News & Events

Drama, drama, drama: School Play Feb. 22

IMG_2844.jpgOur students are hard at work getting ready for our drama performance on February 22 at 6 p.m. Earlier this winter, students began writing plays in workshops with the Vermont Young Playwrights' Project. Some students continued editing and developing their plays so that they could be performed this month.
 
Each student at Rock Point is involved in the production in some way, either as a writer, director, performer, set builder, costume designer, or crew member. Some enthusiastic students are taking part in multiple aspects of the production! The one-act plays range from the fantastical to the funny to the serious, and we can't wait to see the finished products.
 
All plays are around 10 minutes and here are the selections:
  • "Cat Play" by Cory grade 12 -- A cat escapes from her owner, after becoming tired of living her boring life as a domestic suburban house cat. 
  • "Gay Disease" by Lily grade 10 -- A high school boy deals with having a crush on another boy; he faces the hurdles of being bullied, but is ultimately supported by caring friends.
  • "Unknown" by Josh grade 11 -- A man wakes up in an abyss, unsure of whether he is alive or dead, hearing only a voice that forces him to examine his life's choices.
  • "Sure Thing" by David Ives (not an RPS student) -- A professionally written comedic play about the perils and joys of dating.

Please join us on February 22nd for a night of drama, creativity, and laughter!

2018 Champlain Valley Photo Slam!

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This winter our Digital Photography class participated in the 2018 Champlain Valley Photo Slam presented by Darkroom Gallery in Essex, Vermont. This was a great opportunity for students to display their work with other artists from around the state. Our photography teacher and former board member, Gerry Davis, helped students edit and select their pieces for submission and four students had pieces accepted to the exhibit. On January 12th, students attended the opening reception at Darkroom Gallery, where Mitchell Ruckert was presented with a People's Choice award for his photo "Texas Falls."

You can see the photos in the exhibit, including photos by students Anna Nigolian, Mason Matricardi, Mitchell Ruckert, and Jasmine McMorran here.  If you want to see the photos in person, the exhibit is up until January 28th! 

What are you doing for others?

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"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

While many schools and offices had Monday off to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rock Point School took the day to examine the inequities in our society and serve others through volunteering.  In the morning, students watched pieces of two PBS documentaries "The Talk" and "Black America Since MLK: And I Still Rise." These films sparked conversations about racial profiling, police brutality, civil disobedience, the criminal justice system, and much more. 

In the afternoon, students set out to volunteer for various organizations. Many students worked with the City of Winooski to paint and update the Winooski Food Shelf, others made supply bags for COTS to help homeless Vermonters, and another group participated in a panel discussion at ECHO on Immigration, Identity, and Culture.

While it is always important to our school and community to set aside a day to honor Dr. King, we know that conversations about race, justice, and equality are not limited to one day, nor does our obligation to serve others end with one day of service. Martin Luther King's legacy is bigger than one day and we hope that he will continue to inspire all the members of our community to work for justice and peace throughout their lives.

Express Yourself: Visiting Poet Series

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After the "Share Your Heart, Share Your World" poetry workshop run by Sundog Poetry this fall, our English teacher, Abbey Baker was inspired to incorporate more poetry writing into the school year. The idea of having professional poets come to the school for workshops was appealing to the students as well. So far, two poets, Lizzy Fox (left) and Ellen Bethea (right, with RPS student), have given workshops and we are hoping to host two more before the end of the school year.

Ellen Bethea, who visited in October, helped students envision themselves as artists and encouraged them to dive into the creative process. Lizzy Fox, who visited this week, had the students experiment writing a poem as a group. Both workshops culminated with a reading in the chapel where students as well as the presenters shared their work. Senior, Kelly, expressed his enthusiasm for the workshops, "Every time I go to a workshop like this it launches me into writing more poetry. I love it." 

Our students arrived at Rock Point with varying levels of experience writing poetry, but for all of them, these workshops offer an opportunity to develop and share their writing voice. We are so grateful to the visiting poets for sharing their talents with us!

Vermont Youth Climate Summit 2017

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On December 1, Rock Point students joined over 150 students from around the state at the Vermont Youth Climate Summit. Students gathered at UVM to discuss the changes in the climate they are likely to see in the coming years. The summit opened with a video message from Senator Bernie Sanders, encouraging students to keep moving our state toward energy efficiency and creating sustainable energy.

The goal of the Vermont Youth Climate Summit is to teach high school students the impacts of climate change through peer-to-peer learning. Encouraging students to take action is a key mission of the Summit and, during the summit, students worked to create climate action plans for their high schools that are designed to reduce their carbon footprint. Rock Point students presented their plan to audit our heating system and make it more efficient - something we have been working on over the past few years! Our students connected with many peers from around the state and are excited to become climate leaders in our community and beyond.

I'll Call You (Home)

36057357622_dfeed27bc4_z.jpgOur amazing residential educator, Kelly Ainsworth, wrote a song about her time at Rock Point and performed it for us at graduation in June. Kelly recently moved to New Jersey to be with her fiancé and is now working at a preschool. We miss her contagious smile and generous spirit. The song captures so much of what is special about our school and we are so grateful to Kelly for sharing it with us! 

