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Class of 2024 Success Stories

One of the key goals of our FY25 budget is increased access to alternative programming for some of our most at risk K-8 students at BCEMS and BTMES.  Our Spaulding Educational Alternatives (SEA) program has provided a wonderful option for SHS students the last three years, and we are really in need of providing more options for our younger students too.  You are about to meet two soon-to-be graduates of the Class of 2024 who have benefited from their relationships with SEA Director Reed McCracken, the SEA staff, and all the program has to offer.

These two young men are huge success stories!  Many of our younger students could benefit from a similarly flexible and individualized learning environment that these students have enjoyed in their high school years - we believe this will make a huge different in many students' lives and the BCEMS and BTMES school communities.

If you have any questions about SEA, our plans for K-8 alternatives, or anything else, please reach out.

Farm to School Month

October is Farm to School Month and Shelburne Farms along with VT FEED and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont chose the SEA program to showcase the progress the staff and students have made so far this year with our school based farm to table efforts.  And they have accomplished so much!  Vermont officials including Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbets, Secretary of Education Heather Bouchey, VT FEED Director Betsy Rosenbluth, Barre City representative Jonathan Williams, and Barre City councilor Teddy Waszazak joined many others in a ceremony at SEA on Tuesday afternoon.  Students and staff planned this entire event, and BUUSD Manager of Food Programs Jen Hutchinson and SEA Student Support Specialist Alyssa Pratt joined me to share highlights

This summer, BUUSD staff attended the Farm to School Institute at Shelburne Farms to learn new ways to incorporate Farm to School lessons and practices into the school year curriculum. During this training they were able to network with other schools and programs from all over the country.  The results have been extraordinary, and yesterday visitors were able to enjoy a meal and activities prepared by our SEA students.  The kids have worked hard to improve garden spaces around the SEA grounds and learn about the joys of preparing fresh meals using locally sourced foods.  Congratulations to Jen, Alyssa, and the entire SEA community for this honor yesterday!

SEA takes on the Cross-Vermont Trail!

This week's Showcase brings us for a return visit to the SEA Program! "SEA" stands for Spaulding Educational Alternatives, and the program is in the middle of its second year in our new location. Located on Allen Street in Barre City, SEA provides an alternative opportunity to access high school for up to 60 of our students, and the program is off to an impressive and successful start. We met with SEA teachers Stephen Kelley and Cliff Thompson along with some of their students yesterday in East Montpelier with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp, and it was a great visit.

The SEA crew was joining VYCC staff to work on the Cross Vermont Trail, a multi-use trail network the width of Vermont going along the Winooski and Wells Rivers. The trail will eventually reach about 90 miles in length, and our students were working hard yesterday contributing to this worthy project. Real-world learning and life skills for all Barre students! As I've said before, the community's support of this program says so much about what we value, and as an educator who spent much of my career in Alternative Education, I can promise you that SEA is a program that can make us all proud!

March 9, 2022

Superintendent Chris Hennessey met with SEA Director Jason Derner, teachers Stephen Kelley and Chris Wood, and some of their students in March, and it was a great visit.  "SEA" stands for Spaulding Educational Alternatives, and the program is a brand new addition to our community this year.  Located on Allen Street in Barre City, SEA provides an alternative opportunity to access high school for up to 60 of our students, and the plan is to also open up these opportunities for our 7th and 8th-graders in the years ahead.

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