** Click here for a list of local 2019 Summer Meals Sites where youth eat for free. **
HES Sustainability Fair: For the past few years, Hardwick Elementary has been building a shared vision for incorporating sustainability as a unifying theme across the school. This year, staff, students and community partners worked together to hold the first annual HES Sustainability Fair – a day full of interactive presentations and peer-to-peer learning showcasing the sustainability topics studied by each grade throughout the year. For example, sixth-graders worked with Central Vermont Solid Waste District to conduct a school waste audit this spring and shared a sorting game and audit findings at the Fair. Second-graders learned about planting and nurturing seeds in order to grow pumpkins for Hardwick’s annual pumpkin walk, and then led a seed-starting station at the Sustainability Fair to teach their peers. Other projects included recycled art, natural and cultural history signage for Atkins Field, the ‘3 Cares’ of self, others and community practiced in the ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) model, and a salsa taste test and label design competition for a homemade school salsa being developed to help fund-raise for the school gardens. Despite being quite parking-lot bound, HES frequently makes use of outdoor learning spaces. For the Sustainability Fair, student presentations were set up on the playground, in the woods above the athletic field, and all over Atkins Field (a community green space a short walk from the school.)
Pics from grade-level sustainability units during the school year:
Sustainability Fair Slideshow:
Those of you who had the opportunity to attend Hazen’s J-Term Expo might have sampled homemade aromatherapy products, ordered a slice of artisan pizza hot out of the mud oven, bought a raffle ticket for a beautiful barn quilt painting, or caught a performance from the Kiss cover band. And all of that before you even stepped inside the school building where hallways were lined with student project presentations on everything from fly-fishing to print-making, mountain-biking, first aid, dairy farming, ceramics, cultural exchange to Mexico, and many more! J-Term offers students two weeks of special interest seminars at the end of the school year. Piloted two years ago by the middle school, the program has grown to include the high-school. Students choose three seminars for the term and develop a deep-dive project in one of the three. These are the projects showcased at the Expo. For a further glimpse into two of the J-Term classes, ‘Healthy Eating’ and ‘Barn Quilts,’ see the slideshows below! Note: Community partnerships, field trips, and student leadership were key components of both of these classes, as well as many others.
Summer PD opportunities (compiled by Vermont Learning for the Future):
- Shelburne Farms Education for Sustainability – 2-day, 5-day and year-long professional development opportunities with internationally renowned programming, facilities and staff. Graduate credit and scholarships available.
- Vermont Principals Association Leadership Academy: Leading for Equity – July 30-August 1. Multiple strands for school leaders at all levels; special guest and keynote by Ruha Benjamin, along with many others. Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, Stowe, Vermont.
- Proficiency-Based Learning: A Framework for Clarity and Equity – August 5-9. Led by Mike Martin and hosted by the Champlain Valley Education Development Center, this course will provide structures and strategies that help clarify next steps for teachers and school leaders who are engaged in this work and are responsible for communicating this change to students, families and the wider community. The operating assumption is that proficiency-based learning will improve equitable student outcomes through greater precision, transparency, and relevance thanks to intentionally structured learning activities and assessment.
- Abenaki Culture in the Classroom – presented by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Through lectures and experiential learning, Vermont Abenaki Artists Association scholars, historians and culture bearers provide teachers with a deeper understanding of how indigenous culture continues into the 21st century and how to support Abenaki and Native students while presenting American history. August 8-10. Graduate credit available through Castleton University.
- Discovering Community Summer Institute – August 12-15. presented by The Vermont Folklife Center. Educators from across the state will gather for a four-day intensive at The Fairbanks Museum. The course provides an introduction to collaborative ethnography and digital storytelling for the classroom, offering hands-on experience for methods of community-based research and documentary media making. Three graduate credits available through Castleton University.
- VEEP Ambitious Instruction for Energy & Climate Action – August 12-18. A week-long immersion into hands-on investigations, best instructional practices, and student-driven action for K-12 educators. Graduate credit and scholarships available.
- PhD in Educational Leadership, Social justice & Equity – A low-residency program offered by Southern New Hampshire University. Participants meet in person one Saturday per month and a week in the summers (Summer 2019 at Loon Mountain, August 5-9) and degree completion can be done in three to five years. There is no regional cohort requirement for this program – participants who wish to consider equity work deeply through doctoral study are welcome to apply for acceptance as individuals. Application deadline is July 1. Contact Kelsea Moulton, Program Coordinator (email@example.com) or call the Vermont Campus office at 802-489-5080.
- Courageous Conversations: Beyond Diversity with Luis Versalles, Pacific Educational Group – A two-day seminar hosted by the Champlain Valley Education Development Center that helps teachers, students, and administrators understand the impact of race on our lives, our work and our learning. Interactive and stirring exercises strength participants’ critical consciousness of race and leads them to investigate the role that racism plays in institutionalizing achievement disparities. Most importantly, it models and teaches a protocol for discussing race in ways that are productive insightful, and generative. September 24-25, at the Hampton Inn in Colchester