CVU’s Premiere Golf Course Gets Some Respect

Mr. Samuel Comai, CVC Leisure Sports Correspondent

The student body seems to be quick to judge the new frisbee golf course behind CVU. Insults from some CVU students have been aggressive and ill-informed. With misinformation circulating, it is important to put the truth of the course at the forefront of this discussion. The extensive surveying, design, and work put into the course do not match the respect it is getting. Carol Fox of the Wellness Committee, puts forward an honest takef about this fantastic resource.

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In the warmer months of the year, it is common to hear kids complain and insult the “frisbee golf” course. “Why would the school waste $20,000 destroying the forest and putting in a course that will never be used?” some of them wonder. “Think about everything else we could use that money for,” others assert. It is quite obvious that a large percent of the student body is unaware of the facts behind The Hawks Nest. The most widely spread misconception is that $20,000 of the school’s budget was used for the course, which in fact is not where the money came from.

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CVU Cafeteria Shakes it Up

Ms. Sofia Dattillio

Hinesburg, VT— On Monday, January 22nd, CVU students saw a change in their cafeteria with the arrangements of booths, tables, and waste bins after they continuously left behind trash, food, and recycling on tables and between the walls and booths.

Prior to the new arrangement, the custodians were spending too much time picking up after students to make sure that the cafeteria was cleaned up and ready to go for the next day.

According to Marilyn Mashia, one of the CVU custodians, “People were stuffing trash and food between the walls, leaving trays on the floor, [and] just leaving a complete mess.”

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Image by Sofia Datilio

This change allows for the campus supervisors, Tim Albertson, Jamie Hayes, and Seth Emerson, to spread out more within the cafeteria to ensure students are picking up after themselves.

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Student-led Walkout Honors Parkland Victims, Advocates for Change

Mr. Scott A. Stanley

HINESBURG, VT — The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida left the entire country in a state of shock and dismay. School shootings seem to have become more and more frequent since Columbine in 1999, and little has been done to prevent them. On the 14th of March, schools nationwide held walkouts to bring awareness to these atrocities and to push for change. The US Congress’ inability to institute new laws to protect school children have left many frustrated and demanding change. 

Because of a Nor’easter that shut down schools across Vermont, CVU Principal Adam Bunting moved the planned student action to Friday, March 16th. An estimated 600 students and faculty gathered at the entrance to the school.

While there were many people who both supported and opposed the walkout, Principal Adam Bunting decided to allow it. “We did it first obviously to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, two, to encourage student advocacy, whether it’s one way or another.”

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Learn by Doing At Area Tech Centers

Ms. Makayla Driscoll

Champlain Valley Union High School hosted representatives from Burlington Technical Center and the Center for Technology, Essex on Thursday, February 8th to provide a brief overview of each program the schools offer. Both CTE and BTC provide technical programs based on challenging the comprehension of students 16 years and older, according to Vermont Adult Career and Technical Education Association.

Schools such as CVU, South Burlington High School, Colchester High School, and Essex High School allow students grades 10+ to apply for a program of their choice at either CTE or BTC to further their education in a specific field.  

According to Marie Eddy, one of CVU’s guidance counselor, CTE provides students with programs such as Automotive Technology, Building Technology and Systems, Childhood Education/ Human Services, Computer Animations & Web Design, Computer Systems Technology, Cosmetology, Dental Assisting, Design & Creative Media, Engineering & Architectural Design, Health Informatics, Natural Resources-Forestry and Mechanical, and Professional Foods.

Image courtesy of Big Heavy World

Image courtesy of Big Heavy World

 

Can’t find what you’re looking for at CTE? BTC provides Auto Body Repair, Automotive Science & Tech, Aviation & Aerospace Tech, Computer Systems & Emerging Technologies, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Design & Illustration, Digital Media Lab, Human Services, Medical & Sports Sciences, Programming & Computer Science, and Welding/ Metal Fabrication programs. Between the two centers, everyone is bound to find a program that they’ll enjoy! 

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Scholars Bowl Teams Put a Serious (Intellectual) Smackdown on the Competition

Mr. Henry Caswell, CVC Campus Correspondent

When you think of Champlain Valley Union High School, what usually pops into your head is usually the athletics, the large student body, the strong community, and the wide variety of classes that our available to students. What you might not think of are the clubs, in particular the Scholars Bowl team.  Scholars Bowl is a competition involving questions and answer games where speedy answers are the key to winning.

This year’s team has been the most successful CVU Scholars Bowl team since 2011, according to John Bennett, the CVU Scholars Bowl coach. “We won the novice bracket at the PHAT tournament in December, the JV A and B state championships, the VT NAQT championship on March 9, and finished at least in the final 4 for the 9th time in the past 12 seasons.  Our quarterfinal win over Burlington is already being considered one of the most exciting matches ever. We beat all the other top contenders in the league this season at one time or another and played well in our semi-final loss to Hanover”, Bennet said.  

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Henry Wilson, Thomas Daley, Sam Gelin, Nate Hodgson-Walker, Cooper Birdsall, Zach Loiter, Mark Lang, Andrew Silverman, Mathew Silverman, Evan Beal, Bay Foley Cox, Peter Antinozzi, Milo Cress, Gabe Atkins, Ben Gramling, Isaac Krementsov, Sam Lawrence, Jake Tworog, and Patton Wager are all part of the team that is divided into smaller teams starting with the A team and ending at the F team.

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Snow Daze: Who Makes the Call and How?

Mr. Henry Caswell, CVC Special Ops

Every student at CVU will tell you that call at 6:00 in the morning noting that school has been cancelled is the best feeling ever. Living in Vermont, where snow is very prominent in the winter, students can expect around two or three snow days a year. But students usually never know if they’ll actually have a snow day until the next morning. Educating students and teachers on the factors that our administration takes consideration is important so we know the real chances of a snow day. In addition, it’s important to know who makes those decisions for Champlain Valley Union High School so we know who to hold accountable.

Jeanne Jensen, the COO of the Champlain Valley School District, talked about who makes the decisions around snow days and what factors they look when making the call. Jensen noted that it is the role of the superintendent to cancel school.

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Snow Day Calculator, Magic Eight Ball, or Jean Jensen? What do you rely on to plan your snow day?

When asked what factors are considered, Jensen said the following. “The factors that go into the decision are  the weather forecast from the National Weather Service, and the road conditions from the local town road commissioners – specifically whether or not they have been able (or think they will be able) to make the roads safe for travel.”

 Jensen also mentioned that it is easier to make a decision when the storm has ended overnight or is ending early in the morning. In addition, she said that it’s difficult to predict how the roads will be at 3:00 when we have to make a decision at 4:30 AM. “We never want to bring students to school and not be able to get them home,” Jensen added.

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Booth Shorn, New Boo Ban, and other Novelties at Winter Carnival ’18

This Year’s Winter Carnival Promotes New Changes

 HINESBURG, VT — The annual Winter Carnival that students look forward to was subject to some changes this year that received both positive and negative feedback.

 The Carnival involves many things such as a 3v3 basketball tournament, rail jam (if there’s snow), and many other festivities before the real competition begins. After wandering around the school and experiencing the various activities, students make their way towards the gymnasium for the main events: the trike race and class dances.

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 Before these spectacles occur, classes are separated and the usual rally chants begin to get the students fired up. One of these includes the classic, “We got spirit, yes we do. We got spirit, how ‘bout you?” Students in the chanting section will point towards another class and that class will repeat the chant.

 Normally, once this chant reached the freshman class, the freshmen would be booed regardless of their “spirit quality. This year upperclassmen did not boo the freshmen.

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 The booing was recently addressed as a hazing issue and many people believe that traditions should be changed in order to create a more welcoming environment for all students.

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Home-school to CVU: A Drastic Change for Some

Ms. Greta Powers, CVC Culture Correspondent

Remember how frightening it was on the first day of freshman year at CVU? It was scary. New kids, new classrooms, new building. Now envision that first day of school, but this time, you’ve been home-schooled your entire life. This experience is ten times more frightening. It’s a vision a lot of people shudder at even thinking of. For some students, that scenario is a reality.

Only a small amount of students are home-schooled; statistically, in the 2011-2012 school year only approximately 3% of the K-12 student population was home-schooled, according to National Center for Education Statistics. What would happen if that 3% of students transferred to a public school? Specifically, transferred to a public high school? It’s been seen in pop culture, most famously in Tina Fey’s cult classic film, Mean Girls, but it also happens in real life.

Motivations for homeschooling. Image from Wikicommons.

Motivations for homeschooling. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Take Kelly Malone-Wolfson, for example. She’s a current home 8th grader, and is hoping to attend CVU as a freshman in the fall. The difference between her and many other Chittenden County 8th graders is that Kelly has been home-schooled since 6th grade.

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CVU Mathletics Dept: Mathletes Convene for Showdown at U-32

Mr. Milo Cress

Montpelier, VT – The CVU Math League team has returned from their meet at U-32 High School in Montpelier on January 5th after completing a set of tests designed to challenge and enhance their problem-solving and cooperative skills.

Dylan Gooley, a CVU junior and advanced math specialist, was impressed with his team’s performance. “These math competitions are a great environment for like minded, bright individuals to enjoy their passions. Although lacking in a strong presence of veterans, the CVU math team shows a measure of competitive vigor. At today’s meet, one of the Sophomores on the team, named Jake, scored the legendary perfect score on a test”.

Image smuggled by Milo Cress

Image smuggled out by Milo Cress

According to Charlie MacFadyen, the team’s coach, “Math League provides an opportunity for students who enjoy problem-solving and learning additional topics and techniques in math. We meet every Friday morning. On meet days, students spend the bus ride reviewing the topics for the meet. Each student takes three of 4 12-minute tests, in Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra and Advanced Math. Five students then collaborate on a “team test.” For this meet, those students were Gabe Atkins, Jake Twarog, Delaney Brunvand, Karolina Sienko, and Sunny Premsankar.”

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Caroline Investigates the Importance of Sports

Ms. Caroline McNamara

 

I  like to dance, and my favorite food is pasta and meatballs. I have my parents. Their names are Joe, Sue, and Kim. My siblings are my sisters Mary and Laurel. I have brothers, too. Their names are Seth and Simon and Gostaf.  I also have pets. Daisy and Ruby are dogs, and I have a cat named Stella.  And I  run track in Special Olympics with my dad.

I do the Special Olympics games with the head coach, who is my dad, and two of my sisters are also helping. Special Olympics is a Unified Sports team consisting of young athletes with and without disabilities.  I think it is going to be great doing this with my friends, and we will have so much fun. I would like to win a gold medal and buy a big house with a hot tub. I would buy some food like pasta and meatballs, hamburger and some hot wings, and I would have big parties with my friends.

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CVU Visitors Impressed, Inspired by School Environment

Ms. Nicole Eaton

HINESBURG, VT — On Thursday, December 7th, a group of Hanover High School students came to Champlain Valley Union High School to get ideas for their school. Each student got a tour of the school and got to sit-in on a class or two.

Alice is a sophomore from Norwich, Vermont, and Julia is in her first year at Hanover High.

Alice and Julia were both impressed by the environment at CVU and expressed their positive observations of excitedness. They especially loved the block scheduling and what seems like a “stress free” environment.

The girls loved a lot of things about CVU, but the things that they loved the most was block scheduling and the “stress free” environment.

“CVU’s block scheduling is very cool. It really gives students the opportunity to seek help if they need it and breaks up the week in a nice way,” says Cook. “You have opportunities to try things on different days. It makes sense in a way that our schedule doesn’t from an emotional and stress level standpoint.” she continues.

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Feelgood Administrators Greet Students, Build Community Every Morning

Mr. Hank Caswell

Kathryn Riley and Adam Bunting stand outside almost every morning greeting students as a way to connect with them and make them feel welcome at school. Their efforts have changed the atmosphere throughout the halls and in the classrooms.

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Principal Bunting Welcomes the CVC into his Office

CVU Principal Adam Bunting is one of the administrators who greets students each morning at the doors of CVU. So, my intention first of all is that I enjoy it. What I find is that when I see students coming in in the morning, it reminds me to do my job the best that I can do it because we’ve got these amazing young people coming to school who sometimes are psyched to be here or sometimes not feeling it, but you get this feeling that there’s a lot of potential that’s walking into the building. The other piece to it is that if someone is having a tough day, a lot of times you can pick that out just by making eye contact with somebody. You can pause and connect with them, and if you’re not doing that face to face interaction then you will never get that chance,” he says.

Bunting feels he can get closer to students and develop relationships that wouldn’t have been established without his actions. “I also want it to be some modeling. Let’s step away from some of the electronic devices and actually connect and create a community that’s as welcoming as possible. If we want that, we better act it and live it, both from students and faculty.”

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Advantages of Using Social Media

Ms. Sophia Barton

CVU teachers, students, parents and administrators are using Twitter as a means of real time communication.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical high school student spends his or her day juggling five or more different activities. Students spend half their day at school and also spend time working, socializing, volunteering, and playing sports. The administrators at CVU have a heavy workload as well. CVU’s website states that the school has 1,322 students and 103 faculty. It also offers 150 courses and serves five towns: Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, Williston, and St. George.  

The school’s students and staff manage a busy life and schedule everyday. This raises the question of how to communicate, at a minute’s notice, important announcements and information. Some say the answer could be twitter. CVU math teacher and coach, Corinna Hussey, believes that “social media is how people are communicating and it can be a very positive way to connect students, staff, and community.”  Hussey states that, “Information gets out and spreads a lot faster through tweets.  Even if everyone doesn’t read the tweet, it seems that people talk about them.”

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Opinion: Guys Need to be Allies in the Fight against Sexual Violence

Mr. Walter Braun, Guest Editorial Writer

The discussion surrounding sexual harassment is often suppressed by many high school students, teachers, and their parents by virtue of its somewhat “uncomfortable” nature. As a male student of CVU, many would peg me to be the last in line to address this issue in our society. Nevertheless, with two older sisters, younger cousins, and friends who potentially could face some form of sexual misconduct in their separate institutions, I made it my personal goal to initiate the fight against sexual violence and harassment.

For most, seeing a male as one of three co-leaders in the battle against sexual harassment, sexual violence, and rape culture conjures subtle concerns: one in particular being that a man should not be a spokesperson against violence that is, more often than not, targeted at women. From this, it would be easy to say that my role won’t have the same positive impacts as a woman’s, for these potential candidates may (or may not) have directly or indirectly experienced some form of sexual misconduct. To that, I would agree.

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Yet addressing the problematic aspects of our high school, college, and occupational culture has two primary aspects to it: The first, and arguably the most important, is to assist and devote oneself to helping the full recovery of victims. The second aspect is educating the part of society at the root of the problem, young adults, primarily young men (although women can be perpetrators as well).

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CVU Work Crew Stacks Wood, Builds Community

Mr. Matt Fisher

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Two Work Crew members stacking wood.

The CVU Work Crew went to Eddie Krasnow’s house to help with stacking wood and cleaning out his shed.

Community Skills educator, Sharon Ogden wrote, “CVU Work Crew began [about 12 years ago] with a group of students who were energetic, hands-on learners, and loved the outdoors. The focus has been working in the community to gain trade skills as a stepping stone to Technical schools and other work opportunities.”
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CVU Speaks About Personal Computers

Mr. Cole Casale

In the 2017-18 school year at CVU, a new program was put into place so that all CVU students would have personal computers. For all classes other than the senior class this change had no effect because they received laptops when they were freshmen. But for the seniors, this means they would either use their own laptops that they previously owned, or they would be given a school-issued laptop from the previous laptop carts. This news was revealed in the previous school year by Charlie MacFadyen in an email he sent to the entire senior class regarding this change. 

The idea to bring 1:1 computers into CVU has been in the works for a long time and this year it has finally been fully instituted. “I think it is going to allow for students to do a lot more with technology,” says Charlie MacFadyen, a driving force behind this change. “The purpose of this change was to allow for more students to have access to technology, to both streamline classes, and also to allow all students to do their work, regardless of their limits outside of school,” he says.

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Lettuce Club Butts Head With Bureaucracy

Eric (left) and Phaedra (right) doing a test run

Eric (left) and Phaedra (right) doing a test run

Mr. Kai Reinsborough

Eric Couture, a 16 year old sophomore at Champlain Valley Union High School, has a love of lighthearted competition. He’s been involved in theater and music, and plays the tuba, but this is the first project he’s undertaken on his own. “It’s my sense of humor, I have a really terrible sense of humor,” Couture said, in reference to a club he’s proposed that “started off as a joke, and then we started talking to some people about it … so we thought we might as well make it a real club.”

Inspired by an internet post, he’s organizing what he calls “Lettuce Club World Championships 2017.” It’s a competition to see who can eat a head of lettuce the fastest. “It’s a free for all,” Couture explained, “Whoever finishes their lettuce first is president for the next year, and is in charge of organizing the next meeting.”

“Most likely we’ll start before school at 7:45, so less than a half an hour. Half an hour at max. We did a test run yesterday and it took us around 15 minutes, so we’re thinking half an hour should be long enough for most people.” I tuned in to the 9/18 test run on instagram live where Couture and his good friend/co-organizer, Phaedra Miller, each ate a head of lettuce, albeit at a more leisurely pace. “You have to eat the whole lettuce from top to bottom to be able to win. Even that gross part at the bottom.”

Other than organizing the next championship, “There’s no actual useful prize, just bragging rights,” said Couture. “We might get a plastic tiara.”

I asked Couture how he got his club approved by the school. “We haven’t yet …We already have a club advisor, so the last hurdle is getting it approved as a club, and we’re hoping that that happens. We should be hearing about that soon.” TJ Mead, the Chittenden Core health teacher, is lined up to be their advisor.

Dan “Shep” Shepardson, CVU administrator, was hesitant about the idea. “Seems like it’s trying to make a mockery of the co-curricular/club setup,” he said, when reached for comment, “I don’t support any kind of activity that encourages people to do anything to excess.” Though he did say he “[might] be willing to do it as a ‘one time’ thing for a cause/purpose or fun,” he said that he was “doubtful that anyone would actually join a club to do this.”

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Student Council Takes Action

 Mr. Garrett Dunn

Hinesburg, VTRoarke Flad, a graduating senior of the 2018 class at Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU), has spent his last 2 years as a member of CVU’s Student Council. This year, he has been working with his Co-President, Lydia Koutras, in Student Council to make students’ voices heard.

Roarke joined Student Council because he felt like student voices were out of his hands and saw an opportunity to do something about it. “I was complaining and not doing anything about it, so I threw my hat in the ring and was lucky enough to get elected,”

Currently, Roarke’s position only allows him and his co-president to plan school events, run meetings, and give speeches to his class. Roarke’s goal is to be a representative of his school’s voice and turn that voice into action. Unfortunately, some challenges create a slow process. “I definitely think it’s the system…it’s a little bureaucratic considering the teachers are put in those roles [class council advisors],” Roarke said, “we’re students and our voice is respected, but at the same time there’s that undertone of ‘we’re only students.’”

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Media Center Opens Its Doors

Mr. Cole Casale

“The media center room was built as part of a plan to create a way to teach video production and media literacy at CVU.” This was the foundation that the CVU video production room was built on, according to Gary Lambert. “Everything that is included in the room and the resources and help available are all in place so students are able to use them and become more comfortable with video production, which will, in turn, help to increase media literacy.”

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year at CVU, students were surprised to see the new production room that had been built over the summer. With this surprise came many questions about the space. Lambert speaks about the room and all of the benefits that come with its creation.

Unfortunately, many students don’t feel like they can use it for a number of reasons. Lambert wanted to change this mindset, saying, “because we took over a classroom, it’s our space to schedule. It’s really just [for] anybody that is interested [in] coming into 118 and we can figure out a time that we can do what people are coming up with.” Students and faculty with an interest in learning to use this new resource are more than welcome.

Photo Courtesy of Charlie MacFadyen


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Library Stuns World with Summer Renovations

Mr. Lucien “L” Theriault

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Champlain Valley Union High School students returned from summer vacation and were greeted by a transformed library space. “We moved into this space 13 years ago and about every year we have made changes to the layout, so this is just another extension… another way to make the space work better,” said Jennifer Lucey, head librarian at CVU and seasoned educational advocate of CVU students.

The changes were thoughtful and incorporated elements that the staff thought would be valuable to the new layout. “For about three or four years we have been researching what we wanted to do, [attending] day-long workshops, to support educational philosophy. We have gone on lots of site visits, talked to the librarians, the teachers and the students who use the space. Our site visits included a variety of libraries [high school, college, and public]… in Chittenden County, around Vermont, and in at least 6 other states [as well as] Ireland,” said Lucey.
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Custodial Crew Keeps CVU Looking Good

Ms. Sophie Boyer

There is no doubt that CVU is a good looking school. Inside and Out. Thanks to our dedicated maintenance crew, we are always walking down clean halls, playing on perfect fields, and learning in a fresh environment. Most people don’t realize how much work is actually being done around here to maintain this 60 acre, 225,000 square foot property.

Our CVU maintenance crew is here from 6:30am -3:00pm, and our night crew is here from 3:00pm – 11:30 PM. There are both indoor and outdoor crews, both of which have different responsibilities.

During the school year the outside maintenance crew is responsible for keeping the sports fields maintained, which includes mowing, weed-whacking, painting, raking, and trash clean up.

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According to Kurt Proulx, head of CVU maintenance, the  football field in particular takes many hours to maintain, and uses many gallons of field paint. Field hockey fields have other needs which is that the grass on theses fields need to be cut shorter than the others.  The softball and baseball fields are pretty straightforward to maintain. As well as the soccer fields.

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Sophomores, Warp One, Engage! The Next Generation of Tenth Graders Finally Have Their Day

Ms. Kali Adams

 As juniors plodded through NECAPs, seniors volunteered as part of Senior Service Day and freshman rambled around St. Mike’s for Model UN, the CVU sophomores participated in the inaugural “Engage Day” at CVU and in the greater community.

This was the first rendition of this event, reflecting the evolving curriculum at CVU. “Part of our school’s role is helping students reflect about what matters to them inside and outside of school, and how those interests and values can help them make a meaningful life,” said Annie Bellerose, who helped coordinate Engage Day. She explained how Act 77, a bill pertaining to flexible pathways in education passed in 2013, has helped CVU’s curriculum evolve. “The class of 2019 gets to be at the forefront of this process, which is cool in many ways (getting new experiences, more individualized learning),” said Bellerose, “and also challenging–until this work becomes more integrated into our curriculum and schedule, it can just feel like additional stuff to do, especially as the guinea pigs.”

Video by Katie Peck

So far, the Class of 2019 has been the testing ground for projects like Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) and Roundtables. Engage Day was just next step in this development. “We just wanted to have students get some kind of hands-on learning experience beyond their usual school day that connected to something they were curious about,” said Bellerose. “Kind of a low stakes way to try something new or to dive deeper into a previous interest.” Lindsey Drew, one of the sophomores who participated in Engage Day, liked the premise of the day and thought that, it’s great that CVU is allowing students these opportunities.”

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No Kidding: Goats are on Grounds as Part of Natural Resource’s Permaculture Project

Ms. Sophie Boyer

HINESBURG– On Thursday June 1st, Champlain Valley Union High School’s Natural Resources class received goats as a part of their permaculture project. Permaculture projects are ones that will, according to Wikipedia, “develop agricultural ecosystems to be sustainable and self-sufficient.”

The goats will be cared for by students who signed up through a program called the Norman Fund which will also provide pay for those who participate. Six to seven students have been selected for that role. They will be responsible for providing care for the goats, garden, and also chickens which will be arriving at CVU on June 8th.

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Image by Sophie Boyer

The overall goal for these projects is that they will provide benefits for CVU. The goats play a very important role for the CVU community. They represent a natural way to get rid of invasive species such as poison parsnip… by eating it! Goats eat grass, herbs, tree leaves and other plant material. With this, they will help get rid of the unwanted plants.

The goats are expected to be around for about six months, potentially longer. The decision is based off when the students and Dave Trevithick, the Natural Resource teacher, intends on slaughtering the goats to provide food for CVU’s Cafe.

The garden of CVU is also a project of the Natural Resources class, and that as well will be providing food for the cafe, including vegetables and fruits like raspberries, and blueberries.