The Sharon Academy Newsletter, May 15, 2014

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Community, High School, Middle School, Newsletter

In this Issue:

Mark Your Calendar
Upcoming Events
General News
Middle School News
High School News
Community Service Opportunities
Summer Opportunities


Mark Your Calendar

May 2014

Fri 16 All HS Trip
See HS News below
Sat 17 Prom 7:30pm – 11:00pm
See HS News below
Mon 19 No MS Afterschool Program
Tues – Thurs 20 – 22 All MS Trip to High 5
Fri 23 MS Only – No School
See MS News below
Thurs 29 NEW DATE: Last Cafe Night of the Year
Fri 30 MS Semi Formal
See MS News Below


Please note:

  • All Community Service Hours for the year are due on June 1st. See Gen News Below
  • The last day of school – June 13th, will end at 2:00


May at TSA

The month of May is a very busy month at TSA. Please be sure to read this newsletter carefully to keep track of all that is happening.




We love hearing about what our students are up to! Please write to
with news of any celebrations or accomplishments.

Thank you to Deniz and Justice for teaching us about Turkey and Kenya.  We loved learning about where you are from!

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Job Openings

TSA currently has 4 part time positions available.

  • Development and Marketing Coordinator
  • Career/College Advisory
  • High School Novice French
  • Middle School Spanish and French

For full details, please visit our website:


Alumni News

COQUETTE, the band comprised of TSA class of 2013 graduates Angus Davis, Cobalt and Titien Tolbert, will be playing on:

  • May 18th at Moog’s Place in Morrisville, VT as part of the Hammerjam Music Festival
  • May 30th at Espresso Bueno in Barre, VT at 8pm
  • June 6th at the Main Street Museum in WRJ, VT at 8pm

Listen to their CD on:

CARTER GLASS, the band, composed of 2013 graduates Caleb Freeberg, Angus Davis, Cobalt and Titien Tolbert, will be playing around the Upper Valley all summer long. To find out when, click here

Save the Dates for TSA’s first ever ALUMNI REUNION for Classes 2001-2009: Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22, 2014. The steering committee of TSA Alumni have planned a great 2-day reunion including: cocktails, a barbeque, and a bonfire! For more information, updates, and details on the reunion, please click here:

Please pass the word – there are many alumni for whom we do not have contact information.



General News

Tuition and Fees:  All tuition and fees should now be paid in full.  If you have an outstanding balance, please send in your payment or contact Janice by phone: 763.2500 x105 or with a plan for how your payment will be made.  TSA runs a very tight budget – your assistance in paying promptly is greatly appreciated.

June 1st deadline for Community Service: Please remember to get all of your community service hours in before June 1st in order to be counted for this year. This is especially true for Seniors. If a senior does not get their Community Service hours in before June 1st, they will walk in graduation without a diploma. Additionally, transcripts will not be sent until Community Service work is completed. To use the easy online submission form, please click here:

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Middle School News

Afterschool Homework Support Group:  Homework Support for students is available at the middle school from 3:30-5:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Please come for extra help, for organizational support or for a quiet environment. Light snacks served. Please contact Nicki Abetti at or 763-2531 or 802-279-282.  Please Note: This group will NOT be meeting on Monday, May 19th. We will be going to High Five Outdoor Leadership Center on the 20th and students will not have homework to complete before then.

Poster Board Needed: Please be aware that your student will need a cardboard or foam board tri-fold science fair poster board for his or her science fair display. This can be purchased at stores that sell office supplies such as Staples. Please be aware that students working in groups will only need one board per group, so students must decide which student is responsible for obtaining the board. If students have not brought this in by May 27th, we will supply students with the board and bill families for the cost of $6.00. Thank you for your help!

Projects Galore: Students have been working steadily on projects in Social Studies, Science and Language Arts classes. Please see below to view criteria sheets and other news regarding these projects.

Social Studies – Students are working on this every day at school. Your student has been assigned either Level 1 or Level 2 work, both of which are outlined at the following link:

Science Fair: The middle school science fair project is well underway. Students have work time every day at school, but in order to keep up students should also be working on this project at least a half hour every night until the end of the school year. A good way to assist your student is to have them describe their project and engage in a conversation about the topic to further their understanding. For a detailed outline of the requirements and due dates for this project please click on the following links. Students have all of this information in hard copy. Please note that some students have been assigned a Level 1 version of this project. In this case families will soon receive a separate email from Natalie Golden with the Level 1 criteria sheets and should disregard the links below.

