The Sharon Academy Newsletter, September 4, 2015

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in High School, Middle School, Newsletter

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



Mon   7 No School – Labor Day
Thurs   10 2nd Annual Chalk and Chow 8:15am – 6:00pm on the green in South Royalton. See Chalk and Chow below
Thurs   10 Middle School Information Night for all MS parents: 6:30pm at the MS. See MS News below
Fri 18 
In Service – No School for MS and HS
Tues 22 College Fair for all 11th and 12th graders:  Buses leave TSA at 7:30am for the College Fair at the Southern New Hampshire University. More information to come.
Thurs   24 High School Information Night for all HS parents at 6:30pm at the HS.





Thank you to all of our students for making this year’s Orientation days so much fun!  We are off to a great start to the year.

Thank you to Phil Brown of High 5, for leading our entire school – staff, faculty, middle school students and high school students – through leadership and team building exercises during Orientation.  Phil’s experience in team building helped our school to literally and figuratively reach out of our comfort zones and get to know new people.

A huge thank you to Jo Knowles and Jeffrey Lent, two local authors who shared their talents with the high school during Orientation.  Jo led a discussion about Lessons from a Dead Girl with a group of students who had read it for their summer reading, while Jeffrey spoke to a different group about his book In the Fall.  Both authors treated  students to in-depth discussions of their books, answering detailed questions about  characters’ motivations  and also sharing inspiring stories about their experiences as writers.  The discussions were part of TSA’s Summer Reading program.  This year’s summer reading theme was local authors, in order to expose students to the rich talent represented in this area. Students chose from a list of authors such as Bill Bryson, Julia Alverez, and John Irving, among others.  We look forward to welcoming Jo back to the middle school in a couple of weeks where she will talk to students about their summer reading: Between the Lines.


Chalk and Chow

The Second Annual Chalk and Chow Festival will be held on the green in South Royalton on September 10th. Students from The South Royalton School and The Sharon Academy will be collaboratively working on 2-D and 3-D chalk designs all day on the sidewalk on Park Street beginning at 8:00am and going into the afternoon and into the early evening. Children and adults are also are invited to use the chalk. Beginning at 3:00pm there will also be a farmer’s market and raised doughnuts cooked over a fire. Come celebrate fall!


General News

Important Reminder – Contact Information Survey:  Our Annual Contact Information Survey was emailed to families on August 10th.  Some families have reported that this email went to their Spam folders.  In case that also happened to you, please follow this link to access the survey: Contact Information Survey.  This survey provides us with ESSENTIAL contact information so that we can reach you with any concerns or questions about your student.  It is also the information we use to notify you of school closings and to create our TSA Parent Phone Book.  We collect this information electronically in response to our families’ request that they not have to fill out multiple forms with similar information.  With this online survey, families only need to fill out ONE FORM online instead of filling out 4 or 5 slightly different forms by hand. We require families to complete this survey each year, so that we always have current information on file.

Before you start you will need the following items:

  • Medical Insurance card
  • Primary Physician’s name and phone number
  • Dentist’s name and phone number
  • List of any medications your student is taking
  • Emergency contact information for three adults (other than parents/guardians)

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

New Sharon Academy Athletic Wear: The athletes at TSA are selling a new selection of sporting merchandise from FanCloth. All proceeds from the sale of these items goes to support TSA Athletics. Each athlete has a catalog that shows a range of sport and leisurewear that carry the phoenix logo and shows your support for the school’s athletic teams. The athletes have all the details on how you can order from the catalog. All orders must be received by 9/11/15 so that you have your apparel in time this Fall’s play off season.  For more information, please contact Rob Stainton at  To download the catalog, please click here:  TSA Athletic Wear

COQUETTE Concert: TSA Alumni Angus Davis, Cobalt and Titien Tolbert’s band, Coquette, will be playing at Higher Ground in Burlington on September 5th, 2015. Doors open at 7:30pm.  They will play at 10pm.  This event is for all ages. Tickets are for sale on the Higher Ground website for $10 or $12 at the door.  Let’s support local talents and TSA alumni!

