Monday, May 21, 2012

Hunt PTO update 5/21/12

 Hey There Hunt Families - HUGE thanks to the families that were able to send in goodies for Hunt Staff Appreciation last Wednesday.  Feedback was that the teachers were tickled by all the nice treats - Many thanks.

Plant and Yard Sale at Hunt Middle School this weekend!!!  May 26th, 8:30-2:00pm, rain or shine
Hundreds of healthy and beautiful perennial plants to choose from sold for $5 each!! Herbs for $3
Huge Yard Sale that should not be missed!!
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and bake sale items
Yard sale items and baked goods gratefully received from 5-8pm at Hunt
Contact Susan Rutherford at 951-2571 or

Healthy City Youth Farm
 Hello PTO parents!
The Healthy City Youth Farm Kick-Off is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23rd!!! Thanks again for the generous donation in getting us the pizzas. It will surely be a fun day for all the students! All the Hunt Middle School Students will be coming out to the farm to get their hands dirty doing different farm tasks, tasting pizza from our clay oven, taking part in our warrior food challenge, and making a new farm banner. The classes will come out at 8:00 am and the last class leaves at 1:15pm. If you are interested in getting some City Market hours and being a part of this energetic day check out the shifts below and email me at if you can make it!  If you do not need City Market Hours, we would still love you to volunteer!

Wednesday, May 23 Shifts: 7:00-9:30am, 9:45-12:00 pm, 12:15-2:00pm
Happy Sun and Smiles to you all!  Peace,  Anne Marie

Vermont City Marathon this Sunday.  Come watch and cheer on our Hunt kids!  Here is the line-up for the 2 relay teams:
Leg 1 -Nate Belluche
Leg 2 - Lucy Hindes
Leg 3 - Anders Ode
Leg 4 - Zach Popke
Leg 5 -Eamon Lynch

Leg 1- Andrew Ducharme
Leg 2 - Paul Palasits
Leg 3 - Jeffrey Peterson
Leg 4 - Sevin Gulfield
Leg 5 - Alicia Breen

PTO meeting minutes included at the end of this post.

Spiral International Cultural Exchange  Dear Community Member,
I am writing to ask you if you would be willing to be a host family for 12 days this summer (July 25-August 6). We are anticipating the arrival of approximately 30 students from China here in the new north end community of Burlington. We count on families like yours to open your homes and hearts to the experience of becoming a Spiral host family.  While we understand that it is a commitment for your family, the feedback from other families is that it is very worthwhile. We are working hard to recruit families like yours, in hopes of making the summer stay for these students a valuable experience.

These students will live with host families, in pairs, and come daily to Hunt Middle School for camp during the weekdays. The goal of the summer camp is to create a full immersion program, affording the Chinese students an opportunity to build a higher level of comfort with our oral language. Local Burlington students will join them as peer leaders at the camp, allowing all students to socialize in an educational environment, so that both groups of students may experience a change in the way they view the world and themselves. In the evenings and weekends, your students would be with your family, enjoying summer activities and American family life, the way that it occurs here in beautiful Vermont.
This camp is sponsored by the Burlington-based educational organization, Spiral International. Spiral International is devoted to international cultural and academic exchange. Check out our website for more information ( Please contact us for further information and to take the next step toward being an international host family. Your commitment to this mission is tremendously appreciated!

 Susan Greenfield, Site Coordinator, Hunt Middle School: eves. – (802)-862 0773
 Michelle Virun, Admin. Assistant, Hunt Middle School: daytime - (802) 864-8469

