EMS Newsletter

May 8, 2020

Dear EMS Families,

Thank you for your messages of gratitude to the EMS faculty this week!

Spreading thanks, hope and inspiration is a bucket filler for everyone. Last week, our Exploratory Team had an interdisciplinary project called Rainbows over Burlington. I am hopeful that your family will find the project as powerful as I did when getting to view the finished products. Please find a video compilation here Rainbows_Over_Burlington_1080p.mp4 put together by Judy Klima and our other amazing exploratory team members.

Today the Agency of Education made some announcements and provided some direction regarding summer learning and end of year celebrations.

  1. 8th grade promotion will be acknowledged and celebrated in a creative and responsible manner that ensures our community's health and well being.

  2. June 12th has been announced as the latest date that students in Vermont will be in school this year.

  3. Summer school programming will be offered this year. Details will be forthcoming.

With hope,


Friendly Reminders

  • You should be receiving a weekly email from your child’s team with details of the week’s assignments and reminders of when google hangouts are scheduled.

  • Students are expected to engage in their learning for 2-3 hours a day. This includes 2 hours of core class time and 1 hour of exploratory time. Most students have 3 exploratory classes and should expect 1-1.5 hours of work for each exploratory class per week. Our expectation is that students spend 15 hours per week on their school work. If they choose to spend more than that they are welcome to, but 15 hours of work time per week is the expectation. Here's what this might look like: Monday through Friday - 2 hours per day on core classes/ 1 hour per day on an exploratory class. Total = 15 hours.

  • Curriculum during the Continuity of Learning will continue to be posted on the EMS website

  • In addition to emails from your child/ren’s team and the curriculum being posted on the EMS website, students can find their assignments in their Unified Classroom accounts.

  • Family Powerschool and Unified Classroom Help Sheet

    • If you need assistance setting up a family or guardian Powerschool account, please email jstein@bsdvt.org.

  • To access Google Meets, your child will be using an Access Code. Follow directions below to join a google Meet.

Community Announcements

  • Free Supper and Frozen Meals: Last Friday, our Food Service team began distributing frozen “reheatable” entrees as a way to provide variety to families and to send food that can be served hot and last a little longer. The team is also working with the Agency of Education to research the possibility of offering free suppers in the next two or three weeks. If we get clearance, we will be able to provide suppers at places where we have done so in the past: Sustainability Academy, Edmunds, Champlain Elementary, and Boys and Girls Club. We will let you know when we know more. In the meantime, remember that if you have had your income affected by coronavirus, please fill out a 3 Squares Vermont application today for assistance in providing nutritious food for your family.

  • FREE Books, Toiletries, and Toys: Fletcher Free Library has begun providing FREE books to Burlington children at our food pickup sites during the week. And, starting last week, thanks to the generosity of Wow Toyz in Vergennes and Courtyard Marriott, FREE toys and toiletries will also be available at food pickup sites. Thank you, everyone, for stepping up during this time, especially our amazing partners at King Street Center who have coordinated and led many of these efforts with our team!

  • Special Education Letter: If you have a child receiving special services, please read this letter from Director Nugent explaining how progress on your child’s goals will be tracked during the Continuity of Learning phase.

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Guidance has some new offerings! Join on Google Meets with Nickname "EMSMeet".

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A Pandemic Portrait!

Hey Everyone! It's been about 7 weeks now that we have been sheltering at home. It's time to document! I assigned a project this week based on the work of photographer Gregg Segal (thanks Lindsay McQueen!). He did a fabulous project photographing children with the food they eat, and published a book called Daily Bread. I thought it would be awesome to document ourselves right now, surrounded by the things that give us comfort and fill our days as we stay at home. Check out some samples of student - and staff! - work below

Judy Klima

Art Teacher

Vermont Young Playwrights Festival Winners!

During the winter, Infinity 8th graders participated in playwriting workshops and each wrote a play to be considered for the Vermont Young Playwrights Festival. Norah Miller’s play “Lady Moe” and Julia Neubelt’s play “You Had Me at Ruff” were selected and will be performed by professional actors at this year’s festival. In addition, Li Lin Weinberger’s play “The Best Food in the Entire Fridge" received an honorable mention.

While it was not the original plan to have a virtual festival this year, one advantage is that anyone can “attend” on Monday, May 11th to see the amazing creativity of our students. There will be a YouTube live stream link on the Vermont Stage webpage this Monday. Below the embedded live stream, there will be a link to a form to submit questions to the playwrights. While the festival will run throughout the day, Norah’s and Julia’s plays will be performed between 11 and 12.

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Request for Input Re: DCF Award Renaming

Dear Parents, Teachers and Guardians,

The State of Vermont Libraries, along with the AOE, are collaborating to change the name of the Vermont State Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award program due to controversy around Fisher's association with Vermont's eugenics program.

Jonathan Clarke, the State Librarian, is asking for student input for a new title for the award. Parent involvement is required on the form, but all student and parent names will remain private.

The Vermont State Library asks that the webform not be published on websites or in social media platforms so that only Vermont students in grades 4 - 8 participate. They recommend that the form is included in an email or a closed internal platform and suggest parental or teacher guidance. The deadline for all submissions is May 26th.

We encourage participation from EMS readers for the new state name of this award. Every summer and throughout the school year, Edmunds Middle School students are encouraged to read the outstanding book nominees from our middle level state reading program.

The participation criteria and expectations are included in the links below if you are interested in getting involved.

Submission Guidelines.pdf

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8KN7N5H (This is the survey)

Thank you very much,

Carole Renca, EMS Librarian