News & Events

Open House Thursday January, 23rd

open house

You're invited to the Rock Point School Open House on Thursday January 23rd, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Learn about our rich art program, dorm adventures, and our nurturing approach to academics. During this event you can:

  • Tour our school 
  • Meet teachers, residential staff, and students
  • Discover how you can fit in and stand out at Rock Point School
  • Eat snacks!
  • Activities will be available for younger kids

Rock Point School is located on a 130-acre campus on Lake Champlain with hiking trails, beaches, a maple sugaring program, gardens, and an apiary. 

Contact Hillary Kramer, Director of Admissions, hkramer@rockpoint.org with any questions or call the school at 802-863-1104. 

RSVP to our Open House

Creating Inclusive School Communities

person-s-hands-with-paint-1428171On our first day back from winter break, Victoria Pearson, the Statewide Youth Organizer from Outright Vermont, came to work with students about creating inclusive school communities. Victoria described ways in which LGBTQ+ students are vulnerable to struggling in schools, and helped us discuss ways we can all be more aware and more inclusive. We discussed our own experiences in the world, and times we had been affirmed or had struggled. We then discussed how we might be better allies for people in need of our support. We left feeling invigorated, and with our intentions set on being even more intentional and supportive in the new year. 

The Face of Recovery

Justin Goulet presents at Rock Point School

The United State's Attorney for Vermont, Christina E. Nolan, is passionate about the opiate crisis. She has worked hard to create programs in our state that treat and prevent opiate addiction, as well as enforcing the laws. One of her goals is to get into the community and spread the message that recovery is possible and reduce the stigma that recovering addicts experience. Enter Justin Goulet.

Justin is a recovering heroin addict, a strength coach, and an athlete. Christina prosecuted him and helped him get placed in a long-term recovery program. Now, the two work together to talk to people about addiction and recovery. 

On Friday afternoon, December 13, Justin came to speak to the students and staff at Rock Point School.  Justin (Christina was sick) presented the PSA video that he and Christina made about their story.  He shared the raw truths of growing up feeling "alone and like he never belonged."  He addressed our students with the overall message that the decisions they make now will be important to what kind of adults they will become and the life that they will lead.  He stressed that he cannot change his past but he hopes to influence young people to avoid a situation like his. 

Students asked lots of questions and multiple students reported that meeting Justin was a really meaningful experience.   

You can watch Justin and Christina's powerful video below:

 

Holiday Celebration 2019

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Before we left for our longest vacation of the year, we gathered to celebrate together. In the chapel, we sang holiday songs, shared stories and poems, and pondered how we can find light in the darkest part of the year. 
 
One student shared a story called "The Quiltmaker's Gift" about a generous quiltmaker who teaches a greedy King to appreciate the joy of giving. Another told a story of her family celebrating the Winter Solstice. Two more helped light the Menorah, while our resident cellist played for us through the whole service. Finally, C.J. shared a poem called "Small Kindnesses," by Danusha Laméris, which you can read below.
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After a delicious dinner, it was time to exchange our Secret Santa gifts. The Senior Class transformed into a merry group of Santas and passed out some incredibly thoughtful gifts: a portrait of a beloved pet, a cutting from a cherished plant, a favorite sweet treat. 
 
These gifts of time and talent we share with one another illustrate what makes our small school so special: we build a community that nurtures and respects each student, we celebrate all that makes each student unique, and we create opportunities for each student to share their gifts with the people around them and often in ways they have never done before. There are challenges and vulnerabilities (we often hear "I don't know that person! I can't make anything good!), but with gentle and consistent encouragement, we gather in the school's library to share our gifts with each other. 
 
May we all share our unique gifts this holiday season. Happy Holidays and thank you for being a part of our community. 
 
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Career Exploration: Veterinary Medicine

IMG_3053During their work with our college counselor or weekly meetings with their advisors, students explore who they've been, who they are now, and who they want to be.  There is a big focus on personal qualities and values, but students are also encouraged to explore potential career paths.  Staff can help them connect with professionals in the community. 

This week, a student visited Richmond Animal Hospital and got a guided tour by Michele Tulis, a veterinarian who ran a home practice for 35 years. The staff at the Animal Hospital were friendly and helpful.  They showed us x-rays and explained medical issues, and Michelle gave us a demonstration of a regular physical exam, on her adorable and wonderful dog Dobby.  Professionals spoke to us about their various paths to and through Vet Tech and Veterinarian training.  

T.R.Y. for the Environment!

