Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hunt PTO Update 1/2/2013

Welcome Back from 

...and to a BRAND NEW YEAR!

Wishing you and your family lots of fun, learning, and adventure in 2013 and beyond!

This is a very LONG and information-heavy blog.  Hopefully it will provide good guidance in your efforts to advocate on  behalf of our Healthy Living Teacher and Community Outreach Coordinator, both of which positions may be eliminated due to budget cuts UNLESS parents speak out!  If you try to cut and paste from the blog and realize you cannot do that, please email and we can send you this info in a Word document.  Thanks for your help!

The Hunt January newsletter is now available online.  
Read on to catch up on all of the news!

 Here are a few updates from the PTO:

1.  We received a generous contribution of $100 for our Front     Entrance Beautification Project from Jim Wick of Wick & Maddocks, Burlington. Thank You! We appreciate this donation!

2.   The PTO is offering $2000 to Hunt teams to be divided per student. Teams can apply to PTO for funds that must benefit the entire team and be connected to the curriculum.   A few weeks
ago the PTO supported the Odyssey team and renewed their subscription to Brain POP, a video and learning resource that the team and Ms. Orlando is using frequently. The cost was $195.

The thank you note from the Odyssey team is posted here and then transcribed underneath.  

Dear Hunt PTO,

Thank you so much for funding a year's subscription to Brain 
Pop for Odyssey students.  We use the videos and teaching 
resources for all subjects, from equivalent fractions to the Maya 
and Aztecs to human body systems.  It's a versatile, engaging 
resource and we really appreciate your help in purchasing the 

Thank you!

The Odyssey team

Interested in helping to re-imagine 
Student Achievement celebrations at Hunt?  

An achieving student!
Many families were upset to hear that Honor Roll celebrations had been suspended at Hunt.  Thanks to the many families that weighed in on the fall PTO communication survey, Hunt families will have a voice in helping to re-design these celebrations at Hunt.  
Do you have some ideas to share?  Would you like to represent the parents at a meeting with representatives from the climate 
committee and the student council?  A meeting has been scheduled at Hunt for January 24th at 3:15pm.  Would you like to be part of
this meeting?
Please email the with ideas or to 
represent parents needs at this important meeting - your 
participation is appreciated. 

Save the Date....
  • January 7/8 - BHS, 7pm - Community Input on School Budget
  • January 11 -- School Dance
  • January 21 - No School, MLK Day
  • January 25 - Ghost Out Assembly (Drunk Driving Awareness)
  • February 2nd - Jr. Iron Chef
From Ms. Angier
Healthy Living Teacher
Dear Hunt PTO,
As most of you know, the Burlington School Board has proposed tocut the Healthy Living Program at Hunt and Edmunds. I would 
really appreciate any support you could give to saving the Healthy Living Program at Hunt. 
Please read the attached document (pasted below) that I e-mailed 
to each school board member. I attended the school board meeting on Tuesday night (Dec. 18th) and read the first two pages at the 
meeting. We may need students, parents and staff to attend the 
school board meeting scheduled on January 7 at 7 PM - BHS 

