EMS Newsletter

April 30, 2021

Dear EMS Families,

Thank you for all of your patience and support as we have worked to bring all students on site in the middle of the quarter. There were many logistics that needed to be considered, and the staff pulled together to minimize scheduling impacts. As I reflect upon this week, I have only gratitude. The students and staff have been wonderful, and the culture remains calm, collaborative and productive.

This week, I have been asking students about their experiences. The responses have been varied. Some students have stated that they preferred the hybrid model because “class sizes were smaller.” Others prefer having students on site, because they “have more friends in the building now.”

In each case, I have asked students if they feel “heard” when they have something to share and if they get answers when they have questions. In each case, whether the students preferred hybrid or on-site, they have replied that they feel as though their voices are being heard. Thus, my gratitude. We are here to lift students up and pull students closer. We value an inclusive culture, because that is when students feel comfortable taking risks in learning and growing.

Thank you for the opportunity you have given us to work with your kids. We are here to serve, and we are grateful.

Take care,

James Kiefer

Upcoming Assessments

Dear EMS Families;

This is a reminder that all Vermont students are required to participate in state assessments as part of the accountability system for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The window for EMS students is Monday, May 3rd through May 23rd. Windows will be as follows:

Dates/ Assessment

May 3rd - May 7th/ 7/8th grade ELA/Math Assessments

May 10th - May 14th/ 6th grade ELA/Math Assessments

May 17th/ 8th grade Science Assessments

May 18th - May 21st/ Make ups

Students will be taking the assessments for up to two hours on scheduled days. Testing times have been purposely chosen not to interfere with scheduled lunch and PE times. Students will still have normal classes outside of the testing sessions.

Below is an overview of the assessments being given.

State Math and English/Language Arts Assessment: All students in grades 3-8 and grade 9 are required each spring to take the state test called the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). SBAC is a computer-adaptive assessment measuring each student’s performance against the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English/Language Arts. Schools administer SBAC between March and June. Individual student results will be available in the fall.

State Science Assessment: In 2019 Vermont piloted a new science assessment as part of the state accountability system. This year students in grades 5, 8 and 11 will take the new assessment. Like SBAC, the science assessment will be administered on a computer and is designed to measure each student’s performance against the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Staff in each school will work to provide any accommodations or supports that individual students require during state testing.

What can I do to ensure my child is prepared?

  • Be positive.

  • Make sure that your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before.

  • Have your child follow their morning routine.

  • Here’s a short video which provides some simple strategies.

  • PLEASE have your child bring headphones if they have them!

Thank you once again for supporting your child and our school during the state assessment testing.


James Kiefer

Switch to new Learning Management System

Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, all students and staff in grades 6-12 will be using a new Learning Management System, or LMS, to access content and assignments, provide teacher feedback and post grades. Powerschool, the owner of Unified Classroom (current LMS) and Schoology (new LMS), is phasing out Unified Classroom and moving users to Schoology. More information and family supports will be shared later this spring and summer. Please reach out to our technology integrationist (Margaret Talbot at mtalbot@bsdvt.org) with any questions.

Penguin Plunge in a Pandemic

As an alternative to the jumping-in-the-lake fundraiser held each February to raise funds for Vermont Special Olympics, teachers Ashley Howard and Eric Schoembs (with plenty of help from students) created the EMS Penguin Plunge Dunk Tank! On April 17, participants gathered outside of school for the opportunity to dunk various teachers and students. Participants set a goal to raise $5,000 to support our student athletes and Vermont Special Olympics and they crushed that goal, raising $8,325! EMS also finished 3rd in the State for the Cool Schools Challenge this year. This year’s plunge demonstrates what a group of determined young adults can do when they put their minds to it. Our plunge this year really was about kids helping kids, and is a symbol of the resilience and kindness that is present in our school every day. Well done!

Silent Auction Fundraiser for School Play

As part of our fundraising for the play, we have a great silent auction going. We invite you to visit the EMS Drama Silent Auction site to buy some very cool things and help us raise money!

