Posted in Colchester High School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General

Artists at CHS Compare Observation and Imagination in Still Life Project

A stimulating set-up in the CHS art room is inspiring students to tap into their creativity. Art 1 students have been applying concepts and techniques they’ve learned through a series of still life drawings.


In the several weeks since the installation was set up, they’ve had the chance to practice their skills and recently started on their final drawings last week.


Using every bit of space surrounding the 360º set-up, students chose their favorite composition (making sure to include at least 5 objects), and got to work.


With the goal to fill the entire sheet of paper they used viewfinders to help sight and measure the proportions of objects.


Prior to starting the project students learned the basic concepts and vocabulary of still life to include things like: construction, contour, and gesture lines; highlights, grounding an object, and cast shadows. They worked to utilize these techniques throughout their individual compositions.


One of the final requirements of the project asked them to create a fantasy creature or monster who would “live” in their still life drawing.  They then drew their monsters in 3D form and added any other features that related to their creature’s environment.


The addition of the creatures promoted the project’s overall objective of reality and observation vs fantasy and imagination. The students should be finishing their drawings within the next week.



Posted in Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Union Memorial School

Journey to Independent Reading

If you happen to be in Union Memorial School on Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings, you’ll notice the hallways buzzing with beginner readers.blogger-image-424245806

The Emergent Reading Literacy Program got off to a great start at UMS on Monday.  The program is a unique reading program centered around the student that brings together families, volunteers and teachers. The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between being read to and independent reading.

Three times a week each student works one-on-one with a literacy volunteer. Along with practicing their letters and sight words, the student gets to choose a book from the school’s collection and participate in shared reading with the adult. The student then brings the book home to read it with their family. During the next school literacy session the student brings the book back to read to a volunteer again, and then chooses a new book to begin the process over. The program focuses on active participation in all steps of the routine which can reinforce concepts and language skills.

Superintendent Amy Minor reads with a student as part of the Emergent Reading Program.

The Emergent Reading Program is a great experience for both the child and the adult. The kids love reading to other adults and it can be very rewarding for the volunteer to witness the growth and progress each child makes throughout the program.

Volunteers are vital to the success of the program and the school is always looking for more people to participate.  Anyone can volunteer (after a background check); grandparent, aunt or uncle, sibling, community member, or a even high school students. There’s no steadfast commitment to make either; come as often or as little your time permits.

If you are interested in volunteering for the program contact UMS at 264-5959.

Posted in Colchester High School, Colchester Middle School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs

SBAC Results to be Sent Home with Report Cards

This spring students in grades 3-8 and 11 took a statewide assessment called Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).  This assessment shows a student’s proficiency level of our state standards in English Language Arts and Math.  It also shows a student’s growth toward college and career readiness.

Student results have just been made available, months earlier than previous years. These results will be sent home this week with your child’s report card.  For information about how to read and interpret the SBAC report look for the Individual Student Report Guide that will be included in the report card.

District and state results will be released later this summer.  Shortly after this release the district will share results with the community on our website and in your school reports.

Posted in Colchester High School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Student Spotlight, Videos

Calculus in the Classroom at Malletts Bay School (Contains Video!)

Over the last two weeks, several MBS classrooms had special guest teachers during their math class!  Ten CHS calculus students paired up to teach standards-based math lessons related to calculus to five MBS classes for their final projects.  Their lessons ranged from teaching about speed & measurement conversions to area of a curved shape and volume.

The CHS students were well prepared for their first teaching experience!  They began by observing their MBS class and interacting with the students they would be teaching.  Each pair of students consulted with the classroom teacher and their calculus teacher to design one hour lessons. Lauren Bergen, Katelyn Hass, Cassie Mallabar, Andrew Lynch, Kristen Schick, Danielle Whitham, Connor Zwonik, Jordan DeMattis, Victoria Mier, and Abby Harrington taught amazing lessons in Mrs. Marlow, Mrs. Ellingson, Mrs. Carney, Mrs. Boucher, and Mrs. Buswell’s classes.

MBS students were impressed that the math they were doing was related to calculus.  Many young mathematicians were inspired by these talented calculus students.  While the lessons were challenging, the MBS students were engaged and excited to solve problems related to their future study of Calculus, and the CHS students had an authentic opportunity to find relationships between the elementary school math standards and the Calculus they learned throughout the year. It was an excellent collaboration between CHS and MBS!

Click here to see a video clip of the students in action.

Posted in Accountability, Colchester High School, Community, Currently Colchester, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, District Office, Employee Spotlight, General, Other Important Information, Personnel

Announcing the New CHS Principal

Dear Colchester Community,

On behalf of the Colchester School District we would like to thank the members of our community who participated in the collaborative process to find the next principal of Colchester High School. A selection committee consisting of students, parents, support staff, teachers, administrators, a school board member and other community members screened and interviewed candidates before recommending a finalist to the school board. I would like to extend special thanks to the selection committee, school board, and all individuals who attended the employee and community forums last evening.

