Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hunt PTO Update, 2/19/15

Hunt PTO Update
February 19th, 2015

What's happening at HUNT this week and next?
Please check the HUNT activities calendar on the website for up-to-the-minute updates!



NAEP 8th grade testing


PTO meeting 
6:30 pm


No School


No School

No School

No School


No School

Burlington School District Appoints New Superintendent

School board members and members of the search committee congratulate Yaw Obeng on Skype.
Photo by Alicia Freese, Seven Days

The Burlington school district appointed a new leader Thursday evening, February 12th. Yaw (pronounced Yow) Obeng, a Ghana-born educator who’s currently a superintendent in Ontario, Canada, will start a three-year contract on July 1.

More from Seven Days:

Friends, Families neighbors, come support the Hunt production of HAIRSPRAY by attending the upcoming:

Mark your calendar and reserve the date for the Hunt Middle School's annual

Dance party at the St. John's Club in Burlington

This is an adult only party! March 7th, 7:00-11:00pm
$20 per person/$30 per couple.

Last year's dance was a blast, so don't miss the fabulous dancing, tasty appetizers & scrumptious desserts,
all included in the ticket price.

There will also be a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, photo booth and cash bar.

ALL adults are welcome, not just parents of students in the play!!
Don’t forget your ID.

All proceeds from the dance benefit the Hunt Middle School Drama Club's 2015 version of HairSpray.
Please purchase tickets in advance; limited number available. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door. Buy now! Contact Bella at for tickets or send a check made out to Hunt Drama Committee to the main office at Hunt. (we will keep a list at the door)

xternal image Silhouette20Dancing20People.jpg

Don't forget to VOTE on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015.  Students return to school the next day, Wednesday, March 4th, 2015.

Information about voting in your Burlington ward can be found here:

You can verify that you are on the registered voter list and confirm your ward here.

TONIGHT: Thursday, February 19th, at 6:30 pm.  
Please find last month's meeting minutes posted at the end of the Blog.

Request from Kathy Olwell, Afterschool Program Coordinator

Do you have any  old battery-run toys that the after school program could use  for a toy hacking program?  If so, please place the toy(s) in the box in the office where they can be left.

Need more information? Contact Kathy @:  

Kathleen Olwell
Afterschool Program Coordinator
LC Hunt Middle School
New North End Youth Center
130 Gosse Ct.
Burlington, VT 05408

Burlington School District News

District Announcements
FY16 Budget
February 11, 2015

Click here to review the Budget Page.
Click here to review FY16 Budget Highlights.
Click here to review the 2014 BSD Annual Report.


School Commissioners have adopted a proposed budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year that represents a 1.75% increase over the budget approved by the voters for the current year. Most of the budget growth will be devoted to ensuring that future budget deficits can be avoided by properly accounting for all of the District’s actual spending obligations. The historically low rate of growth was the byproduct of a different approach to building a budget. Instead of basing next year’s budget on last year’s budget, the proposed budget is supported by the following three pillars:

1) An appraisal of student needs and the resources required to promote success for all students

2) Regionally comparable standards that are generally associated with high-quality schools

3 )Efficiency and productivity measures designed to reduce growth in spending to a sustainable level in keeping with local economic conditions

This approach resulted in a total savings of approximately $2 million when compared with the budget that would have been required to continue business as usual. Although some staff reductions will be necessary in order to achieve this level of savings, District class size averages will continue to be consistent with Vermont's Educational Quality Standards and the District will continue to offer a comprehensive range of regionally comparable programs and services.

For more details, review the BSD 2014 Annual Report, now available online at, under the Community tab at the top of the page.


     Calendar Listings:
  • February 19th - PTO meeting
  • February 23 through March 3rd School vacation - No School
  • March 3rd -  Tuesday - Town Meeting Day - No School - Please VOTE
  • March 4th - Wednesday - School starts up again
  • March 6 - Principal's Chat - 8am in the library
  • March 7 - Adult Dance Party at the St. John's Club - 7-11pm
  • March 26 - Early Release - Parent Teacher Conferences
  • March 26 - Hairspray School Show - 4pm
  • March 27 - No School - Parent Teacher Conferences
  • March 27 - Hairspray Evening Performance - 7pm
  • March 27 - Hairspray Pre Performance Meal catered by Papa Frank's (info coming soon!)
  • March 28 - Hairspray Evening Performance - 7pm


January 15, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm

(Minutes taken by; Karen Berghorst, secretary)

  • PTO leadership/Fundraising: The position of PTO president has been filled by Paula Henry. Paula may have found parents who will be willing to help with fundraising. They are not interested in necessarily heading up with the vacancy Chair however they may be interested in simply working as partners. Gabi, former fundraising chair,  will be getting all documents to Paula so that she can forward these documents to the interested parties willing to help out.

-It might not be too late to start up a silent auction. As done in the past it's already been started by now however we are thinking that if we change the date to maybe sometime in May that this would still be something we could do. It was also brought up that a possible Facebook bidding auction option could be done. That will be looked into from other sources who have had success in it.
  • School play: Katie Belluche, play production manager,  wanted to share with the PTO that there was a large student interest during sign-ups. Everyone will get a part in the play, with 8th graders taking a more active role. There is a fundraiser on March 7. Inviting adults to a dance at the St. John's club. All proceeds go to the play.