IMG_20191204_160656This fall a group of students at Rock Point applied for and were accepted into Teens Reaching Youth for the Environment (TRY). The TRY program was developed by UVM Extension and their environmental partners, and the goal is to coach teens how to teach elementary students about environmental issues. Besides getting to learn a lot about a particular environmental issue, these students will be developing mentoring and leadership skills, while increasing environmental literacy and responsibility in younger kids.

On December 4, our TRY team got up before dawn to travel to the Green Mountain Tech Center in northern Vermont for our training day! Our group was selected to work on a water curriculum, and so we joined eight other school groups to learn all about the water cycle, watersheds, water quality and health, and aquatic life. The day was filled with information about the subject, but also strategies for teaching younger students, hands-on learning, and expectations for how to run a successful program. It was a long day, but an engaging one, and we returned to school excited to begin practicing and planning for our program lessons in the second semester!

Playwriting Workshops 2019

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Working with the Vermont Young Playwrights' Project, Rock Point students have begun their journey toward writing and producing annual school plays. Students had the chance to work with local playwright Mary Beth McNulty for two full-day workshops this winter. In November they played acting games, learned the techniques of playwriting, and brainstormed ideas based on prompts from Mary Beth. Students left the workshop with the beginnings of their ten-minute plays in the works, and then worked with our English teacher, Abbey Baker, to make progress.

This week, they had their second workshop with Mary Beth, where they shared how the writing process is going, got feedback, and had the chance to hear their plays read aloud by their peers. Students will finish their plays in January, and then perform them for the public at Rock Point in February. Finally, in April, several of the plays will be performed by professional actors in the state-wide Vermont Young Playwrights' Festival at the Flynn Center. We are so grateful to be involved with the Vermont Young Playwrights, and look forward to putting on our plays!

Giving Tuesday Results Are In

49104519113_38daac9630_hWe are so grateful to everyone who donated to the Tomorrow Fund for Giving Tuesday! Together, you contributed over $10,000 to the Tomorrow Fund and unlocked matching funds to raise a total of over $20,000 in one day. An additional $3,250 was raised during the week of Thanksgiving, which will also be matched by a generous donor, making the grand total for our Thanksgiving/ Giving Tuesday donations over $26,500. This incredible gift will help us continue our mission of providing a small, supportive, educational community for young people, where they can become their best selves. Thank you so much for being a part of this mission and helping young people transform their lives.

If you have not yet given to the Tomorrow Fund, there is still time to donate before the end of the year. Our generous donor will double match any donations above last year's giving! This is a great opportunity to make the most of your gift to Rock Point School.

Donate to the Tomorrow Fund

Enjoy this video of a couple students talking about what they appreciate about Rock Point School:

Thankful

 

The Chill Foundation Features RPS in Burton Film

Since its inception in 1995 by Jake Burton Carpenter, The Chill Foundation has worked with over 25,000 young people to help them overcome challenges through boardsports. Rock Point School has been participating in Chill, almost since the beginning. This past year, the program selected four of our students to participate in a leadership program and be featured in a film, "Built on Boards." 

Here, Charlie shares what snowboarding and Rock Point School have meant to them. As Charlie says, "Why wouldn't you take the opportunity to improve your life while also having a blast?" Check out the video and see if you can spot some familiar faces and places!

 

Thanksgiving Celebration 2019

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Each year, we gather before everyone heads off for November vacation to celebrate, express gratitude, and enjoy a feast. The Thanksgiving service is designed by students with help from staff members. This year, students read poems they selected, shared traditions, and thanksgivings. One student brought in Christmas crackers, his own family tradition, which meant we ended the service with everyone wearing paper crowns! 

When students were asked what they were thankful for this year, they shared the following:

  • All of my friends at Rock Point
  • My opportunity here
  • Bodie and all the dogs
  • 5 Guys Burgers and Fries
  • The opportunity to better myself
  • Second chances
  • Animals
  • My brothers
  • My family
  • My friends
  • Rock Point's Teachers supporting me so I can thrive in school
  • My room
  • Kevin's great food
  • Rock Point and its community
  • The care I receive from my friends
  • All of the staff and students being nice and inclusive
  • My efforts become a better person

Our students are always reflecting on what is important to them and this list shows what they value in their lives. It also serves as a reminder, going into the holiday season, that the most significant things in our lives are not things. They are the people, places, and animals that we love and the communities that embrace us. 

We were so happy to see so many alumni, former staff, friends, and family at our Thanksgiving celebration. Our community has a rich history and we love seeing former students and staff return to share their stories! The service ended with one of our students performing an original song she wrote on her cello. You can watch her performance below:

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