School Daze: Brattleboro Public Schools and Modern Education

School test results are in and again this year, not one of our five public schools made “Adequate Yearly Progress” under the federal definition of that term. To make matters worse, all five, including Oak Grove Elementary, which was only in the Improvement phase last year, are in some form of corrective action. For perspective, ours were among the 73% of other Vermont schools in the same boat, roughly the same as last year.  What is going on?

In an effort to get a handle on both the Brattleboro public school system and public education generally, it was necessary to view the problem from all angles. It all starts with a change in federal education policy via the Bush-era education act, No Child Left Behind, which mandated frequent testing of school age children and something called “teacher accountability.”  Obama’s Race To The Top program builds on No Child by adding incentives (some would call them bribes) to teachers whose students perform well on standardized tests.  There’s also federal education funding at stake, in the form of grants, that are distributed through the program to winning applicants.


Brattleboro Schools In AYP Hell

Brattleboro’s public schools again fell afoul of the federally-mandated standardized testing program, with all schools failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress in at least one and in some cases all categories.  A summary is below, but suffice to say, with regard to their filling in of ovals, our students are not measuring up to federal standards.

It’s hard to pick a winner this time.  Schools that made Adequate Yearly Progress last year in one ore more categories — specifically Brattleboro Area Middle School (BAMS) and Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) — did not do as well in 2013.  BAMS, in particular, dropped in both Math and Reading this year.  BUHS dropped in Reading.


Kurn Hattin Receives National Healthy School Award

Kurn Hattin receives USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) Bronze Level of Distinction

MONTPELIER – New England Kurn Hattin Homes for Children joined an elite group of nationally certified HeathierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) schools. These schools are committed to promoting healthy lifestyle
choices and creating a wholesome school environment.

Sponsored by USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), HUSSC is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. It supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign by recognizing schools that are creating healthier school environments by promoting nutrition and physical activity.


Brattleboro Union High School Board Meeting Agenda

BRATTLEBORO UNION HIGH SCHOOL BOARD
53 Green Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
www.wssu.k12.vt.us

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The BUHS #6 Finance Committee will meet at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 in the WSESU Central Office Conference Room, 53 Green Street.

NOTICE OF MEETING

The BUHS #6 Board of Directors will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 15 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room.


Escuelita Spanish School expands its Brattleboro offerings!

Many of us had frustrating experiences “learning” a foreign language in school. We were taught the grammar rules before we could speak and understand the language, and after several years of study we could conjugate verbs but couldn’t hold a conversation. Escuelita’s classes use current brain and language acquisition research to create classes that allow our students to truly acquire the language faster than they imagined possible. Our classes are not only effective– they are extremely fun. Every class is different because they are completely personalized to the students in the group. Together, the class co-creates stories and wacky situations (ever notice how it is the strange/funny details that stick in your brain?)– entirely in 100% comprehensible Spanish!


Brattleboro Union High School Board Special Meeting – Nutrition Program Contract

BRATTLEBORO UNION HIGH SCHOOL BOARD
Windham Southeast Supervisory Union
53 Green Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
www.wssu.k12.vt.us

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE MEETING

The BUHS #6 Finance Committee will meet at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11 in the WSESU Central Office Conference, Room, 53 Green Street: Purpose: (a) Discuss/Review Nutrition Program Bids – Action (b) Discuss and Review Flooring Bids – Action.


Brattleboro Union High School Board Meeting Agenda

BRATTLEBORO UNION HIGH SCHOOL BOARD
53 Green Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
www.wssu.k12.vt.us

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The BUHS #6 Teacher Curriculum Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 3, 2013 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room.

The BAMS Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 3, 2013 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room.


Kurn Hattin Homes Music Director Selected for Grammy Music Educator Award Quarterfinals

Lisa Bianconi, Music Director at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, has been chosen as one of 217 quarterfinalists from across the U.S. for the first-ever Music Educator Award presented by the Grammy Foundation® and the Recording Academy®. Bianconi was one of three Vermont music teachers chosen to move on to the quarterfinals round from a total of 30,000 nominations submitted from all 50 states.


Experiential Spanish Classes Now Forming

Experiential Spanish, developed by Dr. Tamara Stenn, is a holistic way of learning language in a context that creates meaning and builds comprehension mimicking how people actually acquire, process, and retain language.  Grounded in the pedagogy of “Core Fluency” which guides learners through, “fun, interactive experiences in Spanish, personalized, real conversations, interactive storytelling, and comprehensible readings,” Experiential Spanish also incorporates visual arts, nature, cooking and music into its curricula (corefluency.com, 2013). 


First Hand Report from Fukushima’s Evacuation Zone

Chikako Nishiyama, from Kawauchi, Japan will be speaking and showing photographs at 7:00pm on Tuesday, May 28, at the Centre Congregational Church Parlor, 193 Main Street in Brattleboro.  Ms. Nishiyama was on the village council of Kawauchi, a town of 2,300 located 15 miles from the Fukushima reactors. After the disaster, Kawauchi was at first a shelter town for evacuees from the evacuation zone. Then a plume of radiation engulfed Kawauchi, and it was evacuated for one year. Residents were allowed to return beginning in April 2012. She is concerned for the health of her son, a firefighter who entered Kawauchi before the evacuation order was lifted.