Amazon and TSA: Did you know that any time you order something through Amazon, you could support TSA at the same time?  When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items to Sharon Academy. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.

In search of furniture: The shared office of College and Career Advising and The Dean of Students is in need of a facelift. If you have a loveseat, living room chairs or wooden “table chairs” that are in good repair and you would like to donate them, please contact Ellen Bagnato or Christa Wurm at 802-763-2500 x 116.

Calling All Time Capsules: Last year’s TSA 8th graders can still turn in their middle school Time Capsules.  Simply drop it off with Catherine at the middle school or give it to Cynthia at the high school.  They will make sure the capsule gets delivered to the top secret vault at the middle school.

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Middle School News

Love Note to MS Parents From MS Staff:  We are off to a great start to the new school year. Thank you for sending us such enthusiastic, respectful, happy students!

Middle School Parent Information Night: Please join us from 6:30pm-8:00pm on Thursday, September 10th for essential information about the middle school. If you need to bring your student, there will be a quiet space where he or she can wait and do their homework. Middle School Handbooks will be distributed at this meeting.

Gradelink:  The middle school is using Gradelink, an online grade reporting system.  Gradelink gives parents access to daily assignments and student progress.  It is also the system through which we will create and deliver report cards.  This is the same system that is used at the high school.  We will be coaching parents on the use of this technology at the Middle School Parent Information Night. If you are unable to attend the information night please contact Pam Ward for information on how to access your student’s online Gradelink account.

Heifer International:  From September 23rd – 25th the middle school will be visiting Heifer International Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. This is a two night, overnight trip.  Your student has been given a packet that includes information, forms and permission slips.  Please look it over and return the two green forms.   Click here for an electronic copy of the packet: Heifer International Pack    

Calling in Absences:   Cynthia Masterman, who works in the high school building, keeps track of all student absences.  If your student will be absent for the day, please email Cynthia at or call 763-2500 x-100 and leave a message by 8:30am.   If she has not heard from you by this time, she will send you an email and/or a message on your phone answering machine to let you know your student has not arrived at school.  Thank you for your help in keeping track of your student’s attendance.

The Middle School After School Homework Support Group

What: An after school supervised group at the middle school
Who:  Any middle school student who is in the building after 3:30 will be expected to attend. Tom Diamond is the person in charge.  Tom can be reached at or      802-281-2422.
Why:   To provide:

      • academic homework support
      • a quiet space to do homework
      • supervision while waiting for parent pick up

When: 3:35pm – 5:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Students have about 20 minutes after school to socialize, eat, drink and use the bathroom before the group begins.  (Please note that students are not allowed to leave the school grounds and come back unless they have special permission.) If you will be late (after 5:00) picking up your student, please let Tom know.  He may have to transfer your student to the high school to wait.
Where:  At the middle school.

Other things you should know about the Homework Support Group:

  • Behavioral expectations during homework club are the same as during the regular school day. Paramount during homework time is that students have a peaceful, supportive workspace where others do not distract them.
  • Students will have access to their cell phones during this time. However, phones are closely monitored by Tom. Cell phones should only be used for messages or discussions regarding rides and pick-up times.
  • Students are expected to do homework during this time.   If the rare occasion arises when they are finished with their homework, students may silently read a book or read informational or news articles on approved websites.
  • Computer use will follow the guidelines of the school’s computer usage policy. While the temptation to connect to email, messaging or social media sites can be challenging, it is absolutely not allowed. If a student has no way other than email to contact parents regarding rides, Tom will supervise the process.

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High School News

Welcome back to full-time Flo: Flo is returning to TSA full-time.  She is teaching 2 French classes, the mindfulness elective, and doing administrative and student support work.  She wants everybody to know that her stage 4 breast cancer is relatively stable and that she is really happy to be back at TSA.  Her battle is a life-long one and she keeps people updated through her blog.  You can look at it, or choose to follow it at:  Because she is anticipating being very tired during the first weeks of school, she, and her family, will appreciate meals.  If you are interested, please sign up at: Thank you for your care and support.

