Monday, December 28, 2015

PAML's Annual Holiday Gift Shop!

Every year Liddy Bourne and a crew of helpers create an AMAZING Holiday Gift Shop for students to come shop (at no charge) for gifts they need or desire for family members.  These are donated items from the Morristown School District community.  And while overall the kids were very excited and grateful, here are a few quotes and pictures from the day that seem to capture the essence of the holiday spirit.
  • “I've got the perfect idea!”
  • “Hey--I'm not a woman, but do you think a woman would like these??!”
  • “This is the perfect pillow for my brother!”
  • “My niece is going to just love this! She loves Frozen!”
  • “Do you have anything for my brother?  He loves cars... Oh, he is going to love this!”
  • “My grandmother loves vases!”
  • “This is adorable.  I love it so much!”  (“Why don't you get it for yourself?”)  “I'm not going to get something for myself!!”
  • “Do you think my mom will like this?”
  • “I need to find something for my…[mom, dad, brother, grandma]…”
  • “Does she like fashion? design?  She would love that!”
  • “I decided I'm going to get these for my mom.  She likes the leopard and zebra print…”

Wrapping Crew
Meticulous Wrapping
Which pair would be best?

So much to choose from!

Decisions Decisions!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays

Hi, Wishing everyone a happy holiday and hope that you have some enjoyable time with your kids, friends and families.  Play a lot with your kids, be outside as much as possible, and laugh!  We'll see everyone back on Jan. 4th 2016!  Enjoy, Karen Weeks

Owls in the PAML hallways!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Winter EXPOSition

A few scenes from the EXPOSition on Dec. 16th!

Hard work in preparation for the Concert!

Raising money to support the needy locally and globally

ML 6-8 Band!

Chorus Warm-Up

Monday, December 21, 2015

American Heart Association Award

Congratulations to all of us!!!  PAML finished third in the state for small schools in support of the American Heart Association's annual campaign. You may remember the Ultimate Frisbee afternoon last spring - that's when the donations were made. Many thanks to the whole PAML community, for generously supporting this worthy cause.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Activit├ęs de reboisement (Activities from the Fundraising)

       Take a look...last year our 6th graders worked diligently to raise money to help a school they had connected with in Senegal.  The photos on this post are the first results of our fundraising and work from last year.  They raised enough money for the school to purchase an iPad, which will help with communication efforts for continued cross cultural conversations.  The iPad was also used to take the photos to share with the students here at our school. 
        PAML has connections with this school with Green Across the Pacific (now Green Across the World), specifically with Adama Ndiaye and Ken Hood at UVM.  Both have visited our school several times and Adama's sister Nancy, who teaches there is in one of the photos.  Malick Djop has also visited PAML, he is another teacher int he photo.  This is a very poor school, and the photos show their first steps to improve the environment, though the planting of trees.  They hope to improve the soil to the extent of being able to have a garden at the school.
Malick, one of the teachers

Adama's sister in the yellow

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

PAML EXPOSition! 12-16-15

PAML WINTER CONCERT & EXPOSITION:  Spend the evening listening to the melodious voices of our middle level chorus and be entertained by our talented musicians on Wednesday evening, December 16th, at 6:30PM in the gymnasium.  Following this concert, you are welcome to browse the wide array of impressive art projects displayed in the middle level hallways as well as demonstrations from Physical Education and projects from Design and Technology! There will also be a bake sale to help a school in Kenya and to support some local Morrisville organizations.

2014 Concert
2014 Bake Sale

Friday, December 11, 2015

7th Grade Hour of Code!

On Friday, Dec. 11, the Peoples Academy Middle Level 7th grade students participated in the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is an international event to celebrate Computer Science Education Week. Our students joined over 100 million students around the world to build foundational 21st century and computer science skills. By exposing our students to computer science and computer programming we aim to teach them to create technology, not just consume it and encourage them to think about pursuing a future in this field. For more information about the Hour of Code please visit There are really fun coding activities the students can continue to do.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Balancing Screen Time

We often get questions about how to balance screen time for students.  Our partners at Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education (TIIE) just had a nice blog post about this topic that I thought our parents might enjoy reading

"Let’s face it, it’s a challenge to balance technology in our lives; but it’s essential. Parents and adults need to guide their young adolescents and children towards developing this balance."  Balancing Screen Time Link

Monday, November 30, 2015

Unbound: Duct Tape Fanatics!

These are 8 different pieces of art on mini canvases.

One of the many offerings this fall through Unbound was Duct Tape Fanatics. Each week was different, but this photos shows the work done one week when each student had a mini canvas and the kids came up with their own designs using duct tape. Many of the students said this was one of the favorite projects during the Duct Tape sessions. The creativity that came through on these were amazing. This Unbound, like many others, is run by students, with an adult chaperone.  It's a wonderful program and there will be many new offerings for the Winter term.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Good Things around PAML

We've had a lot of great things happening around the school, including a food drive, Golden Ticket monthly muffins, community gatherings, and of course our great Positive Post!  Here are a few photos:

7th grade and some of the food collected for the food shelf

The 5th grade side of the Positive Post - it changes all the time so we try to capture with photos.

