Happy New Year

January 8, 2014

Hello and Happy New Year Everyone,

We hope that your break was wonderful even if part of it was-and still is- extremely cold.  We had such a happy ending to the 2013 part of our school year that we are still basking in the warmth our amazing Holiday Show.  Thank you, Noah, Alexis, Kam, Donovan, Eryn, Keresha and Ethan for the great script and sets.  It was really fun.  We also send congratulations to all our performers (the entire student body!) for bringing it to life so well for our big, appreciative audiences. 

Also, on the subject of Holiday Show, please offer a huge “Thank You” to Joe Schine, Ross Parker, Denise Chapin and Anna Flanzala.  These folks broke down the set and stored everything in the attic before we left on break.  There was some creative maneuvering to tote things up the stairs for storage. It was an amazing feat really and not easy considering the size of the set pieces. Our gym and theater were immediately available when we returned for activities and classes thanks to them.

The Bartlett family spearheaded a very successful Bridge School collection to benefit our local food shelf in December.  As the boxes were being taken away to be delivered, Tayden’s mother, Melinda, suggested we make this an ongoing monthly effort.  The number of families in need of this food has increased and their need continues.  We think this is a great idea and completely in sync with our community involvement and outreach goals.  If you would be interested in delivering this collection to H.O.P.E one time or every time, please let Micki know. We will send out the word and have a box in the library to leave your donations. Let’s do it!

We have been participating in the Scholastic Reading Club this year and the orders you place help Bridge School get free books as well as very reasonably priced books for your family.  The website has more selection than the catalogues and if you go to https://clubs2.scholastic.com  and use our class code: LN3YC, you can order your books online.  Paper order catalogs are also available.  The new order deadline is January 17.

Please keep the Scholarship Raffle, Saturday, February 8 on your calendar and in your planning.  The committee needs help in all areas of planning and set-up, preparing a savory or sweet specialty for the party, picking up raffle donations and selling raffle tickets. It is our major fundraiser, a super event and a perfect pre-Valentine’s Day evening for everyone.  Great food, great music and great company, a bargain at $50.00.

The kids have already had fun slipping and sliding on ice that graces nearly every square inch of ground outside right now.  Thanks again to Jeff Weaber and Noah for creating the ice rink for the kids to enjoy.  We have always welcomed Bridge School and the wider community to enjoy the ice when school isn’t in session, which includes our afterschool program.  Joe and his Bananas have dibs on the ice until 4 PM every school day, but you are welcome to skate after 4 PM and on weekends. There will be a sign up if skating is not permitted for some reason and please always leave the snow banks intact as you and your kids skate.   We’re hoping for the cold (but not this cold) to continue so we can keep skating as long as possible.


Noah, Cynthia, Sharon, Joe, Diane and Micki




December Doings

December 4, 2013

 Hello dear friends,

 We are back from Thanksgiving break and geared up for the next three weeks of school with our Holiday Show in focus.  Sets have been built and painted and costumes are being imagined and created.  We are rehearsing songs a few times each day beginning with morning meeting, so forgive us for kicking you parents out early.  We have lyrics and music to learn and we know you  want it to be a surprise.

Holiday show takes up our Arts and Explorations periods for these three short weeks, and this endeavor each year is the consummate experience of teamwork, cooperation and community.  Noah and the sixth grade class have written a great original script for the whole school and we are eager to share it with you December 19.

We have some exciting things, like cross-country skiing, to look forward to beyond the show as well. Friday, December 6, a crew from Rikert Ski Touring Center will come to measure the kids so we’ll be ready to ski in January.  A separate letter will come to you soon explaining cost and other details so be looking for that.

A highlight for us every year is the return of founder, Dick Nessen, who dramatically shared the story of Hanukkah with our community just before break.  We love and appreciate Dick’s devotion to Bridge School and he is a captivating storyteller as you can see in the faces of his audience in the photos below.  Kids love learning about Hanukkah, as well as other religions and traditions.  Thank you again, Dick, and dibs on next year!

Drivers needed: Our community service work with Meals on Wheels continues and there are dates open after the first of the year for which we need volunteer drivers.  Every child would love to go on every delivery, they love doing it so much, so please come enjoy this time and meaningful work with them.  There are eight open dates: January 23, February 6 and 27, March 13, April 3 and 17 and May 1 and 29.  This is a commitment of only about an hour and a half each time, but the rewards are huge for you, the kids and recipients of these meals.  Please let Micki know which of these open slots will work for you.

ChunkaChunka continues to be a fun and interesting way for kids at Bridge to begin each day.  It is another way to give kids choices about how to be engaged with their life at school. There are a few photos below of kids playing a game Cynthia created for a ChunkaChunka which had the kids running and laughing after learning a new game in a matter of minutes.

Our computer lab is in almost constant use during the day beginning with language arts for all teachers and followed by math groups working with Joe.  Foreign language study with Joe and Barbara rounds out use of the lab four days each week.  Included today is a photo of Diane with some of her kids writing.            