Our community really came through and we have lots of great items such as gift cards for Mirabelles, Willow's Bagels, Petra Cliffs, Great Harvest; art from Katharine Montstream, Dug Nap, Danforth and AO Glass; an outdoor chair massage party; an excursion pass from Revolution Rail Co.; and more!

Please feel free to share the link with friends, neighbors, family and on social media: https://www.32auctions.com/EMS2021

Lincoln Essay Competition Winners

Dear EMS Community,

I am proud to let you know that EMS 8th graders won all five placements in Chittenden County for this year's Lincoln Essay Competition sponsored by Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, Vermont. EMS 8th graders have been participating in this essay competition since 2011 when EMS student Nathan Treadway won first place and lit the fire. Since then we have had winners (even multiple state-wide winners) every year, including recognition and congratulations from the General Assembly at the State of Vermont House of Representatives in 2013.

Thank you to so many staff at EMS who have supported the Lincoln Essay Competition every year with your time (in addition to everything else you do -- even during a pandemic!), your enthusiasm and support! You are truly a dedicated staff and I am so grateful to so many of you who embrace this competition each year with your cheers! A special shout out goes to Kathy Gallagher, Stephen Boyle, Rich Boyers, Terrence Landberg, Robyn Battaile, Jeremy DeMink, Katie Wyndorf, Jane Lavigne, and Zac Favreau Smith who worked directly with students.

I am please to write that the competition has become part of the EMS culture of excellence in research and writing. The work you all do to create student voice, civic minded and socially conscious youth here at EMS is remarkable as noted from the passion and insight exhibited in this year's outstanding submissions from all 20 writers.

This year's 8th grade winners include:

  • Penelope deRosset, 1st Place (Jeremy DeMink)

  • Nikolas Homan, 2nd Place (Terrence Landberg)

  • Elizabeth Cunningham, 3rd Place (Jeremy DeMink)

  • Bowie Creason, Honorable Mention (Maria Hummel: parent)

  • Grace Maley, Honorable Mention (Jane Lavigne)

All 8th grade students who boldly took up the challenge and should also be congratulated are as follows:

  1. Sophie Ambroggio
  2. Sophie Brown
  3. Connor Byam
  4. JohnBowie Creason (Honorable Mention)
  5. Elizabeth Cunningham (3rd Place Winner)
  6. Penelope deRosset (1st Place Winner)
  7. Adela Dion
  8. Gertrude Farrell
  9. Sayre Fisher
  10. Gretchen Fitzgerald (one of the finalists)
  11. Danika Giri (one of the finalists)
  12. Ruby Hall
  13. Nikolas Homan -- 2nd Place Winner
  14. Grace Maley -- Honorable Mention
  15. Furquan Mohammed
  16. Margot Rinehart
  17. Calista Simon
  18. Evey Slavik (one of the finalists)
  19. Desmond Synder
  20. Sage Wyndorf


Carole Renca


Start Date: MONDAY, MAY 3rd

Location: Roosevelt Park Tennis Courts

(Across From Boys and Girls Club)

Time: 3:30-4:30pm

Email to Sign Up: cwool@bsdvt.org by Fri April 30th.

Include in Email: Student Name-Grade-Cell Phone-Tennis Experience-Parent/Caregiver Name Contact Info

EMS Required Forms Attached: Permission Slip, WellExam, Student Sports Contract

Students and parent/caregiver will receive an email on Saturday, May 1st with expectations & details.

Practices: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Time: 3:30-4:30pm

Season: May 3rd-June 2nd

Questions please call: Clare Wool 917-912-4333

Big picture

Summer Expanded Learning

Dear Burlington and Winooski Families,

The Burlington School District, Sara Holbrook Community Center, and Winooski School District are excited to offer the 2021 Middle School Summer Program, free of charge, to all incoming 6th - 9th graders of the Burlington & Winooski School Districts.