Host Families Needed for Spanish Students this Summer

Expand your family’s horizons this summer by welcoming a student from Spain into your home. These boys and girls, who range in age from 14 to 17, will arrive on June 26 and spend 3 1/2 weeks in New England. 

The students are all from the Basque region of Spain and have studied English for several years.  Host families provide a warm and safe home environment for the student, as well as meals and transportation to a meeting
spot for field trips (to Boston and  Six Flags–host families are invited too). It’s fine for a student to share a room with a host sibling, and students have their own spending money and medical insurance.


Horse and Rider Become One at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children

Riders and horse enthusiasts from all over New England converged at Kurn Hattin Homes’ Westminster campus last weekend for the Two-As-One-Horsemanship® Clinic, presented by renowned horse trainers
and riding clinicians Bob Jeffreys and Suzanne Sheppard of Middletown, NY. The Two-As-One philosophy, developed by Jeffreys and Sheppard, focuses on teaching riders steps toward better communication with their
horse, improved connection and partnership, and a higher degree of harmony between horse and rider, resulting in enhanced riding performance.


Vermont Humanities Council Seeks Nominations for Eleventh Annual Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award

Seeking Excellent Teacher for Annual Award with $1,000 Prize

Montpelier, Vt. — Do you know a Vermont teacher who has inspired you and who deserves statewide recognition? Since 2003, the Vermont Humanities Council has honored such teachers with the Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award, which recognizes a Vermont educator in grades 6 through 12 who exemplifies excellence in the teaching of the humanities. VHC seeks nominations for the 2013 award. Nominating letters are due July 1.
 


Vermont Business Celebrates “Older Americans’ Month”

A Tempo Senior Move Slates Activities for May: “Older Americans’ Month”

Originally decreed by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 as Senior Citizens’ Month, and now known as Older Americans’ Month, May is a good time to think about services offered in New England by A Tempo Senior Move. Offering advice and services related to the changes often experienced by retirees and seniors as they get older, A Tempo Senior Move is participating in a number of events scheduled for the month throughout the region, including a recent clinical workshop at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis presented by Christina Healy, RN, MA, and Dr. Marjorie Kettell. Healy is a geri-psych clinician and psychoanalyst on staff of A Tempo Senior Move.


Brattleboro Union High School Board Meeting Agenda

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS 

The BUHS #6 Teacher Curriculum Committee will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2013 in the WRCC Cusick Conference Room.

The BUHS #6 Finance Committee will meet at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in the WSESU Central Office Conference Room, 53 Green Street.


Peruvian Shamans Coming to Brattleboro

We hope you’ll join us as don Francisco and doña Juana, elders of the Q’ero nation, will be in Brattleboro in early June, offering their energy medicine, ceremonies of manifestation and even an introduction to the ancient “wisdom teachings” of the Andes.  

The Q’ero — don Francisco’s and doña Juana’s people, are said to be the last direct descendants of the Inca.  They historically were respected as the keepers of the knowledge, and held a place of honor at traditional gatherings and festivals.  After the Spanish conquest, they remained invisible, living in small villages as high as 16,000
feet above sea level. To this day, the Q’ero live without electricity, plumbing, automobiles or even bicycles.  Here they have kept alive their relationship with the spirits of the land, and practice a heart-based way of relating to the world.  


Windham Child Care Association Selling Gifts for Child Care Provider Appreciation Day

Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is Friday, May 10. In honor of this day of recognition, Windham Child Care Association is selling bags of Vermont Country Tea, custom designed for the organization.

For $5.00, a set of 18 teabags will be delivered along with a personalized note of thanks. The ‘Warm Moments: Tropical Comfort’ tea is a fruit tea combining black tea with mango, pineapple and coconut oils.

Orders can be made online at www.windhamchildcare.org, by calling 254-5332 with credit card information, or by sending a check to 130 Birge St. in Brattleboro. Deadline for orders is Monday, April 29th.


Compass School Welcomes Prospective Students for Open House

Compass School welcomes prospective students and their families for our Open House on Tuesday, April 30th from 6-8PM. The Open House is hosted by current students, staff, and parents and includes a tour of the school, homemade dinner, and a presentation from Asst Director Eric Rhomberg. This is an informative and fun way to get to know the school and the Compass community.


New Hours for Computer Coaching Sessions at Brooks Memorial Library

Through the auspices of e-Vermont and a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation, the Brooks Memorial Library is able to continue its free one-on-one computer coaching sessions into May and beyond.

In these private 45-minute sessions, participants meet with a skilled student intern from Community College of Vermont to learn basic computer tasks, such as setting up and using an email account, creating a Facebook account, or using a word processor or other popular software program. Experienced computer users are also welcome to bring their questions. The library has computers available, or participants may bring their own tablets, smart phones, or laptops to explore the capabilities of those devices; for example, downloading ebooks or other digital media.