News & Events

Share Your Heart Poetry Day 2019

Share Your Heart  2019 2On October 15, our whole student body went to the Rock Point Center for our fourth annual participation in Sundog Poetry Center's "Share Your Heart, Share the World" poetry day. We were joined by three other Vermont schools in a day of poetry workshops, writing time, a presentation by local poet and artist Tina Escaja, and a reading of student work.

Students had the chance to work with professional poets and focus on topics like natural imagery, storytelling through poetry, and poetry as a means for social justice. We appreciated being involved, and left the day full of poems and inspiration. 

Thanks for Getting Spooked With Us!

2019 Ooky Spooky 5k Results

ookyspooky2019resultsThe 16th annual Ooky Spooky opened on a crisp fall morning. We were thrilled to see so many familiar faces - alumni, former staff, and parents - wearing costumes and ready to run! Students and staff volunteered to register runners, guide runners on the course, keep time, and take photos. We were thrilled to raise money to support COTS (The Committee on Temporary Shelter Serving Vermont), an awesome organization that helps people who experience homelessness in our community. 

This year we had more than 30 runners complete the race. The winner finished with a time of 24:42 - under 8 minute miles. The youngest racers to finish the entire race were two seven year old Harry Potters. One of our favorite racers was dressed as Superwoman and completed the 5k while pushing two toddlers in a stroller. Superwoman indeed!

If you want to see more photos from the event, check out our Flickr album.

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March Book One and Living History

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This year our students started the year reading the graphic novel March: Book One by civil rights leader and congressman, John Lewis, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and award-winning graphic artist Nate Powell. Teachers selected this book, not only because it is an inspiring and compelling historical narrative, but also because it was the Vermont Reads selection for 2019. Vermont Reads invites people across the state to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of community activities related to the book’s themes.

Book One tells of Lewis’s childhood in rural Alabama, his youthful ambition to be a preacher, his inspiring interactions with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the nonviolent sit-ins he joined at lunch counters in Nashville to protest segregation. As one of our students, Sonja, said of the graphic novel, "The book addresses issues still deeply seated within the American world, and brings the civil rights movement back into today’s spotlight, something that is often considered to be a very long time ago. The illustrations and visuals only serve to make it more powerful."

john-lewis-andrew-aydin-flynn-march-humanities-council-20191009On October 8th, students and staff were lucky enough to be able to hear Congressman John Lewis and his coauthor, Andrew Aydin, discuss Book One at the Flynn Theater in Burlington. Lewis and Aydin talked about how Lewis’ memories of the civil rights movement can bring urgent new life to vital discussions about diversity, society, and active engagement in one's community, in ways that are not just historical, but directly relevant to today's world. Isaac, a sophomore at Rock Point, wrote about seeing Congressman Lewis at the Flynn:

"The power Lewis carried with his voice could be felt around the room, and it made me realize a bit how these events actually happened and it wasn't just a page in a textbook. It also helped to have a more personally relatable experience, and to feel like he is not just an overpowering historical figure ... Overall it was a wonderful and enlightening experience about the closeness and power of the past, and also gave me more hope to what's to come."

Participating in Vermont Reads and getting the opportunity to hear Congressman Lewis speak about his experiences was extremely meaningful for all of us Rock Point School.

Top Image: From the Cover of March: Book One
Bottom Image: Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin speaking at the Flynn Theater, image from Vermont Humanities Council

 

 

A Visit from Compas de Nicaragua

PicMonkey Collage-1On October 11, we hosted the Daughters of Corn Dance Troupe from Compas De Nicaragua, the organization we collaborate with when we travel to Nicaragua. We shared pizza and conversation with the young people in the dance troupe at the outdoor pizza oven.
 
The dance troupe tours the northeast and some of the coast performing traditional Nicaraguan dance  to renew interest among adults, youth and children in the traditional dance forms. The troupe has now visited over 15 states and carried out nearly 100 performances at theatres, universities, high schools, churches, and cultural centers. 
 
Rock Point School has taken several trips to Nicaragua with Compas de Nicaragua, which focuses on supporting a woman’s collaborative based in Managua (Women in Action); and helping women in rural La Paz make money for their households through growing and selling coffee (farmers co-op). We love hosting the dance troupe when they Vermont!

