would like an inexpensive bike for your child, please visit Old Spokes Home here in the Old North End. I can provide vouchers for some students who qualify for a free bike. Please see me for the voucher.

In addition to PE classes, there are multiple opportunities for before school physical activity. Research indicates that twenty minutes of physical activity can benefit not only our bodies but our brain as well. What better way to start your day?

Move it! Move it! on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays (weather permitting) The whole community can walk or run around the Move it! Move it! track any time between 7:45-8:07. Each mover receives a popsicle stick to track their laps. Every twelve laps is a mile. We keep track of all the laps each person moves and their incentives for 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 miles. Every month we give out prizes at Friday Town Meeting. Come join us.

CaTs on the Move with UVM on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (in the gym) Every one is invited to join the UVM students in the gym and plan to play fun games for 30 minutes. This program runs from 7:45-8:15. Students can arrive between 7:40-7:45 but doors close and you will have to wait for next time if you are late. Please be on time and ready to play.

School Counseling News

Hi Everyone,

I’m going to try to devote the counseling portion of the newsletter to resources that might be helpful to parents and educators. I found this article in a newsletter that I received recently from Lund: "What Teachers Should Know About Adoption." It’s fairly basic but is a good resource to have on hand.

On the Vermont Consortium for Adoption and Guardianship website, I found this short article: "What You Can Do To Make Vermont A Safer Place For Children And Families Of Color." Great article with a link to “All Are Welcome” signs.

Take care.



Students in 5th grade have all successfully logged into their online, cloud-based composing program called Noteflight! Noteflight is one of the resources included in our MusicFirst online music classroom. Students have begun composing and can access their work anywhere that they have a device and an internet connection! Noteflight is a professional level software where students can create unlimited numbers of compositions and use as many instruments as they see fit for their scores. The BSD has again provided us the funds for 100 seats in this online classroom, which allows 4th and 5th graders to compose using this resource. Students can also choose to compose using the expertise of a professional composer, communicating online with this composer. Compositions may be submitted in the spring to be chosen along with other Vermont student compositions to be played by a professional ensemble in Music-COMP’s annual Opus concert.

This year’s Opus 34 concert will be held in Montpelier at the Vermont College of Fine Arts on March 26th. This year’s instrumentation will be strings (2 violins, viola, cello, bass), winds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon) and piano. For more information, visit, and You can see an interview of 2 former IAA student, Victoria Barbieri and Gracie Bangoura speak about their passion for composing here:

Bill Myregaard, IAA Music



Twitter: @IAAMusicVT


The mission of the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler is to explore academic knowledge through intentional art experiences. Our richly diverse community collaborates and celebrates the world through meaningful learning and creative self-expression as we prepare students for success in the 21st Century.

IAA PTO Halloween Party!

Friday, Oct. 26th, 6-7:30pm

6 Archibald Street

Burlington, VT

Come to the Annual IAA Costume Halloween Party. All children must be accompanied by a guardian. Games/treats/activities and fun for all!'s spooky!

Anyone Can Raise Money For IAA

Did you know IAA is a Box Tops for education school? We can earn several thousand dollars a year, by just collecting the box tops found on many of the products you have at home.

So please cut them off and bring them to the office. For more information please go to

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