Thursday, December 17, 2015

Operation Happiness Success!

Operation happiness is officially over and we have passed our goal this year by 983 items! The VOYAGERS are the winners of our school contest!!! With a whopping 825 items! Explorers came in second with 735 items and Triumph in third with 242 items!  

On Thursday morning, Renaissance students organized every donated item for Operation Happiness into categories.  They then boxed the 2,998 items and delivered them to the Operation Happiness headquarters.  Our school was again a major contributor to this fundraiser.  Renaissance is so proud to represent our school.

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Friday, December 11, 2015


Project Based Math Learning in Renaissance
Team Renaissance just finished having students learn about probability by designing casino games that use probability to skew "luck" in favor of casinos. Sixth graders and students from other learning communities dropped by to test out the games with pretend money. The games worked and the Renaissance students raked in the money. At the same time the casino "guests" had a great time spending their money and trying to win some of it back.


Culminating Event

Dear Renaissance families,

The Renaissance students have studied economic systems, learned research strategies, and debate skills. We would like to invite you to watch as our students debate on Monday, the 21st of December, at 12:30 p.m. Students are just beginning to learn debate techniques. Students have been working as independent learners as they use research strategies presented in class, and have been working in collaborative groups to form their arguments. The focus of their debates will be on command and market economies. We hope to see you on Monday.

The Renaissance Teachers

Operation Happiness 2015

Operation Happiness started at the beginning of last week and we already have collected 1,721 food items. We only need 294 more items to reach our goal. This years participation has been incredible and we encourage you to bring more food items in. We only have 3 days left to bring food items in so don't forget!

Math and LA

This unit in math 7th grade is learning about adding integers. Integers are positive whole number and negative whole numbers. The two models we are using to help us solve these problems are number lines and chip models. A chip model is when you have an amount of positive and negative chips. You have to fine the zero pairs. What is left over is the answer. Videos coming soon! In language arts we are reading a book called The Outsiders. We have to take notes and make personal connections. So far the book is really good and I look forward to reading the rest.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Our community needs your leadership!  Fill out the form to let us know where you are interested.
Here is a link

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Renaissance in the News!

This morning, I presented our communities Rain Garden Stewardship Project to the channel 22 News.  I got to share how the rain garden works, and all of the hard work our students have put into this project.  Two students nominated City School as a Cool School because of City School's Stewardship Projects.  Below is a link to watch the different segments from today's news show.

Cool School: St. Albans City School - Story | myChamplainValley

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Hungry Heart

Today, at Unified Arts time, Renaissance and USA watched a movie about drug addiction.  The Hungry Heart was filmed in St. Albans about addicts trying to recover. It followed young adults and adults struggling with drug abuse. Most of the individuals went to Mousetrap Pediatrics and worked with Dr. Holmes to break their habits using therapy and another drug called Suboxone.  Suboxone helps to subsided the craving for other drugs. Many of the addicts had been close to death and had barely survived; some with major health problems. We learned that the pain relief was not worth it.  In the long run, being drug free is definitely the way to be. We will continue the conversation on Thursday when the speaker comes back to speak to our community.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hungry Heart

November 11, 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Tuesday November 17 and Thursday November 19, 2015 your child will have a guest speaker during his/her physical education classes.  The speaker will be Mary Pickener, a Vermont Substance Abuse Prevention counselor.  Mary works closely with many agencies in the county as well as local schools.

During class on Tuesday your child will be watching the movie The Hungry Heart in it’s entirety.  The Hungry Heart provides an intimate look at the often hidden world of prescription drug addiction through the world of Vermont Pediatrician Fred Holmes who worked with patients struggling with the disease.  This films shines the light on the healing power of conversation and the need for connection that many of theses young addicts yearn for but do not have in their lives.

On Thursday we will continue the conversation around the factors that may influence one’s decision to use drugs as well as prevention techniques and triggers using a guided curriculum.  

