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teacher and students in classroom

Earlier today, I visited BTMES 4th grade ELA teacher Mackenzie Rice's classroom.  Miss Rice is a 2022 graduate of St. Michael's College, and this is her first teaching position.  I have observed and visited many classrooms over the last 30 plus years, and you would never know that this person is so new to teaching after spending time with her and these 4th graders!

student holding up a trophy

Focusing on Student Wellness & Engagement is key to getting everyone off to a positive start to the school year, and I am happy to show you a wonderful example of one of our school communities getting the year off to an incredibly fun and engaging start! The BTMES Middle School had their first "Rock, Paper, Scissors" Tournament in three years on the soccer field last week, and I can promise you that watching this event will engage you and make you feel very well!


teacher high fiving student

We will be sharing a Weekly School Showcase video each week that shines a spotlight on our students and staff across the district.  These Showcases proved to be very popular last year, and we look forward to showing you all of the outstanding and exciting learning opportunities that go on in our schools every day!

For this week, we have a showcase video welcoming everybody back and introducing our BUUSD Strategic Plan.  We hope you like it!

student gardening

Some of you may recall that we started these showcases last summer with a brief visit to all of our schools.  When visiting Barre Town, we were in the Susan Barnard Community Garden, where we pointed out that this beautiful place was inspired by the "healthy growth of our community."  We thought this special place would be a perfect spot to come full circle at the end of the year to focus on what has been most important in this most challenging of years.  The brief video was produced before the news of the Texas tragedy, but rewatching it this morning was a very powerful experience.  Powerful not because of anything extraordinary or exceptional going on, but simply because what you see here is so beautifully normal and expected by all of us:  kids and adults working and learning together in a caring, loving community.

teachers and students at a table

For this week's showcase, we have the great pleasure of spending some time in BTMES Math Teacher Glenda Allen's class with her group of 6th graders. Like all of our visits, there is so much to celebrate here, and we hope this brief visit will help you see how our teachers strive to meet the needs of all our kids. Students in this 6th-grade classroom are active participants in their learning and having fun while doing so. Ms. Allen makes it clear that she is working hard to improve her practice and make every student feel welcome, challenged, and successful in her classroom. Even our most veteran teachers are lifelong learners looking to grow and improve!

superintendent and student reading a book

This week's Showcase comes to us following a recommendation from incoming Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Karen Fredericks, and it will be a different experience than we usually share.  For this visit, we get to join BTMES 3rd-grade teacher Merrin Rousseau's reading group for an eyewitness account of how children learn to read.  Typically, our goal is to show you a 2-3 minute snapshot of some of the learning opportunities we have for our students across the arts, athletics, and academics.  For this, however, we are taking a much deeper look into how students learn to read with a talented teacher and their classmates.  This eight-minute clip includes two separate uncut mini-lessons with Ms. Rousseau and two students.  This is going to be worth your time!

superintendent and student reading a book

One thing I've learned in over thirty years as an educator is that the best way to put yourself in a good mood is to visit a Pre-K or Kindergarten class. There is nothing like it! For this week's Showcase, we are visiting the Pre-K programs of BCEMS and BTMES, and I can assure you that you will soon have a smile on your face! We joined BCEMS Pre-K teacher Nancy Benoit and BTMES Pre-K teacher Kelsey LaPerle's classes recently and learned a whole lot about car detailing and the solar system during our visits.

student and superintendent

I'd like to thank BTMES Technology Integrationist Jess Van Orman for giving us a great tip for this week's School Showcase!  Ms. Van Orman has been working with BTMES 5th Grade Social Studies teacher Darby Heibert on an outstanding North American Indigenous Peoples literacy research project using 21st Century technology.  Ms. Heibert's students were incredibly proud of the progress they're making on their projects and eager to share them with us!

buusd art show

I got to spend time with the BUUSD Art teachers last week as they set up the annual BUUSD Art Show at the Aldrich Public Library.  The work on display from students of all ages was beautiful and I strongly encourage you to attend - the show is on display now through the end of March.  This show has always been a highlight of the year for me and many others, and after hearing from our student artists you will understand why!

YMCA Afterschool

Children have a wealth of untapped potential! At the Y, we ensure children are involved, engaged, valued, and cared for in out-of-school hours. We help to build skills and confidence as children explore new interests and passions through the Y.

Click above to learn more!

superintendent in the woods

This week's School Showcase brings us to the Winter Wonderland of ECO at BTMES! Our friends at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier have helped bring ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) to both BTMES and BCEMS for years, and we got to experience a wonderful couple of hours in the woods with a group of BT 6th graders this week on a perfect winter's day.

student speaking to a camera

This week's school showcase comes from Veronica Eldred's 2nd Grade Classroom at BTMES, and we had a great visit! Ms. Eldred's students have been spending time talking about gratitude and things they are thankful for, and they were very eager to share their thoughts with us.

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