IAA Mic Check with Baba Bomani
Our friend Bomani Armah visited IAA again on February 8th to kick off the great IAA Mic Check. He met with each grade level virtually for 20 minutes to share some music, connect, review the B.A.R.S writing process, and to dance! The IAA Mic Check ran February 14-18. Each classroom is engaging in the IAA Mic Check in different ways throughout the week. On Friday, February 18th, students were able to share their work during Town Meeting. It was our very first live virtual Town Meeting and it was such a pleasure to host Bomani as our MC.
This extended residency has inspired IAA educators strategies for integrating the arts, in this case literacy and writing with music. Here were my key takeaways from this residency:
Empowering kids to write can lead to self confidence and community building
Rap or writing is an effective way for students to summarize their learning on any topic.
Anyone can rap!
This year, the IAA Mic Check has taken the place of Wonder Week. Traditionally, Wonder Week is an opportunity for students to pursue shared interests and build relationships. This format requires mixing students and teachers between grade levels and classrooms, which is not appropriate for these times. The IAA Mic Check afforded us an opportunity to build community and create connections through shared experiences despite not being together in person.
Listening Tour with Michael Mwenso, Guest Curator of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts just announced that Michael Mwenso will be the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival’s Guest Curator for the June 2022 fest. In this role, he will help construct and curate the festival experience, as well as be the “face of the festival.” Michael is an amazing performer, musician, bandleader, advocate, curator, activist and educator, and he’ll be wearing all those hats at Discover Jazz.
Michael Mwenso visited IAA on January 27th to meet students and engage in a listening tour. They listened(to recordings and prompted students to express what the music made them feel, and what the artist is communicating. The goal was to leave students with a better understanding of how listening to ancestral music can further enrich their lives and provide nutrients for their soul.
He was born in Sierra Leone, moved to London at age 12, then to New York where Wynton Marsalis charged him with curating Jazz at Lincoln Center’s acclaimed “After Hours” program. It was there that he began connecting with the best and brightest young musicians in NYC’s always-fertile jazz scene.
Drum Daddies in March
Rockstar Drummer Manas Itene of Michael Franti and Spearhead and Grammy Award-winning Arrested Development’s Speech are traveling to Vermont to join James Elhers in Drumming 2022, With Good Vibes, Putting the Unity in Community. They plan to visit the IAA on March 7th and 8th. The Drum Daddies will offer hand-drumming good vibe gushin’ percussion workshops, live performances, hand-drumming circles and workshops, race relations keynotes and discussion groups, and love … lots of love. All will be taking place during their time in Burlington.
Message from the organizer:
Even a small donation could help James, Manas, and Speech reach their fundraising goal to bring a message of hope through music to Vermont children. And if you can't make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word. GoFundMe, https://gofund.me/96e0c5b5.
The January Town Meeting was action packed! It included the January Students of the Week, footage from our math and movement residency with teaching artist and UVM professor Kelly Mancini Becker, raising the new Black Lives Matter Flag, performances from 5th grade students, Ms. Rose’s 2nd grade class, and Mr. T’s 4th grade as well as the first challenge from the Magic Council.
February Town Meeting was a culmination of our work with Kennedy Center teaching artist, Bomani Armah. (See above for more information.) Baba Bomani MC'd our first ever live virtual Town Meeting over Zoom. Students shared their writing and performed their raps! February Students of the Week were also honored.
ONE-Strings will be wrapping up in 4th and 5th grade in March. They will have completely 16 weeks of ONE-Strings by the end of the session! 4th and 5th graders have made so much growth this year as they learn to play the violin and work together as a classroom community. 3rd grade will begin their 6 week session in March! They are looking forward to learning everything they will need to know for success in ONE-Strings.
The music room this month and last has been filled with lots of dancing (or, “moving” to music:)! All of the grades learned some fun contra and circle dances. After learning the dances, the students made them their own with personalized flair! We learned a lot about respecting others, sharing a common space, and working as a team. Some of our favorites were: The Chimes of Dunkirk, Galopede, Alabama Gal, and Circle Round the Zero. Music + movement = fun!
I just finished up my Integrated Arts rotation with 5th grade where we used Canva to create infographics for the countries they researched. They learned a lot of skills and their posters came out amazing. To help celebrate Black History Month I’ve set up book displays on the tops of all the shelves, and have tied our lessons this month to celebrating Black history and Black joy. All grades read Above the Rim How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Bryant. It was amazing to learn about this basketball player and the change he inspired.
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This week In PE the K-4 students were awarded prizes for having active hearts. The prizes went along with students learning about Heart Awareness, each prize was associated with the American Heart Association. The 5th grade has been learning a game called Speedball, and working on including everyone in the classroom. Overall this month the students have been working hard to understand Heart Awareness, and respect for others. In other news, Move It Move It! Will be back March 7th after break. This program will allow students to receive prizes after walking a certain distance, and working on their fitness. This program will be run by the PTO, who has more information below and supported by teachers and our Principal.
BHS/BTC 2025 Kickoff!
All BSD families and stakeholders are invited to join us at 6:30 PM on Thursday, February 17, as we kick off plans for BHS/BTC 2025! Teams have been working hard to move forward with a new high school and technical center in Vermont’s Queen City. Attendees of the virtual event will meet the design team, hear from principals, and learn about the design process. The design team will also share the work that has been done to solidify the project’s vision, an update on the program needs, and the most up-to-date timeline for the project as we gear up for a November bond vote!
Attendees will also participate in facilitated breakout sessions where they can give feedback to the team. The meeting will be hosted on Zoom and steamed to the BSD YouTube channel. Learn more at www.bsdvt.org
Meeting ID: 875 2408 6907
School District Budget
Town Meeting Day is March 1st and ballots are in the mail. This year's budget is projected to produce a property tax rate decrease of 6.98%. For more information, check out the District One-pager: