September 24, 2016
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Hartford Memorial Middle School Newsletter
Week of September 23, 2016


It is officially fall and we are four weeks into the school year.  We have settled in.  Students have adjusted to new routines, new teachers, new classrooms.  Across the building, teachers and students are deep into the curriculum.  There are eggs dropping from library windows and rockets being launched to test STEM theories. Creative writing stories are taking shape.  There is energy transfer being tested in science and harmonies being learned in chorus.  Students are giving presentations in social studies classes, or learning distributive property in math.  There is visible learning happening inside these walls.

One of the shifts in education in the state of Vermont right now is around transferable skills.  These are overarching skills that apply to any content area and are important to be successful citizens in life.  As a school, in partnership with the high school, we have adopted seven transferable skills that students will be working towards as they progress at Hartford School District.  This year, the middle school is focusing on three: Accessing and Analyzing Information, Communication, and Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.  Our goal this year is that each student becomes familiar with and reflects on their progress on these skills as they are learning the content in their classes.  Students are not going to “master” these skills this year--as you probably realize by the headings, these are skills that we are often working on refining even as adults--but students should start to understand how they can be improving and taking on more ownership of these skills as they grow.  If you are interested in seeing the rubrics that students and teachers will use to assess their progress on these skill, follow this link.  You will notice that the rubrics show both what a teacher is doing and what a student is doing--this is important so students can see how they grow in independence on the progression toward proficiency.

Content is what drives the day to day activities within each classroom--egg dropping, presentations, science labs--but it is our goal that every student is growing not simply in knowledge base, but also in skills and attributes that will help them to be successful citizens long after they leave the walls of this building.  It is exciting work.


Tristan Upson,, 802-295-8640 ext 3304                                     


School Lunch Clarification

We want to do everything we can at the middle school to ensure that students are eating a healthy lunch each day.  There has been confusion with our lunch program, and we are working to make sure that students and parents have a better understanding of how the lunches work.  Each day, all students have an option of five entrees to choose from at lunch, and then a choice of up to four different side options to make up a meal.  There are also a couple of different items that are available for students at an additional cost a la carte.  If a student takes more than one entree, they are charged for an additional meal.  This is important for parents to know as we don’t want you to be surprised by any extra charges on your account.  Next week we will be reviewing these guidelines with students at lunch so that any confusion among students can be clarified, and in the future this will be part of our 6th grade orientation.

8th Grade Trip to Hulbert Center

If you have an 8th grader, the paperwork for our trip to Hulbert Center is due back by Wednesday September 28th.  There will be an informational meeting on Friday September 30th from 7:45-8:30AM in the middle school gym to review procedures and expectations for the trip for both parents and students.

HMMS Parent Group News

The new date of the HMMS Parent Group based on feedback from the parents who came to our September meeting is the fourth Monday of the month.  The next meeting will be Monday October 24th from 6:30-7:30 in our library.  We hope to see you there!

HMMS Color-a-Thon

A reminder that the donation packets for the Color-a-Thon were due TODAY.  If your child forgot to bring the packet, please make sure they do so on Monday.  If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Burge or Tracy Thompson at or

Color-a-thon Date: October 9

Time: 11:00 am (Registration begins at 10)

Place: Maxfield Sports Complex


No Cash.  Please make all checks payable to HMMS

Middle School Fun Nights at the UVAC

The first middle school fun night at the UVAC will be next Friday, September 30th from 7-9pm.  The cost is $5.  Please see the flier attached to the email for more information.