EMS Newsletter

April 3, 2020

Dear EMS Families,

We miss being together in person inside the walls of EMS but we are drawing our energy from the times we’re able to connect with your children over Google Meets and other platforms. As we move toward this next stage of virtual learning we are looking forward to seeing even more of each other. We are still fleshing out the details of what Continuity of Learning will look like at EMS, but we do know that daily attendance will be taken. Next Friday my message will share more details for this next phase - stay tuned.

This week we had our first virtual faculty meeting and were able to laugh and reconnect as a staff with over 55 people on the google meet. I continue to be humbled by the challenges of this time and appreciative of the learning and ways in which we are being stretched and challenged to grow as educators and as humans. Images like the ones pictured below from Judy Klima of the creative pieces of art inspired by her CoronaVirus project also bring such joy to my day, as does the incredible announcement about the Hildene award recipients featured just after the artwork.

We are grateful for the work you are doing at home to partner in this new world of remote learning!

Sending my best to all of you,


Friendly Reminders

  • We are eager to hear from your child/ren EVERY DAY. Please encourage your children to reach out to their teachers and connect so we can provide support, clarity and guidance.

  • You and your child/ren should be receiving a weekly email from your child/ren’s team as well as our exploratory teachers sharing the learning plan for the upcoming week. These lessons can also be found on the EMS website.


Community Announcements

  • Quarter 3 grades will be finalized and sent home after April 17th. Due to school closure:

    • All work turned in after March 9th will be considered extra credit.

    • All assignments due before March 9th will be graded as normal.

    • Make up work for quarter 3 can be completed through April 10th.

  • No decisions have been made yet regarding plans for:

    • Locker clean out

    • Transition supports

    • Celebrations


Student Data Privacy and Chromebook Security

  • In choosing digital services for our students, specifically for those under the age of 13, we can only use services that are COPPA compliant. In addition, as a school district, we need to be CIPA compliant and restrict student access to inappropriate websites.
  • At the elementary and high school levels, this is done through a subscription to OpenDNS. At the middle level, we have the addition of two GoGuardian filters that apply to all of the 1:1 Chromebooks. Additional information about how the GoGuardian system uses data, and how it applies to students is included here: privacy@goguardian.com. Further questions are encouraged and can be sent to that link as well.
  • For this period of school closure, the middle schools will have a 6th-grade specific filter and a filter for 7th and 8th graders. As of April 3rd, the filters will be shifted slightly to align with the new reality of learning online.
  • For the foreseeable future, all social media sites and streaming services will be blocked. A filtered version of Youtube will be available to students to access online learning videos. These filters will allow our students to access the materials they need to learn virtually, while adhering to state and federal guidelines.

Video Conferencing

  • As of last week, students have not been able to video call other students (either through Google Hangouts or Zoom). This decision was made in line with other districts for the protection of students and student data privacy. Students can still join video conferences initiated and maintained by BSD educators.
  • District Video Conferencing and E-Learning Guidelines will be shared by district communication.

Internet Access

The district COVID 19 Coronavirus Prep in BSD web page provides an “Internet Access for All BSD Students and Families” section which outlines details and offers from both Burlington Telecom and Comcast. Burlington Telecom and Comcast are working closely with the City of Burlington and the Burlington School District to identify and provide solutions for neighborhoods and families. Please view the district webpage for more information.

Inspired by John Spencer’s Maker Hour and Eric Schoembs project , my own children spent last Sunday making an Ewok village and a vending machine in our unfinished basement. A perfect rainy day activity as we enter the month of April in Vermont (see photo above.) We would love to see snapshots of remote learning and family fun from your homes too. Send to me and I will share in my nightly faculty memo.

John Spencer's suggestions for ways to take learning away from screens during this time:

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Corona Virus Art Project

Edmunds Middle School 2020 Lincoln Essay Competition Winners!

Edmunds Middle School staff would like to congratulate the five eighth grade student winners of the 2020 Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition. EMS students won first, second and third place in their region as well as two honorable mentions from the statewide pool. Twenty eighth grade students who submitted outstanding essays this year were in competition with eighth grade students from across Chittenden County.

We are extremely proud of all these students and would like to acknowledge the winners. See Congratulations to the 2020 Hildene Lincoln Essay Winners

EMS Winners!

FIRST PLACE: $500 Isaac Doggett. Isaac proposed that every doctor in VT be required to complete the buprenorphine training course in order to better address opioid use disorder. Adviser: Jeremy DeMink

SECOND PLACE: $400 Eleuthera Barr-Brandt. Lulu urged the state to pass legislation to exempt all menstrual supplies from taxation, categorizing these necessities instead, under Medical Equipment & Supplies. Adviser: Jeremy DeMink

THIRD PLACE: $300 Vivian Halladay. Vivian urged the state to challenge the federal law that prohibits safe injection sites, in order to reduce overdose deaths and increase treatment outreach. Adviser: Carole Renca, Librarian

Honorable Mentions: $200 each

Aoife Crainich. Aoife argued that diversity education be mandatory for grades K-12 and include curriculum to explore unconscious bias. Adviser: Erin Tinti

Hannah Cunningham. Hannah encouraged the state to implement a pilot program for inmates in order to reduce recidivism. Adviser: Robyn Battaile

Congratulations to all of the additional eighth grade students who participated in the competition:

Abigail Mingin

Alexa Gagnon

Amelia Dion

Avi Yogoda

Elena Dragon-Krajac

Daniel Wick

Gillian Fairfax

Myriam Huener

Rosalie Perkinson

Sofia Wells

Lola Rubin

Lily Besaw

Katelyn Pecsenyicki

Isaac Dunkiel

COVID-19 Checklist for Students

Children and young people should understand basic, age-appropriate information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including its symptoms, complications, how it is transmitted and how to prevent transmission. Stay informed about COVID-19 through reputable sources such as UNICEF, WHO and national health ministry advisories. Be aware of fake information/myths that may circulate by word-of mouth or online.


1. In a situation like this it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry. Know that you are not alone and talk to someone you trust, like your parents or teacher so that you can help keep yourself and your school safe and healthy.

  • Ask questions, educate yourself and get information from reliable sources.

2. Protect yourself and others o Wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Remember to not touch your face.
  • Do not share cups, eating utensils, food or drinks with others.

3. Be a leader in keeping yourself, your school, family and community healthy.

  • Share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with younger children
  • Model good practices such as sneezing or coughing into your elbow and washing your hands, especially for younger family members.

4. Don’t stigmatize your peers or tease anyone about being sick; remember that the virus doesn’t follow geographical boundaries, ethnicities, age, ability or gender.

5. Tell your parents, another family member, or a caregiver if you feel sick, and ask to stay home.

Resource: “Key Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools,” March 2020. This document was written by Lisa Bender (Education UNICEF NYHQ), with technical support from the UNICEF COVID-19 Secretariat members (Carlos Navarro Colorado, Maya Arii & Hugo Razuri) as well as UNICEF WASH, C4D and Child Protection teams. Special thanks to Maida Paisic (UNICEF EAPRO), Le Anh Lan (UNICEF Vietnam), Tserennadmid Nyamkhuu (UNICEF Mongolia), Dr, Maria D Van Kerkhove (WHO) and Gwedolen Eamer (IFRC) for their close collaboration.

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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”!