IAA Newsletter

February 2019

Principal's Message

For the last 7 years IAA has had the day following MLK off for our mid year retreat. A powerful and enriching day for the staff and that ultimately makes the teaching environment stronger for students. This is definitely not your typical professional development.

Historically, from my experience, this stretch (January 1 until February break) of school is the most stressful of the year. I believe it's a combination of the weather, cabin fever and the longest amount of time between breaks. Whatever it is, it is hard for both students and teachers. In my tenure, IAA has often been described in terms of its warm and social emotional intelligent climate and culture. That is a direct result of these kinds of retreats and their importance for the entire community. I recently read an article, Teaching Is as Stressful as an ER. These Calming Strategies Can Help. I don't contend that what we do at school on a daily basis is on par with a hospital or emergency room. However, this article does speak well to why we need days like this. Retreats are really a vital day for staff cohesion and school climate, two things that directly impact the environment we set and nurture for out students.

I recently lead a 90 minute Restorative Practice session with the Hunt Middle School Staff. I used the Meg Wheatley Poem below, as I have many time before in my career. It wholly reminds me of the work IAA consistently does as a community, the real purpose of our retreats, and how we strive to reflect and connect with each other, families and students. I hope you enjoy it.

Turning to One Another

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.
Margaret Wheatley

Artfully and with Love,
Mr. Bobby

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IAA Dance Residency Begins!

Our dance residency through the Community Engagement Lab has launched! Teaching artists Ashley Hensel-Browning and Hannah Satterlee will be working with five teachers at IAA over the next few months, responding to the question - "How does communication shape us?"

This residency will take place in Ms. Maggie, Ms. Rose, Mr. Leal, and Ms. Heather's classrooms, as well as in the IAA Libary with Ms. Jen. This team of teachers, along with Ms. Judy, attended eight full days of professional development to create a vibrant, creative curriculum centered around the IAA theme this year, communication. The units emphasize developing creative and critical thinking skills around empathy and multiple perspectives. We'll also be pairing up with Seven Days - Kids VT the local newspaper that features "small people with big ideas."

Ashley came this week for the first time and introduced these concepts through movement in response to a VTS session using Norman Rockwell's image, The Gossip. Here are some super fun images of our students highly engaged in this experience. Stay tuned for more information as this residency continues.

Ms. Judy jklima@bsdvt.org

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Wonder Week! Coming Right Up!

Wonder is the first of all the passions.


We begin our fourth round of Wonder Week on Monday, February 18th. Second through fifth graders choose from over 20 different workshops to try out, try on and enjoy new topics they might wonder about. How to knit, how to juggle, how to build a dream catcher, or learn French, are just a few samples of workshop topics. For four days students will be in small mixed groups, creating, making, or learning something new. Ask your student about Wonder Week!


We’ve been reenacting history in fourth grade Integrated Arts with the view of preparing to write accurate historical fiction stories. Our work has focused on stories of the oppressed and the students have demonstrated empathy and sensitivity while exploring these topics. Meanwhile, in fourth and fifth grade drama, we’ve been thoroughly enjoying our storytelling residency with Mark Stein from the Flynn Center. In the younger grades, we’ve been having fun exploring traditional stories and fairytales through drama. The story of Little Red Riding Hood never gets old!

Ms. Jenny jrnorris@bsdvt.org


Printmaking in the art studio!

3rd grade students have just completed a 2-color reduction print in art class, and the results are amazing! They started with a linoleum block and used gauges to carve out an image of a bird. Safety was a major part of their learning; students were extremely careful using and taking care of their sharp carving tools. After carving the block, they printed with one color. They then carved the negative space away, and printed a second color on top of the first color. Each student made an edition of two prints, giving them an opportunity to keep one print and give one away!

Ada Leaphart, aleaphar@bsdvt.org, @IAAartstudio on Instagram


A big shout out to all of the parents who signed up and were willing to help take our students to the ECHO Center on MLK Day. Your kindness was very much appreciated! Although the weather did not cooperate, they all had a great time preparing their songs!

These last 2 weeks are some of the most fun here in PE and Music, as we learn square dances and contra dances, then get together with other classrooms to dance together with new friends. Lots of fun: more than they thought they would have!

