IAA Newsletter

June 2019

Principal's Message

Here are my remarks sending off this year’s fifth grade graduating class. Have a great summer everyone and thanks for making IAA such a special place for the students, the teachers, this community and for me. I am eternally grateful for the experiences I have had at IAA. They have truly made me a better leader and person.

At IAA we keep track of a little data called; Office Discipline Referrals. When a student, needs some help with their emotions, frustrations and life’s difficulties, we track that information in the school’s computers. You know, when you hear things like, “Mr. Bobby Buzz the Office,” or “Ms. Meg Report to the Cafeteria!” Well, for the last 6 years this group of students has made up less than 5% of those office referrals. That’s not to say that those of you sitting before us today did not have emotional needs, frustrations and difficulties, you did. However, more than any group that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last 17 years in this building, you have a profound connection and understanding of what it means to be a community. So when these things did come up, you often took care of each other, exercised empathy and developed support.

Really, I just think you came through these doors 6 years ago as extraordinary people already. But the arts and the experiences you had at IAA, have deepened and honed what it is that makes you such a special group. You have always taken what the arts gives you and have applied it wholly to your personal lives and peer relationships, thus creating a really open and positive community.

Involvement in a positive and encouraging community has had a real impact on how each of you feel about yourself. I’d say, the last 6 years have been rife with positive experiences that have allowed you to feel more connected to your school and the people in it. This form of connection has provided a support system for each of when your are in need of encouragement or sympathy.

These positive community experiences, paired and deepened through your artistic experiences, has given each of you a sense of belonging and the feeling of being able to express yourselves safely and without feeling judged.

By promoting this feeling of belonging and encouragement, you have each been empowered to speak up about your ideas and opinions, practice self-reflection and explore the core values and beliefs you hold dear as a community.

I’ve seen it in action, time and again, and have been amazed by it. My guess is, that often you don’t even realize how amazing your interactions and care of each other is. Like Nike, you, “just do it.”

But I’m here today to tell you to stop and recognize it. It is truly something special. The gifts you have given this community, and to each other, are solidly in each of you, ready to be passed on to those you come in contact with next outside the walls of this school.

I’d like to share with you one of my favorite poems, by one of my favorite authors. I think this poem speaks to how you have developed thus far and how you will continue to grow.

Turning to One Another - Margaret Wheatley

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.

Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

Talk to people you know.

Talk to people you don’t know.

Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised.

Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.

Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.

Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.

Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness.Stay together.

There is an abundance of human goodness sitting before us today, with the power to help people, “stay together.” I am so proud and deeply grateful to be connected to this group. I am honored to have seen your goodness flourish, and as you grow, I can’t wait to see how it makes our world a better place. Now, go get ‘em, and congratulations.


Mr. Bobby

Arts Coach

IAA, I love you. It’s really that simple. You have been at the center of my heart and mind for ten years. Our community of students, families and staff have filled me with such deep purpose and love. I can never thank you enough.

At the Integrated Arts Academy we have thrown the doors of education wide open, embracing everyone who enters and urging all to live an authentic, creative life. That’s a pretty fantastic way to be a school. I leave knowing that we have established a solid foundation and many strong traditions. I leave knowing that we have a dedicated and passionate group of educators here to carry on. I leave knowing our parents are completely on board as advocates and supporters of the work we do. I leave knowing that our arts partners are amazingly committed and here for us through the next decade. I leave knowing that it is possible to rebuild a school when values of love, joy, creativity, and connection are at the core. We were not afraid to turn a school on its side in order to grow. It’s been such a blast. It’s been so very difficult. It has been so worthy. I am so proud.

As I say goodbye, I want you to know I remain committed to your vibrant success. I’ll be here - one school over, cheering you on, offering help wherever I can, welcoming your 5th graders into middle school, and hopefully bringing some of your magic with me. Feel free to connect with me anytime. I’m going to miss you so much.

Ms. Judy

Summer Events and Dates


Another year in the books! I will be moving to Minnesota in a few weeks, and it seems fitting that I am “graduating” with this year’s cohort, as I started with them in Kindergarten. This community has been beyond supportive over these past six years, and it breaks my heart to be leaving it. Thank you to all of the families and community members who’ve supported our arts program through donations, volunteering, and advocacy! I’ll be maintaining my art education Instagram account, @leaphartstudio, if you want to keep in touch. I’ll continue to share inspiring moments in art education, and I hope you’ll send updates about your child’s art and milestones as well! THANK YOU!