High School Chorus: The high school is delighted to announce a new FREE performing arts opportunity. Composer/Conductor/Performer/Teacher Kevin Quigley will be directing the first ever TSA High School Chorus. Rehearsals start Wednesday, September 9th and will be held every Wednesday that school is in session, from 1:15pm to 3:15pm, through November 4th.

HS Rock Climbing Team/Club: The TSA HS Rock Climbing team is forming for the 2015-2016 year. No experience is necessary. Nancy Menton (Laurel Mendelsohn’s mother) will coach again this year and welcomes any additional co-coaches or parent helpers. Each team needs 5 or more climbers to compete. Each member needs a membership. Membership is $250 plus tax for students. It is good for a calendar year, anytime GMRCC is open, includes free belay lessons, free harness/shoe rental and other discounts. Purchase from GMRCC. 802-457-7090. We practice on Tuesdays from 4:00pm – 5:30pm. We can do a second day as well if there is interest. See the flyer at school or contact Nancy for more information and competition dates:

Meeting regarding February’s Trip to Europe: We are taking high school students on an educational trip to Europe (France, Italy, and Switzerland) over February break, scheduled to correspond with the Division III European History year. We are pleased to announce that there are places available. We will be hosting an enrollment meeting on September 15, at 7:30pm at the high school. We hope you will come and learn more. If you have any questions, contact Kimberly Barnhart ( or Janice Stumpf (

Meeting Date: September 15, 2015
Meeting time: 7:30 pm at the high school

Coastal Studies for Girls: If you are a 9th or 10th grade girl, and are interested in learning about Coastal Studies for Girls (CSG), please join a representative from the program on September 17th during Y Block in Stephanie’s room to learn more.  CSG is a program that focuses on marine biology and outdoor exploration.

Model UN: If you are not going on the Europe Trip this February, and are interested in international diplomacy, political science, etc, talk to Stephanie Davis to learn more about Model UN. (Unfortunately, the dates of this Model UN conflict with the Europe Trip.)



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 


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Scholarships and College Info

Receive up to $22,000.00 for college with The Horatio Alger Scholarship

To qualify:

  •  A student must have at least a 2.0 GPA
  • Demonstrate critical financial need ($55,000 or lower family income)
  • Be involved in co-curricular and community service activities
  • Exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a bachelor’s degree

To learn more and apply, visit

​The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program recognizes students in middle and high school who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.  In each state the top applicant will be receive an award of $1000.00 (not a scholarship) and an all-expense paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington D.C.To learn more go to​

Upcoming College Visits:
We welcome seniors, juniors and sophomores at college visits.  Please talk with Ellen and/or register on Naviance if you would like to attend.

Marlboro College Thu, September 10, 2015 2:00 PM
Simmons College Mon, September 14, 2015 11:00 AM
Vermont Technical College Mon, September 14, 2015 11:00 AM
Bennington College Mon, September 14, 2015 11:45 AM
Mount Ida College Tue, September 15, 2015 2:45 PM
The New School – Eugene Lang College Wed, September 16, 2015 10:00 AM





Community Events

The Fifth Annual Sprouty: A 5K and 10K race along the White River in Sharon, Vermont, the Sprouty supports the Farm-to-School program at the Sharon Elementary School. The race is committed to bringing out community members and serious runners alike as we celebrate good health, local agriculture and the beauty of September in Vermont. T-shirts are provided to the first 150 to register, but you have to register by midnight Friday, August 28, 2015 in order to guarantee we have your size. The day includes a fun-run loop for kids around the elementary school with ribbons for all kids. Refreshments (including free smoothies) await at the finish area. Kids 12 and under register for free. Prizes are awarded to the top three male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K. Free lettuce plants from Dandelion Acres for all participants.  For more information, please click this link:


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