Mr. Calvin Lord
With several peaceful months having passed since the CVSD school board lifted their state of emergency on April 17th, it’s time to look back at one of the most historic, unexpected, and possibly redundant movements in this district’s history.
It’s time to answer the question that many students are still asking: “Why in tarnation did they put up tiny little porcelain urinals on the walls?” The enigmatic answer: to comply with the Bro Code.
In August of 2002, the bathrooms and plumbing systems of most CVSD schools were torn down and rebuilt. This meant new sinks, new dispensers, fresh linoleum flooring, and new urinals in the men’s rooms.
“The old urinals were in serious decay,” says Ken Thompson, a retired contractor who had worked on the project, “by which I mean they bore a greater resemblance to petrified diseased fungal growths than actual latrines.”
“Most men were pretty happy about the change, and they welcomed my construction crew with open arms,” says one of the contractors who was employed by the district at that time.
Ms. Tiferes Simcoe
Think back to this past Valentine’s day when you might have been sad, watching the person across from you in Advisory receive multiple carnations. Or were you the happy-go-lucky one with the flowers in hand? Either way, you have the Italy Trip fundraiser to thank.
It was clear that many people at CVU were feeling some love because the red carnations representing love were sold out before the second week of the Italy trip fundraiser.
The fundraiser took place during lunches in the CVU Cafeteria on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for three weeks leading up to Valentine’s day.
Fortunately, for the consideration of all who might have wanted to buy themselves or a friend a pity flower or a last minute gift, the fundraiser continued during lunch that Valentines day, February 14th.
Latin and art student organizers recognized that Valentine’s day can mean many different things to people and relationships. The fundraiser provided three carnation color options to meet those varying needs.
According to the organizers, the red carnation was meant to be sent to someone you are in love with, while the pink carnations were for an awesome friend who definitely deserved to be recognized on Valentine’s day. Lastly, the white carnation was sent by secret admirers to their interests.
Ms. Sabine Foerg
CVU welcomed 19 Danish students from Odsherreds Efterskole, our European sister school in Fårevejle, Denmark, into classrooms and homes on January 28th. This exchange experience has been successful for the past eight years, and the community and CVU’s volunteer hosts excitedly awaited the arrival of the Danes this year.
Seventeen CVU and two Burlington High School students hosted Danish students. Many of these hosts will travel to Denmark in April to stay with the Danish students at Odsherreds. The visitors were at CVU from January 28th through February 5th.
The exchange program runs every two years, with two faculty leaders. CVU teachers Lacey Richards and Cyndy Craft are the 2020 chaperones. The Danes arrived Tuesday night, attended classes with their host students every morning, and participated in other local activities in the afternoons such as skiing with the CVU Shredhalks at Bolton, visiting and Jerry’s factory, exploring downtown Burlington, and touring the statehouse.
CVU Senior Maggie Sides volunteered to host a student. “I have always loved interacting with other cultures and this seemed like a great opportunity to show someone around CVU while learning about them and their life”. This is her first time hosting an exchange student, and she had a lot in store for her danish visitor. “I want to take her to Killington for tubing, go out to get some typical American food, go shopping, and do the Penguin Plunge together”.
Ms. Sabine Foerg
8th graders joined CVU from five sending schools on January 30th for the annual 8th Grade Parent Night, an event that draws in almost 500 students every year, and even more parents. This event allows incoming students and their parents to gain first-hand knowledge about their future school in a welcoming atmosphere.
CVU Senior, Ella Thompson, is the student council coordinator of the event. “The main purpose is to give students an idea of the CVU environment,” Thompson says. “It was helpful for me as an 8th grader to get my bearings and understand the layout of the school. It helped me feel more adjusted when I switched schools.”
According to Thompson, the event begins with an assembly for both parents and students. CVU Principal Adam Bunting welcomes guests, followed by an introduction from Student Body Co-Presidents Mia Brumsted and Becket Pintair. “The speeches give a fun and heartfelt introduction to our school,” Thompson says. Following the speeches, students attend a skit performed by student council members and a student-led Q&A session, while the parents meet CVU students and 9th grade core teachers.
CVU senior Kate Gruendling attended the event as a freshman and has been helping with it as a member of the Student Council for years. “8th grade parent night was my first time really seeing CVU so it was good to get a tour and see where I would spend the next four years,” Gruendling recalled from her experience. “I also got to meet some of my future classmates, which was great.”
“We want them to feel welcome and comfortable in the school and show them that they have older students at the school who care about their wellbeing and want them to feel safe and successful,” Thompson says. “The mood is lighthearted and fun. I remember I was pretty nervous coming here for the first time, and we are hoping to make it a little less scary and make CVU feel more familiar for 8th graders”.
Ms. Alexandra Anderson
Restorative justice, a new disciplinary system focused on individual growth, has begun to take effect in institutions around Vermont. This model, hallmarked for its focus on community involvement, conversation, and personal development, has been applied to youth legal misdemeanors around the state and more recently has reached the halls of Champlain Valley Union High School.
Beckett Pintair, CVU Student Body President and leader of the Youth Restorative Justice Board in Williston, has seen first hand the effects of restorative justice on youth infractions. “Right now the [justice] system is not very functional; it doesn’t look at actual people.” He said, “it doesn’t actually do anything to repair the harm to the responsible party or the victim… with restorative justice they can actually learn from their crime.”
Through the Restorative Justice Board, Pintair has been able to mentor young offenders, write “creative and constructive” learning contracts and learn about the larger scale impacts of criminal justice reform. “Really, what restorative justice is about is repairing the harm yes, but also building connections, so that the community and the person is stronger and can become stronger out of that,” he explains.
Mr. Ryan Eaton
If you’ve been a part of the CVU community for the past four years, you have experienced several schedule changes throughout the years. Over the past year, returning CVU students have encountered an increase in advisory time from fifteen minutes to thirty minutes each day.
If you’ve been here for two or more years, you’ve gone from a late start during the middle of the week on Wednesday, to the first day back after a weekend on Monday. It has been a little confusing.
This change, explains Peter Langella, a CVU faculty member, is to allow students and teachers, time to meet with each other, whether it’s because a student missed a class and needs a recap on what they missed, or maybe the student just needs extra help to get a better understanding.
One junior CVU student, Charlotte Couperthwait, explains why she likes the new additional fifteen minutes.”Yes (I enjoy the extra fifteen minutes) because it gives me more time to study if I have a summative next block or later in the day, and I have more time to do homework and it gives me a lot of free time to meet with teachers about classes that I missed or don’t understand.” Couperthwait shares the value of more time during the school day, but some CVU students don’t see it that way.
One CVU student, Ryan Canty, explains why he doesn’t like the new advisory times “I do not like the extended fifteen minutes of advisory because it takes away from time after school and time we can get out of school early at 3 o’clock and possibly (the extended time) could cause athletes to be late for sports practices or events. I’ve used the time once and that was to practice a dance for Winter Carnival.” Canty says he doesn’t find the extra 15 minutes in the morning useful.
Ms. Lauren Kovacik
The thought of Advanced Placement classrooms brings images of stressed-out students hunched over their work, but that’s not always the case.
The new AP environmental science class will allow students to access to curriculum that engages students in scientific learning that is directly related to environmental issues they care about.
The new course offering was student-driven, and many have already expressed interest in taking the course. The Enact club has been working diligently for months to offer the new course here at CVU. Just this past week, the course was approved and is on the books for next year, according to Katie Antos-Ketchum, the EnAct Faculty Advisor.
Sophie Dauerman, a leader in EnAct and a senior, explains that Enact specifically focuses on improving our school’s impact on the environment, sustainability, and educating its members about the climate.
Dauerman was one of the students who spoke to the curriculum clearinghouse before winter break in December. This committee is a group of CVU educators that discuss and approve proposals for new courses.
Ms. Asha Hickok
On Wednesday, January 15, CVU students walked into a transformed library. Tables were skewed across the front of the room with piles of clothes organized by different styles and pieces.
Throughout the day, groups of students filtered through the Clothing Swap, chatting with friends and shopping for donated, second-hand clothing pieces.
CVU’s third annual clothing swap has come and gone. The first two swaps occured last year, one in the fall and the other in the spring. This year, the clothing swap was combined into one event hosted in the library in mid-January, and produced a varied crowd of “shoppers.”
“My favorite aspect is there’s a lot of different people shopping and the normalization of second hand [shopping],” states Robin Lauzon, one of the main organizers of the Clothing Swap. Lauzon explains the roots of the swap and how a small idea was able to grow into a successful and multi-purposed event. Continue Reading
Ms. Asha Hickok
We’ve all seen those coming-of-age high school movies with the prom set up in a large high school gym. Neon colored balloons and streamers frame the scene and, most prominent, set up on a stage, front and center, is a band playing hit music.
Although CVU’s Winter Ball does not take place in the gym, nor is the venue typically decked out in neon balloons and streamers, the Winter Ball is headlined by a band.
Typically, CVU employs Top Hat Entertainment to play a variety of upbeat and slow pop songs. Top Hat Entertainment is a popular entertainment company in Vermont that is typically hired to DJ weddings, school dances and other private functions.
This year, the CVU Winter Ball provides a mix of traditional DJing and live music from a well-known student band, Fonies.