CHS is a high-functioning school that requires a candidate who will continue the trajectory of the school.  We believe that an effective administrator pushes professional practice and promotes effective classroom and system-wide practices, while always doing what is best for students.

I am extremely pleased to announce that Heather Baron has been selected as the next Colchester High School Principal!  Heather was selected as a result of her ability to:

  • Understand what all learners need in order to be successful
  • Foster our culture of collaboration and curiosity
  • Develop and implement a vision for teaching and learning
  • Build strong relationships with students, staff, families and the community
  • Build capacity for teacher leadership
  • Seek out and listen to multiple perspectives
  • Make informed decisions confidently

Heather currently serves CHS as a science teacher, professional development coordinator and instructional coach.  During her 17 years in education she has demonstrated excellence both inside and outside of the classroom.  We are certain that she possesses the qualities and the capacity to lead Colchester High School to even greater heights.

Best wishes to Heather and Colchester High School for continued success!  Many thanks to all of the community members who participated in the comprehensive principal search process.


Amy Minor

Posted in Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Other Important Information, Programs

Malletts Bay School Plans Evening of Math and Cookies


On Wednesday, April 8th beginning at 6:15 p.m. Malletts Bay School will sponsor a unique celebration of mathematics, open to the entire community.  Entitled “Math and Cookies,” the evening is billed as “a deliciously smart family night.”  Participants will learn how community members use math in their occupations.  Presenters include Eric Nelson of Eye and I Glass; Leah Chiarmonte of the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; computer scientist Tom Bacon; and Sean Parker, meteorologist for local station Fox 44.  In addition to the presentations, participants will be able to view displays including “math and quilting” by Town Clerk Karen Richard; “rising nutrient levels in Malletts Bay” by Karen Bates; “math and legos” by Rachel and Mason Alling; and many student displays.  The gymnasium will be filled with activities led by fifth grade students who are part of the school’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” student wellness team.  Of course, there will be cookies!

This unique event is sponsored by the Malletts Bay School’s “School-Community Council” and the Title I program.  To RSVP, please visit the Malletts Bay School home page at or call us at 264-5900.

Posted in Colchester High School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Grants, Other Important Information, Student Spotlight, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

The Making of the Maker Club

New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU) recently awarded Colchester High School with a $500 grant to support a new technology-focused club.

CHS's Bob Hall, junior Josh Wallis, and Principal Amy Minor with the $500 grant from NEFCU to support the Maker Club
CHS’s Bob Hall, junior Josh Wallis, and Principal Amy Minor with the $500 grant from NEFCU to support the Maker Club

CHS junior Josh Wallis and guidance counselor Bob Hall approached NEFCU about funding to support the launching of a Maker Club at the school in an effort to encourage students’ interest in technology.

What is the maker movement?

Those interested in the maker movement engage in such engineering-related pursuits as robotics and electronics as well as other creative pursuits in which inventing and prototyping are encouraged. At it essence, the maker movement is about learning practical skills and applying them in creative ways. It focuses upon informal, shared learning that encourages fun.

Why is this new program important?

Increasing technology in our schools is a priority affirmed by the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017. At CHS’s Hour of Code event in December (please click here to read more about it and to watch a video featuring our students), students spent one hour in math and science classes writing their own simple computer programs, the impact of which was an increased desire to learn more about coding and to have more access to computer technology. Consequently, CHS saw an immediate upsurge in student interest in taking more computer science classes. The Maker Club aims to further support student interest in technology by utilizing a variety of open-source platforms to create their own projects—from simple computers to advanced electronics projects like micro drones.

For more information, please call CHS at (802) 264-5700.

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Posted in Accountability, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Malletts Bay School, Programs, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

UVM Teams Up with MBS to Teach About the Outdoors In the Outdoors

Fourth graders at Malletts Bay School recently enjoyed a special presentation, “Plants Around the World,” as part of their science studies.

Fourth-grade teacher Heather Longchamp examines a pineapple plant while students Austin Manning, Bode Gendreau, Ben Knapp, and Prinsha Neupane look on

Fulbright Fellow Kattia Palacio-Lopez (who holds a master’s degree and is currently a PhD candidate) joined Dr. Jane Molofsky of the University of Vermont in presenting scientific information about various plants brought from UVM’s plant science laboratories.

Students closely examined a variety of plants arranged in various stations, completing a scavenger hunt and matching specific characteristics of each plant. Palacio-Lopez and Molofsky conducted three separate workshops in MBS’s new outdoor classroom, accommodating all seven fourth-grade classes.