Academic classes and enrichment programs will run Monday - Friday, June 28th - July 30th. There will be no program on Monday, July 5th, and no program for Winooski students on Friday, July 2nd. Registration is open now through Friday, June 11th. The registration link and full schedule are included below.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we are making several modifications to the program to increase safety protocols for our students and staff. We are adopting and instituting the State of Vermont Health Guidance for Childcare Programs, Summer Programs and Afterschool Programs that continues to be updated. In addition, we are altering the capacity, operations, and program offerings to further enhance our safety protocols.

School bus transportation to and from the program is available in a limited capacity. We look forward to your child joining us this summer!

2021 Burlington / Winooski Middle School Summer Program


Hunt Middle School: Gracie Harvey - gharvey@bsdvt.org

Edmunds Middle School: Laura Wageman - lwageman@bsdvt.org

Winooski Middle School: Suzanne Skaflestad - sskaflestad@wsdvt.org


  • June 28th - July 30th (No program on July 5th & no program for Winooski students on July 2nd)

  • 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM

  • Hunt Middle School, 1364 North Avenue, Burlington.


  • Masks are required for all students and staff unless lifted by both the State of VT and the Burlington School District

  • No shared common spaces will be open; no co-mingling of classrooms/spaces will occur

  • Students will remain with the same group for the duration of the program

  • Assigned seating and limited capacity on busses


Bus #1

Morning Bus - To go to HMS in the AM

8:30am Champlain Elementary School (front of school)

8:40am Edmunds Middle School (Union St. side)

8:50am Sustainability Academy (on N Champlain St side)

9:00am Arrive at HMS for breakfast

Afternoon Bus - Return to HMS for final pick-ups and drop-offs

3:30pm Drop off at Sustainability Academy (on N Champlain St)

3:40pm Drop off at Edmunds Middle School

3:50pm Drop off at Champlain Elementary

Bus #2

Morning Bus - To Go to HMS in the AM

8:20am Winooski Middle/High School

8:30am Salmon Run (at bus stop)

8:40am Integrated Arts Academy (in front on Archibald St)

8:50am Flynn Elementary School (in front of school)

9:00am Arrive at HMS for breakfast

Afternoon Bus - Return to HMS for final pick-ups and drop-offs

3:35pm Depart HMS

3:40pm Drop off at Flynn Elementary School (in front of school)

3:50pm Drop off at Integrated Arts Academy (in front on Archibald St)

4:00pm Drop off at Salmon Run (at bus stop)

4:10pm Drop off at Winooski Middle/High School


  • Due to strict health guidelines, we have adapted our model to allow students to register for ​one​ “Pod” of enrichment programs for the entire summer. Each pod contains an already-determined string of scheduled programs, and will contain the same small group of students and staff for the entire summer. Switching pods or any cross-pod interaction of any kind is strictly prohibited.
  • Due to limited space, it is expected that registered students are able to attend all 5 weeks of program​, with priority registration given to those able to attend all 5 weeks. Due to our health guidelines, we are unable to fill an open spot if a student attends fewer than 5 weeks or only half-day.


  • Each academic class runs M - F for 5 weeks. Due to the cumulative nature of the curriculum, it is expected that students attend all 5 weeks and do not miss any class time.
  • Students who are registered for an academic class may sign up for and participate in an enrichment Pod for the second half of their day.

  • Space is limited to 12 students per academic class.




AM Academic Classes:

  • 6th Grade Math (June 28 - July 30, AM)
    This class is designed for current 6th graders who will be going into 7th grade in the fall. Students will work on strengthening fundamental 6th grade mathematical concepts. There will be a strong focus on skills needed for 7th grade math courses.

  • Geometry (June 28 - July 30, AM)
    This course is designed for students looking to increase the understanding of core concepts of geometry. Geometry is the study of the properties and relationships of angles, triangles, polygons, and circles. Sign up to gain valuable critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies!

  • English Enrichment Program (June 28 - July 30 AM)
    The English Enrichment Program (EEP), formerly known as New Arrivals, is a 5-week summer program to support students in learning English. This program is designed to minimize the summer slide in English proficiency. Licensed teachers create and teach a rich curriculum designed to strengthen English language skills while having fun and engaging in the summer. This allows teachers the chance to focus on teaching the content areas of literacy and math, as well as help students develop skills as lifelong language learners.

