There is hope on the horizon and yet we remain very much in the midst of coping with the stress of the pandemic. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Joelle van Lent focused on the well-being of our children and ourselves as we continue to navigate this unique school year. Joelle will offer insights and strategies related to coping with ambiguous loss, rebalancing routines, and self-compassion. The Maple Run Unified School District will be holding another Dr. Joelle van Lent family presentation. This will be March 16, 2021 at 6:00pm. Please use this link to request an invitation.
NOTICE: Informational Hearing The legal voters of the Maple Run Unified School District #57 consisting of the City of St. Albans, the Town of St. Albans, and the Town Fairfield, Vermont, are hereby notified and warned to meet via Zoom on February 24, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., to conduct an informational meeting on the budget. This will be an interactive meeting, so join and ask your questions. Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81628638844?pwd=dVg1YksyNm9PVzBGQmVpNVU2REl4UT09
Hello - MRUSD schools will Switch to a remote learning day on Tuesday, February 16. Because we know of the storm threat in advance, teachers will facilitate a remote learning day for all students. Meals will be sent home with students today. This message from Superintendent Kevin Dirth is to notify you that due to the Imminent Bad weather, all schools in the Maple Run Unified School District will switch to remote learning tomorrow, Tuesday, February 16. This includes Bellows Free Academy St. Albans, Northwest Technical & Career Center, St. Albans Town Educational Center, St. Albans City School, Fairfield Center School, and all preschool and Kindergarten programs. Please note that there is a chance of more inclement weather later in the week. Should this occur, and we have to close, it will be a regular snow day.
MRUSD schools will be closed today, Tuesday, February 2 as a snow day. This message from Superintendent Kevin Dirth is to notify you that due to the winter weather, and at the recommendation of officials, all schools in the Maple Run Unified School District will be closed today. This includes Bellows Free Academy St. Albans, Northwest Career & Technical Center, St. Albans Town Educational Center, St. Albans City School, Fairfield Center School, the Virtual Academy and all pre-school and Kindergarten programs. Thank you.
NOTICE: The Maple Run Unified School Board seeks two parent/community members to participate on the Superintendent Selection Committee. Interested parties should email Brenda Comstock firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday November 16, indicating your desire to participate and in what capacity: parent/community member or community member.
The letter linked below from Superintendent Dirth is relative to starting to bring some of our students back. As my letter says, we are constantly monitoring health guidelines, State guidance, etc. This appears to be the best move for us at this time, given the information we have. If things change, in one direction or the other, you will be notified. English Letter: https://5il.co/lt7j Spanish Letter: https://5il.co/lt76
Hello Maple Run Community, Our Maple Run Unified Equity Committee has been hard at work all Summer and we are looking forward to expanding our group. If you are interested in learning more please visit our new webpage through the Maple Run home page under community resources, and you are invited to this Wednesday's open informational meeting on ZOOM from 2-3:30.
View the MRUSD Solidarity Statement here: https://youtu.be/wfBxdGv-ZMc For more information and/or to join, visit https://sites.google.com/maple... The website can be located anytime from maplerun.org - go to the menu on upper left, select Community drop down and select Equity Committee. Working together has a bigger impact!
