Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28th, 2017



SBAC TEST ADMINISTRATION:  Testing will occur for all middle levels students Tuesday, May 2nd, through Thursday, May 4th and, also, Tuesday, May 9th, through Thursday, May 12th.

GIRLS’ SCIENCE DISCOVERY DAY AT UVM:  Stephanie Zuccarello will take three middle level girls to UVM on Saturday, May 6th, to a conference to learn about women who have led in the field of science.  Lunch will be provided.  Students will depart PAML at 8:00am and will return at approximately 4:00pm.  Parents/Guardians are asked to please make arrangements for drop-off and pick-up of your student.

VERMONT ALL-STATE MUSIC PARADE:   Dan Bruce and the PAML 6-7-8 Band students will attend this parade in Brattleboro on Wednesday, May 10th.  Students will depart PAML at 1:30pm by bus and will return to PAML at approximately 12:00 midnight.  Parents/Guardians are asked to please arrange pick-up of your student(s).

KEEWAYDIN FAMILY FUN NIGHT:  Families are invited to attend this Camp Keewaydin fundraiser for a fun-filled evening of events with delicious food and games on Friday, May 12th, 6:00-8:00pm in the PA cafeteria and gymnasium.

PROGRESS REPORTS: Friday, May 12th

YRBS FIELD TRIP:  Peter Hathaway will take PAML’s YRBS Student Team for a conference being held in the Union Bank’s conference room in downtown Morrisville on Friday, May 19th.  Mr. Hathaway and these students will depart PAML at 11:30 and walk down to the Union Bank.  Students will return to PAML at approximately 2:40pm.

PAML DANCE:  Students in grades 6-7-8 may attend this last dance of the school year on Friday, May 19th, 7:00-9:30pm, in the PA cafeteria.

PAmazing Race:  All 8th graders will participate in this activity-filled event on Thursday, May 25th, 10:00am-2:00pm.  Action-packed activities will take place outside on the PA fields where each student will each attempt to outwit, outlast and outplay each other for prizes.  Students are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing and footwear in case of inclement weather, and also to bring an extra set of dry clothes - just in case!

MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE:  Friday, May 26th, 10:00am at the PA Band Shell.  In case of inclement weather, this event will take place in the PA gymnasium.

NO SCHOOL - MONDAY, MAY 29TH:  In observance of the federal Memorial Day holiday.  Students will return to school on Tuesday, May 30th.

MAPLE LEAF PROJECT:  The PAML 6th grade will participate in this annual event May 30th-June 1st from 9:00-11:30am each day, and students will return to PAML in time for lunch.  Local community businesses have invited our students to join them and learn more in regard to what their business is about, how the business is run, and how products are made.  Students will have hands-on experience each day during their participation.  Be sure to enjoy a dialogue with your student about their experience!  

CAMP KEEWAYDIN:  PAML’s 5th grade students will attend and stay overnight for three days at Camp Keewaydin from May 30th-June 2nd where they will learn about caring for their environment.  Students will depart PAML by bus on Tuesday, May 30th, at 8:30am and will return to PAML by bus on Friday, June 2nd, at approximately 2:30pm.  Camp Keewaydin information packets will be sent home with 5th grade students the week of May 1st - check their backpacks!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

SBAC Testing - May 2017

Dear Parent or Guardian,                                                                                          4-27-17
Starting on May 2nd, PAML’s students in grades five through eight will begin taking the Smarter Balanced Assessments of English Language Arts and Mathematics (SBAC).  The tests, which are administered on the computer and take approximately 1 hour - 1 1/2 hours to complete each day.
Math: 5/2/17 - 5/4/17 (3 days)
English Language Arts: 5/9/17 - 5/12/17 (4 days) 
Attendance is important during the testing window, although there will be make-up opportunities for students if they are sick or absent. Students' daily schedules will be modified during the testing window.  
At the conclusion of testing for all schools in the state, school leaders will be able to access individual student reports that will be forwarded to parents on a date determined locally. These reports will give parents information on how well their student(s) achieved in relation to a common set of statewide academic standards. However, parents need to keep in mind that the tests provide only a broad overview of growth and success, and that results are most useful when viewed in the context of other data gathered by the teacher or the school. The primary purpose of the testing program is to provide parents and community members with the combined results for all the student in the school, and for major student groups, as one gauge of how well the school is meeting the educational needs of all its students.
I want to assure you that we see your children as more than a "test score." This is one measure of a multitude of measures for us to know and teach your children.
Computer-based testing provides students with a variety of innovative formats, tools, and accessibility options. These options include the following:
·       All testing is administered using a secure online assessment system that includes a variety of tools and technology enhanced test questions that will improve the assessment experience for our students.
·       Foremost among the new technologies is Computer Adaptive Testing or CAT. CAT selects a unique set of test questions for each student that will produce very precise results in less time than the last generation of pencil and paper tests.
·       In addition to the CAT portion of the test, students will also participate in a hands-on, minds-on performance task that permits students to use their skills on an authentic and engaging challenge.
·       The assessment also includes an array of embedded accessibility tools for special populations – features such as read aloud, color and contrast choices, expandable reading passages, key word translation glossaries, American Sign Language translation, Braille, and many other tools.
·       Because the test is administered on a computer, student results will be returned to schools very quickly. We can expect school scores by mid-June and we can expect to receive individual student scores before that.
Please note that Vermont’s test delivery system uses state of the art security features that will protect our students’ privacy, and will adhere to all federal and state confidentiality regulations, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
To learn more about Smarter Balanced, log on to the VT Smarter Balanced Assessment Portal where you will find additional information for parents, as well as practice tests that will allow you to try out the test your student will be taking this spring. Here is the link:

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call.  
Karen Weeks
Karen Weeks, Principal
Peoples Academy Middle Level
202 Copley Ave.
Morrisville, VT 05661


PAML Principal's NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENT BLOG - check it out:

Monday, April 17, 2017

Vermont Middle Level Bridge Building Competition

Peoples Academy Middle Level were big winners in the Vermont Bridge Building Competition!

Wednesday - before the competition

Four Peoples Academy Middle Level students and their faculty advisor traveled to Vermont Technical College in Randolph, VT to participate in the 3rd annual Vermont Tech Bridge Building Competition on April 13, 2017. The 6th grade students (Noble Beerworth, Jacob Fougere, Anna Isselhardt, and Josephine Simone, all 11 years old) competed against 45 other Middle School teams from all over Vermont. Their advisor was Peoples Academy’s design and technology teacher, Karsten Weiss.

The students’ bridge was constructed to exact specifications entirely from popsicle sticks and white glue. The team met with their advisor daily, sometimes multiple times per day, and on two weekend days since last September. They completed the structure, designed as a combination of a tied arch with an arch truss, with plenty of time for the glue to harden.
The bridge won 2nd prize in Aesthetics and Originality of Design, 1st prize in Presentation and Team Spirit, 1st prize in Maximum Carrying Capacity, 1st prize in Structural Efficiency, and the Grand Prize as the Overall Best Bridge. The bridge supported 1089 lbs (over 800lbs more than the second place bridge tested that day). The strongest of the High School bridges this year (which were tested at VTC on March 31) held 660 lbs. The PAML bridge actually exceeded the testing gauge’s 1000lbs capacity, and it was difficult to determine precisely how much it had held. Fortunately, a video recording of the gauge during the testing allowed the judges to declare the maximum load.
Friday - back home victorious!

The students were obviously very proud of their accomplishment, are looking forward to improving the design, and competing again next year. The whole Peoples Academy Middle Level is proud of them too!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday, April 14th, 2017

SPRING RECESS:  April 17th-21st - no school for students!  Students will return to school on Monday, April 24th.

SBAC TEST ADMINISTRATION:  Testing will occur for grades 5-6-7-8 Tuesday, May 2nd, through Thursday, May 4th, and also Tuesday, May 9th, through Friday, May 12th.

PAML PORTFOLIO COLLABORATION FIELD TRIP:  Maura Kelly, Alex Bacheller and Shaun Noonan will take twelve PAML students from grades 6-7-8 to collaborate with Stowe Middle School student on their portfolios.  Lunch will be provided.  Students will depart from PAML at 11:30am and return at approximately 2:40pm.   


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Concert and YRBS Pizza Night

2016 Winter Concert at PAML
A quick reminder about the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Community Dialogue Night happening, with Pizza, at 5:30 in the PA Library.  After that, head to the gym for our Spring Concert featuring the students in band and chorus!  

It's sure to be a fun evening!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Social Media and Middle Level

I ran across this article Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids and thought it might be of interest to some parents/guardians.  Parenting during these technology times is challenging.  I'll take this time to remind you of the resources that can be found from Common Sense Media.  They have information for parenting of all ages around a variety of media topics.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday, April 7th, 2017

PAML SPRING CONCERT:  Wednesday, April 12th, 6:30pm in the gymnasium.

LOST & FOUND:  There are several items of clothing (pants, shirts, hoodies, jackets, gloves, lunch bags, water bottles) in the yellow Lost & Found bin located in the cafeteria.  Should you or your student believe they have lost or misplaced an item, please have them check out this bin before spring recess, otherwise, all items will be donated.

YOUTH RISK BEHAVIOR SURVEY STUDENT PRESENTATION:  On Wednesday, April 12th, at 5:30pm in the PA Library, Peter Hathaway and his YRBS students invite you for pizza and a discussion of the 2015 YRBS student survey results.  For more information, please contact Peter Hathaway at 888-4600.

VERMONT TECH BRIDGE BUILDING COMPETITION:  Mr. Weiss will be taking four 6th grade students to VTC in Randolph on Thursday, April 13th, to compete in this unique competition.  Students will depart PAML at 7:30am and return at approximately 2:00pm.    Students should bring snacks.  Lunch will be provided.  If you would like more information about this bridge building competition, please click on this link:

SPRING RECESS:  April 17th-21st - no school for students!  Students return to school on Monday, April 24th.