Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Home Page
Newsletter for the Week of October 2nd

The Sustainability Academy Newsletter

October 2,2015


Burlington School District Community Forums


Superintendent Yaw Obeng invites all to attend one of three upcoming Community Forums, to gather information on Burlington School District needs, wants, aspirations and ideas. This information will assist in the development of strategic alignment and also support a multi-year planning process that will guide us to the type of educational system we can all be proud of.

Tuesday, October 27, 6:30PM, Champlain Elementary School


Wednesday, October 28, 6:30PM, Burlington High School


Thursday, October 29, 6:30PM, Hunt Middle School


Please RSVP, with any childcare or translation needs, to or 864-8474. Visit for upcoming details. We hope to see you there!


Also, please note that the Superintendent's 100 Day Entry Plan is posted at


SBAC Information 

This past spring our school joined thousands of schools across the United States in the first administration of the new Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC).  Smarter Balanced is replacing the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) that has served as Vermont’s statewide assessment since 2005. The new tests are given to students in grades 3-8 and 11, and measure achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics.  While the assessments are designed to measure academic achievement, scores are also impacted by a student’s familiarity with technology.

On August 24, 2015, Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe announced statewide results for the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced Assessment.  While in future years we should receive scores sooner, in this first year, technical problems delayed the release of the results by several weeks. This new, computer adaptive assessment provides the first test results aligned with the Common Core State Standards.  The purpose of the SBAC test is to provide teachers and parents with a more reliable and accurate snapshot of how their kids are performing in English Language Arts and Mathematics as compared to other students in the United States.

The SBAC student test scores establish a new baseline aligned with the Common Core and should not be compared to previous statewide test scores (NECAP).  As with any change, there will be a period of adjustment as teachers and students get used to the new standards and tests.

Parents may notice that fewer students scored as proficient on the Smarter Balanced test than did on the NECAP tests. This does not mean our students now know less, nor does it mean that our schools are doing worse. It simply means that the test is a more challenging test, and the Smarter Balanced Consortium deliberately set a proficiency threshold that it knew many students would not meet.

While no single test provides a complete picture of achievement, annual assessments can provide important information about student progress and areas for improvement, especially when combined with student grades and teacher reports. Parents and teachers can use this information to make sure students get the support they need to succeed. The Vermont Agency of Education has compiled several tools to help the public interpret these results.

To see the district results, and for more information:

Educationally Yours,


Lashawn Whitmore -Sells




    Sustainability Corner

                   SA_logo photoshopped.jpg         


Next Wednesday, October 7th, 11:30- 12:30

We will host honored guests from our school, local and state government to launch National Farm-to-School Month.



The 4th and 5th grade cooking team will be preparing and serving a delicious kale pesto

to celebrate National Kale Day which occurs on October 7th.


Thank you to everyone who participated in our taste test—we appreciate your feedback and will improve the recipe!


Did you know we have “Awesome” trees in our schoolyard? We do...the second graders decided to select a few awesome maple trees to enter in Branch Out Burlington’s Awesome Tree Contest!

Fingers crossed that the judges think our evidence makes a strong case that the trees are as

awesome as we think they are!



Gideon Commey is a Climate Change fellow from Ghana who is working with 350 Vermont until December. He joined our 5th graders on Tuesday to inform them about some of the current changes occurring on Planet Earth and discuss a number of small things we can do today to appreciate and care for our world.


Thank you to everyone who made time to visit with us during Open House. We are fortunate to teach and learn with such a supportive community! We are proud to have a mission at the SA to educate and empower our students to improve the quality of life for all—economically, socially and environmentally—now and for future generations !


Morning Move It !


Congratulations to Zoe, Musa and Sophie for each reaching the status of a 10 miler mover!! These dedicated movers bring our “10 Mile Mover” club to a grand total of 14!