Ms. Zuke's TA special luncheon - with gratitude placemats that they wrote  for each other! 

Cookies and Cocoa

Positive Behavior Celebration - School-wide!

We reached our 2nd mini cube-tube celebration goal and earned cookies and cocoa for the whole school.  The 8th grade Student Ambassadors helped serve on Nov. 24th. The photos shows some of the preparation work that needed to be done and the video at the end is how one grade level gets served!  Enjoy!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fundraising for Senegal

Several 7th and 8th grade students interested in cross- cultural communications attended a conference at UVM this week. An exciting moment was when after fundraising over $400, the crew presented their gift of an iPad Air  and hard case to Malick Diop a 5th and 6th grade teacher from our partner school in Dakar, Senegal.  This gift will make having conversations with the students in Dakar easier and more personal than we've been able to achieve so far.  This conference was sponsored by the Green Across the World organization which PAML has been working with for 3 years now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Recent Happenings at PAML!

We had our second Community Gathering this year on Friday and it was amazing! This time the 5th and 7th grades planned the event and everyone enjoyed it.  There was some bobbing for apples and even a little pumpkin bowling. Students were recognized for receiving Wolf Tracks which connects to the Safe, Respectful and Responsible school-wide behavior expectations.

7th grade has been working on the Lamoille Watershed project.  Today Mrs. Bronner shared a few photos of students meticulously working on their maps.  It's impressive the time, care and details they are putting into these maps as they have learned so much about the Lamoille River.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Integrated Field Review Coming To PAML!

Integrated Field Review Coming To PAML!

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our PAML and other schools in the LSSU will welcome teams of visiting educators from other school districts and the Vermont Agency of Education this Monday, 26 October. Through a process called IFR (Integrated Field Review) these trained teams will visit classes, observe in multiple school settings, and interview adults and students in our school.  
Some students will be selected to be interviewed and/or serve as tour guides during this visit.  

I will facilitate the process and the schedule.  I trust that your child will enjoy the experience and there will be minimal interruption to his/her learning on Monday.  If you have any questions, please contact me at 888-1402 or

Thank you.

Karen Weeks

Monday, October 19, 2015

Student-Led Conferences

I want to let you know (or remind you of) the practice at PAML for Student-Led Parent Conferences. Each student this year will create a portfolio/Personal Learning Plan (PLP) to showcase their work. At the start of the year they are creating personal and academic goals and making plans as to how they will meet their goals.  Throughout the year they will be collecting evidence to assess how they are doing toward meeting their goals, reflecting on their growth, conferencing with their teachers and documenting their progress in their portfolios.
They will be sharing the portfolios with families at the Student-Led Conferences.  The purpose of student-led conferences is to put the students in charge of sharing their learning and to help them take personal responsibility for their performance.  This means you will need to bring your student with you on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015.  If you are unable to attend, you can send a family member or close friend with your child so they have an opportunity to share their work.
In the traditional parent-teacher conference, students are often “third parties” to hearing about their progress.  Of course teachers and parents play a vital role in students’ education, but students must also take an active role in this area to maximize their potential for success and student-led parent conferences have proven to be a successful way for students to take the lead.
There are three components to the student-led conference: preparing, conferencing, and after-conference review.  All three elements require the students to reflect and evaluate their own progress and determine what they can do next to be successful.  In preparing for a student-led conference, students see how their strengths, weaknesses and behavior can affect them as learners, thus allowing them to take more responsibility for, and control over, their achievement in school.  Student-led conferences are an experience that can improve the communication patterns of both students and parents.  Parents listen to their students, encourage growth and discuss with them solutions to specific problems.  These conferences help build organization and self-confidence for the students.
The teacher will circulate and be present for specific questions on issues that the students may not be able to answer. Of course, if after the student-led conference, should a parent desire a time to meet with the teacher, please speak with your students’ home team teacher.  It was our experience last year and in many schools across the country that students are able to share effectively and answer many questions about their learning in student-led conferences.
Please call the school to sign up for these exciting Student-Led Parent Conferences on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, and don’t forget to bring your student with you!

Thanks for all that you do for the PAML community!

Karen Weeks

  • Express positive interest and anticipation about the upcoming conference.
  • Listen and respond to the student.
  • Express pride in growth and progress.
  • Ask questions.
  • Be positive, offering to help in areas where improvement is needed.
  • Recognize that students need to develop independence in communicating progress – the teacher will be there to facilitate and answer specific questions but will not take charge of the conference.  There may be two conferences happening at the same time - the teacher will be in the background.