PM Academic Classes:

  • Math Exploration (June 28 - July 30, PM)
    This class makes connections between the math topics learned in middle school and the math topics that will be learned in high school. This is a great way to review and strengthen middle school math topics and get a preview of high school math topics. Appropriate for 8th graders going into algebra or geometry in 9th grade and advanced 7th graders with permission.

Enrichment Pods:

  • Crafts & Games (June 28 - July 30) 5 weeks
    In this camp you will learn new games to play with your friends and explore different types of art projects. Activities range from classic camp crafts and painting to strategy games and guitar lessons.

  • Maker (June 28 - July 30) 5 weeks
    Looking to stretch your creative muscles? Come build with us! Build remote control vehicles, make your own board games, learn pyrogragraphy, circuitry, woodworking, and more, in this engaging, STEAM-focused camp.

  • Basketball Camp (June 28 - July 30) 5 weeks
    If you enjoy basketball, this camp is for you! Join us for 5 weeks of games, drills, shooting contests, and all things basketball!

  • Sports Camp (June 28 - July 30) 5 weeks
    Join this Pod for an active mix of soccer, floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, softball, Ultimate, and more!

  • Outdoor and Environment (June 28 - July 30) 5 weeks
    Calling all explorers! If being outside and exploring your environment sounds like your ideal summer, this camp is for you! Get active with us, explore Vermont State Parks, get to know the ecosystems around you, and have fun with creative science experiments!

  • Culinary Camp (June 28 - July 16) 3 weeks
    Chop, Mix, Sizzle and Bake - Around the Globe - in this 3-week camp! Students have the opportunity to learn the basics of what it takes to be a chef and baker from BTC Culinary Arts Instructor Cheryl Niedzwiecki. They will travel around the globe by experiencing different cuisines and baking pastries, cakes, and cookies. At the end of this camp, students will get to show their skills by creating a menu and presenting it to their families. Limit: 8 students.

NOTE: If your child has a food allergy or dietary restriction, please contact the directors to discuss accommodations.

  • Beta Masters (July 26 - July 30) 1 week
In this 1-week, full-day coding program, participants have 5 days to pitch, design and build a new Global Goals video game. Work in teams to develop an innovative issue-based game prototype—all with one goal in mind—securing seed investments from friends and family at Friday’s beta release party! Learn more at https://www.futuregenius.org/programs/beta-masters/. Participants may register for another Pod durings weeks 1-4 (June 28 - July 23). A minimum of 8 students must be registered for this program by June 11th in order for this camp to occur.

The dissemination of this material is intended to be of community service. Burlington School District does not endorse or sponsor this organization.

Vermont Technical College Summer Youth Camps are Back!

Boys Coder Camp - for campers who identify as boys entering grades 7-12

July 12-16, 2021 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm – Williston Campus

Work with Vermont Tech faculty to learn the basics of code in a supportive environment.

$175 includes all activities, lunch and snacks


Girls Coder Camp - for campers who identify as girls entering grades 7-12

July 26-30, 2021 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm - Williston Campus

Work with Vermont Tech faculty to learn the basics of code in a supportive environment.

$175 includes all activities, lunch and snacks


Summer Camp Opportunity

Camp Kesem is a Summer Camp opportunity for children who have a loved one who has or has had cancer. The following links provide more information about this heartwarming opportunity. If you would like to connect with someone from Edmunds first, please feel free to reach out. I am happy to answer any questions or find out more information for you.

Take Special Care,

Angela Halsted, SAP Counselor, Edmunds Middle School, ahalsted@bsdvt.org.

Website Link: https://www.campkesem.org/find-a-camp/camp-kesem-at-university-of-vermont (if you search Camp Kesem at UVM it's the first thing to show up)

Facebook Name: Camp Kesem at the University of Vermont

Instagram Name: Camp Kesem at UVM or @campkesemuvm

Contact Emails: vermont.outreach@.campkesem.org or vermont@campkesem.org

Phone Number: 802-489-6063
Big picture