Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hunt PTO update 9/25/13

Hunt Middle School
Open House
September 26, 2013
7:00 pm
Come meet all the staff and teachers at Hunt Middle School and hear about what your student is learning.  Families will go to classrooms first and then gather in the auditorium to hear from Mr. Amato and teachers. 

This is an informational session you should not miss!

Babysitting available in the Healthy Living Classroom A17.

Please pre-register for baby-sitting by calling the Hunt Main Office at 864-8469.

An invite from the Hunt administration to YOU...

Parent Coffee
Principal/Parent Coffee
Friday, September 27th, 8:10am to 8:55am
Please join Mr. Amato for coffee and tea. Mr. Amato and other Hunt parents will be available for informal conversation focusing on your child's needs/experiences at Hunt. 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent teacher conferences are now being scheduled for October 17/18.  If a teacher is requesting a conference for your child, you will be contacted by the guidance office.  If you are not contacted, you are still welcome and encouraged to schedule a conference to come in and talk about your child and his/her progress, goals and challenges with their team of teachers.  Conferences can take place on any day, not just October 17/18.  Contact Therese Barcomb at to make an appointment.

Don't hesitate to schedule an appointment if all is going well for your child - you and your child and their teachers are a
team - think of it as a team meeting to help guide
your success going forward.

The first PTO meeting last week was a well attended success. We had about 20 parents in attendance as well as 4 teachers and an administrator. Many thanks to the teachers who stayed late at school to attend the meeting -we are very appreciative of your input. 

Some open forum topics included the creation of a peace pole to be led by Ms. Montgomery and a request that afterschool programs give some kind of confirmation so families can be sure when activities start and where their children are after school.  Word on the street is that our Tech Ed teacher, Mr. Tryniss wrote and rec'd a grant to purchase a 3D printer for HMS!!!!  More info to come...

Brian Pine updated us on finances. We are starting out the year with almost $10,000 restricted for ongoing projects such as an LED sign to go on North Avenue and the front entrance improvements. Our unrestricted balance is approximately $7.5k. The full Variance report is included at the end of the blog.

Mr. Amato's notes from the Principal's Corner...

1) 1:1 Computing Initiative-
    Hunt is a year ahead of schedule of the “roll out” of 1:1 computing devices to all of our students.
    6th grade teams will be using Netbooks. Odyssey is in their second year of using the devices. Nova team is tentatively scheduled to “roll out” their Netbooks sometime in October.
    7/8th grade teams will be using Chromebooks as their devices. Oasis team is in their second year of using devices. Solstice and Phoenix teams are tentatively scheduled to “roll out” their devices in October.
    Teams have been collaboratively working with the Tarrant Institute and the BSD tech team with strategic and ongoing professional development in this 1:1 initiative.

2) Once a month Hunts seven committees work collaboratively to improve the Hunt Educational Community.
PBIS/Climate Committee is working on Student Achievement, among other areas.
Safety Committee is working on student/faculty and building safety protocals.
Building Use/Configurations Committee is working on facilities/maintenance and most effective use of our building/grounds.
Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Committee is working on removing barriers to student success.
Sunshine/Wellness Committee is working on celebrating and promoting the overall wellness of the Hunt Community
Educational Support Team Committee is working on assessing and development of best practices in supporting students.
Technology Committee is working on development and implementation of professional needs of our faculty and staff with regard to the 1:1 initiative at Hunt.

3) Spanish Exploratory-
    Interviewed two promising candidates for the position. Hope to have the position filled by tomorrow.

4) Hunt will have a Monthly Coffee/Tea in the cafeteria starting on Friday, September 27th from 8:15 to 8:55. All are welcome!

5) Building Security-
    Entry Camera’s are due to be installed outside the main entrance to Hunt this month. A buzzer entry will be installed in the near future.

Tammy Kuypers reported on behalf of of the fundraising committee. There will be three major fund-raising activities this year including our annual wreath sale, silent auction and pancake breakfast, and plant/yard sale. Gabi Baumann is leading the charge again this year, but this is her last year chairing the fundraising committee. Also on the team are Tammy Kuypers, Chris Horton and Susan Rutherford. The ideal situation is that a sixth or seventh grade parent will join the fundraising committee so that we continue to have strong leadership. 
Please contact Gabi at to inquire about joining the team. Gabi noted that we are sharing the wreath fundraiser with Mr. Gagnon's class this year and if no parent steps up to lead the fundraiser for next year, we will give this fundraiser to Mr. Gagnon's class. The plant/yard sale is led by Susan Rutherford who will be leaving the middle school after this year. This fundraiser will also need an organizing team. If parents do not step up to lead, then this fundraiser too will be discontinued at Hunt.  So the good news is that we have had a fabulous fundraising team for the past few years at Hunt and have been able to initiate and fund several large projects. The challenge going forward is to bring new people onto the fundraising team so that fund-raising doesn't grind to a stop when Gabi and Susan are no longer the main organizers.  Would this team be a good fit for your skills and volunteer time?