Bill Myregaard





With K-4th we've been working with one of the Red Clover Nominees, Crown An Ode to the Fresh Cut. We have been working with the concepts of empathy, how to take multiple perspectives into account and how that helps create meaningful change in a community. We have been using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) with the illustrations in the book and discussing how they make us feel. We are then listening to the author's son read the book and an interview with the author and illustrator. After having a different reading experience we talk about how our feelings about the book may have changed. We are collecting all these feeling words and will be using them to write our own odes. With 5th grade we have been having conversations about what balance is, and writing about our perfect day. We are then taking these conversations and turning the lense on creating a media balance in our lives, and how best to go about that.

As always, if you have any question or just want to see what we're up to, send me an email or follow the library on instagram @iaa_library

Jen Peake jpeake@bsdvt.org


We have been busy bowling and dancing for the last month. We have learned some basic square dance moves and incorporated them into various dances. We have also worked on social skills around inviting others to dance politely and using their name as a part of the invitation. We also talked about our response of YES and that we are obligated to dance for one dance. These collaboration skills can be helpful when working with others as well as a way to get to know new friends. Dance is also a great physical activity and fun! Our next unit will be working on striking skills and for some applying them in a game called Spikeball.

If you are looking for more opportunities for your child to get their 60 minutes of physical activity, don’t forget about Move it! Move it! on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday mornings starting at 7:45 a.m. We also have CaTs on the Move on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday beginning promptly at 7:45 a.m. This program is a full 30 minutes of exercise and students must be on time to join.

Danielle Vierling



School Counseling

Hi Everyone,

I am teaching Prevent Child Abuse Vermont’s Care for Kids Program. This program is a sexual abuse prevention program that promotes healthy relationships at an age appropriate level for kindergarten, first and second grade students. So far we have discussed feelings, self-advocacy and are currently on the the body parts lesson.

I have two dolls and we use these dolls to discuss body parts that people see in public and body parts that are private. While we name specific body parts (arm, leg, eye, penis, vagina, bum/ buttocks, for example), we do not associate specific genders with body parts. As always, I encourage students to share the content of our discussions with trusted adults at home and at school.

Take care.

Ms. Meredith, IAA School Counselor


864-8475, ext. 4

English Learners

This month all our English Learners (ELs) are taking the annual WIDA assessments. The tests tell us when ELs have attained English language proficiency (according to state criteria), how much growth they have made since last year and which of the 4 language domains (speaking, listening, reading, writing) teachers could focus on.This is not something you study for. Though the assessments are long and challenging for some students, they so far have done a great job trying their best and persevering through the test. Most of the tests are done online (chromebooks) and results are usually in before the end of the school year.


Head lice review:

Check all family members for lice and nits (lice eggs) at least once a week. Nits are the size

of a poppy seed, oval shaped and are attached at an angle to the side of the hair shaft,

usually behind the ears and at the back of the neck. If they are more than ¼ inch away from the scalp, they are dead. They are “glued” on and cannot be shaken off. Adult lice are the size of a sesame seed. Color of eggs and lice can vary, based on the color of the hair. They do not have wings, but have 6 claws with which to grab the hair shaft. They do not willingly come off the heads. Lice that fall off the head are usually

elderly or defective. Wash bedding and recently worn clothing (within the last 3 days) in hot water and dry in

high heat for 30 minutes. Combs and brushes should be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes.

Because lice cannot survive off the human body for more than 24 hours, it is not necessary

to bag stuffed toys, treat pets, or clean the entire house. Before you spend money on ineffective products, please contact nurse Mongeon.

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Flynn Center/IAA Partnership

The Flynn is currently enrolling for February and April vacation performing arts camps for ages 6-14! Camps run February 25-March 1 and April 22-26. IAA kids are invited to continue creating during break and have access to scholarships and payment plans from the Flynn Education Department. Magic Treehouse Adventures, a favorite for ages 6-8, takes participants and instructor Mark Stein to a new world every day and older kids become triple threats—acting, singing, and dancing with Owen Leavey and Randal Pierce in the high-energy Musical Theater Adventures camp.

For more information on our vacation and summer camps contact Sarah at 802-652-4537, flynnarts@flynncenter.org, or visit online at https://www.flynncenter.org/camps.html