EMS Newsletter

June 12, 2020

Dear EMS Families,

As we wrap up the 2020-2021 school year, I want to thank you for your incredible partnership, especially over the last three months. As we continue to navigate the road ahead, continued patience and flexibility will be needed by us all. That said, with time to plan this summer, we will be able to reflect on our learnings from this year as we prepare for the fall. James Kiefer, the next EMS Principal, will connect with you this summer once more direction and clarity from the State and Agency of Education is provided.

It was fun to see so many students and families join us for the faculty car and bike parade this week. Seeing you in person was our highlight of the last three months!

On a personal note, I want to express my deep gratitude for the incredible gift I’ve had leading Edmunds Middle School these past three years. As I move forward, memories will undoubtedly continue to fill my heart and guide me.

With love,


Community Announcements

  • Looking for tutors for our students! Please email Brady Lozier at klozier@bsdvt.org if you are interested in tutoring for cash over the summer!

  • Yearbook Crew is putting the finishing touches on the yearbook and orders are still being accepted. They cost $12 and include two (2) customizable pages for free! The link to order a yearbook is: https://www.treering.com/validate?PassCode=1014490853191429 Students/parents will need to create an account with Treering to purchase the yearbook using that link. Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, the books will not arrive until after the school year has ended. Stay tuned for updates as to their delivery and distribution.

  • A message from our YPAR students regarding Black LIves Matter hoodie orders:

Dear EMS families,

We would like to thank you for your generous donations for the Black Lives Matter hoodie initiative at EMS. Unfortunately, the organization that we hired to make the hoodies has closed its shop during this COVID-19 pandemic. We chose that company because they supported the movement and were willing to give us the merchandise at cost, and they are local. We have attempted to contact the company for the past eight weeks but they have been unresponsive. Sadly, because of the new CDC regulations, we are at the point that we will not have enough time to have the hoodies made and distributed before the end of the school year, even if we go with another company. We are attempting to find a way to return the funds to those who have paid for hoodies and those who have graciously donated their money to help support those in need. That said, if you would like to use your contribution as a donation to help support another YPAR initiative, such as the banner to support the LGBTQ+ population at our school or supporting students in need during remote learning ,we would be happy to use your funds for either of those endeavors. However, if you would like your cash returned (we plan on destroying all checks unless asked) you will be given that chance during the Chromebook drop-off/locker cleanout day during the last week of school. All cash not requested during that time will be used for another YPAR cause.

Thank you,

YPAR collective

  • 8th grade BHS transition support

    • 9th Grade Night is scheduled for the last week of August (exact date TBD).

    • Tentative 9th grade First Day: August 25

  • 2020-2021 BSD Calendar

  • “New” Faculty at EMS in 2020-2021:

    • Brent Truchon will be transitioning back into the role of EMS Instructional coach. A HUGE thank you to him for his tireless work this year as EMS’ Dean of Students. His partnership was one of a kind. That said, EMS is lucky to have him back in the role of specifically supporting teaching and learning next year.

    • Katie Lobdell is our incoming EMS PE teacher.

    • Emily Smith is our new French and Spanish teacher.

  • A message from James Kiefer, EMS Principal

I have been a public school educator for 30 years. I spent 22 years as a 7-12 math teacher and 8 years as a principal. In my last 20 years in Owatonna, MN, I was a teacher for 11 years, the principal of a 6th grade eSTEM building for 5 years, and the principal of the ALC for 3 years.

My wife and I are excited for our move to Vermont. We look forward to becoming a part of the community as we build relationships with students, staff, families, and community organizations. We have four children who are all in their 20s, and we have twin 7-year old grandchildren. Our kids live in Alaska, Minnesota, California. and North Carolina.

Laura and I were drawn to Burlington due to the vibrant, diverse community. I believe that there is strength in diversity. I have as much passion and drive for being an educator as I did in my first year of teaching. I absolutely love my profession, and I am looking forward to getting to know the individuals and culture that make Burlington an amazing place to learn, live, and grow.

