The Sharon Academy Newsletter, May 7, 2015

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in High School, Middle School

In this Issue:

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

To make a submission to The Sharon Academy’s newsletter, please click here

and complete the new online submission form.


Mark Your Calendar

MS = middle school, HS = high school

To download a PDF version of our 2014 – 2015 calendar, please click here:

Also, check the website regularly for calendar updates: TSA Calendar



Fri 8 Frederick Douglass Reading (See General News below)
Mon 11 Senior Exhibition Day
Sat 16 HS Prom (See HS News below)
Tues – Thurs 19 – 21 MS at High Five (See MS News below)
Thurs 21 All HS Trip to Portland, ME (See HS News below)
Fri 22 No School – Teacher In Service
Mon 25 No School – Memorial Day
Thurs 28 Cafe Night
Fri 29 MS Semi Formal(See MS News below)



Mon 1 All Community Service work due and paperwork submitted (See Gen News Below)
Thurs 4 MS Science Fair 
Mon 8 HS Exam Review Day
Tues – Thurs 9 – 11 HS Exams 
Fri 12 Field Day 
Fri 12 MS Graduation, 6:30 – 9:00pm 
Sun 14 HS Graduation, 1:00pm


The months of May and June are very busy at TSA.
Please be sure to read this newsletter carefully to keep track of all that is happening.

Next August:

In case it is helpful for planning purposes, here is the schedule for the first few weeks of school next year.  (We will send you our full calendar for next year as soon as it is finalized.) 

Thurs 13 HS Soccer Practice Begins
Weds 26 9th Grade Orientation @ HS, 9:00 – 12:30
Weds 26 7th and 8th Grade Orientation @ MS,  9:00-12:30PM
Thurs 27 All Students at HS, 9-2:00PM
Fri 28 All Students at HS, 2-7:00PM
Fri 28 Family Potluck at High School @5:30PM
Mon 31 Classes begin






* Please note that Monday, August 31st is a normal day of school.

(Labor Day is September 7th this year.)




Good luck to our Seniors who are presenting their Exhibitions on Monday.  A full list of the Exhibition topics will be sent out soon.

General News

Reading and Discussion of Frederick Douglass: On Friday, May 8, at 7 PM, our school will be hosting a reading and discussion of Frederick Douglass’ 1852 Fourth of July Oration in collaboration with the Vermont Humanities Council.  This  groundbreaking speech by one of the first great African-American activists and statesmen analyzes themes of race and patriotism.  While times have changed drastically since its original delivery, the oration still poses essential questions in our era of protests in Baltimore and war in the Middle East.  More than anything else, Douglass asks us what it means to be Americans.  We are inviting community members of all ages, backgrounds, and political affiliations to take part in this conversation answering that question.  The first half an hour of the event will be a reading of the oration.  Any attendee is invited to read, but no one is required to read.  The following time will be dedicated to a discussion, facilitated by TSA Junior Daniel Lazar and TSA History teacher Andrew Lane. Refreshments will be provided.

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:

Burn Permit Ban: Please read the following press release regarding fire hazards:

MONTPELIER – May 5, 2015 – After a warm, dry weekend and a Red Flag warning yesterday that ended with more than 25 new reports of wild fires, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) has issued an order for all of the state’s forest fire wardens to cease issuing burning permits as of 3:00 P.M. on May 5th through May 19th.   A Red Flag Warning means there are critical fire weather conditions including low relative humidity, high winds with little to no precipitation had fallen in the past few days. Fires that ignite during these conditions spread rapidly and with high intensity. The ban may be revoked or extended based upon weather

National Teacher Appreciation Week: National Teacher Appreciation Week is this week, so reach way back (or not so far back) and think about a teacher who had a truly positive impact on you. Send them a letter! How about a physical letter! It may seem small, but telling that special teacher the story of their impact is exactly the fuel they need to continue to have a positive impact on students.

One person to consider sending a letter to this week is Charlie McMeekin – who is not retiring – but has just finished his 40th year in education in the Upper Valley. Whether you knew him as an English teacher, theater director, principal, or advisor, your reflections on how he had a positive impact will go a long way. Send your note to: Charlie McMeekin, The Sharon Academy, PO Box 207, Sharon, VT 05065. If Charlie isn’t the person who inspired you, send a note to a teacher who did and make their year!


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Middle School News

Standardized Testing: On May 14th 2015 eighth grade students will be taking the Science NECAPS from 8:15- 12:30. This is a paper test and will be in the same format that students are accustomed to, having taken NECAPS for several years.

On June 5, 8, and 9 ALL middle school students will be taking Vermont’s new standardized test – the SBACs (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) – for Math and Language Arts. These tests will be administered mostly on computer.  The specific times will depend on the testing schedule for the day.