Response from Superintendant Jeanne Collins:At the end of this post is a letter that will be printed soon in the Free Press. Please read about how Burlington is responding to issues of race and equity.
Save the Date....
  • May 22 - 6th graders released at 11:30 due to 5th grade orientation - 6th grade band students will stay until ~12:45pm for a brief "concert" for incoming students - Mr. O. will have all 6th grade band members at dismissal through 12:45pm.
  • May 23 - Strings Concert - 7pm
  • May 23 - Hunt Gardens - Spring Kick-off - Volunteers needed (see above)
  • May 26 - Perennially Green plant/yard Sale - shop, save and volunteer!
  • May 28 - Memorial Day - No School
  • May 30 - Chorus Concert/Bake Sale - 7pm
  • June 8 - Grade 6 School Track Meet in afternoon
  • June 8 - 8th grade trip to Great Escape
  • June 11 - 7/8 School Track Meet in the afternoon
  • June 12 - Hunt Picnic Day
  • June 13 - LAST DAY - Early Release  at 11:30 for grades 6/7.  8th graders released at 10:30 and return at 12:30 for Graduation
  • June 13 - 8th Grade Graduation at 1pm
  • July 25-Aug 6 - Spiral Students here from China - Can you host?

Hunt Middle School PTO Minutes
May 17, 2012

Meeting Start: 7:05pm
Meeting End: 8:30pm
Approximate number of attendees: 10
Meeting facilitated by President – Helen Hossley
Minutes recorded and distributed – Kate Belluche
Spiral Camp  Susan Greenfield from Spiral spoke to the PTO about a group of Chinese students coming to learn/play/study US culture in Vermont and at HMS this summer.  Looking for 15 host families, each to house 2 students for ~10 days.  The dates are July 25-Aug 6.  Students will be at camp from 8:30-3 each day and spend evenings and weekends with host family.  Also looking for MS students to be peer leaders.  There will be activities at Hunt each morning and excursions each afternoon.  Students can be peer leaders even if not hosting.  Peer leaders attend the camp for free.  There will be translators available for families if issues arise.  Families will receive a stipend of $200/student to host.  Want more information?  Contact Susan at 578-2981 or
Garden Update Susan spoke about the Healthy City Youth Farm at Hunt – a 2 ½ acre farm with ~75 crops.  Students are involved in almost every aspect of the farm from tilling the soil to harvesting.  Most of the crops end up as part of the school lunches! All students get into the garden via Healthy Living or through their core classes.   This past summer a clay pizza oven was built out at the garden.  The PTO donated $300 to HCYF to buy ingredients for all students to make pizzas on opening day – May 23rd.
Plant/Yard Sale on Saturday, Memorial Day weekend – 8:30-2.  Tag sale items can be dropped off on Friday night between 5-8pm.  100% of the money goes to the Front Entrance Beautification Project (FEBP).  Help still needed – MOSTLY at the end of the day on Saturday (around 2pm) for clean-up and also on Friday night between 5-9 to organize tag sale items.
Principal’s Corner Marcie Lewis is in the final stages of interviewing for a Principal position closer to her home/family.   Faculty from Westford will be conducting a site visit on Wednesday, May 23rd.    Marcie mentioned that the parents/PTO may want to give Jeanne Collins feedback about what qualities they are looking for in a new administrator.  Hunt would have an interim principal in the fall.
Marcie also reminded 8th grade parents that there are no limos allowed at 8th grade graduation or at the 8th grade dance.

