August 2012



12        Football Parent Meeting (5:00 pm)

13        Football Practice Begins

15        Fall Sports Mandatory Parent/Athlete Meeting (6:00 pm)

16        Fall Sports Practice Begins

20        Senior College Admission Seminar (10:00 am – 1:00 pm)

20        Extracurricular Theater & Dance Meeting (6:00 pm)

21-24  Theater & Dance Workshops and Auditions (6:00 – 9:00 pm)

21        Senior College Application Workshop (10:00 am – 12:00 noon)

22        Senior College Application Workshop (10:00 am – 12:00 noon)

23        Orientation for transfer students in grades 10 – 12
…………..(10:00 am – 12:00 noon)

23-24  Faculty In-Service

27        Freshman Orientation (7:50 am – 1:20 pm)

27        Junior Jump Start (7:50 am – 12:00 noon)

27        Freshman and Sophomore Class Potluck (5:00 pm)

27        Freshman/New Parent Orientation (7:00 pm)

28        School Opens (Early Dismissal – 12:35 pm)


3          Labor Day – No School

6          School Photos

12        Junior College Field Trip & Fair (12:00 noon – 10:00 pm)

19        Parent Association Pasta Dinner (5:00 pm)


From the Headmaster

Dear Families,

August has arrived, and with it comes the start of the school year.  Please know that our website calendar is fully loaded with the year’s events, so you should refer to that calendar for information you may need about start dates, vacation dates, and other important events. Please note that the full school calendar may be found online.  We will also be sending a package of information out to each of you in the next couple of weeks that will include student schedules and other information.

The theme for this year will be Take Responsibility.  Assistant Headmaster Meg Kenny and I came up with this theme as a way of bringing our mission of Responsibility, Integrity and Service to life.  We ask that you reinforce this theme at home: we want each and every student to understand what is expected of them as a scholar and citizen, and we want them to Take Responsibility throughout this year.

Each year is a fresh start, and that is one of the many things that I love about working in a school.  I hope you and your family have had a great summer, and I look forward to launching Burr and Burton Academy’s 183rd year of service to this community.

Sincerely yours,

Mark H. Tashjian


From the New Parent Association President

I want to introduce myself and let you know that I am excited to be your new Parent Association President.  I am the mother of Brianna who is a junior and Hailey who is a sophomore here at Burr and Burton and I am married to Dan Brockett.  Dan and I have owned and operated The Lily of the Valley Florist here in Manchester for the past 20 years. I was born and raised in the Manchester / Dorset area and am a 4th generation alumni of Burr and Burton. I have witnessed a lot of changes at BBA and look forward to having the opportunity to making it even better for all our children. I have a great team beside me and am planning on a very productive and enjoyable year. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or suggestions at any point.


Peggy Brockett
Parent Association President


From the Dean of Students

Dear Parents:

No school is immune from incidents of bullying and harassment. While cell phones and social media websites are great tools when used properly, they can also create the “perfect storm” when students use various forms of electronic media as their sole way to communicate with their friends.

While the number of incidents of bullying and harassment are minimal at BBA, there has been an increase in recent years. Some may look at this increase as a negative, but it can also be viewed as a positive, because it means more students are being proactive and are no longer interested in being bystanders.

So with all of this talk about bullying and harassment you may be wondering how Burr and Burton handles the reports? The first thing I tell students is that if they are bystanders, they should not be afraid to report an incident if they believe that someone is being mistreated. If students are worried about confidentiality there are always ways to conduct an investigation without mentioning who made the report. As it turns out, in most cases, an adult has also witnessed the same wrongdoing and also reported the information.

For the perpetrator, my response is pretty simple. STOP the behavior that is causing someone else discomfort. Plain, simple, straightforward language in most cases prevents the behavior from happening again. Why? Punishments and penalties merely heighten the intensity of the situation and can lead to retaliation by the perpetrator or his/her friends. In most cases, bullying and harassment can be stopped directly with an honest, respectful, two-sided conversation. After all, isn’t the purpose to get the behavior that is causing the bullying and harassment to end?