Early exposure to the dangers of drug and alcohol usage paired with early intervention has been found to be the best prevention.  If you have any questions about the presentation please contact us at 527-0565 ext 5002


Meg Jarvis                    Rusty Branon                         Paula Wight                    Heidi Andrews

Physical Education Instructors

Tech Sargent Beams Visits Renaissance

On Tuesday, November 10th, Miss Beams' father, Tech Sargent Beams came to visit Renaissance and talk about his experience being in the Navy and the Air National Guard to get the community thinking about Veterans Day. He talked about his many experiences going to different countries and the challenges of being away from his family. He knew from a very young age that the Navy was the path he wanted to take in life, because of the amount of male figures in his life who had been in the Military. He served an important role in defending the Vermont air base while the Vermont fighter jets flew to protect New York City on September 11th, 2001.  Tech Sargent Beams told the Renaissance community about his truly special experience, protecting the country and defending the people.
Happy Veterans Day!

Friday, November 6, 2015


In 21st Century class, we are learning how to debate. We are researching and organizing information for our first small debate which will be held on Monday. For this debate, we each have a 2 minute time period to state our arguments and a 1 minute counter argument. I look forward to hearing other debates!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Making Solar Ovens!

We are trying to use the sun to heat a marshmallow.  We designed ovens out of oak tag, aluminum foil, masking tape, and a mirror.  Most people decided to use the aluminum foil to conduct heat because they knew it was a conductor.  Also, a lot of people used the mirror to reflect sunlight as another source of heat.  The basic oven was built out of the oak tag.  The next sunny day, we will bring our ovens outside for 15 minutes and test to see if we were able to cook the marshmallow.  This will help us understand heat transfer and give us an opportunity to use our new temperature probe and interface.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Spirit Week

This week the Renaissance Community hosted a spirit week! Spirit week is when you have a different theme to do everyday. It can have to do with your clothes, your hair, etc.  Monday was comfy day, Tuesday was sports day, Wacky Wednesday, twin Thursday, and Friday is costume day.  I think this Spirit Week was fun and very successful.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Peace Poster

Congratulations to Noah Aldrich for winning the local level Lions Club Peace Poster Contest! Noah's poster design was chosen to represent the Swanton/Missisquoi Lions Club at the district level from the many other submissions from area middle school artists. His design was judge on originality, artistic merit and expression of this year's theme "Share Peace." Noah's poster will go on to the district level competition. Congratulations Noah & Good Luck!

Friday, October 9, 2015

What are your chances?

Seventh grade students continue to learn about probability and rational numbers.  We've used beans, mazes, fruit loop critters, dice, tangrams, and spinners, to find the likely hood of an event happening or to create unbiased samples to predict how a population behaves.  

Silver linings

Renaissance students gathered Tuesday morning to plan walking bus routes for our schools Wednesday walk to school day.  On Wednesday morning, more than half of our community walked to school!  We will use this data towards meeting silver status for Rise Vermonts challenge.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Renaissance Parent Night

Did you miss Parent Night?  No problem! Here is a slide show that the teachers and students presented.  We are looking forward to having an awesome, rewarding year as we explore, discover, and learn to think critically and creatively.  Please feel free to contact any of the teachers with questions.  Thanks for a wonderful night.  Our music video is on the last slide.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Renaissance Community would like to recognize one of our math teachers Mr. Luke Laroche, who will be recognized by his former college, Castleton University, for his athletic contributions. He'll be inducted into the Castleton Athletic Hall of Fame on September 25th. Here's the write-up from the Castleton athletic department: "Luke Laroche was a four-year standout for the Castleton men’s soccer program, rewriting the team’s record book. He burst on the scene, setting a Castleton freshman record with 48 points from 17 goals and 14 assists. Laroche scored 34 points as a sophomore and then 46 more as a junior in leading the Spartans to their first-ever North Atlantic Conference Championship game in 2002. The team lost but he was named NAC Player of the Year and finished the season with a new Castleton scoring record of 128 points. As a senior he helped the Spartans clinch the program’s first NAC Title, earning Tournament MVP honors while also being named NAC Player of the Year for a second straight season. Laroche finished the year seventh in the nation in scoring and tied the program’s single-season scoring record with 57 points, scoring 22 goals and assisting on 13. He concluded his career with program records of 185 points, 75 goals and 35 assists, finishing with 60 more points than any previous Spartan. Laroche is currently a middle school mathematics teacher at St. Albans City School and has served as the BFA-St. Albans varsity soccer coach since 2009. He and his wife Alesha live in Saint Albans with their sons, Nolan and Cam." Congratulations, Mr. Laroche!

