EMS Newsletter

April 17, 2020

Dear EMS Families,

A week into the start of Continuity of Learning and we now have a week of April vacation. I recognize there are mixed feelings regarding this break, but I want to encourage us all to use this time for self care, given the ongoing challenges we are facing.

With that in mind, the EMS faculty have put together resources to encourage and support us all in finding ways to prioritize our health.

Finally, research shows that practicing “gratitude” improves our overall health and well being. Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4th-8th. Traditionally, this has been a time when EMS students and families have gone above and beyond to give thanks to our staff for their work and dedication. This year this will need to look different. Students and families might consider virtual ways to say thank you. Here are a couple of ideas that will hopefully make you smile and that might spark some creative ideas about how to say “thank you” for families, student groups, or even parent groups. Enjoy!

Sending my best for a safe week,


Friendly Reminders

  • Mental health reminder: If you would like to join a chat with a school counselor during break, we will have an open meeting every day from 11-12. Type the code EMSMeet into your Google Meeting icon.

  • Curriculum during the Continuity of Learning will continue to be posted on the EMS website

  • In addition to emails from your child/ren’s team and the curriculum being posted on the EMS website, students can find their assignments in their Unified Classroom accounts.

  • Confused about which exploratory class your child is taking this quarter? Please log into Powerschool to see the classes in which they are currently registered.

Community Announcements

  • Report Cards: Report cards for Q3 will not be mailed out this quarter. They will be available in parent Powerschool accounts over April break. If you are unable to log into your Powerschool account or are having trouble seeing your child(ren)’s profiles, please contact Julia Stein at jstein@bsdvt.org. Please see this PowerSchool Guide that outlines the steps you must follow to see your child’s report card, along with how to access your PowerSchool account.

  • No decisions have been made yet regarding plans for:

    • Locker clean out

    • Transition support from mIddle school to high school

    • End of Year celebrations

  • When we return from break and continue the Continuity of Learning, I want to encourage us to maintain a balance of learning and screen time in order to prioritize our health. If you are not already, I would encourage:

  • The use of timers when working - try 15 minutes of working on a task and 15 minutes taking a break.
  • Using your break time to:

    • Do sit ups and push ups

    • Draw a picture

    • Do a chore around the house to help out your family

    • Play a game with a sibling

  • Prioritizing exploratory projects and classwork; this classwork is designed to support students in self care.

Questions & Answers for Continuity of Learning

What is my child’s number one priority during this time?

  • Mental, emotional, and physical well being

  • EMS has numerous supports in place to help students who are struggling; this includes school counselors, case managers and student support services

    • If you would like to join a chat with a school counselor during break, we have an open meeting everyday from 11-12. Type the code EMSMeet into your Google Meeting icon.

Are we taking attendance?

  • Yes, per state mandate.

  • Teachers will be recording student attendance weekly.

  • Students will be marked present for the week if they: turn in assignments on Unified Classroom, attend a Google Meet class session, or email their teacher during the week.

How much work should my child expect to do each week?

  • A maximum of 15 hours per week

    • 2 hours a day for their core classes - LA, Math, Social Studies and Science

    • 1 hour a day for their exploratory classes

  • Many teachers will continue to offer enrichment resources as a supplement for students who would like additional materials.

How much new curriculum will be introduced to students?

  • Teachers have identified essential skills that they will focus on for the remainder of the school year. They are meeting weekly to determine essential progress. Teachers will complete a portion of previously planned material.

How will my child know what their assignments are?

  • Teachers will continue to email the weekly work plan weekly to students and families.

  • Assignments will also be posted in Unified Classroom

  • Assignments can also be found on the EMS website under Updates/Reminders - Continuity of Learning Plan

When are assignments due?

  • Each teacher has clear due dates in the weekly assignment/curriculum template posted online and emailed to families/students each week.

Does this quarter count?

  • Yes. Student learning will be assessed this quarter, though it is not expected that students will have as rich an experience as they would in a face-to-face scenario.

What will show up on my child’s transcript and report card?

  • EMS has aligned with a number of Vermont schools, including Hunt Middle School, to create a system which values student progress. See below for details.

  • Yearlong courses: Because students had the opportunity to provide a significant body of evidence of learning throughout the year, teachers can provide accurate scores for student learning. Students will receive a letter grade on their transcript based primarily on their learning in quarters 1-3. In order to maximize equity and opportunity, the average of quarters 1-3 cannot go down during Continuity of Learning, but can be raised through work they do through quarter 4.

  • Quarter 4 grades will be assessed using the following criteria. Feedback from teachers will be consistent and, when appropropriate, will be accompanied by narratives that incorporate this language and suggestions for growth in pursuit of the essential skill.

    • For end-of-Q4 “grades”, teachers will choose an overall “grade” based on a combination of participation and skills:

  • Not yet making satisfactory progress.

  • Making satisfactory progress.

  • Making exceptional progress.

What happens if my child cannot participate in Continuity of Learning?

  • Students who do not participate in Continuity of Learning will earn Incomplete scores on their report cards and transcripts. We are working on ways for students to make up this work at the end of the school year, over the summer, and/or in the fall.

What if my child needs extra help?

  • Teachers will be available to support students. If your child is overwhelmed with the workload, please communicate with the school counselor, your child’s teacher and/or case manager or administration. Our top priority during this time is to ensure we all remain healthy and are receiving the support needed.

What if my child has tech issues?

  • Call the BSD Tech Help desk line at 802-864-8437.

  • Leave a detailed voicemail - name, school, contact info (phone or email) - and detailed problem description.

  • A tech support technician will be assigned and will respond.

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To Our 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders and Their Families

Our Support Team at Edmunds is reaching out to let you know that we are thinking of you and care about you.

Please know that even though we are not at school to support, we continue to be here for you. We can connect through email or Google Meets during our school hours listed below. Feel free to reach out to us if you would like support: to chat, check in, or share a smile.

Take Special Care of Yourselves and Your Families!

Mrs. Hulbert, School Counselor, phulbert@bsdvt.org

Monday-Friday, 12:00-4:00.

Ms. Brady, School Counselor, klozier@bsdvt.org

Monday-Friday, 8:00-12:00.

Ms.Angela, Student Assistance Counselor, ahalsted@bsdvt.org

Mondays, Fridays, 8:00-1:00; Tues., Wed.and Thurs., 8:00-3:00.

Mrs. Zajan, School Psychologist, czajan@bsdvt.org

Monday-Friday, 7:45-3:30.

Nurse McCray, School Nurse, rmccray@bsdvt.org

Monday-Friday, 8:00-11:30 a.m.

Sending a Big “Hi”!

Design and Tech News

This week Design and Tech. students worked on a 3d modeling assignment called A Room of Your Own. Mr. Schoembs created 4 mini lessons to reinforce the 3d modeling skills that students needed to complete this assignment. The mini lessons provided the scaffolding that students needed to produce amazing design work. All work could be completed on chromebooks.

The next phase of this work when we return from break will include having the students design 3d Models of Rainbows which will be a part of the Rainbows over Burlington Project that the exploratory team is rolling out the week after break. The following week we will begin the Adventures in Flight Project which will allow students to design and build flying machines from home.

Never Stop Building!

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From the After School Director

I wanted to send something along that can help get you outside and give you something to do during this time:

If you complete this Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge, you'll get a VIP medal that gives you free Vermont State Park access for the rest of the 2020 year, and for the entire 2021 year!

You don't even have to complete the whole list; you only have to complete two or three challenges in each section to earn your VIP medal and free State Park access.

You can find more info HERE.

Good luck!