  • Can you explain this to me?
  • How did you come up with this idea?
  • How have you grown in this area?
  • How can you improve in this area?
  • How can we help you at home?
  • What was important to you about this?
  • If you could do this work over again, how would you change it?
  • Have you thought about future goals?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Open House Oct. 2015

The Open House was a big success! We had a tremendous turnout of families and for that we are thankful. Great conversations occurred with families and students as well with teachers.  Community Resources were available in the gym and lots of parents stopped in for information about Parent Portal!  If you haven't received your Parent Portal information yet, please stop in and see Mrs. Curtis.

I've included a photo of some artwork as well as a couple of shots of the wonderful international food that was served! 

Monday, October 5, 2015


Dear PAML Families,                                                                        

As we move forward in this 2015-16 school year, we are continually working on ways to improve communication with our PAML community.   I would like to share with you the many ways in which you can expect to hear from the school and, also, ways in which you can be in touch with the school.

Quarterly:  You will receive a report card in the USPS mail.  In this mailing there may be additional information that comes home.

Monthly:  This year your student will receive a paper menu and a list of upcoming events - this is sent home the last week of the month for the next month.

PAML Website:  Our PAML Calendar lists sports games as well as events, notice of vacation time, etc. located at  I highly suggest you always start here to connect to the individual grade level websites as there may be whole school information located on this site.

This Blog: If you are reading this, you have already found it!  Sign in with your e-mail to the right, and you will receive e-mail notices when the blog is updated!

Grade Level Websites: Each grade website has information about classes, homework and units of study.  They are useful and friendly to viewers.  Remember - always start from the PAML website as mentioned above.  If your student misses school, homework can be found here.

Progress Reports: These are either handed to your student bi-weekly or your student has a process to share these with you on the dates listed in the PAML Student Handbook & Calendar you received at the start of school.  Remember, you can always access the PowerSchool Portal from our website at any time for academic and behavioral checks of how your student is doing.  If you do not have the user name and password for this, please be in touch with Linny Curtis at 888-1401.

Calling PAML:  Our hope is that, between the hours of 7:30am and 4:00pm, you will reach a live person.  Should the line be busy during these hours, you may leave a voice mail message in the general mailbox, and your call will be addressed promptly or forwarded to the appropriate person. 

Thanks for all you do for the PAML community!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Open House Oct. 6th!

It's never to early to get Open House on your calendar!  From 6:00 - 7:00 PM Peoples Academy Middle Level will be open to all to come visit the classrooms, see what the students are up to, meet the teachers, browse community resources and enjoy a few snacks!  We had a great turn out last year, and hope to see as many of you as possible.
Student last year with a robot on loan from the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education at Open House! 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

7th Grade Theme Work

7th Graders worked to identify a overarching theme for the year.  This was done progressively with students determining themes within the 4 home-team classrooms and then eventually whole grade voting on a theme which made the most sense. 

Teachers explaining the whole group presentation and voting process.
One group sharing their theme presentation.
The winning Theme for the 2015-16 school year in 7th grade.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2nd Day Back!

A few candid photos around the school today!  
It's been great to see the changes in the returning students over the summer and exciting to get to know our new 5th graders!
Mrs. Bourne helping out as students get organized!

Students determining what they find works well when doing group work in 7th grade.

Welcome to 6th grade Science!

Ms. Grossman's World Cultures / World Languages Class gathered up!

Team work in 7th grade - "How Many Songs Can You Think of With..."
Our new Positivity Post in the Lobby - have something positive to say - Post-It!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

First Day of School - almost here!

Dear PAML Community,

We are excited to be welcoming your students for the 2015-16 school year.  Our teachers had a wonderful week of inservice learning together.  We made plans for our upcoming year for your students to include the process to incorporate Personal Learning Plans for each student.  This will be done in conjunction with the work we did last year with Student Portfolios and Student Led conferences.  This week we also planned out our instructional sequence for Second Step, our social skills curriculum, and teams worked on their content learning progressions for the year.

We welcomed Stephanie Zuccarello (8th grade Science teacher), Jennifer Macdonnald (6th grade Humanities teacher) and Johanna McCoy (School Nurse for PAML and PAHS) to our school and helped them get settled in.  They are VERY excited to be meeting your children.

I must commend our custodial staff for their stellar work in making the school and clean and safe environment for our students to learn.  Your students may notice some changes at school and others aren't so noticeable as they are behind the scene.  Also, teachers have spent many hours this summer preparing their classrooms to be clean, warm, safe and inviting learning environments.

Please send those packets back which were mailed to you and look for additional information when you student returns home on Monday.

Thank you very much for the opportunity you entrust us with everyday in providing instruction to your children.  It is a joy to see students grow and mature throughout the years at PAML.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at

Many of the Faculty at PAML