· This week (Oct. 27-31): regular week, the last week of the first academic trimester.
· Nov. 3-6: Health Week-school day is 8:30am-2:15pm every day
· Friday Nov. 7-No school - Inservice
· Nov. 10 - start of new academic term and new exploratory term
· Sunday Nov. 23 - Save the Date! - Fiesta de Mexico, our big party/fundraiser for the Mexico expedition. Live music/dancing/dinner/silent auction.
· Nov. 24 & 25 - no classes - parent conferences
· Nov. 26-28 - Thanksgiving vacation
Halloween Cabaret performance this Friday at 10am
The Halloween Cabaret exploratory group will present their 30-minute theatrical performance for the Compass community this Friday at 10am at Compass. (They will also be presenting their show in Marlboro Friday afternoon.)
Halloween at Compass-Yes, most of us usually come to school in costume! J Students have been reminded to make costumes "school appropriate" - ie. Following dress code guidelines of not depicting drugs/alcohol, no dangerous jewelry/accessories, and not being overly revealing. (Speaking of dress code... students have generally been doing a very good job following it. As a reminder, I have printed the dress code policy at the end of this newsletter.)
Health Week !! Next week- November 3-6 - students will engage in quality workshops led by community members and staff in an exploration of how to maintain a healthy self and a healthy community. The presenters will talk about a variety of issues, covering subjects that we feel are important for all students to know. Realizing that students' knowledge and curiosities will differ, we have tried to make the content appropriate to age and experience. Moreover, we have tried to enlist speakers who will talk openly and honestly with students, who will engage students' participation, and who will be sensitive to the subjects that they present.
Day 1: A Healthy Self: Learning to Free Ourselves from Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Workshops presented by area health practitioners and educators will take place throughout the morning, focusing on identifying stressors and symptoms of stress and how to reduce and deal with stress in our daily lives. Workshops will range from "Beating Stress with Healthy Decisions", and "Learning is a Whole Body Event" to yoga and tai chi classes, herbal medicine instruction, a conversation about eating disorders and a look at tensions that arise in female relationships.
In the afternoon, African dance instructor Chelsea Agee will lead us in an all school dance accompanied by live drumming!
Day 2: Taking Action to Build A Healthy Community
Students will gather in action teams to take on personal and community health challenges to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. Students will choose to join one of the following action teams: Real Life Organic Farming, GMO Action Team, Localvore Project, Cooking Healthy Lunch, Hands-On Healing, The Food-Mood Connection, Stress Management, and Bringing Meditation Into Your Life. We will gather as a school to share our learnings and plans for action and then enjoy a healthy lunch together.
In the afternoon, we will be inspired by the film "The Vision of Wangari Maathai" with filmmaker Lisa Merton. (Wangari Maathai was a Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work in Kenya with the Green Belt Movement.)
Day 3: Shout it Out: Making a Difference through Self Expression
We will have the honor of viewing The Voices Project's new film, Shout It Out in a special screening with the director, Bess O'Brien. Afterwards, guided by O'Brien, we will break out into writing groups to express our own voices.
In the afternoon, we will enjoy "Because I'm With Them. . .." a performance by ActingOut, a
student improv group from Keene, NH. They will perform an interactive theater piece dealing with peer pressure of all kinds and both positive and negative effects including choices around alcohol, sex, fashion, bullying, defying authority or creating community.
Day 4: Understanding Gender Expectations and Realities
Students and teachers will spend some time in separate gender groups, talking about the experience of being female and being male. We will then gather together as a whole school to share some of our insights and celebrate one another.
In the afternoon, we will engage in playful physical exercise to close out the week.
Please note that Health Week is meant to be a community-building week and a springboard for further discussion, learning, and workshops throughout the year. It is by no means all-inclusive of every topic that we wish to cover in our health and wellness curriculum. We welcome your suggestions for keeping the spirit and learning of Health Week alive throughout the year.
School will be dismissed at 2:15pm during Health Week.
If you have any questions or concerns about Health Week please contact Janet or Lauren.
Parent Volunteers Needed for cooking lunch on Tuesday, November 4 during Health Week from 9-12:30. Can you help? Please contact Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org or 463-2525) Thank you!
CES Conference in Charlotte, NC:
Next week, Beth, Amir, Lauren, Amah, and Rick, and students Kailey Rinder, Sophie Taylor-Havens, and Max Schadt will be attending the Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum in Charlotte, NC. The team will be presenting workshops and discussion groups entitled "Feeding Ourselves and Our Community: Promoting and Providing Fresh, Whole Foods in Rural and Urban School Settings" (about Beth's and Amah's Winterm and Project Week projects last year), "This Ain't No Fresh Air Program" (about the Baltimore Xchange), "Science of the Mind" (about the Science of the Mind class last year), and "Presentations of Learning: Using Reflective Assessment to Change Students' Everyday Lives"
Compass Open House- Thanks to all those who attended and helped in our first Open House. The outpouring of support from our students, many of whom arrived of their own free will, was spectacular! Thanks to Manya, Chris D., Mario, Muriel, Lydia, Remy, Liz, Ann and teachers Andy and Louise. Thanks also to Eric for stepping out of the Board Meeting to address the attendees. In all, 5 families were interested in our Middle School program and 4 families were interested in our High School program. Both families and students seemed impressed with the Compass approach to community and academics.
