Upcoming DatesApril 24th-28th: Spring Break
May 1st-5th: SBAC~ math and science standardized testing for all Swift students.
May 9th and 10th: WCS 8th Grade Science NECAP standardized test
Friday, May 19th- CVU Spring Social for the Class of 2021 (current 8th graders)
June 1st-2nd: WCS 8th Grade Celebration Trip
June 5th-9th: Swift DC Trip and "Hometeam" Theme Week
TBD- Swift End-of-Year Open House
TBD- 8th Grade Challenge Presentations
TBD- Swift Sandbar Picnic
Thursday, June 15th- 8th Grade Graduation!
*We will determine the dates of "TBD" events as soon as the School Board releases the date for the last day of school.
The next Spark Enrichment Session will run April 20th, May 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Classes will be held on Thursdays from 3:00pm - 4:30pm.
Click here to register. It's free and open to all middle schoolers with transportation provided.
Changing PerspectivesRayona from CVU came and talked about her experiences as a student with hearing loss. We learned about how she has become more mature and able to advocate for herself because of her challenges. The Swift students were welcoming, inquisitive and then captivated listening to her stories.
Author Visit- Kwame Alexander
Students from The Crossover literature group went to Burlington on Friday to see the author speak at Burlington High School. He read from his book, shared his experiences with writing and publishing, and inspired students to tell themselves "yes." The Crossover was rejected by 20 publishers before Mr. Alexander self-published. It was quickly picked up by a retail publisher and then won the Newbury Honor in 2015! Look for his work in young adult sections everywhere- he combines poetry and sports in a spectacular way.
Kwame recites a poem with backup on the guitar
|Our literature group in Burlington High|
Social StudiesOur 7th and 8th grade students are just finishing up our World War One unit in Social Studies! To showcase all their learning, students have created newspapers with various articles that include battle reports, interviews with key people in the war, information about the American homefront, and much more! Students were to take on the role of a journalist during the war and write from this perspective.
ScienceOur 7th and 8th graders are learning about how absorption, transmission and reflection affect the color we see. Using a diffraction grating we realized that the kiva lights do not offer the full spectrum of light that the sun or even a standard light bulb do.
|Kiva lights through diffraction grating|
|Jonas and light bulb through diffraction grating|
Swift Facilitators UpdateKevin, Amy and Debbie had the pleasure of joining Julie Longchamp, former Swift facilitator, as she successfully defended her dissertation for Degree of Doctor of Education from the UVM Graduate College. She dedicated her dissertation to past and present teachers of Swift House. We were proud to see her launching into yet another exciting post-Swift retirement adventure!
It is my hope that public schools will be places where children learn who they are as learners, to celebrate difference and uniqueness, to develop skills in challenging settings and in accordance with the best research on how the human brain learns, and where interpersonal problem solving and understanding is as central to the learning process as is personalized intellectual development. Al Myers, Swift House Facilitator, 2005.
I wish to dedicate this work to my colleagues and mentors on the Swift House Team in Williston, Vermont. Swift House began in 1990 when then-principal Marion Stroud paired me with three remarkable educators to develop a multi-age middle school team- Gary Howard, Bernie Caron, and the late Al Myers. The team was to both meet the needs of middle school learners, and prepare these learners for a rapidly changing, technological world. Together with the support of Charlie Wilson and Carter Smith, Swift House was created. During the first year of operation, the 1991-1992 school year, and subsequently, Swift House emphasized technology integration, personalized learning, proficiency-based learning, student-led portfolio conferences, project-based learning, and strong student voice. These educators were forward-thinking and had the autonomy within the structure of the public school to create these systems, many of which are considered innovative event today.
Swift House carries on under the dedication of my former colleagues, Kevin Hunt, Debbie Donnelly, Amy Skapof, Amanda Laberge, and Lisa Bisbee. Thank you for keeping the vision strong and always emerging. Strong public schools are vital to the health and well-being of our nation.