Officers were not elected at this meeting. Kate Belluche agreed to continue as president contingent upon the election of a vice president or secretary. Brian Pine will continue as treasurer, Gabi Baumann as a fundraising lead and Siobhan Donegan will continue to compile the blog. The responsibilities of the secretary are taking minutes at monthly meetings and publishing them to the PTO blog and our Google Docs accounts. Interested parties can contact Kate Belluche at

The harvest dinner planning/organizing is underway led by Jen Sutton and Jenny Tomczak. Jenny is now a parent of a ninth grader, so we are looking for a current Hunt middle school parent to help organize this event with Jen Sutton. The event is scheduled for October 24.   Families will be invited and scores of students, teachers and parents will be involved in the preparation and serving at this event. Contact Jen Sutton to inquire about helping and/or organizing.
 Brian Pine reported about the LED sign project. We are still working through permitting and planning, but it appears that this project will get underway this year. Funds have been raised to place an LED sign on North Avenue with a scrolling information board similar to BHS but smaller.  Thanks to Brian and Gabi for your leadership on this project.

Other miscellaneous issues discussed were following up about a mindfulness program that could be interesting to Hunt staff/students. We also discussed including parents in tweaking the student achievement ceremonies and continuing to improve sports communication. 

Sixth grade parents Marty Welsh brought an issue to the PTO concerning updating the lockers. He is working with his company, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters on some possible improvements this winter.

Tabled for next month is a report out on Hunt community connections with Jen Sutton as well as an update about locker improvements and ear-marking money for the LED sign.

PTO variance report from last school year and starting balance for 2013-14

HUNT PTO fundraising committee seeks volunteers, donations

Wreath sale coming up in October; we need ‘wreath captains’ to help with sales!  The Hunt PTO needs help with our fundraising committee.Gabriele Baumann, the parent of two children at Hunt, has served as the PTO fundraising chair for the past two years. This year, she is looking for a co-chair, as well as some new committee members.

Our annual goal is to raise $8,000, which the PTO uses to support enrichment for our children, school events and overall capital improvements to the school.
The PTO does this by hosting three primary fundraisers each year, which are:

· Holiday wreath sale (October-November)

· Silent Auction & Pancake Breakfast (March)

· Plant & Yard Sale (end of May)

The money then supports these activities each year:

· School events: Community Harvest Dinner, Burlington School Food Project (the Hunt garden), 6th grade open house, 8th grade graduation;

· Student enrichment: Junior Iron Chef, donation to Hunt Drama Committee, assembly fees (such as anti-bullying speakers or the Chinese acrobats);

· Team activities: Team grants for field trips, bus fees, etc.;

· School improvements: Video equipment, landscaping & front-entrance renovations, stone circle.

We also provide food baskets to our families who are in need.
Do you have an idea? We’d love your fresh energy and creative input. No fundraising experience necessary!
Here’s how you can help:

· Volunteer on the PTO fundraising committee.

· Volunteer as the PTO fundraising co-chair, with Gabriele Baumann.

· Volunteer and/or support the fundraising events.

· Make a direct donation to the PTO (see form at bottom).

For the upcoming wreath sale, we are seeking “wreath captains” to help with sales in October. We will need a second wave of volunteers to help at the end of November with decorating and delivery.
We welcome your participation and support. Donate time or money. We can’t do it without you! Every bit helps. The choice is yours, but please do support your PTO in raising the $8,000 we need to continue bringing our children high quality enrichment programs and fun-filled activities.

To make your generous donation, simply print out and return the form that was emailed to you from the Hunt Middle School email address late Tuesday night (Sept. 17th, after 11:30 pm.) Return that form to school with a check made out to “Hunt Middle School PTO.”

Each dollar you give will go directly to the programs the PTO sponsors.

Need another donation form? (or you can just write a note, seal it in an envelope and send your check in to the office - we'll make it work...) Please email Hunt Middle School PTO at

Thank you for supporting our kids, our school 
and our community!

Community Forum on the Burlington School District English Language Learner Program

Come learn about the findings of the needs assessment conducted by the New England Equity Assistance Center of the Education Alliance at Brown University and give your input in a facilitated discussion on the priorities for English Language Learners and their families.

