News & Events

School Plays on February 20th and 21st

40396534432_7f1240f82b_o (1)Each year, Rock Point School students participate in the Vermont Young Playwrights’ Project, working with professional playwrights, directors, and actors to learn about the craft of playwriting. Students write original 10-minute plays to submit to the Vermont Young Playwrights’ Festival in the spring, along with other students from schools around the state.

Our students also produce the plays they have written for performance: acting, directing, building sets, making costumes, and running lights. This year, the students will perform four of these original One-Act Plays!

When: February 20th and 21st from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Rock Point School Library.

What: Four 10-minute plays

  • "823" by Val (grade 10) - A father and daughter struggle to find a way to get closure during a family tragedy.
  • "Alice in Cafe Poirot" by Yukiko (grade 9) - Alice wants to tell William that she loves him, but keeps getting interrupted by a series of mishaps in a busy cafe.
  • "Airport" by Jeff (grade 10) - A bumbling duo attempt to board a plane for their mother's wedding, but are held up by the head of TSA, who has a personal bone to pick with them.
  • "Brett is the Best" by Jesse (grade 12) - A lawyer has a backwards idea to get his client out of a jam, involving inventing, and then getting him out of, a juicy scandal. 

Join us for a fun night of original entertainment! 

*Photo from the 2018 School Play

Alum Creates Telecommunications Company with a Personal Touch

Photo of James Graham from Boston Globe

Photo of James Graham in his offices at Community Phone by ARAM BOGHOSIAN for the Boston Globe

James Graham (class of 2014) is the founder and CEO of Community Phone, a small cell carrier based in Boston. Founded on the idea that telecommunications should be about personal connection, the company creates affordable cellphone plans with unlimited, personalized customer support. With support available by phone or in person at the two hubs in Boston and Milwaukee, customers feel comfortable coming in to get help with everything from understanding their bill to learning how to use their smart phones. James and his company were recently featured in the Boston Globe.

James and his co-founder, John LeGue (a childhood friend) wanted to create a telecommunications company that puts its customer first and helps create a positive community of users, something that is revolutionary in a business that often leads customers to feel at best confused and at worst cheated. Community Phone doesn't sell users' data to advertisers; they have a money back guarantee; and they partner with organizations in their community. As James says, “People have to feel this is fully for them. I don’t know a way to do that, other than it actually is.” 

For those of us who were lucky enough to know James at Rock Point School, it is no surprise that his company is on the cutting edge of the business, while still valuing the human connection that is at the heart of communication. In his time at RPS, James formed strong relationships with staff and students, ran in the Burlington City Marathon, played piano, worked as a technology consultant for Sugar Snap Catering, and created cellphone apps in his dorm room. He was an integral part of the community in and out of the classroom. We can't wait to see where James and Community Phone go next.                                                                                        

Visiting Artist Teaches Students Cartooning

DSC_6691DSC_6691As part of our ongoing visiting writer series at Rock Point School, we invited Rachel Lindsay, local artist, writer, and cartoonist, to share her expertise with our students. Lindsay is the author of RX: A Graphic Memoir about her experience working in the pharmaceutical industry and coping with mental illness. She also writes a weekly comic strip called Rachel Lives Here Now in Seven Days and was named an "Artist to Watch" by the Comic Report!

Lindsay was a great presenter and had all the students buzzing with ideas by the end of the day. During the workshop, students were introduced to different elements of cartooning, creating characters, and how to develop a strip. They were given "panel prompts" and had time to experiment with different styles and ideas. In the second half of the day, Lindsay shared her personal journey from working in marketing to becoming a graphic artist on her own terms. We are so grateful to Rachel Lindsay for inspiring our students and sharing her time with us.

RPS Earns COTS Annual Volunteer Award

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On October 26th, Rock Point School was honored to accept the Samara - Anderson Walk Award from COTS, Committee on Temporary Shelter serving Vermont.  This honor is given each year to COTS Walk participants who have gone above and beyond in support of people – including children – who are homeless or facing the crisis of homelessness.

Our students completed community service projects throughout the year to benefit COTS, including an MLK Jr. Service Day activity that included creating kits for COTS guests based on their wish list, as well as organizing the Ooky Spooky 5k, and participating in the COTS Walk. 

Students and staff attended the COTS Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast and heard inspiring talks from COTS Executive Director, Rita Markley, and Burlington Mayor, Miro Weinberger. Both spoke about the economy, housing crisis, and opioid epidemic affecting the lives of Vermonters as well as people around the country, and what COTS and the state of Vermont are doing to prevent more people from becoming homeless.

Our students are passionate about helping others and we are so proud to partner with COTS, as they do such outstanding work in our community.