Want to get involved in the school and don't quite know how? Come to next week's PTO meeting! You can learn more about the activities and events we organize and can start to feel even more connected to this awesome community of families. We need you! ​


Monday, October 5th

5:45 pm FREE pizza and potluck dinner

6 -7:30 pm meeting


Bring the kids, we have FREE childcare by Ran and Faiza of the afterschool program. We hope to see some new and familiar faces!


ON.E. (Old North End)

Block Party

3-6 p.m.


On Friday, October 9th Come on out for some fun festivities and community interaction


Location: North Street, between Rose Street & Elmwood Ave, to also include Lafountain, Rose and Cedar Streets.

Cost: FREE

WHAT kind of stuff is going on?
Burlington Parks & Recreation

Joey the Clown Balloon Making

Face Painting
  Bounce House

Touch-A-Truck (Police, Fire & Others)

Any questions, please contact Sarah Trieb at Burlington Police 540-2246


Parent Teacher Conferences





Parent Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th.


The web link for SA Parent Teacher Conference scheduling  

or on the SA home page.


Please note that if you are not able to access this system via the Internet, you can call the office to schedule a conference appointment. .   


Important Dates


October 4th - Harvest Run in the Intervale. Sponsored by PTO

October 5th - PTO meeting 5:45-7:30

October 8th - Students dismissed at 11:30 with bagged lunches for parent / teacher conferences

October 9th - No School - Parent /Teacher Conferences

October 12th - No School Holiday




Help Us Save Paper


A paper copy of the newsletter will come home every Friday.  If you prefer to receive it electronically please fill out the information below and return it to your child’s teacher.


E-mail address ________________________________________________


Parent/Guardian Name:______________________________________________________


Child’s Name:_________________________________________________


Classroom: __________________________________________________


You can also find the weekly newsletter on our website at

Electronic Scheduling for Parent Teacher Conferences
Electronic scheduling for our October 2015 parent teacher conferences is now available.

Please click on the following link to get started. (if you cannot access the link directly, please cut and paste the link into an Internet browser):

If needed, please see the following page for support documentation related to scheduling your fall 2015 conferences via PTC Fast: 

Parent Teacher Conferences





I am pleased to announce that this fall SA will be piloting the use of electronic scheduling for our upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences on Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th.


Teachers are in the process of preparing their conference schedules for October 8th & 9th online, using a system called PTC Fast. This system will allow you to select the teacher(s) with whom you would like to conference. By registering your e-mail address, you will be able to view and select an available conference time that works for you.


The web link for SA Parent Teacher Conference scheduling  will become available on the SA home page on the morning of Wednesday, September 30th for all families.


Support information for this process (including a demonstration video) can be found at:


Please note that if you are not able to access this system via the Internet, you will be able to call the office during a designated window of time on the mornings of Thursday, October 1st and Friday October 2nd to schedule a conference appointment through the office.   


Educationally Yours,


Lashawn Whitmore -Sells



Harvest Run & Walk


4th Annual

Harvest Run & Walk

When: October 4th

Where: Intervale Center

Time: 9-12


Come one, come all!

Register by September 23rd on-line or in the office.  

(Sending in the permission slip didn't register you!)  Register on-line here: You can also register day of at 9AM.  

$5/kid, $15/adult and $30/family.  

Scholarships available as needed.

Free pumpkin for all registered kids.


New this year:  Pledging!  We are encouraging families to get pledges for running, but it's not necessary.  You can set up an on-line fundraising page after you register through City Market.  You can also get an envelope in the office to get pledges in person.  There are great prizes for adults and children!  


If you raise $50 please let Rachel Siegel,, know ASAP so we can order you a t-shirt.  You can also let the office know your t-shirt size when you've raised $50.


Baked goods, carpoolers and volunteers needed!  Contact Serena, if you'd like to volunteer!  You can get City Market hours for your time!


Don't want to run or get pledges?  NO PROBLEM!  Come cheer everyone on and enjoy music, free ice cream, a bake sale and a raffle at the celebration.