Thank you very much in your support.
Deborah Anger
Healthy Living Teacher
Healthy Living - Hunt Middle School
Number of students per year:
100 to 105 students are in Healthy Living Classes every day. Two 6 grade classes and four 7\8 grade classes.
All 6 graders take Healthy Living Class for seven weeks. 150 six graders take Healthy Living per year.
7 and 8 graders take Healthy Living for half the school year. 80 students per semester. 
160  7\8 graders students takes Healthy Living per year.
 210 students take Healthy Living per year.
  6 Grade Curriculum:
        Drugs and Alcohol
        Life Skills
        Nutrition & Fitness
        Media Education
        Bullying Prevention
        Character Education
        Diversity Education
        Food and Kitchen Safety
        Cooking Labs
7\8 Grade Curriculum:
        Substance Abuse and Prevention
        Life Skills
        Nutrition and Fitness
Mental and Emotional Health
        Career Exploration
        Budgeting Consumer Awareness
        Internet Safety
        Cooking Labs
        Diversity Education
        Skin Cancer (Melanoma)
        Shaken Baby Syndrome
        Eating Disorders
        First Aid/CPR
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Stress Management (includes daily yoga)
Suicide Prevention (New)
STD Prevention (Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HIV/AIDS)
Cooking Labs
Deb Anger (Hunt) and Jill Nye-McKeown (Edmunds) are both Health Education 
endorsed and follow a curriculum that is much more Health Ed- focused and plan to 
add a new unit on Suicide Prevention for 2nd semester/next year and would prefer to 
follow a Healthy Ed curriculum (not FACS or Food and Consumer Science). We would like to focus less on cooking/sewing and more on mental and physical health 
promotion. It is our goal to provide an effective and consistent Health Curriculum for 
all Burlington Middle School students so that when they enter Burlington High 
School, they will have the tools and information to help them to make healthy choices and avoid risky behaviors. The relationship that is established between the teachers 
and students enable and encourages students to confide in our two health teachers 
when they have questions regarding topics from developing a nutrition/fitness plan to smoking and drinking to, on many occasions, sexual behaviors.
Even with the continuous belt tightening in our schools, it is important to know that 
there is support from many staff, parents and students for a Middle School Health/
FACS education class. Why? Research has shown that the quickest way to academic achievement for our students is to make sure they have the knowledge and 
skills necessary to make healthy decisions.   

Middle school is the ideal place to reach and teach students before they engage in 
unhealthy behaviors. A student who has received health education in middle school 
will be better equipped to make health choices and will excel in high school. The 
Burlington High School Health teachers are always very impressed with the Hunt 
Middle School students on the knowledge the students have in nutrition, fitness, 
substance abuse and many other health issues. Both Hunt and Edmunds titled our 
class; Healthy Living, for a reason. The students receive a wide array of health education topics as you have just heard from the above list. 

Ninety percent of the class focuses on health and only ten percent on cooking and sewing. We would be willing to cut the cooking and sewing from our Healthy 
Living Classes. 

I have been teaching the Drugs and Alcohol Education rogram at Hunt for the last 17 years to all 6, 7th and 8th graders. Hunt Middle School adapted, Life Skills Training, a research based program which teaches students skills in self-image, self-improvement, goal setting, making decisions, smoking, alcohol, marijuana, advertising, coping with anxiety, coping with anger, communication skills, social skills, assertiveness and 
resolving conflicts.
Healthy Living nutrition classes cover topics from nutrients, what is a calorie,  USDA 
MyPlate guidelines, daily food analysis, liquid calories found in soda, energy drinks, 
sport drinks, media influences, eating disorders and how to read a food label.
Healthy Living career classes cover many aspects on how it is to live as a young single adult in the working world. Students learn about career choices. Students see the 
relevance of classroom learning to their real lives. They see direct relevance of their 
school subjects to future life and work roles. Students identify their unique talents and transferable skills, by establishing goals, and by believing in themselves, they 
understand how they can progress towards satisfying and fulfilling futures.
These are just a few topics middle school students will miss if Healthy Living is cut from our middle schools.
Healthy Living – Edmunds Middle School
Number of students per year:
100-110 students in healthy living class per day; 2 6th grade classes; and 4 7/8 classes
All 6th graders take Healthy Living for 7 weeks; 125 6th graders will take the class this year
7/8 graders take Healthy Living for one semester (half year). Approximately 100 7/8 graders 
per semester or 200 per year
TOTAL-325 students per year
6th Grade Curriculum
Tobacco/Drugs/Alcohol Prevention
Nutrition/Physical Activity
Bullying/Harassment prevention
Stress Management (includes daily yoga)
Food and Kitchen Safety
7/8 Grade Curriculum
Substance Abuse Prevention
Nutrition and Fitness
Digital Citizenship/Internet Safety/Cyberbullying
Skin Cancer (Melanoma)
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Stress Management (includes daily yoga)
Suicide Prevention (New)
STD Prevention (Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HIV/AIDS)
Deb Anger (Hunt) and Jill Nye-McKeown (Edmunds) are both Health Education endorsed and
follow a curriculum that is much more Health Ed- focused and plan to add a new unit on Suicide
Prevention for 2nd semester/next year and would prefer to follow a Healthy Ed curriculum (not
FACS or Food and Consumer Science). We would like to focus less on cooking/sewing and 
more on mental and physical health promotion. It is our goal to provide an effective and 
consistent Health Curriculum for all Burlington Middle School students so that when they enter 
Burlington High School, they will have the tools and information to help them to make healthy 
choices and avoid risky behaviors. The relationship that is established between the teachers 
and students enable and encourages students to confide in our two health teachers when they 
have questions regarding topics from developing a nutrition/fitness plan to smoking and 
drinking to, on many occasions, sexual behaviors.
Below is research on the importance of health education in our middle school.
Research studies by national organizations like the American Cancer Society provide 
evidence that promoting and establishing healthy behaviors for younger people are more

