News & Events

Rock Point Annual Art Show May 5th!

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Our annual Art Show is right around the corner! Join us for an evening of snacks, art, and fun. This year, in addition to our student art, we are holding a silent auction including work from local artists and alumni (stay tuned for more information) as a fundraiser for our scholarship fund.

When: Friday, May 5 from 5pm - 8pm

Where: Rose Street Artists' Cooperative and Gallery, Burlington

The art show is one of our favorite events of the year and is a great chance to share with our community all the amazing talents of our students. There will be photography, stained glass, paintings, mixed media pieces, and more! See you there.

Making Sweet Memories: Maple Tours

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Despite a big snow storm and some inclement spring weather, our maple production has been trucking along this year. In fact, we've made more syrup than usual! Our favorite part of the program continues to be giving tours of our sugaring operation to school groups. Our "Maple Ambassadors" are Rock Point students who have not only learned about the process of maple sugaring, but have also learned about the science and history of making syrup. These student leaders then teach groups of preschoolers, elementary school students, and even other high school students about maple sugaring, while showing them our sugarbush and sugar house. This year, we've had groups visiting from Heartworks Preschool, Burlington Early Childhood Education program,  CP Smith Elementary, and an ESL class from Burlington High School, among others! This program continues to be a great opportunity for students to experience place-based education, practice public speaking, and gain confidence in themselves. Not to mention all the delicious syrup we get to enjoy all year!

Energy Work and Stress Relief Workshop

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Sam Slottow, an RPS graduate, and her parents, Marie and Tim, came to present on energy work and how it can help relieve stress and anxiety.  Marie became interested in energy healing when Sam was struggling in early adolescence. She began studying different techniques, such as Qi gong and Reiki, and became certified in several different kinds of Energy Medicine. Sam began to use energy healing techniques to help her cope with anxiety and created a daily energy healing ritual. We were so lucky to have them come present to our students and staff and share their experiences!

For many of the students, the experiment using hands as conductors of electricity to power a light was the most fun, while others plan to implement some of the Energy Medicine techniques to help them decrease stress and gain focus. Many of the exercises were easy to do, and students left with some concrete suggestions that may help them.

Thanks again to the wonderful Slottow family! It was so generous of them to visit and share their knowledge with us.

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Bees, Blue holes, and Buddies: Bahamas 2017

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Our group set off to the Bahamas from frigid Burlington, spent the night in Boston with a student's family, and landed in 80 degree weather on February 25th! Shortly after their arrival, they traveled to South Andros by tiny prop plane, where they spent the week. Students spent time at South Andros High School, where they learned about their agricultural program which includes hydroponic systems (drip and water culture), one bee hive, 300 chickens, six goats, and a 10 lbs cabbage. Rock Point students and staff helped set up some bee frames and the new honey extractor at the school, while getting to know some students.

One of our travelers described South Andros this way, "The thing that surprised me most was the lack of hotels on the Island. It felt like we were visiting an authentic place. Not a resort area so much as a cultural excursion. We were welcomed as family, by the school we visited, and in every interaction we had on the Island."


Other adventures on the trip included traveling inland to visit three blue holes (large marine caverns or sink holes), which included bushwhaking to get to one! Students jumped from the ledge to swim in the blue holes, which contain a mixture of fresh and brackish water. Students also explored the open water, taking a boat out to snorkle along the coral reefs. 

We are so lucky to have a relationship with South Andros High School and hope we can have their students come to visit us in Vermont. It was an amazing experience for our students to learn about a different climate and culture, while taking advantage of all the exciting activities available on the island!

You can see more photos from the trip here.

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We Laughed, We Cried, We Cheered: Play Performance 2017

play20172.jpgThe culmination of our Project Based Learning focus was a series of four plays performed on February 23rd. The plays were written, performed, directed, and produced by students. Our students conceived of everything from the make-up to the lighting to the music during scene changes and we are so proud of all of their hard work. 

The four plays were as follows:

"Take-Off" by Jesse Ruigomez (grade 10) - in this comedic play a morally dubious billionaire gets his comeuppance with an unexpected twist at the end.

"Second Chances" by A.J. Jackson (grade 12) - a couple is able to resolve their complicated issues and come to terms with mortality.

"The Towers" by Josh Santora (grade 10) - this play is a window into conversations in an office breakroom on the morning of September 11, 2001.

"Kids These Days" by Allison Zindle (grade 11) - a comedy, set in a nursing home, where the residents have a little fun with their reluctant teenage volunteer.

English teacher, Abbey Baker, guided students through the writing, directing, and acting process. Gus Buchanan, History teacher, helped students construct sets and set up lights, while Jean Waltz, Art teacher, helped students paint backdrops. As always, it was a team effort!

This year's performance was dedicated to former English teacher and founder of the Rock Point drama program, Marylen Grigas, who passed away in mid-February. Her creative vision and love for Rock Point and its students was an inspiration and a guiding force for all of us.