In preparation for the testing, please encourage your student to get a good night’s sleep, eat a good, healthy breakfast, and to bring their best effort to the test. Students can bring a water bottle and a book to the testing.  Please make sure your student is on time for school.

Also, please note that these tests are required by the state. Any student who misses any part of the tests will have to make them up at a later date.  PLEASE LET US KNOW ASAP IF YOUR STUDENT IS GOING TO BE MISSING ANY SCHOOL ON ANY OF THESE DATES.

Science fair!  Students have begun work on their science fair projects.  The following links provide everything you want to know about this project including timetables and criteria sheets.  You students also has been provided with a hard copy of this information.    Timeline,  Grading Criteria,  Written Work Criteria

High Five Outdoor Leadership Program: Students will be attending the High Five Adventure Learning Center in Brattleboro, Vermont on May 19, 20 and 21st . Please click here for important information regarding this trip.  Included are forms and permission slips that need to be returned ASAP.  A sign up for parent drivers is also included in the information. A hard copy of all of this information has been sent home as well.

Time Capsules for Eighth Grade StudentsEighth grade students have received a Time Capsule envelope.  Their job is to fill the envelope with fun and meaningful mementoes from middle school and to turn it in for safe keeping by the end of the school year.  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 receive some late ones, including some come in during the summer and beyond.  The important thing is to get it done!)

MS Graduation is coming 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 12th 6:30 – 9:00 PM.
  • Both the seventh and eighth grade will be performing a choral program.
  • 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.
  • Please consider bringing a bottle of water and a snack to make your evening more comfortable –there also will be some refreshments available during the ceremony.
  • Dessert will be served following the ceremony.

End of school year middle school dates to remember:

  • May 19-21stMiddle school goes to High Five Outdoor Leadership Center in Brattleboro (see above for more details) Leave at 8:15 on the 19th.  Arrive back 5:30 on the 21st .
  • May 223d  – No school – middle school only
  • May 25th – No school – Memorial day
  • May 29th – Middle School Semi-formal at the Royalton Academy   6:30 – 10:00
  • June 4th – Middle School Science Fair in the evening (6:30 – 8:30)
    7th grade Spanish Fiesta – need to bring in a dish to share – more information coming.
  • June 5th – 8th grade Spanish Fiesta – need to bring in a dish to share – more information coming.  Need to plan ahead due to Science Fair being night before.
  • June 11th – Eighth Grade Field Trip.  Seventh grade has regular school day.
  • June 12th –  Last day of school.  Dismissal at 2:00.  Middle school graduation celebration 6:30 – 9:00.  All students should attend.

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High School News

Food Drive for the Sharon Food Bank: The 2nd Annual TSA Spring Food Drive is quickly approaching. From Wednesday May 13th to Wednesday May 20th bring nonperishable items into to your advisory. The advisory that brings in the most items will win cookies. All items will be donated to the Sharon food bank. If you have any questions feel free to contact or

Prom Dresses:  For several years now, The Upper Valley Cinderella Project has provided free prom gowns, shoes & accessories to  high school girls in the Upper Valley.   The last day to get a dress is this Saturday,  from 10am –2pm at the Raq-On Dance Studio On the Mall, Lebanon, NH.  For more information or to drop off gown or jewelry donations please contact: Wendy at 802-296-2625 or

HS Field Trip: We are looking forward to this year’s High School Field Trip on Thursday, May 21st.  This year, we are going to Portland, ME!  We are in the final stages of planning the trip, but here is some useful information to help you plan for the day:

To Bring:
  • Students will need a bag lunch and money for dinner.  (Please let Janice know if you need assistance with dinner money.)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen
8:30 – Leave TSA – Don’t be late!
11:30 – Eat bag lunches at Fort Williams Park
1:00 – Afternoon Activity
5:00 – Dinner and exploring Portland in groups no smaller than 3.
7:00 – Leave for home.
10:00 – Arrive TSA – please don’t be late picking up
Students signed up for their activity choices this week, but changes can be made.  Please contact Janice, or Spike, with any questions.
If your student is not going on the field trip, we’d like to know so that we can budget properly.  Thank you.

TSA Prom 2015:  Students and staff at TSA are cordially invited to this year’s Prom which will be held on Saturday, May 16th from 7:30pm-11:00pm at The Sharon Academy. Tickets are available in Kate’s office. This year’s prom tickets are $25.00 and are paid for by the Student Activity Fee that was charged to each student at the start of the year. Students will need a ticket to gain entrance to the prom. If TSA students would like to bring guests (1 guest per TSA student) the guests will need to pay the $25.00 for a ticket. Guests will also need to be registered with Kate Sensenich before May 15th with their full name, school, phone number, as well as a parent or guardian’s contact information.

Prom Volunteers and Donations Needed!