Ada Leaphart @leaphartstudio, ada leaphart@gmail.com


What a fun year it has been in the music room! Every grade learned many musical skills and had fun while doing it! There are lots of musical opportunities available during the summer, eg, Presto Strings and Trad Camp. Ask if you need more information. 3rd graders get to keep their recorders, so keep practicing those tunes!

The 5th graders composed some awesome music to interpret their IAA memories while doing an IAA capstone project with me. You can listen to all their compositions on SoundCloud, here:


Good luck to our 5th graders headed into 6th grade! (Make sure you join the band, orchestra and/or chorus!)

Have a great, musical summer and I’ll see you in the fall!





If you are looking for a way to celebrate the end of another school year, or your student's time here at IAA, think about donating a book to the library! Here's the link to the Library's Amazon wish list, and we will happily put a bookplate inside to let everyone know who donated it. Thanks for another wonderful year of school!!


It is a bittersweet end to this school year as many of you already know my family and I are returning to Colorado. I have been at IAA since 2011 and have so many wonderful memories to take with me. My one wish is for this community and most importantly my students to continue to be physically active for a lifetime! If you ever find yourself out in Colorado, please feel free to contact me at the below email address. I will be teaching PE at a school in Parker,CO so I will continue to use my Twitter account for professional use. I welcome all updates and hope to visit Vermont soon. Thanks so much for all the support over the years!

Danielle Vierling




Summer fun will be starting soon. Keep kids safe by putting on sunscreen before they go outside and reapplying it every 2 hours. Wearing a hat and sunglasses will also help to protect against harmful sun rays. Swim in approved areas with a buddy or life jacket and adult supervision. Free meals for students will continue during the summer. Suppers at IAA will be from 4:30pm-5:30pm on 6/26, 7/3, 7/10, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31, 8/7, 8/14. https://www.burlingtonschoolfoodproject.org/summer-meals/ is the site to check for times and other Burlington locations. Have a safe and fun-filled summer.

As many of you have heard, I am retiring from my full-time position as the IAA School Nurse. It has been a wonderful 15 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed taking care of the students, families and staff! It has been an honor and privilege to share my skills and knowledge to help keep students healthy and ready to learn.

However, I don’t think I can go “cold turkey” and hope to return as a substitute. My replacement will be Ali Wasko RN. I hope she has the same experiences and comes to realize that school nursing is the best career choice. This was the hardest nursing position I have ever loved. (In comparison, the Army was not that hard!) I leave you with the quote that epitomized my philosophy at IAA.

"You can't educate a child who isn't healthy, and you can't keep a child healthy who isn't educated" Dr. Joycelyn Elders

IAA/Flynn Partnership: A Year in Review

It has been a rock star year for our partnership, thank you IAA community! In 2018-2019, IAA had students at 11 different Flynn Center student matinee performances! On Friday, April 19, the entire school attended Ballet Hispanico (pictured below; watch a clip). Plus...

37 Words Come Alive workshops

83 ONE Steps workshops

18 Companion Workshops

20 Ping Chong + Company Residency workshops

4 Magic Mailbox workshops

2 Visiting Artist-in-Residencies

10 Arts Take Out Night workshops

31 Words Come Alive/Curriculum Planning hours

1 Professional Development workshop

1 Faculty Retreat

Big picture


It has been an exciting year in preschool! As we close out the school year, there are 17 preschoolers moving on to kindergarten! Student growth and development has been remarkable. They have learned so much about themselves in the context of others and their role within a classroom community. Their curiosity, creativity, and playfulness will serve them well into the future. Some highlights from the year have been the space, medieval, and rainforest themes. For those students returning for another year of preschool, we look forward to building on the acquired skills of the past year.

Mr. Eric, Ms. Coreen, Ms. Kele, Mr. Eric W., and Ms. Jackie


It has been so wonderful getting to know your child and family this year! We have had such a terrific year and we would like to thank all the families for everything you have done to support this class and their child this year. In the hectic time that is the end of the year, it can be easy to forget to say thank you. Each kindergarten students has grown so much academically and socially. They have learned more about themselves and each other and how to participate at the IAA. Please remember to read and write over the summer. We love you all!

Ms. Maggie , Ms. Emily , Ms. Lily, Ms. Niki , and Ms. Hannah.

First Grade

What an amazing year! We are always so inspired by how much growth happens in first grade. The children have learned so much! They have become readers, writers, artists, mathematicians, scientists, kind humans, quiet listeners, brave sharers, performers, dancers, singers, actors, and most importantly really good friends. We have loved watching our classes become communities and learn to communicate and share ideas and support each other. Thank you for all your support! Please remember to have your kiddos read and write this summer. But also remember to have lots of fun!!!!!