For more pictures of the performance, see our Flickr album! Videos of the plays will be posted as soon as we finish editing.

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Save the date: Maple bRUNch March 25th

MapleBrunch2017.jpgFor the sixth year in a row, we will be hosting a Maple Brunch and 5k Race! Come taste the maple syrup we make here at Rock Point and drizzle it on everything from pancakes to bacon to yogurt! If you'd like to work up your appetite before brunch, we will have a fun 5k race through our beautiful lakeside property.  As usual, tours of our sugaring operation and sugar house will be available throughout the morning. See the schedule of events below. We hope you can join us! 

8:15 am - Registration for the Race

9 am - Race begins

The 5K race will go through our sugar bush and trails. The entry fee for the race is $10/person INCLUDING BRUNCH and proceeds from the race benefit the sugaring program at Rock Point. 

9:30 am-11:30 am - Brunch

Enjoy a delicious maple themed brunch including pancakes, waffles, bacon, homemade maple granola, baked goods and more! Brunch is $10 for an adult and $5 for children under 12 years old. FREE FOR RUNNERS!

Tours of the sugaring operation available through the morning!

FOR EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANTS: Northern Latitudes Independent School Tour

Please join us April 26-28 for a tour of four remarkable schools

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Itinerary:

Wednesday:

  • Pick up at both Burlington and Albany airports at 1 pm
  • Transportation by van to Lake Placid by 4 pm
  • Hotel Check in at Crowne Plaza Resort
  • Dinner at the Whiteface Lodge at 6 pm

Thursday:

Friday:

  • Tours of Mansfield Hall and Rock Point School
  • Transportation to Burlington International airport, arriving no later than 2:30 pm or to Albany International Airport, arriving no later than 4:30 pm. (Transportation available to an Albany hotel for those departing Saturday)

If you are interested in attending this event, you can find more information and register here.

Cultural Exchange Trip: Bahamas 2017

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Each year, students and staff venture forth on a cultural exchange trip. This year, we are headed to the Bahamas! Over the past few years, we have built a relationship with South Andros High School and they have come to visit us, getting tours of our garden, sugar house and apiary. The photos above are from their previous visits to Rock Point. Gus traveled to South Andros last year to give a guest lecture at the school on bee keeping. This year we are sending a group to the Bahamas on February 24th to complete the exchange!

We are excited to see South Andros Island and learn about the agriculture, ecosystem, history, and art of the Bahamas. One highlight of the itinerary so far, is a visit to "blue holes," natural pools that are a combination of fresh and salt water.

Check News & Events page later this month for more updates on the trip!

(Photo below is from our 2016 trip to Nicaragua)

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Winter Parent Conferences Feb. 22 - 24

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We are excited to welcome families back to campus in a few weeks! Winter Parent Conferences are a great chance to touch base with parents and have students show off the awesome work they've been doing over the past few months. Highlights of the weekend will be:

  • Wednesday evening social at C.J.'s House 
  • Thursday afternoon all school meeting where students will share highlights from the year
  • Thursday evening DRAMA PERFORMANCE!
  • Friday everyone leaves for vacation!
    • One group of students and staff will be leaving for a cultural exchange trip to the Bahamas

It's always fun to welcome families to campus and students are thrilled to share their accomplishments with their parents.

Our Beloved Lonnie is Retiring

LonnieRetire2.jpgIt's hard to imagine, but after 42 years, this June Lonnie will be retiring as our office administrator. If you have called the school, walked through our doors, delivered the mail, or fixed the pipes, Lonnie has been the one to greet you and make you feel welcome. In her time at Rock Point, she took on everything from book-keeping to record keeping to decorating the dinning room for special events. She is the engine that has kept the school running.

For those of you who know Lonnie well, you know she does not like to be the center of attention, so she has requested not to have a formal event to honor her 42 wonderful years of hard work. But we hope you will join us in paying tribute to Lonnie by making a gift in her honor to Rock Point School. Our goal is to raise $42,000, one thousand dollars for each year that Lonnie has worked here. Staff have already begun to donate. Any amount is welcome and meaningful! Keeping Rock Point School strong and supporting the student experience is the greatest honor we can give back to Lonnie for all that she has given to Rock Point School and each of our lives.

Donate Now

Lonnie has adapted to new technology - from handwritten notes to hand-held devices - but what has never changed is her dedication and love for the students, their families, and our staff. Everyone stops by Lonnie's office for a little bit of motherly care, cajoling, and maybe a piece of candy. For some alumni, Lonnie is the one person still working at Rock Point who remembers what they were like as teenagers! For others, she's the person they call to catch up with Rock Point news and share their own stories of new careers, relationships, and children.  

We are also putting together a surprise for Lonnie and are looking for participation from students, staff, and families from all the years she has worked at Rock Point. If you would like to be involved, please contact C.J. at cspirito@rockpoint.org .