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
We are all in this together! Supporting ourselves and our children through uncertain times. Dr. Joelle van Lent will join us to discuss how we can support ourselves and our children as we navigate the challenges of restarting school. Joelle will share key concepts that can guide our efforts and provide meaningful supports during this uncertain time. Here is the link to the document with more information and a link to register. https://5il.co/k073
Here is a video link produced by SACS and shows students dealing with the changes at school. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RYkcuHvvxAQaDYzs9w5AFC10HSIlRq6G/view?usp=sharing
Here is our latest video update from the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Health Coordinator and Principals. They answer some of the questions we are being asked. https://youtu.be/-6X_NgqPdfU
Maple Run Unified School District has openings for Custodians, Support Staff, Paraeducators, Bus Monitors and Substitutes. Here is the link to more details: https://www.maplerun.org/o/mrusd/page/careers--82 Contact Aron Smith firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions.
Here is the newest video update from Dr. Dirth: https://youtu.be/OmaQhso1eMk
The detailed Reopening Guide and the Enrollment Forms for Maple Run are now available. Here are the links to the Guide: English:https://5il.co/iy7k and Spanish: https://5il.co/j0eu. The Enrollment Form can be found at https://maplerun.org and click on Covid19 Resources. PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for Enrollment Forms is August 11, 2020.
Below are links to a letter from Dr. Dirth with some updated information. English Letter: https://5il.co/ism0 Spanish Letter: https://5il.co/isn9 We appreciate your patience and will continue to keep you updated as we all prepare for the start of school. You can check often at https://www.maplerun.org/ when you click on COVID-19 Resources for answers as we update it when we get answers. If your question isn't answered there you can email email@example.com or leave a message at (802)370-3966 with school re-opening questions or concerns.
I have posted a Spanish version of the letter to Families here: https://5il.co/il5m
At 5:00pm tonight a video update from our superintendent regarding COVID-19 and the reopening of MRUSD schools was posted. Import information for students and families will be outlined in this video (including the most effective way to ask us any questions you might have). https://youtu.be/IlEYQhTWdVk
Maple Run Families: We have important information to share with you about re-opening the schools this fall. A letter from Superintendent Dirth can be viewed here: https://5il.co/ij8d We appreciate your patience and will continue to keep you updated as we all prepare for the start of school.
Tune in at 5:00pm tonight for an update from our superintendent regarding COVID-19 and the reopening of MRUSD schools! Import information for students and families will be outlined in this video (including the most effective way to ask us any questions you might have). https://youtu.be/8EdYt8oPGPU
Music teachers from Maple Run Unified School District have created virtual music ensembles through remote learning activities in an effort to engage students and make music for all to enjoy. Alex Charpentier, MRUSD Orchestra Director and Armand Messier, Choral Director, at BFA organized and coached students in their respective ensembles to make performance recordings. Orchestra students from across all schools in the district (as well as additional students from the neighboring Missisquoi Valley School District) recorded the Finale to “Orpheus In The Underworld,” composed by J. Offenbach. Students from BFA Chorus classes recorded, “We Are The World,” written by L. Richie and M. Jackson. Both teachers independently collated their student’s recordings and created virtual ensembles through a combination of audio mixing and video editing. Mr. Charpentier and Mr. Messier are thankful to all the students from the district who voluntarily participated by sending video and audio recordings. Without their students’ hard work and dedication, these projects would not have come to fruition. In addition, Mr. Messier would like to thank all who sent in additional photographs for “We Are The World.” These photographs help illustrate this project which aids in telling our local story. Mr. Messier states, “Every person pictured in ‘We Are The World’ has a connection to our community, many dear to us personally.” Finally, kudos to Alex and Armand for their work and dedication to their students. Both videos are examples of the creativity of our teachers during these unprecedented times. https://youtu.be/udVU_6-y7gk https://youtu.be/9T7BR8Tievs