Burlington School District Home Page
Recent Student Accomplishment​
June 6, 2016
"Give Hunger the Boot"!

Students from the Sustainability Burlington Kids Afterschool Program created decorations for a Seventh Generation cowboy-themed party by cutting out and coloring cowboy boots. Seventh Generation pledged that for every completed boot, they would donate $2.50 to the Chittenden Food Shelf. By the end of this past year, students had colored in 140 cowboy boots, and Seventh Generation wrote a check for $350!
Five Afterschool Superheroes Worthy of Recognition
June 1, 2016

"In honor of Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, we reached out to the afterschool community to nominate those who have gone above and beyond their role in the afterschool field. These superheroes truly represent the Heart of Afterschool!"
Click here to read more. 
Positively Vermont: Vermont Afterschool
April 20, 2016

Zap the Gap
March 10, 2016
Above: Wearing Zap the Gap Superhero Capes, about 40 students from across the State,
including students from Hunt Middle School Afterschool, gathered at the State House
 last month to advocate for funding for afterschool and summer programming.
More about the event here.
 Expanded Learning Opportunities Newsletter
November 6, 2015

We are excited to announce the first edition of the
Expanded Opportunities Newsletter!

Please click here to read about program highlights from across the District.
Burlington Afterschool Sailing Program Promotes Accessibility and Leadership
September 23, 2015
Aired on VPR.net - click on the image to listen to the story. 

Welcome Back to (After)school! 
August 2015
Back to school means back to afterschool for over 1,700 Burlington students! Fresh on the heels of our highly successful summer programming for over 500 participants in S.O.A.R and the middle school summer program, our team is excited to be back and continue our mission of fostering the social and academic success of Burlington youth through quality programming in an environment that creates lasting connections with peers, adults and the community.
This year we will be offering new and innovative programs such as expanded learning credit at the high school, new STEM initiatives across K-12 programs, targeted academic support programs, diversity and equity conversations at all schools, opportunities for student leadership and mentorship and service learning.
We are also excited to expand and continue the work of the The Parent University Program. Parent University works closely with community partners to provide classes up to three times a week to parents that enrich, engage and empower them as equal partners in the education and well-being of their children. The program will begin in October and our community partners include: the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, Champlain Valley Office of Economics Opportunities, UVM Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and Prevent Child Abuse Vermont.
Along with outstanding program offerings, the Expanded Learning Team is welcoming new staff, as well as implementing new goals around academic support, behavior management, diversity and equity and staff professional development.

Finally, it’s important to acknowledge our many partners who make all of these programs possible. We’re excited to continue collaborating with the Sara Holbrook Community Center, the Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Greater Burlington, King Street Center and the Burlington Department of Parks and Recreation and Waterfront. These collaborations continue to add value for all of Burlington’s young people.
If you have ideas for programs or would like to be involved please
contact the Director of Expanded Learning,
Christy Gallese, at 540-0285 or cgallese@bsdvt.org.
Parent University

June 12, 2015
This spring, The Burlington Kids Afterschool Program piloted an exciting new program called Parent University at SA. Knowing that afterschool participation and parental involvement lead to increased student academic success, the goal was to provide classes and workshops for parents as well as enrichment activities for students who might otherwise not be able to attend afterschool programs.

Parent University worked in close partnership with community organizations to provide a variety of offerings to enrich, engage, and empower parents as equal partners in the education and well-being of their children. In this pilot semester, 12 parents from diverse backgrounds participated, and the program culminated in a celebratory graduation on June 1. The program will be reflected on over the summer, in order to determine future opportunities and the possibility of growing Parent University in the coming year.

Click here to learn more about Parent University. 

Click here to view a slideshow from the graduation ceremony.
The VerMonster Roboticists…
June 2, 2015

This EMS Afterschool Team competed in the FIRST LEGO League Competition at Norwich University on November 16. The team of 10 created an innovative solution to improve learning by designing an app that creates a partnership between guidance counselors, teachers and families with children who have minimal parental support or interaction. By pushing out cooperative math activities to these families nightly, the goal is to build stability in the family while targeting specific learning outcomes connected to math.