Language Arts – Final drafts for the October Sky essay are due on Friday by the end of school. Students have started a poetry unit and will be studying and writing different forms of poems. Book cards are due on May 27th.


High Five Outdoor Leadership Program – This is a reminder that students will be attending the High Five Adventure Learning Center in Brattleboro, Vermont on May 20, 21 and 22nd. Drop off will be regular time on the morning of May 20th but pick up will be later than usual at about 5:30 on the 22nd. Please also be aware that Friday, May 23rd is High Five recovery day and there will be no school for middle school students . To download the medical release form and the Info for attendees form, please click here:


Progress reports and NECAPS Third trimester progress reports and NECAP scores from tests taken in the fall were sent home on Friday May 9th.

Middle School Semi Formal:

  • Date: Friday, May 17th
  • Time: 7:00 – 10:30 – We very much appreciate prompt pick up of your student. Please be aware that students who hang around in the parking lot after the dance are difficult to supervise and also distract the clean up crew.
  • Where: The Royalton Academy. This is the big grey building on the right hand side of Rte 14 as you are traveling north. It is located on Rte 14 about half way between the Rte 110 intersection in South Royalton and the Rte 107 intersection in Bethel.
  • Cost: Three dollars per student. (This helps us pay for renting the building).
  • What to wear: Girls generally wear short dresses and boys generally wear a shirt and tie. However, this is not required.
  • Guests: Students are allowed to each bring two guests that they know well and are in 6th, 7th or 8th grade. Andrew Lane must be informed ahead of time of guests. Guests that are not pre-approved will not be allowed into the dance

Time Capsules for Eighth Grade Students: Very soon eighth grade students will be handed a Time Capsule envelope. Their job is to fill the envelope with fun and meaningful mementos from middle school. The envelopes will be filed away for four years. On the last day of the student’s senior year, time capsules will be delivered to students (if a student has changed schools we mail him/her the envelope). Opening the time capsules together with old buddies from the middle school is always a fun and meaningful experience. Parents are encouraged to contribute by writing a letter to their student to put in the time capsule. The letter can include hopes, wishes, congratulations or anything else you imagine your student would like to read when they are graduating from high school. The more effort put into the time capsule now, the more fun it is to open four years from now. Filled time capsule envelopes can be returned to Pam Ward at any time before the end of the school year. (Admittedly, we have received some late ones in the past, including some during the summer and beyond. The important thing is to get it done! You will want it when you are a senior!)

MS Graduation is coming right up! The Sharon Academy Middle School Graduation Ceremony has been intentionally designed to support the goals of our mission. Students are publicly recognized for their strengths, thanked for their efforts, and honored for the transformation they have undergone during their middle school years. All eighth grade students are required to speak and are expected to reflect on their own personal growth, and to appreciate the supporting role that others have played in their lives. Additionally, the Graduation Ceremony provides a forum for the 7th and 8th grade to perform the choral work that they have been practicing for the prior ten weeks. We recognize that the ceremony is long, and while we have trimmed the ceremony a bit from recent years, we have consciously decided to continue our tradition of having each student speak and to have their advisor speak about them. We ask that family members come with the understanding that our graduation program is an integral part of our curriculum and to help us to support our students in this important transition to high school.

  • All students are expected to attend this event on June 13th 6:30 – 9:00 PM.
  • Both the seventh and eighth grade will be performing a choral program.
  • Each 8th grade student will be giving a short speech. Students will be given time at school to write their speech. They should also be writing and practicing their speech at home. We will begin the speech writing process at school at the end of May.
  • Students are expected to dress slightly more formally than casual school attire.
  • Please consider bringing a bottle of water and a snack to make your evening more comfortable.
  • Dessert will be served following the ceremony.

End of school year middle school dates to remember:

  • May 30th: Semi-formal at the Royalton Academy 6:30 – 10:00 pm
  • May 20-22nd: Middle school goes to High Five Outdoor Leadership Center in Brattleboro (see above for more details)
    • Leave at 8:15 on the 20th.
    • Arrive back 5:30 on the 22nd.
  • May 23rd: No school – middle school only
  • May 26th: No school – Memorial day
  • June 5th: Middle School Science Fair in evening (6:30 – 8:30)
  • June 12th: Eighth Grade Field Trip. Seventh grade has regular school day.
  • June 13th: Last day of school. Dismissal at 2:00. Middle school graduation celebration 6:30 – 9:00 pm. All students should attend.


