Region In Review

April 23, 2021

Fifth Graders Making Connections

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Washington Primary School fifth-graders chose a topic related to early U.S. history and wrote a research-based information report. Students began by asking compelling questions related to this particular time period to support inquiry. Then they thought about the kinds of sources that might be helpful in finding the answers to these questions.

Students focused on topics such as the Revolutionary War, the Boston Tea Party, and slavery. They learned to organize ideas and information in interesting ways. At the end of the unit, students celebrated by teaching classmates about their topics. They read aloud their favorite part and their classmates provided peer feedback in the form of compliments and suggestions for improvement. The final reports were hung on the hallway bulletin board to help others learn about these important times in our country’s growth and development.

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At Booth Free School, fifth-graders integrated social studies within our English Language Arts curriculum by reading historical fiction novels that exposed our students to important concepts. Fifth graders read the novel Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. This book elicited nuanced themes that led to discussions centered around crucially relevant topics such as racism and human rights. Additionally, students were introduced to some intriguing times in history such as the Mexican Revolution and life in migrant laborer camps in California during the Great Depression. Students also enjoyed reading other historical fiction novels that have deepened their understanding of early American history.

Fifth graders at Burnham School learned and practiced non-fiction text structures. Text structure is the way an author chooses to present information. There are many ways to present nonfiction information, and authors choose text structure based on their topic.


In unison, students read Seeds of Revolution, The Boston Tea Party, and engaged in a reader’s theatre, Divided Loyalties. Additionally, they read other non-fiction texts about the American Revolution and explored primary and secondary sources in relation to the personal accounts of people experiencing events of the Revolution.


As students read, they used graphic organizers to plan a variety of writing styles such as descriptive, sequential, compare and contrast, and cause and effect paragraphs. They integrated transition words aligned with their particular text structure paragraph. Learning about text structure helped students better understand various texts about the American Revolution and other non-fiction topics. To celebrate, students selected their favorite paragraph to share with their classmates.

Edges the Live Stream Musical

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On Friday, April 30, Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, at 7 pm, Shepaug Dramatics will be live streaming EDGES, the musical, into the comfort of your own home. Tickets for the live stream can be purchased through this link.


A contemporary song cycle about young adults at the metaphorical edge of their lives, EDGES is about four burgeoning adults asking classic coming-of-age questions.


Written by Tony-nominated Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight, James and the Giant Peach) in their sophomore year at the University of Michigan, this charming, witty and honest examination of adulthood explores what happens when we are teetering on the edges of our lives. The songs cover such universal issues as love, commitment, identity, and meaning. Characters deal with confronting emotions, escaping expectations, and deciphering complicated relationships.

Senior Project Spotlight

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Sam Quigley

Sam’s senior project, titled “2:59”, was inspired by watching his father train and run marathons. Sam spent 12-weeks training for the Shamrock Marathon held in March. This was Sam’s first marathon and he is looking forward to the eventual goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.


Sam analyzed and overhauled his nutrition in the months before the marathon. He also interviewed Martin Hehir, one of the nation’s top marathoners, to learn more about high-performance training and self-care.

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Will Cario

Always interested in technology, Billy has decided to learn about computer programming through an online course system called Codecademy. Codecademy is a website which offers instruction on everything from programming basics to the advanced. Billy plans on attending college for computer science and decided on taking the initiative to learn at least one programming language before entering college. For his project he decided to begin by learning Python; a high level, general purpose programming language which is designed to be easy to pick up for beginners, but also used by advanced programmers alike. After completing his online education for Python, Billy plans to begin learning how to apply these new skills by creating multiple small projects to further his knowledge of programming and experimenting with how programming can make everyday life easier.

Connecticut Association of Schools Elementary Arts Recognition

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On March 30, 2021, six outstanding fifth-grade students from Region 12 received recognition for their excellence in the arts during the 22nd Annual Elementary Celebration of the Arts (held virtually). The Connecticut Association of Schools, through its Elementary Arts Recognition Festival, annually honors students who have excelled in areas of visual or performing arts, and who exhibit high levels of citizenship and cooperative skills.

Every year, two award recipients are chosen from the highest grade level of each elementary school of our state - one for excellence in the visual arts and one for excellence in the performing arts. A total of 154 students from 78 Connecticut elementary schools were honored during this virtual event. The students were treated to an inspiring video presentation by Rob Surette, with his Amazing Hero Art story.


Congratulations to the following students who were this year’s recipients from Region 12:


Booth Free School: Samantha Granger & Beckett Neithardt

Burnham School: Jack Toczylowski, & Victoria Gustavson

Washington Primary School: Lizbeth Machicela & Sarah Low

The Growing Academy

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The Agriscience Academy continues to grow and is blossoming just in time for spring! Freshmen have entered their final pathway exploratory course for the last quarter and the upperclassmen are getting more involved with technical aspects of the curriculum.

Students in the Food Science pathway are learning the practice of safe knife and cooking skills in the kitchen. Students in the Plant Science pathway are learning about nutrients and planting techniques while preparing for a spring plant sale expected in May. The lessons have made the greenhouse very green and lush with plants for the upcoming sale. Students in Power Structural & Technical Systems collaborated with students in the Animal Science pathway by applying tool use and construction skills to build a run-in shelter for the front paddock for our sheep. Over spring break, students in Animal Science cared for animals at home, while other students had a chance to support the animals that remained on campus.

Stephen Reich Memorial Award

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Agriscience Adult Education Opportunity

The Shepaug Agriscience Academy is hosting an adult education opportunity to the local community to demonstrate tips and tricks of trimming animal nails. This will be a remote opportunity via ZOOM at 6 PM. Dr. Anne Hermans is a licensed veterinarian and will conduct the demonstration at Shepaug’s Animal Lab. This event will review various techniques and challenges of animal nail trims.


Anne Hermans is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Anne Hermans' Zoom Meeting Nail Trim Demo

Time: May 19, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/72492975784?pwd=SjlwdWNJZTJPalp5Mys0Q0gzZTlUQT09


Meeting ID: 724 9297 5784

Passcode: animals

Substitute Teaching Positions

Does your schedule allow time to join our team?


Region 12 is hiring teacher and para substitutes for all schools. We welcome and encourage parents and community members to apply. Click here to begin your application.

Fliers & Upcoming Events

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Region 12 Calendar

April 26 - Board of Education Meeting, SVS, 7pm

April 27 - Agriscience Awards, Zoom, 7pm

April 28 - Early Dismissal for Students Only

April 30-May 2 - EDGES Musical, Virtual, 7pm

May 3 - BOE / Long Range Planning Committee Meeting, 6pm

May 3 - Annual District Meeting, 7pm

May 3 - Board of Education Meeting, 7:15pm

May 6 - BS PTO Meeting, 6pm

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for updates and information!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

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