News & Events

A Warm & Welcoming Open House

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Thank you to everyone who came to the Open House! We had a great time meeting potential students and their families, chatting with trustees, catching up with former staff and alumni, and sharing all the Rock Point news with visiting professionals.

49432570581_021402137e_cWe especially want to thank True North Wilderness Program for sending five staff members to attend! We have loved visiting your program in Waitsfield, VT and it was wonderful to share ours with you. Several students and staff members were thrilled to see these familiar faces.

 

 

49434996423_e19cb70b2e_wEarlier in the day, we had a visit from Matt Woodhall from The Woodhall School in Connecticut. The Woodward School and Rock Point School are part of the "5 Under 50," a consortium of schools with under 50 students that are dedicated to spreading the word about the big impact small schools can have! 

Finally, we have to thank our students for opening their school (and home!) to everyone, making food, helping to set up, and sharing their experiences at Rock Point!

Open House Thursday January, 23rd

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You're invited to the Rock Point School Open House on Thursday January 23rd, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Learn about our rich art program, dorm adventures, and our nurturing approach to academics. During this event you can:

  • Tour our school 
  • Meet teachers, residential staff, and students
  • Discover how you can fit in and stand out at Rock Point School
  • Eat snacks!
  • Activities will be available for younger kids

Rock Point School is located on a 130-acre campus on Lake Champlain with hiking trails, beaches, a maple sugaring program, gardens, and an apiary. 

Contact Hillary Kramer, Director of Admissions, hkramer@rockpoint.org with any questions or call the school at 802-863-1104. 

RSVP to our Open House

Creating Inclusive School Communities

person-s-hands-with-paint-1428171On our first day back from winter break, Victoria Pearson, the Statewide Youth Organizer from Outright Vermont, came to work with students about creating inclusive school communities. Victoria described ways in which LGBTQ+ students are vulnerable to struggling in schools, and helped us discuss ways we can all be more aware and more inclusive. We discussed our own experiences in the world, and times we had been affirmed or had struggled. We then discussed how we might be better allies for people in need of our support. We left feeling invigorated, and with our intentions set on being even more intentional and supportive in the new year. 

The Face of Recovery

Justin Goulet presents at Rock Point School

The United State's Attorney for Vermont, Christina E. Nolan, is passionate about the opiate crisis. She has worked hard to create programs in our state that treat and prevent opiate addiction, as well as enforcing the laws. One of her goals is to get into the community and spread the message that recovery is possible and reduce the stigma that recovering addicts experience. Enter Justin Goulet.

Justin is a recovering heroin addict, a strength coach, and an athlete. Christina prosecuted him and helped him get placed in a long-term recovery program. Now, the two work together to talk to people about addiction and recovery. 

On Friday afternoon, December 13, Justin came to speak to the students and staff at Rock Point School.  Justin (Christina was sick) presented the PSA video that he and Christina made about their story.  He shared the raw truths of growing up feeling "alone and like he never belonged."  He addressed our students with the overall message that the decisions they make now will be important to what kind of adults they will become and the life that they will lead.  He stressed that he cannot change his past but he hopes to influence young people to avoid a situation like his. 

Students asked lots of questions and multiple students reported that meeting Justin was a really meaningful experience.   

You can watch Justin and Christina's powerful video below:

 

Holiday Celebration 2019

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Before we left for our longest vacation of the year, we gathered to celebrate together. In the chapel, we sang holiday songs, shared stories and poems, and pondered how we can find light in the darkest part of the year. 
 
One student shared a story called "The Quiltmaker's Gift" about a generous quiltmaker who teaches a greedy King to appreciate the joy of giving. Another told a story of her family celebrating the Winter Solstice. Two more helped light the Menorah, while our resident cellist played for us through the whole service. Finally, C.J. shared a poem called "Small Kindnesses," by Danusha Laméris, which you can read below.
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After a delicious dinner, it was time to exchange our Secret Santa gifts. The Senior Class transformed into a merry group of Santas and passed out some incredibly thoughtful gifts: a portrait of a beloved pet, a cutting from a cherished plant, a favorite sweet treat. 
 
These gifts of time and talent we share with one another illustrate what makes our small school so special: we build a community that nurtures and respects each student, we celebrate all that makes each student unique, and we create opportunities for each student to share their gifts with the people around them and often in ways they have never done before. There are challenges and vulnerabilities (we often hear "I don't know that person! I can't make anything good!), but with gentle and consistent encouragement, we gather in the school's library to share our gifts with each other. 
 
May we all share our unique gifts this holiday season. Happy Holidays and thank you for being a part of our community. 
 
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Thanksgiving Celebration 2019

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Each year, we gather before everyone heads off for November vacation to celebrate, express gratitude, and enjoy a feast. The Thanksgiving service is designed by students with help from staff members. This year, students read poems they selected, shared traditions, and thanksgivings. One student brought in Christmas crackers, his own family tradition, which meant we ended the service with everyone wearing paper crowns! 

When students were asked what they were thankful for this year, they shared the following:

  • All of my friends at Rock Point
  • My opportunity here
  • Bodie and all the dogs
  • 5 Guys Burgers and Fries
  • The opportunity to better myself
  • Second chances
  • Animals
  • My brothers
  • My family
  • My friends
  • Rock Point's Teachers supporting me so I can thrive in school
  • My room
  • Kevin's great food
  • Rock Point and its community
  • The care I receive from my friends
  • All of the staff and students being nice and inclusive
  • My efforts become a better person

Our students are always reflecting on what is important to them and this list shows what they value in their lives. It also serves as a reminder, going into the holiday season, that the most significant things in our lives are not things. They are the people, places, and animals that we love and the communities that embrace us. 

We were so happy to see so many alumni, former staff, friends, and family at our Thanksgiving celebration. Our community has a rich history and we love seeing former students and staff return to share their stories! The service ended with one of our students performing an original song she wrote on her cello. You can watch her performance below:

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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. 

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.

Same Mission, New Language

image_67213313You may have noticed our mission statement has changed! After consulting our students, staff, families of students, and board members, we felt it was time to update the language in the mission statement which has been central to our school for decades. While the mission of the school remains the same and continues to be the "north star" for what we do here, we know that the language we use matters.

The first change you may note is that we have changed the description of who the school is for from "teenage girls and boys" to "young people." This phrase was chosen as an all-inclusive term for the teenagers we serve and to eliminate terms that are linked to gender identification.

The final change is that we have removed the word “necessary” because it seems “unnecessary" (haha). The word seemed to imply that we “know best,” when, in fact, we hope to provide a range of rich and varied programming and experiences that help students grow.

So, without further ado, the new and improved mission statement is as follows:

The mission of Rock Point School is to provide a small, supportive, educational community for young people, where they can become successful students and learn skills for living in a community with peers and adults. The school is committed to providing academic, cultural, spiritual, and recreational opportunities to accomplish these goals.