  • A message from Ms. Wyndorf

May this message find you well. I write to you from afar at a time that the ever present need for collective action is amplified and our ongoing support for each other, for listening, and for understanding, is paramount. It is times like these that I seek and find refuge in community.

As many of you may know, our family has had the opportunity to live, learn and teach in Hà Nội, Việt Nam for the past school year. We have been grateful to have built relationships, connections and community here. This being said, our community back home in Vermont has remained deeply embedded in our hearts and we have made the decision to return this summer.

I am humbled and grateful to share that I will be joining the EMS community again as a .5 health educator for the 2020-2021 school year. I look forward to seeing you again, to catching up, and to being together. Sending my best.

  • 8th Grade BHS Transition Support
      • 9th Grade Night is scheduled for the last week of August (exact date TBD).

      • Tentative 9th grade First Day: August 25

  • 2020-2021 BSD Calendar

  • Friendly Reminders

  • End of the year report cards will be mailed home the week of June 15th
  • Grading Procedures for quarter 4 and year end grades.
    • Q1-Q3 grades will be averaged as usual. Teachers will add points to this accumulative yearly grade as follows:

      • Not yet making satisfactory progress: Average for Q1-Q3 remains as is.

      • Making satisfactory progress: Student showed growth that is consistent with previous quarters; teachers use discretion in leaving the average for Q1-Q3 as is or “bumping” up ⅓ letter grade (example: from B to B+).

      • Making exceptional progress: Student demonstrated exceptional effort and growth relative to previous quarters; teachers use discretion adding up to 1 letter grade (example: from B to A).

    • Semester classes: Students have not had sufficient time to demonstrate a body of evidence of learning for second semester courses. Thus, teachers may not be able to provide accurate scores for learning targets in second semester courses at this time, so students will receive one of the following scores:

      • Not yet making satisfactory progress

      • Making satisfactory progress

      • Making exceptional progress

    • Classes that are typically pass/fail for the year will continue to use this language in their final year end grades.

Community Food Pickup Returns to South End

WHAT: In response to an overwhelming demand at the first South End Community Food Pickup, the event will return next Saturday, June 20, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Champlain Elementary School parking lot to deliver a second round of grocery bags and gift cards. Thanks to organization by South End community leaders, with generous collaboration from City Market, the number of items has expanded and the number of grocery bags and gift cards has doubled to 250. ANYONE in need is welcome.

WHO: Everyone is welcome

WHERE: Champlain Elementary parking lot, 800 Pine Street

WHEN: Saturday, June 20, 10-11 a.m. while supplies last

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Summer Support from Counseling Office

  • Rest, rejuvenate. Practice Mindfulness, Yoga or Relaxation Techniques.
    1. Go down to the lake to listen to and watch the water

    2. Do yoga on a rock by the water.

  • Hydrate, sleep, eat well.
    1. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces each day.

    2. Try to go to bed at a reasonable time (9-10pm) and the same time every night

    3. Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day, and don’t forget: protein makes your muscles strong!

  • Decrease screen time!!!
    1. https://familyaware.org/teensocialmediamentalhealth/

    2. Take a social media break; challenge your friends to break with you.

  • Get moving- walk, swim, bike, hike, build sand castles.
    1. Challenge your family to a sand castle building contest at the beach.

    2. Try to meet up with a friend at the park.

    3. Take a bike ride or hike a trail that allows you to explore a new place.

    4. Being around friends “fills our buckets.”

  • Read, craft, play games.
    1. Paint rocks with positive sayings

    2. Hide them in your neighborhood for others to find.

  • Plant some seeds.
    1. Get a box, container or jar

    2. Fill it with dirt using your hands (not gloves!)

    3. Plant some seeds!

  • Journal.
    1. Writing in a journal can help to sort out feelings and provide stress relief.