CSI: Rock Point School

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Most science classes include instruction in scientific methodology and discussion of the advantages this system of problem solving presents. However, it can be a challenge to keep this topic fresh and relevant. In Chemistry, our class has tackled scientific methodology from the ghoulish and fascinating perspective of toxicology.

We began this unit by learning about the history of forensic toxicology in New York City. Through the excellent PBS documentary, The Poisoner’s Handbook, we heard the story of the rise of chemical use in everyday society in the early 1900’s, and the explosion of accidental and intentional poisoning deaths. The heroes of this story are an incorruptible medical examiner and a scientifically trained chemical toxicologist. Their scientific methods led the way for forensic science.

In our lab, we endeavored to replicate these pioneered methods and the spirit of scientific investigation . Students tried their hand at testing for cyanide in autopsy tissue, analyzing blood samples for carbon monoxide poisoning, and identifying unknown powder samples collected from suspects. This unit on poisons allowed the Chemistry class to execute correct laboratory safety, exercise their scientific observation skills, and practice scientific methodology. While our analyses didn’t use real hazardous materials, the skills students practiced were true to scientific laboratories!

We Survived The Great Vermont Corn Maze!

Welcome to the corn maze

We kicked off our first Major Activity on Saturday, September 28 with the Great Vermont Corn Maze located in Danville, VT. Nine students traveled to this 24 acre maze, ready for the challenge. The weather was pretty wet, but after walking almost 5 miles and getting very muddy, students completed the maze and rang the "Bell of Success" at the end. They celebrated with ice cream and goat cuddles on the farm. 

Although the maze is a fun fall activity, it also reinforced the importance of team work, resilience, and determination! We are already strategizing our approach for the maze next year.

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Joining the Global Climate Strike

climatestrike2019On Friday, September 20, Rock Point School students participated in the Global Climate Strike. This international day of protest against climate change and the inaction of global leaders was led by young people around the world and inspired by a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist named Greta Thunberg. Many Rock Point students advocated to be allowed to take the day to participate in Burlington's strike and, as a school, we decided the strike reflected our environmental and social values. The teaching staff made it possible for the entire student body to attend the strike, either as participants or observers.

The Rock Point student body walked and biked downtown to a discussion and information session, had a picnic lunch on the waterfront, and then joined in or witnessed the strike at Burlington’s City Hall. Whether students were actively demonstrating or observing the protest, it was a historic moment for climate protests and a remarkable example of youth-led activism. After returning from the strike, the school discussed the sources of power for change (i.e external, collective, and internal) and what some possible next steps might be for personal and institutional action against climate change.

Fairies and Demons: Creative Workshop

fairiesanddeomnsOn Tuesday, September 17, local artist Emily Anderson brought her “Fairies & Demons Workshop” to Rock Point School. All of our students took part in this drawing workshop, which encouraged them to draw their ‘demons’, or challenges they face, as well as their ‘fairies’, or positive energies that they want to call toward them. In addition to giving students a platform to discuss what’s hard in their lives and what helps them through, they got to practice Emily’s signature drawing style, which involved drawing with their non-dominant hand. The technique allowed them to let go of the pressure to make their work perfect, and simply see what comes out when given a channel.

We will host part two of the workshop on Tuesday, September 24, and the material generated will be used as part of Kingdom County Productions’ new project Listen Up Vermont. We are excited to be involved in Listen Up, as well as to have the amazing opportunity to work with Emily, and to summon our fairies to guide us through the school year!

Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Community Environments

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What: Interactive Workshop

When: October 17th 6:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

Where: Rock Point School Library

Join Rock Point School for an interactive workshop designed to help families and community members increase their fluency with LGBTQ+ inclusive concepts, terminology, and practices. The workshop will be hosted by Mara Iverson, the Director of Education at Outright Vermont. Participants will learn and practice approaches for making home and community environments LGBTQ+ affirming; and will identify specific opportunities for and challenges to inclusivity. We hope those who attend will leave with broader knowledge of LGBTQ+ youth topics, methods for recognizing gaps in inclusivity, and ideas for how to apply affirming practices to fill those gaps.

Ooky Spooky 5K Benefit Race Oct. 19

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Get ready to run! The Ooky Spooky race will be on Saturday, October 19th. Come to Rock Point School for a spooktacular 5k run through our beautiful campus, located in Burlington, on Lake Champlain.

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 to those with the best time in each category.

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 the Ooky Spooky