Micki, Noah, Cynthia, Sharon, Joe and Diane





Winter Wonderland Just Ahead

December 10, 2013

Dear Bridge School Parents,

Mentors decided last year, after our one, wonderful outing to Rikert that getting our kids up to cross country ski again was a goal we had for this winter.  For some kids, it was a first exposure to this great sport and for others a chance to ski with friends.  Whatever it was individually, it was a blast for everyone as a community. 

We have signed up for three days of skiing in January with a couple make-up dates later on, if we need them.  We will start skiing and/or snowshoeing beginning in the middle of January. Rikert personnel came to school this week to measure the kids for equipment, so we’ll be ready to roll (or glide) when we arrive for our first day. 

This is a heavily subsidized activity for which we can thank Middlebury College which is keeping the cost for each child at only $10.00 per day.  This includes equipment, instruction and skiing.  Parents are welcome to ski along for about the same cost.

We are also very excited about the chance to ride up to Breadloaf together in a school bus. Only a small amount above the skiing cost covers three bus rides to and from school.

And there’s more…

In late January, we’ll head to the Flynn Theater for another great live theater experience for our kids. These performances, too, are heavily subsidized and available for students at a fraction of the cost one would normally pay.  Micki will be enlisting your help with transportation to Burlington in our usual car caravan. 

The nuts and bolts……

We are asking that each family pay $50.00 per child to cover skiing and bus transportation plus $10.00 for the performance at the Flynn for a total, per child, of $60.00.  We ask that you pay this by our return from vacation January 6.  If you need to pay in increments that is perfectly fine, but please let Micki know your plan before December 20.  If you feel you are able to pay only part of the total and need some assistance, please speak in confidence to Micki before December 20 to make arrangements which will work for your family.  It is very important that all the kids are able to go.

While the cost is not negligible, it is really quite a bargain considering the benefit to your children.  We know these are meaningful and important opportunities for the kids, worthy of your financial support.  Again, if you need assistance, please speak to Micki confidentially and we’ll work it out.


Sharon, Cynthia, Noah, and Micki



Mid-October’s Outstanding News

October 18, 2013

We’re midway through October and though a few “bugs” have joined our community; we mostly have been basking in sunshine, warm weather and good health.  This truly incredible autumn season has just gone on and on.  We were greeted with some showers this week and the temperature has definitely has taken a turn toward cool and damp, which reminded us that……………..

it was time to get our skating rink graded so we’ll be ready for ice.  Noah Hoffman and Jeff Weaber will be our Icemen.  Thank you both. We need and would appreciate a couple volunteers who are willing to use our snow-blower to clear the ice after a snowfall. Please talk to Micki, if you are interested in this.  We aren’t trying to rush it, but we want to be ready to embrace it when the time comes. The future rink is blocked off by traffic pylons now waiting patiently for hockey and skating fun.

For now, forts and gourds are still in full swing, with lots of trading, building, and rebuilding. You’ll see a few photos in this B-Mail of the active and bustling activity surrounding forts and gourds at recess.  The structures have been rein-fort-ced thanks to a lumber delivery by Mark Favreau.  Thank you, Mark.

The new fall tag sale was held on October 5 and thanks to everyone who helped with that. Folks who came early and stayed late were Denise Chapin and Ross Parker, Melinda deMeuers, Paley and Dave Anderson and Grace McGrath, among others. Sorry we don’t have a more comprehensive list as we know many people baked and worked. The event cleared $500.00 and thanks for all your efforts to make this happen.

Barbara Greenewalt has compiled some folders with great information about how the language program works for your children.  These are on the table in the Parent Resource Room for you to peruse. Each language has a separate folder.  Please ask MIcki, if you can’t easily locate these.

In addition to snow-blowing volunteers, we really need a book-shelving volunteer. Shelving could happen during the school day or after, as might work for you.  We have been fortunate in past years to have a parent take this on and we are hoping someone is interested now. Let Micki know if this is anything which might interest you.

The Class of 2014, left Wednesday for their Hulbert Outdoor Center Adventure. They, Cynthia and Diane that is, were a bit sleepy-eyed, but eager to get on the road.  We will welcome them back Friday at the end of the day and are eager to hear about their fun. The picture below was taken at Hubbard’s Store in Hancock, where they connected with Donovan on the trek east.

Earlier this month, Jake brought in something golden for a share with the school.  This beautiful golden object is nothing less than an Emmy!  This is the second year in a row for his dad, Andy, to win in a very competitive field and, happily, Andy was on hand to accept the big honor in person.  Congratulations, Andy, and thanks, Jake, for letting the rest of us get as close as we ever will to this iconic statue.


Micki, Joe, Noah, Sharon, Diane and Cynthia,

Welcome October

October 2, 2013

Hello Everyone.