Here is another great presentation by MRUSD Student SpeakChorus, that they performed for our Convocation. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/txEaMGr7bS4
Brett Blanchard Brett Blanchard has officially started work as the new principal of Bellows Free Academy. “I could not be more excited to be part of the BFA St. Albans community and I look forward to working with the students and staff. I am honored to have one of the best jobs in the world!” Brett was encouraged by his mother to pursue a teaching degree in conjunction with his History degree from Westminster College. After graduation, he lived and worked around the country. While in New Mexico he received a call about a job opportunity for The Woodhall School in Connecticut. The Woodhall School is a nontraditional school for boys. Brett committed to The Woodhall School beginning both his career in education and his passion for realizing student potential. During Brett’s time at The Woodhall School, he successfully built an athletic program, basketball court, and soccer field. In the early 90’s he moved to Vermont taking a position with the Poultney Junior and Senior High School as a Social Studies teacher, football, and track coach. Brett became Poultney’s Dean of Students where he began the all important task of building positive school culture through daily interactions with students. In 2007, Fair Haven Union High School in Vermont asked Brett to apply for the principal position. Brett applied and spent 11 years dedicated to positive cultural and community transformation. He began transformation through amplifying student voice. Students were on every meaningful committee including hiring. Students revamped the cafeteria, library, and food system, developed clubs, and ran assemblies. Despite the school’s forty-eight percent free and reduced lunch rate students, faculty and staff persevered to equip the school with a modern fitness center, media center, and expanded arts programs. Health and fitness became a focus as it directly correlates to student performance. Amplifying student voice paid off. Fair Haven Union High School transformed from one of the lowest-ranked schools in 2007-08 to a US News and World Report’s consistently nationally top-ranked high school. Reflecting further Brett said: “We created more meaningful student opportunities. We drove increased skills and performance through student interest and opportunity.” He pointed out, “Teachers rose to the occasion to offer students more opportunity to excel academically through a variety of ways while seeking to integrate inquiry-driven learning.” The past two years Mr. Blanchard was hired to combine two previously separate New Hampshire schools under one administration while integrating proficiency-based learning. Having successfully completed both goals while also instilling a student-centered culture, Mr. Blanchard is excited to make St. Albans his permanent home. Mr. Blanchard’s father played fullback for Coach Bob White on the 1954 Shrine Bowl team and his Uncle, Gene MacCallum, is a graduate of BFA. With his oldest son living in the area, Mr. Blanchard is looking forward to working with the staff and students of BFA while also being a member of the greater community. Brett brings decades of experience encouraging youth to share their voice and empowering staff to provide interest-based learning opportunities for students. “I believe in striving for excellence. I believe in providing students every opportunity to learn. During the remote learning phase this past spring, the staff of BFA showed their dedication to their students, and their willingness to go above and beyond; I feel privileged to be able to work with them in the years to come.”
Stephany Ripley, former preschool SLP with Maple Run, is the District's new Early Childhood Director. Stephanie grew up in the Northeast Kingdom, where most of her family still lives, and graduated from North Country Union High School. Her brother is NCUHS's soccer coach, but she has no problem cheering against him since that will irritate him, and she sees that as her role as a sister! Stephanie went to UVM for both undergraduate and graduate school, and graduated in 2004 with her master's in speech pathology. Her first internship as a graduate student was at the Baird School in Burlington, and she loved it so much she stayed until her husband was transferred to a year-long position in Lyndonville with the Army Guard. She began working in Maple Run in 2010, and has been in preschool ever since! On a personal note, she lives in Fairfield with her family, three cats, a dog, and woodland animals who don't know she has adopted and named them. As many of you who know her will attest, she is passionate about early childhood and collaboration, so she is very excited to get to work with everyone.
Martin Kattam has been hired as Maple Run's new Technology & Innovation Director. This is a District-wide position which will oversee the district's technology needs. Martin was born in Volgograd Russia to a Russian mother and Kenyan father. In his teens, his family moved to the USA. Martin’s passion and work have led him to the bridging of technology and education, locally and internationally. He has worked in Kazakhstan, Morocco, Venezuela, and the US in schools most sought by American expatriates. For the last 10 years, he has taught all ages, kindergarten to adults. He has been an elementary technology teacher, a secondary school technology teacher, a technology integrationist, educational technology director, and technology director. He has had the opportunity to triple technology class offerings, debut AP and other computer science classes, hackerspaces, and maker spaces, win robotics competitions, and make major systemic changes that improve student's and teacher's lives, and has had the privilege to work in an IB system. Martin is thrilled to be back in Vermont, with his wife and two boys - 5 and 8 years old. When off the technology, he loves to birdwatch - 200+ species logged; fish, play chess, badminton, and tennis.
Great news! The Summer Feeding Program has been extended through this year so long as the allocated funds don't run out. This means that all children under age 18 in our district can receive free meals. We do still need families to complete the Free & Reduced Lunch Applications as we do not know exactly when the free meals will stop if the Fed's run out of money before Dec 31st. Watch your school's Daily Announcements and other communications to see how pick-ups will work.
From Seven Days VT: Tensions are running high as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country and Vermont students prepare to head back to school. A group of students called the BFA Speak Choir have been performing the keynote at the Maple Run Unified School District convocation for the past two years. This summer, instead of preparing a live performance, the group of 22 students from grades 6-12 decided to make a film. Their movie addresses issues that are important to young people today, such as the Black Lives Matter protests, climate change and, of course, COVID-19. They filmed while maintaining physical distance and wearing masks. This multidisciplinary piece includes original music and dance — and many teachers participated, as well. https://youtu.be/aMfNc9cVUPs