Kattia Palacio-Lopez explains the features of plants placed on a world map, showing fourth graders Matthew Romeo, Hazel Nelson, Jonathan Labrie, and Braxton Marcotte the location for each kind of plant

This special presentation aligned with the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, which contains a number of important pathways, including “Learning Outside Our Four Walls,” “High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners,” “Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners,” and “Wellness-Oriented, Balanced, and Healthy Learners.”

If you would like more information, please contact MBS Principal Julie Benay at (802) 264-5906 or by e-mail at

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.

Posted in Colchester High School, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Programs, Student Spotlight

Congratulations, Honors Scholars!

Colchester High School recently applauded twenty-eight top-honors students at a celebratory banquet in South Burlington, continuing a long and proud tradition honoring students who have maintained academic excellence throughout their high school careers.

Caption here
Julia Meadows, Jackie Nagle, Kiley Baillargeon, and Kristi Chapman

The students, celebrated for graduating magna and summa cum laude, were distinguished guests for the special evening, celebrating with a sit-down dinner. Melanie Laquerre, the Vermont health teacher of the year, was the honors banquet keynote speaker. Each honored student was recognized for his or her accomplishments, and all received honor cords to wear during their upcoming graduation ceremony.

Caption here
Brady Doud and Alana Feeley with teacher Tara Sharkey

The students honored at the special event for their outstanding academic achievements are as follows:

Kiley Baillargeon
Alex Barnes
Jeremy Barton
Daniel Brigante
Megan Bullock
Henry Butler
Kristina Chapman
Summer Colley
Ben Cross
Brady Doud
Tanner Ducharme
Alana Feeley
Josh Gervais
Lauren Hutchings
Taylor Lance
Julia Meadows
Ethan Miller
Justin Miller
Jackie Nagle
Natalie Orner
Sam Pakulski
Maia Patrie
Chris Prado
Carina Sobel
Ethan Thibault
Amanda Wark
Marquel Webster
Gabriela Zimbron


Caption here
Jeremy Barton, Sam Pakulski, Justin Miller, Ethan Thibault, and Ethan Miller

CHS teachers Jim Price, Aimee deLaricheliere, and Pat Schiller coordinated the event. Many members of the Colchester School District contributed financially in order to make the event possible, along with many generous members of the community who also sponsored students in honor of academic excellence. To view the program and to see the list of sponsors who funded this event, please click here.

Congratulations, honors scholars!

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Posted in Colchester High School, Community, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, General, Programs, Student Spotlight, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

CHS Represented at Largest UN Model Conference in New England

Twelve Colchester High School students in Jim Price’s International Politics/UN class journeyed to the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus to participate in the Maine Model United Nations Conference 2014 (MeMUNC) May 13–15.

CHS's 2014 delegates to the model un event with teacher Jim Price
CHS’s 2014 delegates to the Maine Model United Nations Conference with teacher Jim Price

The following students represented CHS at the event:

Sean Chamberlain
Rachel Cleary
Summer Colley
Alison Davis
Jacob Dwinall
Teremy Garen
Lauren Hutchings
Aleksa Jenkins
Haley Mock
Alaga Saric
Cody Turner
Napasorn Wattakeekamtorn

The Model UN at the University of Southern Maine is the largest of its kind in New England, supporting approximately six hundred students from more than twenty-five different schools. The event is developed and organized by International Studies scholars at the University of Southern Maine as part of their final projects. This was CHS’s eleventh year of participation in this MeMUNC event. The students in the International Politics/UN class acquire significant knowledge about twentieth-century wars as well as the wars’ resulting complexities, which is helpful for their involvement with MeMUNC.

Preparing for all aspects of the event required a great deal of work; students researched not only the current issues of their assigned countries but also those countries’ positions on those issues. They also learned conflict resolution skills, debating rules and procedures, how to write resolutions, how to write position papers, proper parliamentary procedure, and much more. At the conference, delegates were divided up and dispersed into different committees across the campus representing their assigned countries’ interests and debating relevant issues. Lauren Hutchings, representing Turkey in the UN Special Session on Sport, earned a “Distinguished Diplomat” award at the conference.

In an effort to promote ecological sustainability, the University of Southern Maine powered the conference—including the electricity required for the dorms, dining facilities, and meeting spaces—with wind power generated on a Maine farm. They also purchased energy credits in order to offset the carbon used by students traveling to attend the conference.

“We were also honored this year with a $1,000 dollar donation from the local Rotary Club of Colchester-Milton. CHS Student Government contributed $500, and we also raised an additional $330 from our coin drop. We appreciate all the generous support from the Colchester community,” Jim Price said.

For more information about CHS’s involvement in Model UN, please contact Jim Price at (802) 264-5700 or by e-mail at

When we’re all informed, we make a stronger community! Please encourage your friends and family to subscribe to the Spotlight.