News & Events

August and Everything After: End of Summer Session

Lastweeksofsummer2017.jpgSummer Session has gone by in a blur of road trips, night swimming, and ice cream cones. Students are packing up and preparing to head home for a few weeks before the school year begins. For our last week of summer session, students experimented with the 3-D printer, becoming more familiar with the technology as well as practicing some math skills. We also visited the Lake Champlain Maritime museum and had the opportunity to row across the lake to New York in some antique boats.

Other highlights of the last couple weeks of summer session included:

  • Traveling to Maine to go deep sea fishing and hang out on the beach with the Head of School, C.J. Spirito and his wife, Kathy Butts.
  • Exploring the Rock of Ages Quarry to learn about geology
  • Visiting the Middlebury College Art Museum and the Morgan Horse Farm
  • Spending a relaxing weekend at a camp in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, swimming, boating, and fishing, with no cell service!
  • Learning about our lake shore ecosystem & butterflies at the Echo Center
  • Traveling to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire to soak up some sun and surf.
  • Harvesting berries, greens, and garlic from the gardens.

We are sad to say goodbye to a fabulous Summer Session group. The positivity and enthusiasm they exhibited for everything from creemees to road trips to kitchen work crew was amazing! 


Summertime and the livin' is ... BUSY!


We've finished Week 2 of Summer Session and it was a full one! Students learned a new skill (for some) with a sewing elective in the morning. In the garden, we harvested radishes and lettuce; planted kale, chard, and lettuce; and weeded everything. 

Vermont Exposures traveled to Montpelier on Tuesday to tour the State House. Students had the opportunity to meet the Honorable Justice Harold E. Eaton, Jr. who spoke with them about the Vermont Supreme Court. After touring Montpelier, we drove to Bingham Falls in Stowe, followed by a tour of the Ben and Jerry's Factory in Waterbury! For Thursday's adventure, we stayed closer to home to learn about two approaches to producing electricity at Winooski Hydro One and the McNeill Power Plant.

For the weekend road trip, we traveled to Meredith, New Hampshire where we enjoyed the hospitality of the Ainsworth family (Grace and Steve are parents of two awesome former dorm staff, Joe and Kelly!). Students went hiking and swimming and explored the world's largest arcade (the Funspot). Sunday brought a visit to the Squam Lake Science Center to learn about the wildlife in the area. Another highlight of the trip was a chance meeting with Ben and Jerry, founders of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream! 

Phew, what a week!


Summer Session is in Full Swing!


Summer Session students arrived one week ago and have already been extremely busy! With Yoga class, soccer, and swimming in the morning, students are staying physically active and enjoying the great weather we have had. 

Each week, students will participate in "Vermont Exposures" trips to learn about the history, art, economy, culture, and landscape of Vermont. In the first week, they spent the 4th of July in Richmond, enjoying the parade and exploring the historical Round Church (built in 1812). They also learned a little about the geography of Vermont and, specifically, the Winooski River as they crossed it 8 times and visited the mouth of the river. On Thursday, the Exposures class stayed closer to home, visiting and hiking through the Ethan Allen Homestead and learning about the Colonial history of Burlington. We finished the day with a swim in the lake!

For our first weekend trip, we traveled to Killington, Vermont and stayed at the Hemingway House on Mission Farm. We enjoyed hiking, swimming, and going on the Beast Mountain Coaster at Killington Resort. 

Summer Session is off to an amazing start and we can't wait for more adventures!


20th Annual Wiffle Fest July 15th


The 20th Annual Wiffle Fest is coming! This year, the tournament will take place on July 15th starting at 9am sharp. There will also be a Home Run Derby Friday, July 14th at 5:30 pm - ALL welcome, no additional cost for players entered in Wiffle Fest 2017. Fresh pizza from the Rock Point Outdoor wood-fired oven for all home run derby participants too!

Wiffle ball players of all ages and skills are welcome! Join us for wiffle ball with our very own "Green Monster", a potluck lunch, and lots of fun.

For more information and to add or join a team (2 players minimum), see this page. Entry fees are $40/ team and the proceeds go to Rock Point School.

Check out this video from Stuck in Vermont to see all the fun!


It's the end of the year as we know it ...


The end of the school year is always a bittersweet time for our community. Our days are filled with fun events, cleaning the school, packing our bags, and saying farewell. While both staff and students are looking forward to summer break (and Summer Session), we are sad to say goodbye to members of our community who are graduating, retiring, or moving on. One way we try to ease the stress of the transition is through many of our end-of-the-year traditional events. 

Here are few of the events happening this week (links are to photo albums of the events from last year):

Deep Clean (June 1, 2, 5) happens for three days as we work together to clean all the nooks and crannies of our building. Working together to take care of the space we have shared through the year is a way we build stewardship and a sense of teamwork as we close the year.

Amusement Park Day (June 4) at Six Flags in Lake George is our final weekend trip, filled with roller coasters, water slides, and lots of laughs.

