Greetings! March has arrived and hopefully that means spring is around the corner. We celebrated our return to school from winter vacation with several special activities during Read Across America week. Students enjoyed a presentation by visiting author David Martin. Students designed "Read to Me" posters with favorite books. Several community readers gave their time to read aloud to classes. Dr. Seuss hats could be seen around the school. A second grader captured the spirit of the week well when she said to me, "I love books."

The outside sign message last week had an optimistic message: "Middle school students are inventing solutions to problems." There is definitely a spirit of inquiry as middle school students continue to engage in engineering challenges. During January, February and March, our school is partnering with the Academy to offer eighth graders a technical education exploratory program. Each student can choose to participate in culinary arts, woodworking or small engines.

In culinary arts, students learned about measurement and kitchen utensils. Students made bread, cookies, soup, and even mastered chocolate truffles in a chocolate bowl for Valentines Day. It was so exciting to see students return to school each day with their creations. They were proud of their new culinary skills.

Students involved in woodworking worked on the computer to design jewelry boxes and then used their designs to actually build the boxes. They gained woodworking skills as well as art and craft techniques. They were thrilled to show off their jewelry boxes on returning to school.

In small engines students learned about the parts and mechanics of small engines. They took apart and reassembled an engine. One student shared the feeling of success when the reassembled engine started!

The Academy teachers reported that eighth graders were engaged and enthusiastic about their learning in these classes. We felt very fortunate that this partnership made hands-on learning opportunities possible for students. The middle school team is currently studying ways to increase project-based learning for students.

We just held our monthly Student Appreciation assembly and recognized several students with Good Character Awards: showing responsibility, being kind to a classmate, setting a good example, helping someone out, demonstrating outstanding effort. During Kindness Week in February, sixth graders performed various random acts of kindness. Each and every day our students inspire their classmates and their teachers!

Students are busy practicing for Festival of the Bands on April 2 and our School Musical on April 9 and 10. This Friday selected seventh- and eighth-grade Band and Chorus members will attend the Northeast Middle School Music Festival.

St. Johnsbury staff, students, parents and community members create powerful energy as we work together. A school on the move -- that is the St. Johnsbury School!

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