Ms. Rose and Ms. Jen

Second Grade

It has been a fantastic year in second grade! We have learned important lessons about our roles and responsibilities in the various communities we belong to. We’ve also learned a great deal about the history of families in transition, from ancient times to today, through our work with Ms. Leaphart, Ms. Jen, Mr. Myregaard, Mr. Brian, Ms. Lois, and Ms. EVD. And we have grown so much as readers, writers, scientists, artists, and mathematicians. Thank you for all your support--it’s been a truly wonderful year. Remember to encourage your children to read and write this summer!

Ms. Heather, Mr. Leal, Ms. Lea, and Ms. Gianna

STEP Classes

Big changes are happening in the STEP Program. After 11 years, Ms. Lynda, who started the program is saying goodbye and retiring. But the program will continue, with Ms. Mary still teaching the younger students and a new teacher taking over with the older students.

It has been an incredible experience to work with over 200 students through the STEP class and see the huge amount of growth that the students gain in one short year...most of them arriving with no English and ending the year able to read, speak and do math in English...on their way to successful school careers. Over the years when students come back to visit me and tell me that they are graduating high school or even better..going on the college, I am filled with such pride knowing that I helped them with those first steps.

I will of course miss the IAA community as well and feel privileged that I was able to work here for the last 24 years! IAA will always be a part of me! xoxo, Ms. Lynda

Third Grade

The exceptionally awesome 3rd grade students at IAA had a super fun end of the school year. After recently working hard on SBACs and learning more about characteristics and qualities that help characters persevere in stories, opinion writing, bridge construction, fractions, and poetry, students in both Mr. Mike and Mr. Scott’s classes were treated to free ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s on Church St. and an afternoon having fun participating in games and activities at The Boys and Girls Club (see pictures below). It was not only their recent efforts in school that led to these fun experiences, but the remarkable way in which all of our students conducted themselves throughout the school year by being upstanding, respectful, kind and caring IAA community members. Way to go, 3rd graders! Mr. Mike and Mr. Scott are so proud of you and happy to be your teachers this school year! Have an amazing Summer and get ready for a great 4th grade year!

Fourth Grade

Another wonderful, amazing, and mindful year is in the books. 4th grade had a great year and students have created so many lasting memories together. Highlighted by our end of the year play “How to be a Resistor.” Senora is off to her new job in the fall and we will miss her immensely. We really can’t say enough about all the hard work and dedication she has put in over the past 8 years. Good luck!!!! We will look forward to seeing you around. Have a great summer everyone!!!!

Fifth Grade

It is hard to believe our year is almost over! The months of May and June have whirled by. In the last few weeks we have wrapped up units, finished projects, completed assessments (SBACs and math screeners and reading assessments, oh my!), celebrated, and reflected. We've gone sailing, had a glorious day at our 5th grade celebration at Oakledge Park (thank you to all of the families who helped!), and of course we have made art! Students worked on a legacy project with BCA guest artist Alissa Faber. Students considered what important memories they would like to leave behind as “fossils” of their time at IAA. Students then created casts and Alissa used the casts to make glass sculptures of their fossils. They are now hanging in our stairway - come take a look! Students also worked on IAA memory projects in small groups. They used various art forms - poetry, music, printmaking, dance, and drama - to express some of their favorite IAA memories and shared them with each other. Our last big event will be our graduation. The 5th graders will share some of their memories and a song, then they'll be ready for the next challenge - middle school! Our graduation is this Wednesday June 12 from 9:30-10:30, followed by a reception for graduates and their families. Please join us! It has been a wonderful year!

Mr. Whitman and Ms. B


News from the BoxTops for Education fundraiser!

The physical clips are going away, and the Box Tops program will become digital-only. Over the summer you’ll see some participating brands begin to change their packaging from a physical Box Tops clip to the new Box Tops icon.

The main difference is how schools will earn... all Box Tops will be earned digitally via receipt scan. You’ll soon be able to download the new and improved, user-friendly Box Tops app, register and select a school, and then scan an eligible receipt containing Box Tops products. IF you have the current app, scan your receipt, turn in your boxtop and we’ll earn double! The app will automatically add Box Tops to your school’s earnings online. This is the new logo:

Continue to turn in all the physical BoxTops as the company will honor all physical clips until they reach their expiration dates. The new app will be available later this summer and can found on www.boxtops4education.com.