effective and

often easier, than efforts to change unhealthy behaviors established in adult populations.
even by 9th grade, unhealthy behaviors are already becoming habit:
♦ 10% of students are daily smokers (at least one cigarette every day for 30 days).
♦ 24% of students had their first drink of alcohol (other than a few sips) before age 13.
♦ 27% of students have had sexual intercourse.
♦ 20% ate 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables during the past 7 days.
(Source: 2009 MI YRBS)
Every day, twenty million diverse, rapidly changing 10- to 15-year-olds enrolled in our nation’s middle level schools are making critical and complex life choices. They are forming the 
attitudes, values, and habits of mind that will largely direct their behavior as adults. 
They deserve schools that support them fully during this key phase of life. Issues of right and wrong, good and bad, appropriate and inappropriate are increasingly influenced by
other young adolescents and by the media.
Health education promotes learning in other subjects! One study showed that reading and math scores of middle school students who received health education were significantly higher than 
those who did not. In general, healthy students learn better. Numerous studies have shown that healthier students tend to do better in school. They have higher attendance, have better grades, and perform better on tests.
The middle school years are a critical time for providing health education. Students in
middle school are at their most vulnerable period in life and are at the height of risk
taking behaviors. Many students will begin dealing with a variety of health-related issues
such as: sexuality and reproductive issues, drugs & alcohol, self-esteem/mental health
and peer pressures. The information provided through health education is critical to
assist students in developing necessary life skills for health including decision-making,
communication, stress management, and goal setting.
Data from the 1999 Teen Health Risk Survey (YRBS) sponsored by the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) demonstrated that a significant number of middle school
students are at risk. Some of the relevant findings for middle school youth are:
  1. Over half of middle school students (grades 7 and 8) had tried at least one drug.
  1. 22% of middle school students had used alcohol in the past month.
  1. 21% of students reported initiating sexual intercourse by age 14.
  1. 1 in 3 children and adolescents is overweight or obese.
  2. About 18% of new diagnoses of HIV infection are among young people aged 13−24
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 18 percent of American school age students 
over 12 suffer from obesity. Middle school health classes can help correct this problem by 
teaching nutrition and healthy eating. Coursework that focuses upon the importance of calorie consumption, portion control and the food groups inform a student of the relationship between what they eat and how much they weigh, and also cover topics such as the importance of fruits and vegetables and maintaining a healthy diet. This information teaches children healthy eating habits that can help ensure a lifetime of better nutrition and health that is not plagued by obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes and chronic joint pain.
Middle school health classes can alert students to the physical and mental dangers of alcohol, 
tobacco and drugs. Students Against Destructive Decisions reports that by the time students 
reach high school, more than 37 percent of students have already tried alcohol, 44 percent of 
high school students have smoked cigarettes and 8 percent of students age 12 and older have experimented with drugs. Health education in middle school can focus on the dangers of drunk driving, teach students how consuming drugs and alcohol can increase their risk for other 
problems, such as STD exposure and unwanted pregnancy, and also educate kids in how to 
say no to peer pressure. Courses teach the warning signs of alcohol and drug dependence so 
that students can recognize these behaviors in themselves and their peers. Students also learn the dangers of violent behavior, risk-taking and how to recognize the early signs of depression and suicidal behavior.                                                 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that schools are the right place for a healthy start. Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood and maintaining them is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young 

people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Each day, the nation's 132,700 schools provide an opportunity for 55 million students to learn about health and develop the skills that promote healthy behaviors.