October has begun with perfect, warm weather and lots of energy.  Fall colors are evident, pumpkins and gourds are ripening and the days are MUCH shorter.  It has been such beautiful weather for recess and outside classes and we haven’t needed to stay indoors because of rain a single day.  A grand fall!

Kids went apple-picking at Happy Valley Orchard on October 1.  Needless to say, the kids were very excited and eager to get out there on the front lines of apples, cider donuts and freshly-pressed cider.  Everyone enjoyed a fun wagon ride and the folks at Happy Valley showed us a great time. The record for apples eaten on the orchard trip last year was about 5, with no ill results.  The stats aren’t in for this year yet, but, if the record was broken, it was without incident, at least during the school day.  Some great orchard pictures are below, thanks to Erika Linskey, Aspen’s mom.

Fall beautification projects are clearly visible at school.  Our new, wonderful fence is up and looks great, thanks to the Bridge School Class of 2013 and Woodchuck Cider Company.  The fence provides a great boundary for the kids and defines the front of the school in an attractive way, we think.  Thanks also to United Way of Addison County and the Hannaford Career Center for the huge job they did for us during their annual Days of Caring.  The front of the school is freshly and beautifully painted and we are so grateful to have been on the receiving end of this great community effort and outreach.

Bridge School‘s own community outreach and service effort begins this week with the resumption of Meals on Wheels deliveries.  Thank you to the parents who have signed up to drive and please consider volunteering to drive, if you are interested.  It is a small time commitment with a huge reward and our kids love being on the delivery teams. In addition to missing math and sometimes getting candy, as we heard this morning, they really do it for the satisfaction of helping, we think. Please talk to Micki even if you may only be able to drive once this year.

The new online reporting system is up and ready to roll and thanks for your participation in this.  If you’ve looked and it is blank, it is only because nothing has been posted yet.  Some of the great classes about which you’ll read in these reports are for Explorations: Small World Celebrations, Sign Language, Transportation, Create a Creature, Boats and Floats, For the Love of Bugs, Chuck, Geography of the World, and PSI.  In Arts you will see Drawing Animals, Contra Dancing, Kickball, Patterns, and Modern Dance, with new Arts choices to be made by the kids this Thursday.

The World Language Program is in full swing and the kids are studying Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Latin as they have chosen. The Middlebury Interactive Language group is staying in close touch to help as needed.  You have received information from Joe about how to sign in so your child can work on language study at home, but if you have any questions, just email Joe.

We’ll try to keep you informed of happenings at school by sending out B-Mails a couple of times each month along with some photos to enjoy too. In addition to your calendar, you can check the announcement window on our website, bridgeschoolvermont.org, for updates and events which may have been scheduled after the calendar was printed.  ALWAYS PLEASE call Micki with any question at all about schedule or weather or restaurant reservations…….whatever you need.

Stay in touch with us and we’ll try to do the same.


Micki, Cynthia, Sharon, Noah

A Great School Beginning 2013-2014

September 16, 2013

 Hello and a happy welcome to the 2013-14 school year.We have completed our first full week of school and, though Friday was a welcome sight for everyone, it was all smiles at afternoon meeting.  Our first afternoon meeting was the scene of many shares and a lively, impressive performance from Cynthia’s 5-day long, “Sign Language” Explorations class.  The kids were great and picked up an amazing amount in only 5 classes.

We had a big turnout, about 50 people, for the second annual pre-school “Capture the Flag” game.  This was played on the Sunday before Labor Day.  Several of our new families, alums and many our current families participated in a lively game.

We concentrated on community building during the first week of school.  Kids had focused home center time and as well as times with all teachers and mixed groups.  The week culminated in a whole school experience led by Kim Walker and David Sandler.  They are parents of alum, DJ, class of 2011, and Kim is our current Bridge board secretary.  It is always special when these skilled and playful facilitators lead the school in non-competitive games and activities.  Thank you, Kim and David.

Our Middlebury Interactive Language Program has begun!  Kids and staff are learning how to use the program and there has been excitement and sharing.  We have heard, as kids move through the school, exchanges along the lines of, “What language are you studying?”   What a great opportunity this is for kids to have a choice in the language they wish to pursue and be able to study at school and at home.  We’ll have more information coming home and probably a meeting for interested parents in how to implement this at home.  Thanks to Joe Schine and Barbara Greenewalt for helping to get us all trained.

Fields Trips on the horizon:

We are planning a field trip to pick apples on Tuesday, October 1 and will contact you for help transporting kids.  We’ll go to Happy Valley Orchard this year, which is very close, and the kids can pick for themselves as well as participate in the “Pick for Your Neighbor” program.

We’ll attend a dance performance at Middlebury College on Tuesday, October 22, presented by a group of Nicaraguan women.  It is wonderful that Middlebury College offers school these opportunities and we love for the kids to have these experiences.

Please also let Micki know if you can drive regularly or occasionally for Meals on Wheels.   We will begin that much loved program in October, if we have enough  volunteer drivers.

Micki will email with specific needs so be watching for that.