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Thank You and Appreciation for BUUSD Faculty and Staff!

We have had a wonderful Teacher/Staff Appreciation week! Our school board has supported and sponsored Appreciation Breakfasts all week at each of our schools, and it was a terrific opportunity for many of our board members to connect with the people who work with our students every day. These breakfasts were well attended and greatly appreciated by all!

As I was enjoying breakfast on Wednesday morning at BTMES with a group of teachers, I got to join a wonderful conversation with 7th grade teacher Darby Heibert and some of her colleagues about Edgar Allen Poe and how she is introducing his works to her students.  BUUSD Director of Curriculum Karen Fredericks joined Darby and her students yesterday to see what's going on, and you can see here how incredibly engaging and fun this work has been after hearing from her and her students!

This work is typical of what is happening in all of our schools. We have much to be proud of!

With this pride in mind, I want to remind the community that our FY25 Budget Revote is next Tuesday, May 14. Everything you need to know about the budget, from the basics to deep details, can be found on our website here: BUUSD Budget Page

We think the link to Frequently Asked Questions is particularly helpful! Please remember to cast your ballot and spread the word to your friends and neighbors to remind them to do the same!

Have a great weekend, and Happy Spring!


This week's School Showcase bring us into the woods with 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 hour in the woods with a group of BT 5th graders this week on a perfect autumn day.

After watching this video, you surely will have never seen a group of students more fascinated by fungus in your life!  BTMES teachers Kevin Rondeau and Luke Spencer bring their students out for ECO every Wednesday, and I was incredibly impressed with the whole lesson.  I learned more about mushrooms in that hour than I ever have!  North Branch teacher/naturalist Carrie Riker joined the team and also provided her expertise and fun, safe approach to learning about mushrooms.  The kids had such an engaging experience foraging for the diverse and wide variety of mushrooms to be found on the trail, and every single student was having a blast while experiencing that natural world.  The community can be proud that our schools provide opportunities like this for all of our students.

BTMES Town Hall

I recently joined the BTMES 7th grade team for their first Town Hall of the year, and it was a terrific and impressive experience!  7th grade teachers, BTMES principal Erica Pearson, and assistant principal Ted Mills led our students through an engaging session that focused on relationship building and social/emotional learning.  I found the presentation on Hazing, Harassment, and Bullying led by Mr. Mills to be particularly compelling, and our students had incredibly thoughtful questions to share with the group.  These Town Halls will be occurring across grades at BTMES all year; please reach out to the BTMES team if you'd like more information.  Check out our interview with the principals and some of our students.

Finally, we hope to see you at this weekend's Barre Heritage Festival!  The weather is looking great, and many of us from the BUUSD will be present for the fun on Saturday.  Check out this link with more information about the weekend.

Memorial Day Parade

Our students and school community were honored to participate in this year's Memorial Day Parade this past Tuesday, and it was a powerful learning experience for all.  I had a chance to connect with BTMES, BCEMS, and SHS marching bands to hear their thoughts on participating in the ceremony, and we also go to catch up with the SHS J.R.O.T.C. program.

Command Sgt. Major Arianna Little (Junior, SHS) said it best:  "It's so important to honor those that have served our country and to show our patriotism."  Indeed it is, and all of our students respectfully honored our veterans on this perfect day for a parade!  Many thanks to our Band Directors Bobby Booth (SHS), Ally Tarwater (BTMES), and Angela Garcelon (BCEMS) for providing this opportunity for our students to shine on such an important day.  And of course, thank you to SHS J.R.O.T.C. Instructors Sgt. Danny Boone and Lt. Colonel Paul Stafford for leading our efforts in having our students be such an integral part of these events that honor our veterans.  It was a day to be truly proud of our school community!

Student and Curriculum Director Karen Fredericks

This week's school showcase highlights a recent Math Night at BCEMS that brought the Barre Town and Barre City elementary communities together last Thursday night. BUUSD Math Coordinator Jen Bisson and Director of Curriculum Karen Fredericks put together a fun night for students and families, and this is just one example of how wonderful it has been to get the community back in our schools this year! Here is Karen's take on the night:

"We had an excellent turn out for our first post COVID Barre Math Night (with a count of 175 attendees). Jen Bisson, Barre UUSD PrK-8 Math Coordinator, organized the event in partnership with All Learners Network. It was such a pleasure to see equal representation of both Barre City and Barre Town families and teachers! Thank you for supporting our students, and the learning that is happening in the classroom."

person playing bagpipes

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  BTMES and BCEMS had a special visit today from Aldrich Library Children's Librarian Ian Gauthier, who doubles among many other talents as a gifted player of the bagpipes!  Ian put on a spirited performance for students at both schools this morning, and it was a treat for all.

BTMES Water Line Break Update

Earlier this morning, we went to BTMES to prepare a school showcase updating the community on this weekend's water line break.  Though we're still going to share that with you, we also had an unplanned visit in Charlotte Baribault's 3rd-grade class and we wanted to share that with you too!

Gymnastics at BTMES

For this week's showcase, you are in for a real treat!  I got to spend this morning with BTMES Physical Education teacher Laura Thygesen's 2nd graders, and you will be mighty impressed with what you see here.  Mrs. Thygesen has put together an impressive gymnastics unit that really encourages these students of varying skills and abilities to challenge themselves and move their bodies in healthy ways!  Every student was engaged, highly physically active, and having fun!  This was their first class of the day - what a terrific start to a full day of learning. 

Hour of Code

For those who don't know, last week was "Computer Science Education Week", and all of our schools are participating in the nationwide Hour of Code event this month!  We got to spend time with all three of our district's Technology Integrationists the last three days as they collaborated with their colleagues to bring basic coding skills into the classroom.  First, BTMES's Jess Van Orman joined band teacher Ally Tarwater and her 6th graders coding "Edison" robots to play their musical pieces.  We then joined SHS's Angelique Fairbrother at the SEA program to hear how she is teaching their students to use Minecraft with their history lessons.  Finally, we joined BCEMS's Mike Martin in the 4th grade classes of Roberta Melnick and Charlotte Murphy to learn how to move Angry Birds through a maze.

The Gallery at Barre Town

We welcome you to The Gallery at Barre Town Middle and Elementary School!  BTMES Art Teacher Anne Leeds and Design Lab Teacher Michael Pope have worked with students across the elementary and middle schools to create a peaceful place in their community that has had a positive impact on everyone at Barre Town for many years.  Please take a look at what the two of them and some of their students have to say about The Gallery.

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