Share your Heart, Share the World 2018

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For the second year, students participated in a day of poetry called "Share Your Heart, Share the World" with the Sundog Poetry Center. This year, the event featured Vermont Poet Laureate, Chard deNiord. Currently, deNiord is a professor at Providence College and lives in Westminster, VT. He is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize (1998) and was included in Best American Poetry (1999).

Our students attended workshops and readings with other high school students and professional poets from around the state. We were particularly happy to see poets LN Bethea, Rajnii Eddins, and Lizzy Fox who participated in our visiting poet series last year.

Thanks to Sundog Poetry Center for hosting this inspiring event!

Ooky Spooky 5k to Benefit COTS Oct. 20

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It's that time again! The Ooky Spooky race will be on Saturday, October 20th! Come to Rock Point School at 9 am (registration begins at 8am) for a spooktacular run!

Each year, we host this fun, costumed, 5k race to benefit COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter) Families and children of all ages are welcome! There is also a "fun walk," for people interested in exploring the Rock Point property and watching the race. As usual, prizes will be given for best costumes, as well as those with the best time in each category. The course is an all-terrain adventure on trails, the bike path, and the beach. 

We encourage interested runners to register early. Payment and release forms will be collected the morning of the race. If you have any questions, please call the school at (802) 863-1104 or email C.J. at (cspirito@rockpoint.org). For more information and to register, click the link below.

Register for Ooky Spooky 5k

Nice to meet you!

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Our new staff have just completed their first couple weeks of inservice and are ready to meet new students on Sunday! We are excited to introduce them to our community and share all their energy,  enthusiasm, and experience with you.

Zachary Whiting (back row, left) is from Maryland and has been working with young people in experiential education for several years. He has worked on challenge courses, canoe expeditions, and taught skiing. With all his experience in the outdoors, Zachary can't wait to take our students on adventures in the dorm program!

Marsi Foster (back row, right) taught science at Rock Point School in the nineties and has returned to us as a tutor after working in special education in schools around Vermont. Several alumni told us that Marsi was their favorite science teacher ever and we are so happy to have her back in our community. She has been bringing her sweet puppy, Charlie, with her to work, which is an added bonus!

Sean Morrissey  (front row, left) is from Vermont and has been working as a behavioral interventionist and TESL teacher since graduating from Saint Lawrence University in 2016. He is excited to share his interest in creative expression with students in the dorm program.

David Boggs (front row, middle) is our new school nurse. David works in the Critical Care unit at UVM Medical Center and is excited to start his work at Rock Point. David is happy to join our small, supportive community and help us keep our students healthy.

Laura Abrams (front row, right) is our new Admissions Associate! Laura grew up in Vermont and recently earned her degree in Art Therapy.  She will be assisting Hillary and is looking forward to meeting new families and students this year!

We can't wait to see what this group of amazing people brings to our community! We appreciate the enthusiasm and interests they have shared during staff meetings and know they have a lot to offer our students.

A Night at Fenway

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C.J., our Head of School, headed to Boston on Thursday for a Red Sox game and met up with some alumni, former staff, trustees and friends for the game. The Red Sox were victorious over the Blue Jays in a 6-4 game, which made C.J., a longtime Red Sox fan, pretty happy!

We are hoping to make this a yearly event and we would love for more people in our community to join us! 

On the Road Again

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First week of Summer Session 2018

For our first week of Summer Session we took a five day trip to Maine, visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park! We stayed at the College of the Atlantic was a great opportunity to check out the campus and get a taste of college life. 

On the 4th of July we were able to enjoy the festivities in downtown Bar Harbor, including a parade, swimming, lobster, and fireworks! Bar Harbor is a fun New England town and students enjoyed hanging out there all week, getting ice cream, going to the movies, and shopping.

In Acadia National Park students woke to see the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, hiked the Bee Hive trail, checked out the beach, and biked the Carriage Trail. We loved seeing all the natural beauty in the park and exploring the sea life on the coast.

It was a wonderful way to begin summer session and students are happy to be back on Rock Point campus this week!

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Planting for Pollinators

pollinator gardenThis Spring, the biology students worked to grow native pollinator plants from seed with some success for Rock Points Solar Pollinator Meadow Project!  Kara Schott Buchanan, garden educator, joined Science Teacher Mari Dalton’s class weekly throughout the spring to start early seedlings. First, students fostered them under grow lights and then moved them into the school’s hoop house for hardening off before planting in new raised beds built in the schools garden.  The successful starts include quantities of Black-eyed Susan’s, Purple Coneflower and Mountain Mint among others. These perennial species will eventually be planted in the new pollinator meadow and the demonstration garden for visitors to be built next spring. RPS looks forward to continued contribution to the project with seed starting throughout the four year process and the very relevant educational collaboration this offers the students through this mission.