Our next Open House is on Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00pm. Let's see if we can find even more interested families to visit. It is a great way to see Compass School! Contact Janice (802.463.2525) with any questions or email email@example.com
Middle School Parents---note: small, but exciting change in daily schedule! The Middle School Team has decided to change Spanish and Math classes to full 1.5 hour block classes that meet every other day (as the high school currently does). This change (from daily 45 minute blocks) is being made so that students will have more focused time in class since time will not be lost in the transition process from one class to another. The other advantage is that students will be able to focus better on one subject at a time. We will try this out for a few weeks. If it feels educationally like the stronger option-we'll stick with it! We welcome your feedback.
Hardcover Books Needed for Book Altering Exploratory! Please bring any that you are willing to part with to Lauren. Thanks so much!
Snow Day Cancellation Announcements - For school closings and delays Compass School follows the call of the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union (Bellows Falls, Westminster, Saxtons River, Grafton, Athens). If WNESU is closed or delayed, we go along with that. Listen for announcements on the radio or view school closing information on www.sover.net or on www.wtsa.net . (I've found that the WTSA site lists information soonest.) Eric will also send out cancellation and delay information to the "families" email list. We will also post the announcement as a news item on the Compass web site.
Halloween match this Friday at the Grammar School in Putney, 4:00pm - IN COSTUME!!
Reminder on Medications
If your child is required to take prescription drugs during school hours, it must be kept in the office with a note from your physician on how the medication should be administered and for how long. This note from your physician is very important - instructions on the prescription bottle do not serve as a note. Students must take medications in the office for safety and record keeping. If students have a medical need to carry an inhaler, the office should be notified each time a student uses it during the school day. Thank you for helping us maintain a safe environment for your child.
Beginning Monday, October 27, 2008, all students eating breakfast or purchasing drinks (tea, juice, hot chocolate, etc.) are required to purchase a breakfast card.
A 20-breakfast card costs $40.
Bagel and drink costs $2.00 and Solo Drinks cost $1.00.
To simplify our bookkeeping we are no longer accepting cash for breakfast or drinks.
Thank you for your cooperation.
CRT Bus needs support!
Many of you ride the CRT bus route between Brattleboro and Bellows Falls. This route is largely supported by federal grants but also relies on rider contributions. Last year the route fell $36,000 short of the funds needed to cover the costs of supplying this service. We urge riders and families to contribute toward your use of this great resource. Riders can contribute on a per-ride basis on the bus, or you may send checks to Connecticut River Transit, POB 68, Springfield, VT 05156. www.crtransit.org
New England Youth Theatre presents ALL ABOUT ALICE
This whimsical new show is inspired by "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and other remarkable influences like the 1950's film All About Eve and reality television. Join us and our sponsors, the Foard Panel, for performances Nov. 7-9, Fri & Sat at 7:30pm, Sat & Sun at 3:00pm.
Tickets are $9.50 for adults / $7.50 for students and are available at www.neyt.org or by calling 802-246-NEYT, and in person at the NEYT box office, Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m., or one hour before each show at the box office.
School calendar can be viewed at http://www.compass-school.org/resources/calendar or you can get additional paper copies in the office.
Compass Dress Code: Clothing that is conducive to the learning environment.
The question of appropriate dress has been brought to the student council and it has fallen to us to draft a statement outlining the significance of such a policy.
Compass is a school, so the environment should be one of learning. Therefore, we should present ourselves as students not just in our own community but to the wide range of visitors and outsiders who visit our community. This policy is not designed to restrict individuals, but to promote respect both for oneself and each other.
· Your privates are private, not public.
· Keep your underwear hidden.
· Pants must be fastened.
· Shirts and blouses must meet the waistband of pants/skirts.
· No strapless, "tube", or halter tops; no backless dresses or shirts.
· No overexposed chest/necklines.
· Skirts, dresses, and shorts must be long enough to reach mid-thigh.
· No imagery or words that promote, advertise, or mention drugs and alcohol; no items that are vulgar, obscene, rude, violent, demeaning.
· No sunglasses or hidden faces in class - please show your bright shining faces!
· No jewelry that is a safety hazard.
· Shoes must be worn.
Intervention protocol: Limits around dress code will be enforced with sensitivity and respect. When a faculty member sees the need to set a limit with a student around dress code, the faculty member will consider the setting and relationship to the student, and may choose to approach the student's advisor or another faculty member who may be more appropriate considering gender or relationship to the student. The student will be asked to immediately alter his/her outfit in order to conform to dress code expectations. If this is not possible, parents will be notified and the student sent home. Repeated dress code violations may result in an SST to respond to the problem. The School Director will also be informed of all dress code interventions.