Monday, September 30, 2013
Sustainability Academy Gym,
6 pm-8 pm

Join us for snacks at 6 pm. Program starts at 6:30 pm.

Interpretation offered for speakers of Bosnian, Burmese, Kirundi, Maay Maay, Mahaa, Nepali, and Vietnamese. Childcare provided. 

Please contact a Multilingual Liaison or Nijaza Semic or 288-6048 to discuss your needs.   Please RSVP to Chelsea Piazza at or 865-5332 by September 27, 2013.

Come enjoy some delicious locally grown food at the
6th Annual Hunt Community Harvest Dinner!

Announcing this year’s HMS musical...

West Side Story, produced by Very Merry Theatre and the Hunt Drama Committee

Performances: April 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2014

Auditions: January 28th, 29th and 30th, 2014

Calling all students, staff and family members interested in helping with the production.

Please contact Shireen Hart,, 999-9170, with any questions or to get involved behind the scenes.

Bring in those Box Tops AND Recycle your shoes!!

The Hunt Student Council has taken over the management of both the Box Tops for Education collection and the Shoe Recycling program at Hunt. The council looks forward to all our support this year by cutting out and saving our boxtops from specially marked packages of food and household products. Please send the Box Tops to school and have your student place them in the specially marked can, in the main office.

Pre-loved shoes, sneakers, boots, and athletic footwear can be placed in the specially marked cardboard box just inside the front entrance.

The Hunt Student Council thanks you for your support AND for helping to keep previously worn shoes out of the landfill.

Until officers are chosen for this years student council, please contact with any questions.

Burlington Schools Update

Jeanne Collins – Superintendent of Schools, Burlington School District

BSD Back in Full Swing! 

Burlington Schools are off to a great start for the 2013-2014 school year. The climate is positive and students are on task - it is exciting to visit schools and witness all the hard work! Remember to drive slowly and watch for kids on their way to school as you go to work in the mornings.

Burlington School District Budget Process Survey FY 2014-2015
In an effort to receive input from voters prior to making budget decisions, the Burlington School Board of Commissioners is reaching out to the community, asking what the program priorities are before developing proposals for further public comment and input. Throughout September, Commissioners will attend school events to ask for ideas, schools will include information in newsletters and PTOs will also notify parents.

The Burlington School District is soliciting input from the community on three broad issues. We wish to hear early in the process your priorities for possible additions or deletions to District programs. Click the link below for more information and to leave your input.

In October, the survey data will be reviewed by the Board and the Finance Committee, at the same time that financial goals will be set for 2014-2015. Proposals will then be developed at the administrative level in October and November, based on priorities set by the Board. Public input will be gathered on these proposals on December 17th and 18th. Per law, the budget will be finalized in early January for a March vote on Town Meeting Day.

This approach will bring greater transparency and more voices into identifying the values of the Burlington community for its schools. Visit for a link to the survey and more details on the budget process and timeline.

Proposed “School Calendar 2.0” Community Engagements Scheduled for October 

Four dates in October, 2013 have been established for community forums across Chittenden County regarding the proposed Vermont Champlain Valley regional “School Calendar 2.0” for the 2014-2015 school year. One of these forums will be held on Wednesday, October 9th, 6:30 p.m. at BHS.

Based on the Vermont Superintendent's Association (VSA) Education Quality Framework and the VT World-Class Education Agenda, the School Calendar 2.0 is a new way of looking at what a school calendar could look like. This calendar preserves the current 175 student days while building in blocks of times, or intersessions, that could be used for multiple purposes for multiple stakeholders.

Additional regional forums:
Wednesday, October 2nd, 6:30 p.m. – Essex High School
Thursday, October 3rd, 6:30 p.m. – BFA St. Albans
Thursday, October 10th, 6:30 p.m. – Champlain Valley Union High School.

For more information on the proposed regional calendar, visit:

Hunt Middle School also has active Facebook and Twitter accounts, which can be accessed directly from the Hunt website:

Follow Hunt through Facebook and Twitter for real time updates!

Save the Date

September 26 - Open House - 7pm
September 27 - Parent Coffee, 8:10 - 8:55 am
September 30 - Community Forum on ELL program; SA gym, 6-8 pm
October 9 - Calendar 2.0 meeting - BHS - 6:30pm
October 11 - First Dance - 7pm 
October 17-18 - Parent/teacher conferences
October 17 - Early Release - conferences
October 18 - No school
October 24 - Community Harvest Dinner, 6 - 7 pm


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