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High School News

TOMORROW: All High School Trip: May 16th is our all-high-school trip to Massachusetts for a Class II-III rafting trip with CrabApple Whitewater. Thank you to everyone for returning your liability waiver forms for the trip! Here are the travel details for that day:

  • 7:15– All students should arrive at TSA
  • 7:30— Buses depart from TSA (Please be here early, as this departure time has NO flexibility)
  • 9:30— Arrive at CrabApple in Charlemont, MA, gear up and go rafting
  • 4:00— Depart CrabApple for home
  • 5:30— Arrive back at TSA

For a document that answers many questions about the trip, please click here:

SATURDAY: TSA Prom 2014: Students and staff at TSA are cordially invited to this year’s Prom which will be held on Saturday, May 17th from 7:30pm-11:00pm at The Inn At Idlewood in Sharon, Vermont. Please be sure to read Michael’s email of May 14th regarding the Prom.

Honoring TSA Graduates: You are invited to honor a TSA student’s graduation by making a special give in their name. When you make a gift commemorating the graduation of a senior, TSA will send the graduate a special certificate informing them that a gift has been made in their honor without disclosing the amount of your gift. You can write a special congratulatory message to the graduate and your personalized message will be featured on their certificate. Gifts to the Honor Your Senior program also count as parent participation in the annual fund. Gifts of all sizes are gratefully accepted.  Honor Your Senior cards are with Cynthia Masterman at the high school front desk and will  be available at graduation, or contact Jenn Hayslett at with questions or to request a form.

Summer Reading: Summer reading choices are now available for viewing! Every HS student is required to read one of the Summer Reading books over the summer. During the first week of school, students will complete a project, led by a teacher, on their book. Students: please follow the link and sign up for your first, second and third choices for summer reading. The deadline to sign up is Thursday, May 22nd. Students not registered by that date will be placed in a reading group without their input. Please note that you are signing up for the book that you will read and the group in which you will participate during August Workshop Days. YOU ARE WELCOME to read more books on the list!! Direct questions, comments and concerns to Charlie McMeekin and Christa Wurm.




Community Service Opportunities

TSA now has an active community service page on Facebook.
Like the page to be notified about current community service events and opportunities:
Have a community service opportunity that you wish to notify people about?
Email with the information
and we will let our staff and students know about the opportunity.


REMINDER: June 1st is the deadline for all community service this year.  Students must have 40 hours completed by this date.

May 17th: Rochester, VT. Garlic Mustard (an invasive plant) Pull
(2 hours of community service)

Garlic Mustard is one of the latest invasive plants to arrive in our neighborhood. It can handle low light conditions so it poses a particular threat to the native plants and wildlife that live in our woods. Garlic Mustard is not yet widespread in the valley, and you can help us keep it that way. The Upper White River Cooperative Weed Management Association (CWMA) is hosting a volunteer garlic mustard pull event on Saturday, May 17 from 9-11am.  Volunteers should meet on the Rochester Green across from Pierce Hall (, and dress to get dirty in long pants and close-toed shoes.  Gloves, bags, and a light snack will be provided.  To RSVP or for more information, contact CWMA Coordinator Emily Miller: 802-763-7733 or

May 17: Prom; 12pm-3pm
(3 hours of community service)

Help TSA make Saturday night magical! People are needed to help decorate the space.

May 18th: Barnard, VT. Barnarts “Race Around the Lake”  8:30am-1:30pm
(5 hours of community service)

Volunteers are needed from 8:30am to 1:30pm on Sunday, May 18th at Silver Lake State Park in Barnard.  Volunteers will do set up/break down and during the race time, either be on the course directing the runners/walkers or setting up food.  During the post-race time jobs will be to help serve food, clean up the trail, and/or help with the kids fun race (noon). Please let Paige Bissaillon <> know the names of volunteers and whether or not they will be able to be present for the entire 5 hrs. We will have T-shirts for volunteers, so you can also tell me your adult unisex T-shirt size.