  • Veggie, Fruit and Cheese Platters (2-3 of each)
  • Savory Finger Foods
  • Sweet Finger Foods
  • White Holiday lights
  • White Tables Cloths
  • Tall glass vases
  • White fresh flowers (any variety)
  • (Please label all items clearly with your last name)

We are also looking for some set-up and clean-up help!

  • Set Up times: Thursday afternoon and Friday morning/early afternoon, Saturday late morning.
  • Clean-Up Times: 11pm-11:45pm

If you can help our prom committee with any of these requests, please contact Kate Sensenich at

TSA Student Board Member: If you are a current sophomore with an interest in becoming a Student Rep on TSA’s Board, now’s your chance.  Elections will take place on May 15th.  For more information, please talk with Kate Sensenich or current Student Reps:  Jill Gramling or Daniel Lazar.


Career & College Guidance

College Planning Day for Juniors at Barnard College: May 3 at 1:00 pm.  Workshops for students and parents on the college application process, admissions interviews, college essays, financial aid and more.  For more information visit:

Scholarship Opportunities: We encourage seniors to apply for college scholarships.  No matter what the award amount may be, each scholarship  equals dollars that students do not have to pay out of their pocket in the future.  Listed below are a few of the thousands of scholarships available.  Seniors were also given more scholarship information in PATH class.


New Posting:
Price Chopper announces two new scholarships which are offered to graduating high school seniors who reside in a Price Chopper marketing area and will be pursuing a business major.  Application deadline is June 1.
For more information, please visit:

Continuing Postings

  • Heartland Lions Club Scholarship.  Available to seniors who live in Royalton, Sharon or Tunbridge.  There are five $600 scholarships available.  Deadline is May 15, 2015.  See Ellen for an application.
  • Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission awards five, $1000 scholarships annually to high school students pursuing career and life choices consistent with the vision and values of vibrant and sustainable communities. Applications must be submitted by May 15, 2015. For more information, please see Ellen.


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.

Want to fill out our Community Service online form? Click here 

 Medieval Festival needs volunteers!  Open Fields School in Thetford, VT needs volunteers for the Medieval Festival. Set up is Friday, May 22 from 3:30 – 7 pm. The Festival  is Saturday, May 23 from 8 am – 4 pm. Clean up is from 4 – 7 pm.  During the festival, we need festival runners (helping out wherever needed), entertainment (strolling minstrels, face painting, etc.), vendor assistants (helping sell food or other items), and entertainment assistants. Visit and select the “Volunteer” link to sign up! For more information, please contact Kimberly Barnhart at or visit

Volunteer at the library in Pittsfield: The Roger Clark Memorial Library is a small community library in the village of Pittsfield.  They are open Tuesday, 3-4p.m. and Thursday, 5-7 p.m.  They have convenient volunteer opportunities throughout the year for high school students living in the Pittsfield/Stockbridge area.  Duties include simple librarian tasks (ie: checking out books) and possible assistance with occasional programming.   Please contact Karen Waterworth for more information:

Grounds Clean Up in Pittsfield: The town of Pittsfield is looking for a few pairs of hands to help with Spring Cleanup on a Saturday.  Please contact Connie Martin for more information (802) 746-7993.  Pittsfield will provide tools but students should bring gloves if they have them handy.

Hartland Resident Needs Help: Hartland resident Connie Tessier needs help raking the leaves in her yard – ASAP.  Connie has not been feeling well lately and is just shy of ninety years old.  She really could use a hand now. Any interested students can contact Connie directly at 436.2323 – or via her friend Carmen at:

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Summer Opportunities

Intern at Hypertherm: The Hypertherm Technical Training Institute is pleased to announce an exciting new internship opportunity for high school juniors and seniors, the Hypertherm Summer Institute. The program provides an opportunity for students to learn about advanced manufacturing while simultaneously getting paid, entering an apprenticeship, and potentially earning college credits.  Apply:

Program Highlights:

  • Full-time summer employment for 8 weeks
  • Earn $10 per hour, 40 hours/week
  • Up to 16 college credits*
  • One week unpaid summer vacation after 4 weeks
  • Hands on education
  • Job shadow and supervised work experience in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility
  • Receive Career Mentorship from a Hypertherm Associate
  • Registered into a nationally recognized US DOL Apprenticeship Program
  • Potential employment with Hypertherm after high school graduation**

* Dependent on education partners at the time of the program
** Dependent on business climate at that time

Please visit to learn more and apply. Applications will be accepted until Thursday, May 21st

BarnArts Summer Youth Theater Institute: BarnArts Summer Youth Theater Institute presents The Jungle Book Kids:  The jungle is jumpin’ with song and dance in this energy-filled theater program along Silver Lake in Barnard.  During the three week camp, youth will take on characters, learn songs and dancing, and prepare for the full scale production. Dates: July 20 – Aug.9; Event times: M-F, 9am – 3pm; event price: $375

For more information, please contact Linda Treash at or call (802) 234 – 1645 or visit Info: