For 13 years, Senator Bernie Sanders has asked Vermont High School students to participate in his State of the Union Essay contest. This contest challenges students to highlight issues effecting the United States and Vermont and propose solutions. This year, almost 400 Vermont students wrote essays to Sanders. Three BFA-Fairfax students were chosen as finalists.
Giving Back to our Community, GEMS Day of Service 2023
What began as an idea two years ago has blossomed into an annual event. The 2nd annual GEMS Day of Service was held on May 17th.
Fletcher Falcons Apparel Fundraiser
We are very excited to announce that Fletcher Elementary has an online apparel store open through Kevin Smith Sports! The store will open Thursday, May 25th and close on Sunday, June 4th.
FWSU Educator of the Year
Every year, we honor two Franklin West educators as our Educators of the Year. Last year, we implemented a new process for selecting our recipients. Educators are nominated by their peers for consideration.
Spring has Sprung at GEMS!
The halls are alive with School Spirit at GEMS! When the weather begins to change and kids are anxious to get outside and enjoy the sun, what do you do when there are still 10 minutes left to lunch and everyone is done eating?
High School Spring Sports Have Sprung At BFA Fairfax!
Monday, March 20th was more than just a normal Monday at BFA Fairfax. Not only was it the official start of spring as a season, but more importantly, for multiple eager student-athletes at BFA Fairfax, it was the official start of the spring high school sports season in the State of Vermont.
Beyond Bullying: Creating a Culture of Respect
On March 16th, a group of GEMS 6th, 7th and 8th graders had the opportunity to attend the Vermont Association for Middle Level Education (VAMLE) annual student conference at Champlain College. The focus of the conference was on how we can create a culture of respect in our learning communities.
FES Snowman Exchange
The students in Mrs. Hurt’s first grade class have enjoyed participating in a special project this winter. They have been interacting with other first grade classes across the United States by sending and receiving mail.
This January and February, BFA Elementary 3rd and 4th graders participated in the Nordic Rocks Program in their Physical Education classes.
The Power of a Greeting!
Each morning students across FWSU are greeted as they enter the buildings or classrooms to start their day. Sometimes it’s in rain gear with an umbrella, sometimes it’s in full winter gear with ski goggles, and sometimes it’s with silly costumes and music to just bring a smile to someone's face.
BFA Fairfax: Sharing Spanish Stories
High School Spanish Novice students wrote simple children's stories about an animal in Spanish as their culminating presentational writing assessment for Semester 1.
January FWSU Educator Recognition
This week, we were able to recognize January’s FWSU Educators at each of our schools.
BFA Fairfax Students Help Launch Vermont’s First Holocaust Education Week
This year for the first time in Vermont’s history, the Vermont Holocaust Memorial and the Agency of Education are launching a Holocaust Education Week. The students in Sara Villeneuve’s Holocaust Studies Language Arts class played a very important part in helping to launch the project.
December Educator Recognition
December was a busy month in all of our schools and it got away from us before we had the chance to recognize our Educators of the Month. Over the last two weeks, we were finally able to honor six FWSU educators who were nominated by students, families, and coworkers for their dedication to our students and schools.
Technology Integration and Coding at BFA Fairfax Elementary
This past December, all students in grades K-4 had the opportunity to participate in National Computer Science Education week. This annual week is devoted to inspiring students to take an interest in computer coding. Simply put, coding is a way to communicate with a computer and give it directions.
Fletcher Students Celebrate Working Hard and Being Kind
Students and staff at Fletcher Elementary School have a simple theme this year— Work Hard and Be Kind. If we can ingrain those two character traits into our everyday lives, we can accomplish anything. When students and staff are observed Working Hard and Being Kind, they earn tokens which are added to a large container. Once the container is full, we celebrate.
Design Thinking, Finding Creative Solutions
The GEMS middle school Unified Arts Explore classes are in full swing. Students select three different explore classes for each block. One of the options that students can choose is Design Thinking.
Welcome Heather Baron to BFA Fairfax!
If you have not had the opportunity to meet BFA’s Interim Middle School Principal, please let me introduce you to Heather Baron. Ms. Baron joins the BFA team with 20-plus years of experience with expertise in school leadership, instructional coaching, and professional development.
BFA Fairfax Athletic Department Learning Program Featured in November Issue of High School Today Magazine
For over a decade, the BFA Fairfax Athletic Department has offered an alternative learning opportunity for students through the ability to serve as athletic department assistants. This program has grown over the years to become an essential part of the day-to-day operations of the BFA Fairfax Athletics, and Buildings and Grounds departments, with a wide array of contributions including game day preparation, field lining and maintenance, equipment distribution and inventory, and assorted other essential tasks.
GEMS Students Create Fuzzy Fleece Blankets for Local Kitty Rescue, “A Place for Grace”
As part of our focus on supporting students, GEMS grades 5-8 start the day with their advisories. Each advisory has its own activities but the goal in grades 7 and 8 is to provide students with a consistent small group to form connections with.