May 24th: Thetford, VT. Medieval Festival (hours vary)

The Open Fields school’s annual Medieval Festival is fast approaching and they need volunteers. There are many opportunities to sign up for on their website that include set up, break down, entertainment, etc. Click here to sign up:


Book Sale: The Baxter Library in Sharon is looking for 4-6 volunteers for their annual book sale, the first weekend of June. They need volunteers to bring the books outside and arrange the tables and tent. Friday (06/06) afternoon, 5-7 pm and Saturday morning (06/07) 9-11 am, and possibly Sunday afternoon (06/08) 1-3 pm. Volunteers can sign up for an hour or more, they will take any help available. The book sale allows the library to buy books and offer programs to the Sharon community. For more information, visit”

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Community Events

The LAST Sharon Sprouts Farmers’ Market for the school year will be held in conjunction with the annual Garden Work Day & Celebration on Saturday, May 17, 10am-1pm at Sharon Elementary School.   Our dedicated vendors will have a great selection of local produce, meat, jams, pickles, herbs, bread, eggs, flowers and veggie starts. There will also be some handmade crafts and specialties like hooked rugs, reed baskets, beautiful jewelry, Up Pup YogaWear, UpCycled headbands and clothing, and more!  The local lunch is from 11:30-1 for $5. Outside we’ll be sprucing up the school grounds and preparing the kitchen garden for the summer program and the next school year.  All garden workers get a free lunch!  Call Donna Foster at 802 763-8280 for information.

Local Band: TSA Parents Ted Buttner and Jean Palthey are in a band named Wool. They play original rock music (and some covers, too). Wool will be playing at Crossroads Pub in South Royalton on Wednesday, May 28th from 8-10pm. No cover charge.

BRAIN BEE at Dartmouth: The Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth and the Society for Neuroscience New Hampshire Chapter are hosting the second annual Upper Valley Brain Bee at Dartmouth College on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The Brain Bee is a fun and educational neuroscience competition for high school students living in the Upper Valley. We hope to show students the fun in learning about the brain and to provide an opportunity to experience what the field of neuroscience is all about! All participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a “Brain Boot Camp” run by Dartmouth College graduate students to train for the main event! The Brain Bee, which will be open to the public, will include an interactive neuroscience fair with demonstration booths followed by a hands-on, brain-friendly competition. All students will receive a certificate of participation recognized by the International Brain Bee, and prizes will be awarded to the top three winners! To register go to Deadline to register is April 30th.

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Class of 2014: residents of Royalton, Sharon, or Tunbridge: the Heartland Lions Club and the Rising Sun Lodge (Free Masons) each offer scholarships, ranging from $600 to $750. Applications are outside KB’s office.

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Summer Opportunities

Note: many colleges offer summer courses for credit to students. Talk with KB about programs or refer to our older newsletters for postings.

Want a Great Intercultural Experience this Summer? For five summers volunteer host families have welcomed students (14-16 years of age) from the Basque region of Northern Spain into their homes. This Basque-Vermont connection, which was started up by the Wellspring School has produced some wonderful experiences and friendships for both the students and the families. As a host family you would welcome a student into your home from June 25th to July 20th, treating them as one of your family and having them join in with your summer plans. Each host family will receive a stipend to help pay for food and any activities that you might do with the student. The program will also give a donation to the Sharon Academy of 300 euros (approx. $400) for every TSA family that hosts a student. This is a wonderful opportunity for your family to get to know another part of the world and at the same time enable a student to improve their English.For more information please email: Jools Skeet at or Sally Hostetler at



House for rent in beautiful Stockbridge Vermont. Stockbridge is a sending town for TSA. 3-4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, gardens, white river beach and swimming hole at bottom of driveway, trails with views of Pico and the white river valley, set far back from road for privacy and safety, great place for kids and pets, DSL 2 Mbps high speed internet, only 3.2 miles to Stockbridge Central School and 14 miles to Sharon Academy. 1950 per month. Contact George Abrams at (802) 359-7519

Building Lots for sale:Approved building lots in the beautiful sending town of Stockbridge, Vermont. Dead end road surrounded by land trust protected forests and trails. Close to beautiful Music Mountain neighborhood. Only 3.8 miles to Stockbridge Central School and 18 miles to Sharon Academy. Contact George Abrams at (802) 359-7519

3 bedroom Homestead for sale in Sharon: 37 acres, total privacy, pond, HUGE 3 story barn with 2 heated areas. Wonderful woodworking shop, trails, gardens galore. AGA cooker from England. Master bedroom on first floor, Mexican tile. Full basement…lots of storage. This property is UNIQUE. Lots of built ins with Mexican tiles. Economical to heat. Too much to list. Formally a goat farm but could be a horse farm, sheep farm, or an educational farm property. Fully fenced. Several pastures and outbuildings. This is not your “traditional” property. It is very very special. Call Pic and Jon Conner 763-2929.