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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.

Friendly reminder!

As the holiday season approaches:  Please do not send candy, gum or classroom treats (without prior approval by the nurses) to school.

girls playing soccer

Last night, the BTMES and BCEMS middle school boys and girls soccer teams combined for a spirited game under the lights at Pendo Field on the Spaulding campus.  It was a lot of fun for all the athletes and the big audience that came to cheer them on!  BUUSD Athletic Directors Jodi Bushway (BCEMS), Jack Carrier (BTMES), and Derek Cipriano (SHS) joined forces with the BYSA to put on this event.  Any opportunity to bring our school communities together is always welcome, and I want to thank all who made this event possible!  What an incredibly fun way to spend a Wednesday night!

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!

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