BFA High School Students Present Research at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Last week High School students Jacob Antonovich and Ryan Thatcher with HS science teacher Tom Lane traveled to Chicago to present research involving Microbial Respiration in Different Vermont Land Use Types.
Giving Back to Our Community During this Holiday Season
On Tuesday, December 13, students from the BFA Middle School Student Leadership Committee joined forces with BFA High School students to deliver food to the Fairfax Community Center.
“We Named A Snow Plow!”
In late November, Charmaine Bouvier, a snow plow driver from VTrans, surprised us in our bus lane at BFA Fairfax with her truck to introduce our school to “Unstoppable Jeff.”
BFA Fairfax French Field Trip to Montreal
On Tuesday, November 15, Madame Alana’s three French classes traveled to Canada for a cultural adventure in Montreal, Quebec.
November Educator Recognition
Yesterday, we presented our second round of FWSU Educator Recognition certificates and awards. It’s great to pop into a classroom and surprise the educator (and their students) with some kind words from our community, a gift certificate from their school’s parent group (many thanks to BFA’s PTSA, FES’s FOFE and GEMS PTCO), and the highly … Continue reading November Educator Recognition
Anna Sargent Selected as VSADA and NIAAA Top Scholar-Athlete
Each year the Vermont State Athletic Directors Association (VSADA), in coordination with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA), awards ten scholarships to senior student-athletes in Vermont. These scholarships “recognize the distinguished scholastic, leadership and sportsmanship attributes of high school student-athletes, and the importance of high school athletics in each student’s life” (NIAAA, 2021). BFA … Continue reading Anna Sargent Selected as VSADA and NIAAA Top Scholar-Athlete
Vermont & FWSU Welcome a New State Assessment this Spring
Since 2015, Vermont has participated in a state summative assessment known as the SBAC, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. This year our students will sit for a new spring assessment, Cognia. The spring of 2022 is the last hosting of SBAC in Vermont. If you would like to know more about the State’s procurement process and … Continue reading Vermont & FWSU Welcome a New State Assessment this Spring
A Time to Say “Thank You”
“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy - At the November monthly assemblies, the Georgia Elementary and Middle School students and staff took time to express appreciation for our past and current Veterans. The Middle … Continue reading A Time to Say “Thank You”
BFA Fairfax Elementary Implements Art Integration Opportunities
Addresses all FWSU Action Plan Targets: Proficiency-Based, Personalized Learning Distributed Leadership and Student Agency Safe, Equitable, Healthy, Flexible Learning Environments Engaged Partners: Parents and Community Contributions by Kim Desjardins and Julie Wasilewski We are so excited at BFA Fairfax Elementary to re-engage our students in a learning opportunity that integrates art and core curriculum. This … Continue reading BFA Fairfax Elementary Implements Art Integration Opportunities
October Educator Recognition
Last month, we shared a link with the Franklin West community that provided an opportunity to recognize our educators. We typically recognize two educators each year through the University of Vermont’s Outstanding Educator program and want to show our appreciation for more of our educators throughout the year. Over 90 nominations were received across all … Continue reading October Educator Recognition
Enjoying Fall & Connecting as a Class
Earlier this month, the seventh grade celebrated the beginning of their new, two-year loop at the picturesque Hosmer Point in Craftsbury, VT. The field trip to Hosmer Point is considered a right of passage for BFA middle schoolers as it is a day dedicated to focusing on coming together as a team, reflecting on our … Continue reading Enjoying Fall & Connecting as a Class
Women Can Do
Women Can Do! This was the message heard and seen at the annual career exploration conference ‘Women Can Do’, organized by Vermont Works for Women. On October 6th, a group of 9th and 10th graders from BFA joined hundreds of other high school girls and gender-expansive youth from around the state to attend this event … Continue reading Women Can Do
Welcome Hannah Welburn to FWSU’s Central Office!
Hannah has recently joined our office on October 10th and she graciously sat down for a quick interview. We are excited to introduce Hannah Welburn, our new Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Director of Curriculum! What are some details about your role at FWSU? Right now I’m learning the ropes and everyone has been … Continue reading Welcome Hannah Welburn to FWSU’s Central Office!
Accepting A “Different” Normal
Thomas WalshBFA Principal, PreK-4 Addresses all FWSU Action Plan Targets:1. Proficiency-Based, Personalized Learning2. Distributed Leadership and Student Agency3. Safe, Equitable, Healthy, Flexible Learning Environments4. Engaged Partners: Parents and Community We have experienced a positive start to our school year at BFA Fairfax. It has been wonderful to return back to school and re-engage with our … Continue reading Accepting A “Different” Normal
Proud Principal: A GEMS Tradition
It has been a long standing tradition in Grades K-4 for students to be recognized by their teachers and Principal Emery. On Tuesday, October 11th several students were recognized for their respectful behavior they demonstrated during the month of September. Awards are given out by Principal Emery (and Mrs. Fisher, Dean of Students) during their … Continue reading Proud Principal: A GEMS Tradition
Fletcher Students Hit the Trails
"Keep putting one foot in front of the other and then one day you look back, and you've climbed a mountain." – Tom Hiddleston Life can be like that. Grit, determination, persistence, dedication... and then, at some point, the mountain peak... with a thought-stopping view. The kids of Fletcher Elementary experienced that this September. Fourth, fifth, and … Continue reading Fletcher Students Hit the Trails
Students in the French World Languages classes are cooking up a storm! Under the direction of Madame Alana Torraca, students worked together to make a huge breakfast to celebrate the end of their first thematic unit on breakfasts around the world. Now that they have reviewed some familiar structures and vocabulary from last year, they … Continue reading Petit Déjeuner
Mandarin in Fairfax!