This summer, Kelly recorded the song at Green Mountain records. Click the link below to hear the professional recording!

I’ll Call You (Home) - Acoustic

Declare Dignity: Diocesan Convention 2017

The theme for the 185th Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Church in Vermont was "Declare Dignity," with special guest, Dr. Donna Hicks, renowned author of Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict. As our country is suffering such deep divisions, the Episcopal Church in Vermont wants to bring people together. Hicks' theory is that by treating one another with dignity, even in the midst of conflict, we can become more connected to one another and create meaningful relationships that allow us to resolve our conflicts without sacrificing our sense of self.IMG_2050.jpg

While Dr. Hicks' work is relatively new to us, it clearly fits in with what we do at Rock Point School. Two of our seniors,  Jasmine and Caleb, (featured in the photo on the left with Bishop Tom Ely), spoke at Convention about their experience at Rock Point School and the impact it has had on their lives. Jasmine shared that she suffered from anxiety and bullying in her previous school, but immediately felt welcomed at Rock Point. Here is an excerpt from her speech:

Ever since stepping into the halls of this school, the social hardships from my old school don’t matter because I find a school where I’m accepted, and that’s the biggest healing of all ... First of all, it’s a bully free zone, but secondly, the way these students took me in was special. I had somewhere to go in the cafeteria, and found places where I could hang out without feeling hesitant or shy. The girls I share the dorm floor with have given me a sisterhood and friendship that makes me feel like I can talk about anything and everything. We tend to stay up chatting about those things in the bathroom. Like I said, life-changing experience. Wouldn’t have thought to talk in a bathroom! I like Rock Point as a school and social sphere because people aren’t afraid to be different, and they don’t mind if you’re different or unlike the typical preppy kid, or high school jock. We’ve all had our journeys, and a lot of us have ended up at this place. I think that speaks a lot about this school.

We are so grateful to Jasmine and Caleb for sharing their stories, and to the Episcopal Church in Vermont for listening and supporting Rock Point School. 

Thanks for Getting Spooked with Us!

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The morning of the 2017 Ooky Spooky was bright and clear and over 40 costumed runners showed up ready to race. Runners aged seven to seventy finished the course, which had to be slightly rerouted this year because of closures on the bike path. Our overall winner was Levi Renderer, a convincing Batman, and our best costume winner was Rock Point mom, Kathy Delaney as Rey from Star Wars.

If you'd like to see a list of the full results, click here: Ooky Spooky 2017 Results

Visit our Flickr Album to see all the amazing costumes!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the event and helped us raise over $500 for COTS to help the homeless population in Vermont!

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Pollinator Education

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Gus, our history teacher and resident bee expert, has been incorporating elements of bee keeping into his curriculum for several years. This year, with the importance of pollinators becoming more widely known, the severe decrease in the bee population, and our efforts to cultivate more of our own food, Gus is including more pollinator education throughout his classes.

Students learn about the the anatomy of bees and their life-cycle, the roles each bee plays in the hive, and different types of bees. Another goal of the curriculum, is to teach students about modern bee-keeping, including different tools, techniques, and approaches. This includes Lorenzo Langstroth's discovery of Bee space and his creation of the Langstroth hive with interchangeable and movable parts that allow for inspection and management without destroying the hive. Students learn how to care for a hive and understand bee behavior.

As a hands-on part of their study of bee-keeping, students extract honey.  In this process they begin to understand each step of the process from how the frames are used to how to safely bottle honey. Students also learn how to harvest wax and propolis, which can be a powerful medicine.  This winter we plan to use wax for lip balms and salves.

Finally, students explore the various threats to pollinator populations, including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, microwaves, as well as the impacts of modern agricultural techniques including monoculture farming. They are learning how to foster healthy environments for pollinators, with inspiration from the work of Gunther Hauk, and will see the creation of the Pollinator Meadow on the Rock Point property to make a positive change for pollinator populations. The meadow will be located under the solar orchard, as a way to increase habitat, reduce emissions from mowing, and gain an educational space.

 

Eagle Scout Project at Rock Point

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Rock Point School appreciatively recognizes and thanks, Teagan Hart of Troop 658, for selecting our school for his Eagle Scout Project. Teagan designed and built a 6-foot tall, 180-foot garden fence around the school gardens.
 
He was detail oriented and methodical over an 18-month period to get this job done from inception to completion.  He worked with troop leaders, staff from the school and on the Rock Point Property, various business owners, and many volunteers. Teagan's spirit was unrelenting and he was hungry to learn and work hard.
 
We had a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the garden on September 20th to acknowledge and thank him for the process he went through and his accomplishments. Teagan spoke to about 50 people on a hot, summery afternoon, sharing about his impressive experience.
 
Feel free to come by the school and check out his work some time.
 
Thank you, Teagan!