Risk Behaviors Are Established Early in Life. 
Six types of health risk behaviors contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and 
social problems in the United States: 
(1) tobacco use; 
(2) unhealthy eating; 
(3) inadequate physical activity; 
(4) alcohol and other drug use; 
(5) sexual  behaviors that may result in HIV infection, other sexually transmitted 
(STDs), and unintended pregnancy; and 
(6) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injury and violence. 
These behaviors are often established during childhood or adolescence, persist into 
adulthood, and are preventable.        
Effective school health classes reduce risk behaviors and improve learning. Research has shown that school health classes can reduce the prevalence of health risk behaviors 
among young people and have a positive effect on academic performance.
Rationale for Health Education
Promoting healthy behaviors to help young people acquire the knowledge and skills to become healthy and productive adults is an important part of the fundamental mission of schools. Because health-related behaviors are both learned and changeable, there is no better time to initiate formal health education than in the middle school years, when the child is more flexible and forming 
health behaviors. Research has consistently confirmed and given a clear message: by promoting 
healthy behaviors, schools can increase students’ capacity to learn, reduce absences, and improve physical fitness and mental alertness.
Nearly nine in ten adolescents feel health information and skills are of equal or greater importance
than other subjects in school. More than four in five parents of adolescents (82 percent) feel that 
health education is either more important than or as important as other subjects taught in school.
• Parents clearly support teaching problem solving, decision making, and other health-related skills in schools.
• Administrators view health education as being of equal to or greater importance than other things 
adolescents are taught in school and believe that students need to be taught more health-related 
information and skills in school.
In February 2006, the Vermont Department of Education revised the School Quality Standards, which provide rules to ensure all students equal opportunities in education that would enable them to 
achieve or exceed expectations identified in Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning 
Opportunities. Several sections of the School Quality Standards support the development of 
standards-based health education and assessment both at the classroom level and as part of a 
comprehensive assessment system. (See Appendix B.)
The health education program is designed to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve 
their health, prevent disease, and reduce health-related risk behaviors. It allows students to develop 
and demonstrate increasingly sophisticated health-related knowledge, skills, and practices. In 
addition to separate health education courses taught by qualified, trained teachers.
Vermont Law 16 V.S.A. §131 requires schools to teach comprehensive health education and lists 
eleven components to be included: 
body structure and function; 
community health; 
disease prevention; 
family and mental health; 
personal health; consumer health; 
human growth and development; 
alcohol, tobacco, 
and other drug education; nutrition; and sexual violence prevention. 
Act 51, 16 V.S.A. Sec. 909 mandates that all students receive alcohol, tobacco, and other drug 
prevention education. These health education guidelines are designed to support schools in the 
implementation of Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities within the context of the laws that support health education. CDC has published guidelines on the following four topics: 
tobacco use and addiction, promoting lifelong physical activity, promoting lifelong healthy eating, and 
prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS. There are advantages to adopting research-based curricula. 
Choosing research-based curricula, which are taught with fidelity, can assure school, parent and 
community groups that the health education instruction provided to students has been shown to 
reduce risk behaviors that lead to unhealthy outcomes.
To ADVOCATE for both the Healthy Living Teacher positions and the Community Outreach Coordinator Position, a list of all Burlington school board members can be found here:

If you are interested in joining parents/stakeholders from other 
schools to advocate for retaining the Community Outreach 
Coordinator and Healthy Living classes, please be in touch 
with Christopher Hood at Burlington Friends of Education. 
Christopher Hood:
The 2013-14 proposed school budget has been 
announced with a 4.7% increase in spending and cuts totaling over a million dollars. Click the link below
to see a table of proposed cuts in the District. Public 
comment sought! (that's us!)$file/Board%20proposed%20reductions121012.pdf
A public comment hearings is scheduled for January 7th, at 7 p.m. at BHS. 
A public comment on January 8th at 7 p.m. at BHS will also be held prior to final budget decisions.  For detail on the 2012-2013 Budget, visit—School Board/Meeting Agendas, on the left side.

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