Fundraising Gabi Baumann reported that things are underway with the FEBP.  Boulders will be delivered this weekend.  Soil/compost/mulch is on its way.  A flowerbed has been designed to incorporate low water, low maintenance plants.  After the upcoming plant sale, the PTO will have a better idea about how much money can be spent on plants at this time.  Granite benches are being delivered.  Next steps will include a stone circle for outdoor classes and a spiral herb garden.  Funding of this project is collaboration between the PTO and Hunt.
Ordinance Meeting   We are progressing on getting the ordinance changed, allowing us an electronic sign on North Avenue.  Some tweaks need to be made to the request, but so far things are looking favorable.
Treasurer’s Report  PTO recently paid $690 towards the Chinese Acrobats.  While we have assembly fees budgeted, the PTO would like an update about where these fees might go in the future.
2012-13 Leadership  Some new leaders were elected at the meeting.  Incoming PTO President for Hunt is Kate Belluche, Brian Pine will continue as the Treasurer, Gabi Baumann will continue as the Fundraising chair.  We are looking to fill the role of Communications Officer which includes monthly meeting minutes as well as publishing the weekly blog post.  If you have any interest, please put your name in the hat.  We have had a great year and have a strong team of parents working hard for student opportunities at Hunt. 
Upcoming Events were discussed.  Tuesday is step up day for 5th grades from JJ Flynn, Barnes and CP Smith.  6th graders will have a ½ day to make room.  Band students will stay with Mr. O. until ~1pm so they can perform for the 5th graders.  There will be a Field Day for all students on June 8th.  There is ample staffing, but parents that want to help can contact Joan Shortsleeve at
·         5th to 6th Step up Day May 22 - 6th grade dismissed ½ day, Incoming 6th grade Parent Orientation 7-8pm
·         8th Grade Field Trip: Friday, June 8
·         6th Grade Track & Field Day: Friday June 8th
·         7/8 Grade Track & Field Day: Monday, June 11th
·         Picnic Day: Tuesday, June 12th
·         6th grade track meet will be on Friday, June 8 mods 6 and 7. - All 7th grade students will need to stay on team during those mods (8th graders will be on their trip to the Great Escape)
·         7-8 track meet will be on Monday, June 11th in the afternoon. Time to be determined but it will finish at the end of the day. - 6th grade students will need to stay on team that afternoon.
·       Commencement - 8th grade ceremony: Wednesday, June 13
·       Last day of school is Wednesday, June 13th - 8th grade released at 10:30 and return at 12:30,6th and 7th released at 11:30
Letter going to Burlington Free Press from Jeanne Collins:

It's My Turn
Jeanne Collins
May 15, 2012
The city of Burlington is engaged in a very important and sometimes difficult discussion about diversity within our schools and community. These discussions have been intense and heartfelt. Some have called for my resignation, saying that I have been slow to act on diversity issues; that I have failed to lead as the demographics of our community changed.
I have heard the criticisms. I take them to heart.

Looking back, I recognize that I have missed opportunities to drive an agenda of diversity and respect. Part of my regret is that I have not shared with the larger community the issues which Burlington 's students of color face everyday. To those of you who believe action has taken too long, and particularly to students in our district who have suffered from the racism which I know continues, I say that I am sorry. I do the work that I do because I cherish children, all children. During the coming school year, I intend to increase my time visiting with our children in our schools, so that I can hear directly from them what they are feeling and thinking.

I intend to listen and act.

I was moved by the students who had the courage to protest the continuing verbal abuse suffered by children of color, often from other students. In the coming days, I will be announcing a series of aggressive actions to attack disparities in the school system.

It is not my intention to step down. We will create an environment where all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or class, are respected and related to with equity. We will work with community advocates to close the achievement gap. With the Nellie Mae grant, we have the opportunity, beginning with ninth graders, to address the concerns of ELL students about being separated from other students as they are learning English.

We will not tolerate acts of racism in our schools, whether by students or staff. I recently met with all the administrators of our schools to draw a clear line with accountability for such acts. I asked them to inform everyone in their buildings of this standard. After the protests at BHS, Principal Mellencamp had all teachers read a statement about racism to the student body. We invited students to join in planning sessions for a student-led activity for the entire school.

We will enter next school year with plans to ensure that our staff in every school knows of my insistence on zero-tolerance of racist acts and statements in our schools and in the community. The high school administration, ELL coordinator and I met with Somali Bantu parents and have planned more meetings to come. I look forward to the integration of the Task Force recommendations in the new strategic plan, but we are not waiting until next October to respond aggressively to the crisis we are facing.

My pledge is this – to do everything humanly possible to eliminate disparities and inequities in our schools. I look forward in this work to partnering with the many different voices in the community. My email is if you would like to add to the discussion.

We have an amazing school district, with a wide variety of people who are dedicated and committed to our youth. Together we can create Excellent and Equitable Burlington Schools.

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