SBHS Green Team Teaches Students

  • The Green Team Teaches Chamberlin Students

    Posted by Corey Burdick on 3/3/2020 12:30:00 PM

    A collaboration has been launched during February and March of this year between SBHS's Green Team and Chamberlin School. Four members of the SBHS GreenTeam have been teaching 3rd and 4th graders lessons they learned via their training in the TRY 4-H2O program.  TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth and is a teen-led environmental education program designed to teach environmental literacy and responsibility to younger youth. This program is a partnership between UVM Extension 4-H Teen & Leadership Program and the UVM Watershed Alliance.

    High School science teacher and Green Team advisor Matt Dransfied said, "This project is pretty cool in that it educates the high school kids but then has them pay-it-forward, so to speak, by teaching the younger kids. The teaching is challenging but reinforces the learning so much. I also find that young students are very receptive to this when it comes from high school students."

    The Green Team is the SBHS environmental club and it is open to any South Burlington High School student. After two years co-advising the club, Dransfield explained that he felt the model of the club needed to have an environmental advocacy project as a component as well as a competition (the annual Envirothon). Thus far, the education/advocacy projects have been wide ranging and 100 percent student generated. Prior projects have included a whole school energy audit and efficiency challenge, partnering with the South Burlington Energy Committee, auditing the forest and campus by the schools for invasive species, speaking at a Youth Climate Rally at the State House, and promoting composting.

    "This year, I presented different options (to the students) that had come across my desk, but one of our 10th grade members, Sylvia Burkman, really advocated for the TRY program," Dransfield said. "Her enthusiasm bred more enthusiasm and before we knew it we had a group and were headed to the training day. We then emailed all 3rd and 4th grade teachers in the district. We had an overwhelming interest from these classes. Ms. Cota and Ms. Simpson were the first to get back to us, so we prioritized their classes."

    The TRY 4-H2O program is designed for students in grades 3-4 and examines the water cycle, watersheds, water quality and health, aquatic life and water stewardship. There are 6 lessons, each approximately 1 hour. All lessons are hands-on, engaging and fun! The six lessons are also aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards as well as support the Common Core Standards.

    Dransfield added, "I think there could be more teaching groups next year if students wanted to do TRY again. This would allow us to reach more 3rd and 4th graders."

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Chamberlin Students Foster Connections in Wolf Pack Time

International Walk to School Day

Chamberlin School Gardens in Summer

Chamberlin Students Choose their own Adventures!

  • Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? Those page turners that were a fantastic exercise in exploring the possibilities a different direction could provide if only one road was taken over another. On June 11, Chamberlin students participated in a real life version of the "Choose your own Adventure" series as part of the school's (as well as District and state-wide) final PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) celebration of the year.


    According to Pincipal Holly Rouelle, "Staff members came up with an activity and students signed up for two sessions. We had activities such as four square, bubbles, GaGa Ball, origami, mindful coloring, board games, face painting, kickball, mask decorating, crafts, sing-a-long, dancing, jumproping, chalk drawing, etc. What a great way to end a year of positivity for being respectful, responsible and safe!"


    The goal of PBiS is to "implement a proactive, school-wide, systems approach to improving social and academic competence for all students," according to the PBIS website. At Chamberlin, this means students learn the “Three Be’s”: Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe. Staff members teach what that looks and sounds like in each area of the school. Students who are “caught” following the expectations, earn a Bee Buck. In the classrooms, teachers and students cash in their Bee Bucks for honey cells. For every ten Bee Bucks, a class earns a honey cell! During school-wide assemblies, the honey cells are added to the new school beehive. 


    For more information on PBIS, visit



Red Carpet Event at Chamberlin Unveils Video Series Featuring Students and Staff!

  • Chamberlin School Unveils Video Series Highlighting Students and Learning

    Posted by Corey Burdick on 6/7/2019 1:00:00 PM

    Starting school for the first time can be daunting, for both students and parents/guardians alike, but what if it could be made a bit less nerve wracking by getting a preview of the school experience prior to late August? Now, incoming Chamberlin students can do just that thanks to a partnership with UVM's Public Communications Capstone Project.

    Back in late 2018, UVM Professor and incoming Chamberlin parent Sarah Heiss pitched the idea, specifically of videos focusing on the Kindergarten experience to ease the minds of young students beginning school. Principal Holly Rouelle took the lead in writing the official proposal and the unveiling of all 4 videos took place at a red carpet assembly at Chamberlin June 4.

    The videos showcase Chamberlin School as a whole, the Kindergarten experience, integrated arts, and experiences of growth.

    According to Rouelle, the UVM students "put about 120 hours in at Chamberlin, spending the first 2-3 weeks learning about our school culture. Also, 2 of the team members are SBSD grads. The team leader, Alexandra Esposito is a former kindergartener of mine when I was a kindergarten teacher at Essex Elementary before becoming a principal. The professor, Sarah Heiss, has an incoming kindergartener at Chamberlin. Having a new Kindergarten student, she was the one that proposed the original idea to have a welcome to kindergarten video. We decided to expand the idea and include a focus on our Three Be’s - Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe."

    You can enjoy the videos via the link above and on the Chamberlin website!





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Chamberlin Students Learn about the Human Body

Chamberlin School

  • Learning About the Human Body with SMILE Docs

    Posted by Corey Burdick on 5/3/2019 9:45:00 AM

    Making discoveries about the human body and all of its systems can be fascinating at any age, but what if, instead of gathering information from textbooks or the web, you could engage in hands-on learning with actual doctors or in this case, doctors in training? This year, 4th grade students in Chris Provost and Cindy Tan's classes at Chamberlin School have had the opportunity to do just that!

    The hour and a half long lessons on the human body are led by first and second year University of Vermont medical students who volunteer their time through SMILE Docs, which is a Student Interest Group (SIG) run out of the Larner School of Medicine. According to one of this year's SIG leaders, Emily Straley, SMILE Docs began as a Schweitzer Project, implemented by Jeremy Hertzig and Britta Seppi, who were Larner College of Medicine students in 2001. Schweitzer Fellows make a commitment to provide 200 hours of service (per project) conducting year-long projects that address the health needs of underserved populations.

    This school year, SMILE Docs conducted a total of 16 sessions between both classes. Topics included first aid, the digestive system, healthy bones and muscles, heart health, the 5 senses, and the respiratory system. During the sessions, students had the opportunity to learn about basic physiology using anatomical models, medical instruments, and pathology samples donated to the program by the University of Vermont Health Center.

    May 1, students worked in three groups to “Make their own Human Body.” They discussed how various organ systems interact, where the organs are located in the body, and how to keep them healthy. New lessons on micronutrients and nutrition as well as “Medical Mysteries” will be added soon.

    Straley said, “SMILE Docs is a great opportunity for students to work with medical students to become more engaged in the sciences and their health. It is also an excellent opportunity for us to build relationships with the community we will be serving as physicians.”

    At the moment, there are 40 medical students involved in the program and only 5 schools enrolled (in the greater Burlington area), although three more classes will be added next year. That way, even more students, both medical and elementary, can continue to benefit from this symbiotic relationship.

    Of the latest lesson, teacher Chris Provost said, “Students were engaged and always enjoy working with the college students, sharing their knowledge and understanding.” The students left the session not only with newfound knowledge, but their own “life-size” models to keep!

    More lessons to come next year!

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