EMS Newsletter

November 18, 2022

Letter from the Principal

Dear EMS Families & Community,

On the eve of the first substantial break of the year, I’d like to wish you all a fun, healthy, and relaxing vacation. I hope that all our students and families alike are able to take this time to get some rest, connect with friends, and enjoy the outdoors.

Please check out the announcements below for some upcoming events (winter concert season is just around the corner) as well as important information about our upcoming annual Title I Information Session and conferences.

Finally, ​​in report cards last week, many of you received your student's SBAC scores from last year. Usually, when we send the scores, they are accompanied by a letter that explains what you are looking at and how the scores are used. Unfortunately, that didn't happen this year, which I know has caused some confusion. In hopes of clearing up that confusion, you'll find more information on SBAC scores in today's weekly newsletter. Please accept my apologies for us missing the letter this year.

In partnership,

Sabrina Westdijk

EMS Principal

EMS Announcements

Our Winter Chorus Concert is on Tuesday, December 13th, 2022 at 7pm in the EMS gym. All chorus students are involved. Linked here are the concert expectations.

Our Winter Orchestra Concert on Thursday, December 15th at 7pm in the EMS gym. All are welcome to attend!

The next EngageEMS (PTO) Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6 from 6-7pm. This will be an in-person meeting in the EMS Library, but families will also be able to join remotely via this link.

Student Led Conferences: Reminders


When are conferences?

  • Monday, November 21 and Tuesday, November 22.

  • There is no regularly scheduled school on those days.

  • Families have the option to attend a virtual conference; all virtual conferences will be scheduled on Tuesday, November 22.

How do I schedule my student’s conference?

  • We are using PTCFast (a conference scheduling system) to sign up for conferences

  • PLEASE NOTE: Since we need to accommodate all students and families, please know that families are able to sign up for ONE conference with core teams only. If you sign up for more than one conference slot with your child’s core team, we will reach out to ask which to keep and cancel to bring it back to one conference registration.

Reminder: Conferences are IN-PERSON (Monday, 21st) and VIRTUAL (Tuesday, 22nd)

  • Important reminders: Google Meet Instructions

  • Make sure to only join the meet at the time and date you have signed up for and be mindful that teachers are holding a number of meetings throughout the day

  • Access the Google Meet through the link that your student’s teacher has provided (through a Google account) → it should be listed under location on the PTCFast invite

  • If you can’t access the link or can’t make the meeting. Please make sure to email your teacher.

How can I give feedback?

After your student’s conference, please click this link to give feedback! Family Feedback - Student-Led Conferences

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SBAC Results

This past spring (between March and June) our schools joined thousands of schools across the United States in the administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC). Smarter Balanced Assessments serve as Vermont’s statewide assessment for accountability. The SBAC tests were given to students in grades 3-8 and 9, these assessments measure achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics. While the assessments are designed to measure academic achievement, scores are also impacted by a student’s familiarity with technology.

This computer adaptive assessment provides test results aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The purpose of the SBAC test is to provide teachers and parents with a more reliable and accurate snapshot of how their kids are performing in English Language Arts and Mathematics as compared to other students in the United States.The assessment allows students to represent their proficiency against the state’s current expectations for science learning.

While no single test provides a complete picture of achievement, annual state assessments coupled with district and classroom results can provide important information about student progress and areas for improvement. Parents and teachers can use this comprehensive information from all assessments to make sure students get the support they need to succeed. Linked here is a family-facing explanation of the assessments and the results.

Thank you once again for supporting your child and our school during the annual assessments.

Title 1 Update - Information Session on 12/6 @ 7pm

Districtwide, Title I funds support:

  • Multilingual Liaisons and Multilingual Liaison Coordinator

  • Summer programs

  • Homeless students

  • Personalized Learning Specialist - embedded PD, grades 6-12

  • Technical and leadership team support for developing CIPs

  • Online tools for reading assessment, digital student portfolios, math, informational articles

  • BSD Coordinator of the Office of Engagement

  • Parent Engagement materials (at each school)

At EMS, Title 1 funds support:

  • A Math Interventionist position

  • A portion of our Food Science Coordinator position, which spreads across several schools.

To learn more about Title I in our district and EMS, please attend our upcoming Title 1 Information Session on Tuesday, December 6 at 7pm (immediately following the EngageEMS meeting). The meeting will be hosted in the EMS Library, but can also be joined remotely. The link to join TBA.

EMS Art Studio

As a way to begin Quarter 2, 7th and 8th graders collaged "ART IS" postcards. Not only are they fun to read, but they are also honest, insightful and beautiful. Take a look!