  • Treasurer Report: The bank was updated with a proper address and statements for obtained. Then the process was started up for online banking. Numbers were discussed. Refer to the highlighted areas to recent changes, attached).  These include the harvest dinner, pizza for the workers who work at the sign out front of the building (donated work), The harvest dinner raffle, the pay it forward appeal funds, graduation and assembly fees. So far $950 is available.

Current $ requests to PTO:

- Dan Treinis(Technology and Design) has requested $280 in November for 3D printer filament spools. It is emphasized that everyone would benefit from the spending. The filament spools would last 1 to 2 years.
-Kathy Hevey is requesting $120 for common Core software.
-Diane Pawlusiak (Librarian) has requested (in December)that Doug Wilhelm come back to do an author talk on his book to the sixth grade. $400 is needed. A generous $150 donation has already been received by the student council.
PTO response/action:
-The PTO is supporting Diane's request for Doug Wilhelm.
-The PTO is supporting the request from Dan for the filament spools.
-In reference to the common core software request, we are unsure (from the PTO's prospective) if the whole school would benefit. Suggestion was made that the IXL math that is already being used, perhaps be a good substitute for the software requested. Teachers were trained in December on it.

Pay it Forward Initiative:
It was suggested that we look into getting a  the PayPal account for an added convenience in submitting money to the PTO. An email reminder will be sent out reminding parents about the pay it forward objective. It would be helpful to see where we are at loading and all the family emails. Especially new sixth-grade parents to ensure that everyone is getting all communication.

  • Principals Corner: Mr Phelan states that faculty are currently working on the prep for the smarter balanced assessment. These tests take place of the kneecap test which were written. The Smarter balance test will be done all on computer. The nice part about the smarter balance test is they are all adaptive. Which means that they get more difficult as questions are successfully answered. In response to testing changes, Mr Phelan said local teacher committees meet to become experts in specific areas. These areas include and are not limited to the common core, math, etc. Then they go to the entire group to discuss and to get everybody on the same page. Mr Phelan said that that as a resource, the Green Mountain Star plan teaches teachers on what our kids are being tested on.
  • Mr. Phelan that The Mr. Kaboom science program that Synergy went to was successful. Everyone had a great time.
  • Some teachers went to the middle grades Institute conference and came back with some good info.
  • Modifications to school budget:
We are looking at in the very near future...
-1 gym teacher vs 2
-healthy living class to be modified (in ways that are not officially set in stone).
-losing a social worker
-losing a guidance counselor
-no everyday gym for 6th grade.

Mr Phelan's response:
-To create some sort of advisory program for kids. Which would involve kids being assigned into small groups for activities involving social growth, creating friendships, and making good choices. This would help make up for not having the Healthy Living portion of the class that would have covered this. The curriculum would be grade level based. Not much prep will be done on the teachers part. It would meet well with the PBIS.
-Mr Phelan understands budget cuts are difficult, but the quality of experience is still a priority. The goal is to see that the kids do not notice the change. The schedule may change however, one positive aspect would be  to add a power literacy class for quarter of the year. This would help with reading of nonfiction texts, which would incorporate that learning into social studies and science. They will be working to incorporate the classes to merge with topics such as music as well.

Budget Concerns from PTO:
-Who will perform the tasks guidance counselor duties? How will the loss impact the school?
-Taking away PE for sixth-graders. There will be an 40 minutes of extra sit down academic time, when already,many students are restless enough at this age. Is there a possibility for some sort of 'recess' or break time in place of it?
Mr. Phelan's response to PTO:
-A possible 6 day cycle will be evaluated.
-Loss of 6th grade gym time: Having a possible break or recess time and place of gym time involves much more than simply allowing children 'free' time. . There is some risk involved in having unorganized recess /break time for this age. It would for sure need to be very supervised structured moment.
-He also emphasized that a lot of the budget cuts are still up in the air at this time, although current spending is frozen. A Special permission process for the current year needs to be done to maintain the current needs.
-Regardless of the decisions.. Me Phelan states that the intention is to maintain the same level of quality at school for the kids.

  • Collective Punishment: Mr Phelan understands and sympathizes with parents concerns over this method of punishment. He expressed the safety concerns in regards to it. And he has already stated to the faculty that this method of punishment is unacceptable. Mr Phelan says that teachers are trained in PBIS and  that they will they should be emphasizing these expectations and pointing out their behavior through signs around the school. Positive reinforcement has been noticed from his point of view.  There are a lot less visits to the principals office. In place there is more of a counseling environment to help talk through the issues at hand. Having kids understand the posts around school, gaining knowledge of their expectations  and recognizing consequence had been and will be the key moving forward. Mr. Phelan feels there is a good overall support system from the faculty on this and that the teachers already have progressive ways for creative punishments in their toolboxes vs keeping children after school.

Next meeting: February 19 at 6:30 in the library

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