    2. Write a story, poem, or just list some words.

    3. Draw a picture or doodle out your feelings.

  • Set a personal goal.
    1. Working toward and achieving a goal gives us a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

  • Connect with your supports.
    1. If you’re having tough feelings, reach out to someone you trust. You do not have to carry these feelings alone.

    2. The counselors have sent home a postcard that will give you community supports to use this summer!

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Dear Burlington Families,

The Burlington School District is happy to be able to provide the Middle School Summer Program this year. Academic classes and enrichment programs will run Monday-Thursday, June 29th-July 23rd and are open to students currently in grades 5-8. Please see attached documents for descriptions of these classes/programs. Registration is open now through June 21st - instructions for applying online are listed at the end of this letter.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are making several modifications to the program to increase safety protocols for our students and staff. We are adopting and instituting the State of Vermont Health Guidance for Childcare Programs, Summer Programs and Afterschool Programs that became effective June 1, 2020. In addition, we are altering the capacity, times, length, and program offerings to further enhance our safety protocols.

We are asking families who are interested in registering for the program to please click on the below link to review information from the Vermont Department of Health on "What Parents Can Expect Child Care and School Age Camps/Care":


Please also review the updated program information below:


  • June 29th-July 23rd, 9:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

  • Hunt Middle School, 1364 North Avenue


  • Daily health checks will occur for all students and staff

  • Masks will be required for all students and staff (facial covering will be provided by the program)

  • No shared common spaces will be open; no co-mingling of classrooms/spaces will occur

  • Staff will remain with the same group for the duration of the program

  • Program will be on-site only; no community field trips


  • Due to strict health guidelines, we have adapted our model to allow students to register for one “Pod” of enrichment programs for the entire summer. Each pod contains an already-determined string of scheduled programs, and will contain the same small group of students and staff for the entire summer. Switching pods or any cross-pod interaction of any kind is strictly prohibited.

  • Due to limited space, it is expected that registered students are able to attend all 4 weeks of program, with priority registration given to those able to attend all 4 weeks. Due to our health guidelines, we are unable to fill an open spot if a student attends fewer than 4 weeks or only half-day.

  • If a student misses their AM program for any reason, they are unable to attend their scheduled PM program that day.


  • Each academic class runs Monday-Thursday for 4 weeks. Due to the cumulative nature of the curriculum, it is expected that students attend all 4 weeks and do not miss any class time.

  • New this year: Due to our strict health guidelines, students who are registered for an academic class will only be attending that one half-day academic class, and are unable to participate in other morning or afternoon programs of any kind.

  • Space is limited to 11 students per academic class.


If you have a PowerSchool Account:

1. Sign in to PowerSchool: https://psapp.bsdvt.org/public/home.html

(Note that this cannot be done using the PowerSchool App.)

2. Look for your child’s name on the bar in the upper left corner, click on their name, click “Forms” on the left side menu.

3. Scroll down to the Middle School Summer Program section of forms and click on the “Welcome and Information” form to begin the application process.

4. Fill in all information on all forms to submit the application. Be sure to click “Submit” at the bottom of all forms. The red bar to the right of the Middle School Summer Program section will turn fully green when all sections have been completed.

5. You will need to complete a separate application for each child. If the names of your other children do not appear, contact Eli Phillips at ephillip@bsdvt.org and ask for their “Access ID and Access Password”. Then, in PowerSchool, go to:

a. "Account Preferences" on the menu on the left side,

b. Click on "Students",

c. Click "Add Student",

d. Enter your child's name, their Access ID and Access Password,

e. Select your relationship to the student through the Relationship drop down,

f. You may now select the student to complete a Middle School Summer Program application.

If you DO NOT have a PowerSchool Account:

1. Contact Eli Phillips at ephillip@bsdvt.org for an Access ID and Access Password for each student. The Access ID and Access Password are not the same as your PowerSchool Username and Password. The access information is used to add a student to your account. The username and password are used to log into PowerSchool.