Additionally, the team built and programmed an autonomous robot to score points by performing tasks inspired by the 2014 theme “World Class Learning.” Missions required the robot to navigate and to capture, transport, activate, or deliver objects precisely on a printed mat on a special table.
The team finished 4th overall out of 27 teams. Their project, titled Family Balance,  finished 2nd overall and the team then competed in a head-to-head robot competition between the top four scoring teams. The Roboticists walked away from that with an impressive 1st place finish and qualified for the regional competition in Nashua, NH! 
View the team and their robot in action here.

Congratulations Emily Budman, Isidora Baily-Hall, Cortina Barbiere, Hessain Tamang, Lea Minhok, Kaleb Rouseau, Asia Vo, Owen Moran and Sam Weber!
Vermont Afterschool and Summer Learning Day 
March 25, 2015

EMS students Kolby Darrah and Kayley Hays and several HMS students were selected as Student Ambassadors for this annual event at the State House on February 19Students were asked to write essays explaining why afterschool was important to them. Kayley wrote, "I have had many fun and memorable times after school…I know that I can always ask for help, and get the help I need.” As Kolby wrote, "(Afterschool) has changed my life for the better.”
These students love afterschool, but weren't convinced talking to adults about it was going to all that exciting. Once in Montpelier, however, Student Ambassadors toured the State House, met Speaker of the House Shap Smith, heard from EMS 8th grader and Legislative Page Alex Contreras-Montesano, participated in a workshop on advocacy and got to practice their "elevator speeches" on students from all over the State.  
During lunch the group heard from Governor Shumlin and spoke to representatives and afterschool supporters including Vermont State Board of Education Representative Stacy Weinberger. Students then saw the State House in action, witnessing the passing of a House Resolution on Afterschool and Summer Learning (proposed by Representative Mike Mrowicki of Windham.) 
So what was their verdict on a day with the politicians?  "I thought it was going to be kind of a boring day, but I really had a lot of fun!"  
BSD Afterschool Programs are attended by over 2,000 students across 9 Program Sites (data from 2013-14.) Enrichment activities include everything from sailing to chorus, fly fishing to fashion design, LEGO Robotics to outdoor adventures and include lots of homework help and academic support.   

Why advocate for afterschool and summer learning?
Where available, Vermont has very strong afterschool programs that
 support working families, but not everyone has access... 
  •  24% (21,690) of Vermont’s K-12 children are responsible for taking care of themselves after school. These children spend an average of 8 hours per week unsupervised after school.
  • 24% (21,690) of Vermont’s K-12 children participate in afterschool programs. On average, afterschool participants spend 8 hours per week in afterschool programs. Participation averages 3 days per week.
  • 33% (22,163) of Vermont’s K-12 children would participate in an afterschool program if one were available. This represents a large unmet need across our State.
  • 95% of Vermont parents are satisfied with the afterschool program their child attends.
  • Vermont ranked 4th in the nation for afterschool programming.
  • 79% of adults surveyed in Vermont agree that afterschool programs help working parents keep their jobs and 88% support public funding for afterschool programs. (Source: America After 3pm Report.)
More information about Afterschool in Vermont can be found at www.vermontafterschool.org.
Community Cares at EES - A Great Connection with the Larger Burlington Community!
March 18, 2015
In November, a group of Edmunds Elementary School afterschool students in grades 3-5 were given the opportunity to list places around town that they were interested in helping, as part of the Community Cares Project. One of their choices was to work with and gather donations for The Chittenden County Humane Society. The group also visited the Humane Society to learn about their services, further explore the amazing work they do, and to meet some of their animals:) 

Other activities included preparing a meal at the COTS Family Shelter (shopping trip pictured above), making cookies for the COTS Daystation, and Book Buddies Day, when students read and made cards with their kindergarten friends.
Afterschool Staff Collaborate on a Mission Statement for BSD Expanded Learning Opportunities
March 4, 2015

Burlington Kids at C.P. Smith
February 10, 2015
We are very excited to highlight a recent Afterschool Program at C.P. Smith, whose partnership with UVM's College of Medicine Microscopy Imaging Center offered Project Micro to grades 3-5 students.

Student volunteers led by Janet Schwarz, MIC Coordinator, visited the program weekly to set up microscopy imaging stations for students to explore.


Burlington Afterschool Opens its Doors
February 5, 2015
Sites throughout the District opened their doors on October 30 to welcome community members, Legislators, BSD Board Members and family members, as part of the National Lights On Afterschool Initiative, which aims to showcase the significant value of afterschool in the lives of our students and families.

