News & Events

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!

A Night of Poetry with David Huddle and Rock Point Students

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What: Rock Point School students are giving a poetry reading with Vermont writer, David Huddle
When: October 19th at 7:30 pm
Where: Phoenix Books, 191 Bank St. in Downtown Burlington

The students will share recent poems they have been working on after the "Share Your Heart, Share the World" workshop run by Sundog Poetry. David Huddle will join them to read his poetry and discuss writing in the lives of young people.

David Huddle writes poetry, essays, and fiction and has written more than nineteen books to date. His work has appeared in The American Scholar, Esquire, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Georgia Review. His novel, The Story of a Million Years (Houghton Mifflin, 1999) was named a Distinguished Book of the Year by Esquire and a Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times Book Review. His novel, Nothing Can Make Me Do This, won the 2012 Library of Virginia Award for Fiction and his poetry collection, Black Snake at the Family Reunion, was a finalist for the 2013 Library of Virginia Award for Poetry and won the 2013 Pen New England Award for Poetry.

Huddle is originally from Ivanhoe, Virginia, but he moved to Vermont to teach at UVM after finishing a graduate program at Columbia University. He taught for 38 years at the University of Vermont and still lives in Burlington with his wife, Lindsey, who has served on the Rock Point School Board of Trustees. Huddle's daughter, Molly, taught English at Rock Point School for 8 years and currently works at the school as the marketing manager. David Huddle continues to teach at the Bread Loaf School of English in Ripton, Vermont, and the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington.

Phoenix has generously offered to donate 20% of sales to RPS October 16 through 22 if you identify yourself as a "friend of Rock Point School." You can also purchase books online during these dates and use the "notes" section to indicate your participation in the fundraiser. 

Ooky Spooky 5k to Benefit COTS Oct. 21

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The Ooky Spooky race is just one month away! Saturday, October 21st 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 bikepath, 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 the 2017 Ooky Spooky 5k

Rock Point Partners and Friends Celebration Oct. 7

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ALL ARE INVITED TO THE ROCK POINT PARTNERS AND FRIENDS CELELBRATION!

The Rock Point Partners is a collaboration of the different groups based on the Rock Point Property. The goal of the partnership is to be stewards of the beautiful Rock Point land and make it a welcoming place for people to explore. Join us to learn about what's happening at Rock Point, enjoy the beautiful setting, and participate in some free activities!

WHEN: OCTOBER 7, 2017 FROM 1:00 TO 4:30

Schedule of Events

1:00 Gather at the Rock Point School Library: nametags, maps, orientation

Check out all the great things happening on the Rock Point Property and see how you can get involved!

1:30 First set of activities

  1. Nature Walk
  2. Cider-making
  3. Tai Chi
  4. Champlain Thrust Fault Walk
  5. Some Rock Point History
  6. Pollinator Meadow Workshop

           For Children: during the whole afternoon, activities will take place on the Rock Point School, ranging from games to hair wraps, face-painting, and jewelry and button-making.

           Also, Pizza-making at outdoor oven with ingredients from garden will take place throughout the afternoon.

3:00 Second set of activities

  1. Nature Walk
  2. Tai Chi
  3. Pilgrimage walk to some special places on Rock Point
  4. Rock Point History
  5. A Poetry workshop

Please register to help us in our planning. Please come whether or not you register.

Click here to register!

Join in the activities or wander, explore and relax as you wish.

For more information: craigfsmith23@gmail.com

Opening Day 2017

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We are so excited to have our students back on campus! Everyone has now arrived, despite threatening weather in the south. Opening Day included our traditional Convocation in the chapel, where C.J. lead us with a great sports analogy, getting everyone in "ready position." Family members, students, and staff shared their hopes for the year. One parent shared, "This is a fearful time in our world, but I hope we will not let our fear make us smaller, make us shrink into ourselves. I hope we will reach beyond our fear and connect with others." The sentiment is one we will carry with us through the year.

Families left on Sunday afternoon, while students began the process of getting to know one another and settling into their new school/home. This morning, our returning students took off on a hike, and our new students are learning the ins and outs of Rock Point life at the school. 

Things are off to a fabulous start!

Check out the photo album from Opening Day here.

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