EMS Newsletter

November 22, 2019

Dear EMS Families,

Two weeks ago we had a situation at Edmunds Middle School that resulted in miscommunication between students and families and led to feelings of panic and stress. Since that time, there have been continued conversations with families and staff regarding school safety.

As an EMS and BSD community, we have continued to reflect and will do so moving forward, knowing there is always much to be learned to strengthen our response to keep your children safe.

We also want to continue to clarify BSD’s response to a potential crisis. Please see the excerpts from our Family Handbook below for more details regarding our procedures:

In the case of an active threat, Central Office will communicate about the incident when appropriate and safe to do so. Questions and calls should be directed to the Superintendent's office and not to the school. Please DO NOT try to contact your child in this situation as they may be in lockdown. When students and faculty are able to evacuate, we will meet at our designated evacuation location.

In 2019, the Burlington School District added “Run, Hide, Fight” to the list of standard response protocols. The “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol will be used in the event of an active shooter or other active threat in which it is deemed a lockdown would not provide sufficient security. The Burlington School District will provide ongoing District-wide training to ensure staff feel supported in their ability and prepared to make independent decisions in the event of an active threat.

For more information on “Run, Hide, Fight,” please review our Family Handbook, available on our website or in the EMS offices. I would also like to encourage families to attend BSD’s “Run, Hide, Fight Community Forum” on December 11th at 6 PM. The District Safety Team is hoping to have this conversation in the Hunt Middle School auditorium and is working to provide childcare. Please visit the district website to learn more in the coming weeks.

Finally, as we all work to learn more, I wanted to offer an article that provides suggestions for supporting our children and schools given school threat realities. Please find link below:

At this time of year, when the days get longer and the air cooler, I find warmth in the company of friends and family. As we begin break, I hope this time provides moments of love for you and your family.

In partnership and with gratitude,


Friendly Reminders

  • 11/25 - 11/26 - Parent Teacher Conferences

  • 11/25 - 11/29 - No school for students

  • 12/10 - Chorus & Strings concert - 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in EMS gym

  • 12/12 - Band concert - 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in EMS gym

  • 12/17 - Engage EMS 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. in EMS Library/MakerSpace

Community Announcements

  • Thank you to EMS families for the Thankful Thursday treats that have graced our staff room for the last three weeks.

Health Education

The goal of our Comprehensive Health Education is to provide medically accurate and age appropriate information so youth can make informed decisions and lead healthy lives. Parents play a crucial role in supporting their child’s health and learning at school.

Our Health Education teachers, Ms. McQueen and Ms. Sanders, will be addressing the major health themes of: healthy relationships, suicide prevention, tobacco, alcohol and other drugs prevention, personal safety, social skills, human growth and development, family life, personal health habits, disease prevention, as well as gender and sexual identity.

We talk about HIV/AIDS as a part of disease prevention, puberty and human reproduction as part of human growth and development, and prevention of sexual abuse as part of personal safety. We discuss HIV/AIDS and sexuality in Grades 6, 7, and 8.

We hope this letter gives you a brief overview of topics covered at school in our health curriculum. If you have questions, please contact us. If you decide you do not want your child to participate in discussions about these topics, please contact Lindsay McQueen, Lydia Sanders, or Becca McCray, our school nurse, within five days of this message.

Lindsay McQueen


Health Educator

Lydia Sanders


Health Educator

Becca McCray


School Nurse

Powerschool Update

Dear Families,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to implement new aspects of Powerschool and Unified Classroom.

Powerschool serves as our student information system, and is where we store all family contact information. In emergency situations, school communication will be sent out to the provided contacts within Powerschool - including phone numbers and email addresses. We are aware of the challenges of our current system, and are continuing to address them in our District wide teams.

  • Powerschool and Unified Classroom were down nationwide over the past weekend. If you tried to log into Powerschool this weekend through the link on the school website, the website did not work. Now that the Powerschool system is back up as of early this week, the link will work.

  • Powerschool Parent Portal (and phone app) was disabled earlier this week due to ongoing maintenance and updates. We apologize for the inconvenience. It is now functioning normally.

    • This did not affect student or teacher use of Powerschool or Unified Classroom. Students have been able to access their Unified Classroom throughout this whole week for information about grades, attendance and assignments.

Action steps:

  • If you have not completed the annual student update, please do so ASAP.

  • In the Powerschool family portal, please ensure that the primary contact information is the phone number/email you would like contacted in case of emergency.

  • If you have not been receiving the Family Newsletters, or know of someone who has not, please update your contact information in Powerschool or email mtalbot@bsdvt.org.

  • If you ever have questions about Powerschool, Unified Classroom or your child’s contact information, feel free to reach out to Julia Stein, Guidance Administrative Assistant (jstein@bsdvt.org), or myself (mtalbot@bsdvt.org).

Additional Resources:

How do I sign up for PowerSchool?

How can I see my child’s grades?

Setting up email notifications

Using the PowerSchool App

Here is the link for the presentation that was given to Engage EMS in October.

Thank you again.

Margaret Talbot

Margaret Talbot

Technology Integrationist


Important District Dates in December

Dec 3: French Immersion Community Meeting



Dec 11: “Run, Hide, Fight” Community Forum

Hunt Middle School Auditorium

6 PM

Childcare and Translation Services Available