Beginning last year, Principal Noonan and I, in partnership with Spiral International, began a grant application process to fund and bring a native-speaking Mandarin-Chinese Language instructor to Fairfax. You may remember our announcement that we had won the grant late in the spring of 2021. After an extensive vetting process and working through logistics, we … Continue reading Mandarin in Fairfax!
Tod Granger – FWSU Director of Buildings and Grounds
Keeping every aspect of all three of our schools in working order is no easy feat. It requires a vast amount of knowledge (about plumbing, carpentry, air quality, water quality, playgrounds, and routine maintenance…), dedication, and connection to resources when they are needed. FWSU is fortunate to have Tod Granger as our Director of Buildings … Continue reading Tod Granger – FWSU Director of Buildings and Grounds
Morning Meetings and Advisories: Creating Connections and Community
The first 30 minutes of the day at GEMS are spent sitting in a circle with classmates. Why a circle? A circle allows for everyone to feel included in their classroom community as they are face to face. We call this circle, “morning meeting.” The purpose of morning meetings is to: Promote opportunities for social … Continue reading Morning Meetings and Advisories: Creating Connections and Community
BFA Fairfax Homecoming Week 2022 – A Celebration Of Senior Athletes, Tradition, and Community
The BFA Fairfax school community would like to welcome all alumni, friends, and families to BFA Fairfax Homecoming events being held October 7-15, 2022. Whether taking in the talents of our students and staff at Coffee House, viewing creative costumes at the ever-popular Fairfax cross country relays, or cheering on our high school soccer and … Continue reading BFA Fairfax Homecoming Week 2022 – A Celebration Of Senior Athletes, Tradition, and Community
Inspiring and Encouraging the Growth of Each Student
In early August, principals, superintendents, curriculum directors, and other central office leadership attended the Vermont Principals Association Retreat in Killington. There were many inspiring keynote speakers, but one that made a particular impact on Franklin West's leadership was Principal Kafele. “As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele led the transformation of four New … Continue reading Inspiring and Encouraging the Growth of Each Student
BFA Bond Update
Dear Members of the Fairfax Community, We are thrilled to welcome our students back for the 2022-2023 school year. The year is off to a great start and everyone seems to be settling into a positive routine. Fairfax is truly an amazing community, and the knowledge of that appears to be spreading, evidenced by PK-12 … Continue reading BFA Bond Update
A Falcon Visits the Falcons
Franklin West Community, On September 9th, an actual Falcon visited the Fletcher Elementary School--along with some of her friends. The Falcon is our School Mascot. Many of us had never seen an actual Falcon, especially up close. Starting the school year with a visit from VINS, to connect our School Mascot with the Real Deal, … Continue reading A Falcon Visits the Falcons
Signs of a New School Year
The start of another school year is upon us, and GEMS is buzzing with excitement. Teachers and students are eagerly beginning a new year of learning and growing together. Building a culture of learning is something all of us at GEMS focus on, even before the first day of school each fall. Teachers spent time … Continue reading Signs of a New School Year
Meet Our New Hires!
In addition to welcoming our students back on the “best day of the year,” we also welcomed new faculty and staff from all three schools. During our convocation ceremony, on August 25th, I shared that it takes a village for our school to function and be successful. Every employee directly contributes to our schools being … Continue reading Meet Our New Hires!
After a 3 year Hiatus BFA HS Students Return to Alaska
Early last week six BFA high school students and HS science teacher Mr. Lane returned from doing fieldwork in Alaska. 3 years ago six students and Mr. Lane had traveled to Alaska to complete the same study of tundra vegetation. That trip was so successful a repeat of the field study with different students was … Continue reading After a 3 year Hiatus BFA HS Students Return to Alaska
A “thousand” pictures to end the year
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so to wrap up the 2021-22 school year at FWSU, we are sharing pictures of the celebrations and joy happening at all of our schools this week. From a bike rodeo, pirates, and 8th grade graduation at Georgia Elementary and Middle School (GEMS) to Fields Days, … Continue reading A “thousand” pictures to end the year
Thank You Genuine Foods
Thank you Genuine Foods! 🥗🌞 #BFAirfax #FWSUbelieves #FWSU #Schoolfoodservice #VTED #VTStudents #thankyou @GenuineFoods
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