The End-of-the-Year Camping trip (June 6-8) is our epic school-wide three day camping extravaganza in Lake Elmore. Students and staff can relax at the campsite, hike on the trails, or participate in a wide range of activities like driving go-carts, swimming, going to a spa, or playing Frisbee golf. At the end of the trip, we have a feast including steak, lobster, and veggie sushi, followed by the Rock Ceremony. This special ceremony is an opportunity for each member of the community to speak from the heart to another individual. We ask students to acknowledge someone that might not be their best friend, but who they still appreciate. It's one of the most memorable events of the year and brings lots of tears, hugs, and laughter.

Night of Recognition (June 9) happens the night before graduation. Teachers and staff acknowledge all the hard work our students have put into the year - from academic awards to sports awards to recognitions for personal growth.  The night ends with a slide-show of photos from throughout the year.

Graduation (June 10) is a Quaker-style ceremony. Anyone who feels moved to speak, can share something with the graduates. This leads to a beautiful and moving morning that is truly unique to Rock Point. Graduation is free and open to the public, so come join us if you want to see what Rock Point is all about!


Dancing the Night Away: Prom 2017


Flowers, dresses, canoes, and cupcakes made this year's "Secret Garden" themed Prom another one to remember. Staff showed up in floral outfits, while the Prom committee students decorated the library with fairy lights, lilacs, and a chocolate fountain. Per Rock Point tradition, guidance counselor, Emily, was mixing up smoothies and milkshakes for students, while history teacher, Gus, gave everyone rides in his canoe themed "lame-o." 

Prom is one of our first traditional ways to begin our spring goodbyes, especially to seniors. At the opening of the prom, each junior presented a senior with a flower and an appreciation speech. It is a sweet way to acknowledge the contributions of the seniors to our school community, as well as a way for juniors to step into leadership roles.

Check out the prom photo album on Flickr for a detailed look!


Remembrance Ceremony for Marylen Grigas June 17th

MG then crop.jpg

Marylen Grigas was a beloved English teacher, pottery teacher, theater director, and librarian at Rock Point School from 1980 – 1998. This was Marylen’s second tenure at the school, following her work at Rock Point after she first moved to Vermont in the mid 1960s. Marylen also served on the Board of Trustees of the school after she retired; she was always generous with her energy, creativity, insight, and wisdom. This winter, Marylen passed away after living with cancer for several years.

A remembrance ceremony honoring Marylen's life will take place on June 17 at 2 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at Rock Point School.  

2:00 - 3:30 - Sharing stories and remembrances in the Rock Point School library

3:30 - 5:00 - Gathering & food outside (weather permitting) or in the dining room

Marylen believed strongly in the mission and community of Rock Point School, and she mentored almost as many staff through the years as she did students. Marylen’s presence brought kindness, laughter, and creativity to any gathering. She was a brilliant poet, and the summer before her death, we celebrated the publication of her book of poems, Shift.  You can read more about Marylen's life here. You can read many of her poems on Broadstreet online, and you can purchase her book through Amazon.

In lieu of flowers, Marylen's family asks that people make a donation in her name to Rock Point School. 

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Rock Point at the Vermont Young Playwrights' Festival


The culmination of our Playwrights Project happened on May 12th at the Flynn Theater. The Vermont Young Playwrights' Festival is a day long event where students from across the state participate in workshops on acting, writing, and directing plays.

Before the festival, students participate in writing workshops with professional playwrights to compose 10-minute plays. Our students began their writing process in the fall and many of them continued to revise and refine their plays through the winter. In February, we performed four of these plays at the school, and in April students submitted their plays to the Vermont Young Playwrights' Festival!

Two Rock Point student plays were chosen for performance (one a staged reading and one a cold reading) at the Festival. AJ's "Second Chances" received a cold reading, while Jesse's "Take Off" earned the title of featured play and was given a staged reading by professional actors. 

The Vermont Young Playwrights Project is one of our favorite activities of the year. Through writing, revising, and performing, students gain insight and confidence in the writing process.


The performance of Jesse's play can be seen in the video below, starting at 15:15.




You can't spell "Heart" without ART!


Our May 5th Art Show was a huge success and a ton of fun!  Art teacher, Jean Waltz, worked her usual magic to plan and execute the show, while teaching the students the executive functioning skills necessary for planning an event. Josh, a sophomore, took on a lot of the kitchen prep, while other students helped to hang the show.

Several local artists donated pieces, including Lawrence Ribbecke who worked with Kathryn, a junior, to create a large stained glass piece for the show. Susan Stewart donated a beautiful textile piece made with water color fabric and Sheila Sprague donated several paintings, including one of Lone Rock Point.

We want to thank all the artists who contributed pieces to the art show and everyone who came to support our students!

For more photos of the event, see our Flickr album.



banapalooza.jpgTake some students and staff who love to bake, some students and staff who love to eat, a whole bunch of people who love a challenge, and... Rock Point School's Banana-palooza is born! The first Banana-palooza was the brain child of Caleb, a junior, who loves to bake. His vision was a baking contest/party with a banana theme.

The party included bright balloons, rounds of bananagrams, banana splits, and rocking out to Bananarama.  Students and staff faced off in a banana bread competition, with three different categories (chocolate, gluten free, and traditional), an elaborately detailed scoring system, and tons of delicious fun. We love when students share their passions and take on leadership roles ... especially when it comes with chocolate!