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From the Principal's Office

posted Nov 11, 2011, 7:35 AM by Catrina Dinapoli   [ updated Jul 30, 2013, 5:21 AM by Henry Wilmer ]
Each month I provide a "Principal's Report" to the School Board with updates about happenings in and around the school community.  I've decided to start posting those "Reports" here instead so the information can be available to all.  You'll start to notice that the format is always the same where I highlight Projects that I'm working on, a few Points of Pride for B.E.S. and Upcoming Dates.  Enjoy and, as always, contact me with any questions or comments!

November Updates:



Effective Communication: 

I spent a great deal of time over the last six weeks thinking about, talking about and analyzing our communication practices both internally and out to the school community.  Every group that I’ve worked with around this topic (faculty, staff, parents) has recognized that direct, face-to-face communication is the most effective.  Being a listener is as important as being a talker, asking questions to gain clarity and perspective before passing judgment or making assumptions is key and understanding the needs of your audience will help pave the way for an effective exchange of information.  Those are just a few of the many thoughts that have come out of the conversations I’ve been having with folks and in a time when electronic communication is convenient, efficient and in some ways, essential, we need to remind ourselves about how important personal connections are to the work that we do at B.E.S. With parent-teacher conferences in full swing, now is a perfect time to hone our skills and to learn from each other. I’m encouraged by the high percentage of families who take the opportunity to communicate with staff at this level and will continue to collect feedback about these and other practices in the hopes of constantly strengthening our efforts. 


Curriculum Work:


In addition to a focus on Communication practices, I’ve been working with the faculty on setting goals for professional growth and supporting the progress toward those goals in lots of different ways.  As part of our newly refined ANESU Supervision & Evaluation system, our teachers have set goals, met with me individually, worked with a “coach” and a small group of colleagues from around the building to develop a plan for reaching their goal and I am conducting observations and reflecting with staff regularly.  With a constant eye on improving student performance, some folks have chosen goals around using formative assessments more effectively in the classroom, differentiating learning opportunities for students using flexible groups, connecting with the community as a way for students to transfer (or share) their learning in a variety of settings, etc…  We’ve been using In-service time, Collaboration/Release time and faculty meetings to continue this challenging and important work


Points of Pride:


  • Celebration of Learning Assemblies continue to be a wonderful place to showcase amazing efforts by kids in a variety of ways! I encourage anyone to visit a C.O.L.!
  • Lots happening in the area of Food Service!  Our new breakfast menu and sandwich options are in full swing and healthy snacks for all of our kiddos are made available in the classroom daily! Thanks to so many for all of your hard work!
  • Congratulations to Louisa Funk, Dominique Cruz and Bridger Counter. Their Fire Safety posters will be included in the 2012 Fire Safety Calendar created by the Vermont Division of Fire Safety. These three winners went to Montpelier with Mrs. Rickner last Friday for a special ceremony where they met Sparky the Dog and Governor Shumlin, who gave them each a teddy bear. Congratulations also to Marley Keith and Destiny Gero, whose posters were runners-up and will be included in the back of the calendar! 


Upcoming Events:


11/15:  Parent Advisory Group Meeting

11/16:  Author Doug Wilhelm (The Revealers) visits the 5/6 team

11/17:  Annual Staff and Student Thanksgiving Lunch (thank you to all of the wonderful parent and community volunteers who help with this amazing meal!)

11/18:  Celebration of Learning Assembly, 8:20 in the gym

11/23-11/25:  Thanksgiving Break

12/2:  Report Cards sent home

12/8:  B.E.S. Concert