2. Sign in to PowerSchool: https://psapp.bsdvt.org/public/home.html

(Note that this cannot be done using the PowerSchool App.)

3. Click on the “Create Account” tab, then click on the “Create Account” button.

4. There are two sections to this form. The top section is to enter your account details and the bottom section is to enter student information. Enter the information under the Parent Account Details.

5. Scroll down until you see the student fields. Enter your child’s name, then enter the Access ID and Access Password below.

6. If you are applying for more than one child, you will need a separate Access ID and Access Password for each child.

7. Once you have completed the steps above, click “Enter”. This will bring you back to the Student and Parent Sign-In Page, where you will enter your new username and password.

8. Follow the steps above to complete the Middle School Summer Program application(s).

Laura Wageman

Afterschool Site Director, Edmunds Middle School

275 Main St. | Burlington, VT 05401 | 802.355.4062

Engage EMS Art from the Pandemic

Now that school is almost a wrap - and we might actually have a bit of time to pursue the great art of the EMS student community - I wanted to share the link to the Student Art Gallery. https://sites.google.com/bsdvt.org/emsexploratoryclosuresite/classes/art/ems-student-gallery?authuser=0

Also, check out the coverage of some of our students' artwork in this week's edition of kidsvt in Seven Days: https://m.kidsvt.com/vermont/students-respond-to-coronavirus-with-art/Content?oid=5133752

There has been some terrific, wildly creative, and plain old beautiful work created by students over these past 12 weeks. I am grateful, in awe, and inspired always by the imagination and art of our students!

Hurrah to 2019-2020!

Ms. Judy

Hello from the Nurse’s Office!

Sun Safety

Remember to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses to protect your body from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Prevent sunburn and avoid the direct sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. if possible. Treat sunburn with some cooling aloe.


Drink at least 8 ounces of water a day ,depending on activity level. Know the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, so you know how much water to give someone who suffers from heat-related illnesses.

Traffic Safety

Wear your seatbelt in the car. Wear your helmet when biking or skateboarding. Obey the laws of the road. Use designated crosswalks and remember to look both ways before crossing busy streets. Bikers should always walk bikes across crosswalks, not ride through them. If riding, bikers should use the road, with the traffic.

Water Safety

Always wear a life jacket when you are on any boat or paddleboard, or while swimming in rough or unknown waters. Never swim alone. Always have a buddy in and near the water. Always take precautions and follow any posted signs about swimming, no matter how confident you are in your swimming ability. If you are tired, float on your back toward shore and take a break. Swim where there is a lifeguard on duty for the best safety.

Fire Safety

Never light a fire near dry grass or in windy conditions. Firecrackers, sparklers, fireworks, or bonfires should be lit only if there is a water source nearby. Drown campfires in water to ensure they don’t start an unintentional forest fire. Celebrate summer holidays! Use glow sticks instead of sparklers - they last longer and have zero burn risk factors.

Becca McCray EMS School Nurse

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EMS Receives a Teaching Tolerance Grant

We are excited to announce that the 6th grade Humanities teachers, in partnership with the University of Vermont, were recently awarded a grant by Teaching Tolerance, an anti-bias education project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The grant funds will be used to support the ongoing development of our 6th grade social justice curriculum. This curriculum is a critical component of our school’s commitment to anti-bias education, which by definition includes antiracist education. Through this curriculum and the grant funds, all 6th grade students have the opportunity to develop critical skills in the areas of identity, diversity, justice, and action (informed by the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards). We look forward to sharing more about this exciting and important work and hope that you will join us in congratulating the Edmunds Middle School and University of Vermont partners who have made this work possible:

EMS Grade 6 Humanities teachers

Bianca Bellot

Ashley Howard

Rebecca Ortiz

University of Vermont partners

Jessica DeMink-Carthew

Quin Gonell

Lance Smith