Katarina Lisaius, from the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders, visited afterschool programs as part of the event; remarking on her visit, Katarina wrote, "It was great to see how engaged the students are, and how happy they are in the Program...To be able to have programs coordinate with classroom academics is hugely beneficial to the students. Furthermore, having a comfortable environment for students to be themselves is important for personal and community growth."

The many highlights of the Lights On Afterschool events demonstrate why Vermont was recently ranked #4 in the Nation for afterschool programming in the recently released 2014 America After 3PM Report! As the largest provider of afterschool care in the State, Burlington Kids and Burlington Afterschool play a significant role in Vermont's afterschool "landscape."
Link to the full report and associated data: 
Unified BHS
December 23, 2014

Unified BHS is an Afterschool Program committed to developing an inclusive school community through participating in school and community events. The goal is to get students interacting in a way that encourages friendships based on respect, dignity, and acceptance of others with differences. 

Pictured here is the Play Unified Dodgeball Team that participated in the school-wide Dodgeball Tournament. Students also attended “Shrek the Musical” and will be participating in snowshoeing and basketball this winter!
2014-2015 BKids Staff - Ready for Afterschool!​

Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!
August, 2014

For nearly two-thirds of our students, back to school means back to afterschool. Thanks to great partners across the City, over 2,700 Burlington students participated in a broad range of afterschool and summer programs last year. 

Our summer programs in particular were a huge success, with the middle school program partnering with the Sara Holbrook Community Center and the Winooski School District to provide opportunities for students across the two Districts to build relationships while learning new skills together. In addition, the highly successful S.O.A.R. Program provided countless high-quality enrichment and academic activities, hosted Senator Bernie 
Sanders at a Friday Assembly (pictured), and received numerous appreciations and acknowledgements from the community. Richard Boltax from the Vermont Agency of Education remarked to S.O.A.R. Program Director Jim Drown, “I would like to commend you, as well as all your staff, for the remarkable Summer Program you’ve put together. My visit on Friday left me with a feeling of great inspiration for being associated with all the great educators I met. Burlington is very fortunate to have a world class Summer Program available to its students…To bring together a diverse group of students from different schools and create a climate of trust, safety, and excitement about learning is an accomplishment of great significance.”

2013-2014 afterschool program offerings included a broad array of activities; from sailing to ultimate frisbee, fly fishing and cooking, fashion design and African drumming, Lego Robotics to woodworking with Sawmill Studios, and Magic the Gathering. Not to mention partnerships with over 20 local community organizations including UVM, Champlain College, Shelburne Museum, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and the Audubon Society. 

In addition to enrichment activities, students participating in afterschool spent over 3,000 hours in academic programs. Examples included: Homework Help club at Edmunds Middle School, Do the Math program at Champlain Elementary, an SAT prep course at the High School, the English Language Learner (ELL) Club at the Sustainability Academy—which gave students a chance to practice their English reading and writing skills in a fun and experiential setting—and the Math Mania program at J.J. Flynn, whose participants showed a significant increase in math proficiency levels after participation in the program.

We are very excited to highlight an upcoming fall program at C.P. Smith, whose partnership with UVM's College of Medicine Microscopy Imaging Center will offer Project Micro to grades 3—5 students. Student volunteers led by Janet Schwarz, MIC Coordinator, will come weekly to set up microscopy imaging stations for students to explore.

Along with outstanding program offerings, the Expanded Learning Team is welcoming new staff, as well as  implementing new goals around increasing parent and community involvement through an Advisory Committee, and implementing the YPQA (Youth Program Quality Assessment) across all District schools.

We’ve continued to make substantial investments designed to increase revenue from our fee-based Burlington Kids Sites. Last year, we expanded our outreach efforts to assure that all families can access the program and take advantage of financial assistance from the State. This, combined with the State’s recognition of  the improved quality of our programs, creates a strong base to sustain our efforts. These additional resources allow us to invest in our programs, strengthening our staff and expanding our offerings.

Finally, it’s important to acknowledge our many partners who make all of these programs possible. We’re excited to continue collaborating with the Sara Holbrook Community Center, the Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Greater Burlington, and the Department of Parks and Recreation. This collaboration continues to add value for all of Burlington’s young people.

If you have ideas for programs or would like to be involved please contact the 
Director of Expanded Learning, Christy Gallese at:
 540-0285 or cgallese@bsdvt.org.

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