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Lake Monsters Game

The Renaissance Community had a great time last night at Centennial Field. We cheered on the Lake Monsters, ate hot dogs, danced in our seats, took selfies with Champ, caught t-shirts and foul balls, and enjoyed the exciting entertainment between innings. This field trip was a home run!

Puzzle Chalenge

Every year, Renaissance students participate in a puzzle challenge.  This year teams had a minute to plan a strategy, and the first team to complete their puzzle won.  There was no talking after the planning session.  In the very warm weather, students did very well.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Team Building

Renaissance students and teachers have been working together to form a closer community.  We built structures out of marshmallows and spaghetti, carried tennis balls on washers, tried to make the slowest path for a marble down a ramp, and began introducing new students to the rain garden by getting outside and weeding the ditch area.

Lake Monsters on Thursday!

The Renaissance learning community is very excited about the new school year. We would like an opportunity to celebrate and get to know each other better, so we have planned a field trip to attend a Vermont Lake Monsters Game. We will be traveling by bus from St. Albans City School  to Centennial Field in Burlington on Thursday, September 3rd. The buses will leave school promptly at 6:00 pm and return to school at 9:45 pm. There is no cost to students for this trip, however they will need to provide their own money if they wish to purchase snacks at the stadium. We suggest that all students eat dinner before going to the game. Students should dress appropriately for the weather and bring a jacket or sweatshirt.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What we are excited for today...

"I am excited to look around Philly because I have never been. I am also excited to visit historical sites and learn why Philledelphia is so popular" - Chloe

"I am looking forward to seeing other people's projects." -Ella

"I'm excited to share all the work we've been doing in Renaissance because we learned a lot about water quality while still having fun" -Jaylin 

"I'm excited to teach other people about what we have been working on." -Abbie

"I am excited to tell people about what our community has been doing and to show them all of our hard work that was put into these projects.   Along with hard work, we also had fun working on these Stewardship projects!" - Maya

Planning meeting

Renaissance met last night to talk about our presentation and plan a layout for our poster.  

Cheesecake Factory

We went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner the first night. We were able to talk to each other and plan events for the next two days. We all had dinner and dessert, that some of us brought back to the hotel because we couldn't finish it. We had lots of fun and I hope we can do it again.

ISTE Conference

Renaissance students are getting ready for the ISTE conference by making their tri-fold poster. These students will be presenting about how Renaissance and our school incorporates technology into our stewardship projects.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

We made it!

We have arrived in New Jersey!  Anxious to get out of the car, we hit up the hotel pool for a quick swim before dinner.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

8th Grade Celebration!

Today, the seventh graders hosted a celebration for our Renaissance 8th Graders.  If you were awarded a medal, please wear them to graduation.  Here is the slide show from the event.  Photos taken at the photo booth, and video of the event will be posted shortly.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Spirit of Ethan Allen

Last Friday, students traveled to Burlington for a boat ride on the Spirt of Ethan Allen.  We enjoyed a picnic at North Beach beforehand.  We all enjoyed the day.  It ended with chocolate chip cookies from the South End Kitchen.

Planting the ditch :)

Tuesday, students joined in on planting the ditch between the softball backstop and the basketball court. It now looks much better. We will continue to spruce up the area!

Traveler Field Day

Yesterday, Renaissance had the honor of joining the Travelers for a field day hosted by the Travelers. Kids played many games and enjoyed one another's company. Everyone loves water games and Popsicles on a hot day!  

Friday, June 5, 2015


Planting has begun on the rain garden!  Students have put wildflower seed in the lower portion of the garden, as well as the hillside.  We also planted some meadow grasses along the border and other perennials closer to the road.  The flower containers are full of color, and we anxiously await the color from the wildflowers.  The team has ordered two more containers to bring some color to the sedimentary fore-bay.  Here are a few pictures, with an album to come soon.