New Tardy Policy

We encourage students to meet all of their obligations on time. Arriving to school and class on time is no exception. There are times when a student, due to emergencies or situations beyond his/her control (e.g. an accident, weather conditions, medical appointment), must arrive to school or class late, but we expect that these situations will occur infrequently. Students who have an appointment before school should always bring a note from their doctor/dentist. In these instances the administration may waive a student’s tardy. Anytime students are late to school they are required to report to the main office to sign in.

If late to class during the school day, students should always get a pass from their previous teacher to enter class. The pass may excuse them for being tardy so that it does not count against their cumulative absences. Note: Arriving to class more than 20 minutes late is considered an unexcused absence unless waived by the Administration.

Cumulative Tardies

Every unexcused tardy to class is the equivalent of a third of an absence. Thus, every third tardy to a class is recorded as one cumulative absence for that class. Cumulative tardy absences will be added to the total number of traditional absences.

Absences and Grading

It is unreasonable to assume that everything that is learned in a class can be measured in a typical written test. Through peer interaction, project work, and interpersonal connections, students grow intellectually, not only in the content of study but also through the development of life skills necessary to succeed in the future. In an effort to honor the intangibles of classroom participation, the Burr and Burton Attendance Policy will factor attendance into each student’s classroom grade. A graduated scale is created that takes into account the many factors that affect student attendance.

In the event that a student has excessive absences from a class, the overall grade for that course will be affected. More than 14 cumulative absences in a semester and/or a yearlong course will result in a reduction of the overall course grade by one third of a letter grade. For example, on the 15th absence, an A+ would become an A. Every subsequent absence will result in an additional loss of one third of the grade.

In special circumstances, the teacher may choose to waive an absence; providing that the student has met with the instructor and/or tutor to sufficiently make up the missed work within a reasonable time period. Teachers will confer with their department chair prior to granting a waiver.

It is the responsibility of the students to manage their attendance and make appropriate choices that will not adversely alter their grade. All absences, other than the waived absences (see below) will be added to a student’s cumulative absences for each class. These absences will be indicated on all interim reports and report cards. Students may request to view their attendance totals from their instructor. In the event that a grade is altered due to poor attendance, a comment will be provided on the report card and a request made to meet with the parent or guardian.

Parents are encouraged to schedule family vacations around school vacation time in order to avoid compromising their child’s educational experience. Extended family vacations will count toward the total number of absences a student has in a class. Please keep this in mind when taking your child out of school during regular class time. Parents should notify the school at least two weeks in advance any time a student is going to miss school for an extended family vacation.

Waived Absences (Noncumulative)

Any waived absence is considered noncumulative and will not count toward a student’s overall absence total. Waived absences include bereavement, religious holidays, suspensions, and standardized tests administered by the school (i.e., NECAP, PSAT, PLAN, TOEFL, AP Exams). The Administration reserves the right to make exceptions as may be deemed appropriate. NOTE: If the Health Clinic sends a student home, the absence will be treated as an excused (not waived) absence.

If you have any questions about our attendance policy please feel free to contact me at school.

Respectfully submitted,

Anthony J Cirelli
Dean of Students


News From the Athletic Department

Important Fall Sports Information

August 12th – Mandatory Football Parent and Athlete Information Night 5:00 pm in the cafeteria

August 13th – Football practice begins

August 15 – Mandatory Fall Sports Parent and Athlete Information Night for ALL Fall Sports 6:00 pm in the gym. All athletes and parents will meet in the gym first. Football players and parents will be dismissed and all others will go to individual team meetings

August 16th – Soccer, Field Hockey and  Cross Country practices begin

Fall Head Coaches:

Football: Jason Thomas:

Girls’ Soccer: Dan DeForest:

Boys’ Soccer: Peter Mull:

Field Hockey: Barbara Muench:

Cross Country: Sandy Birch:

All students must have had a physical exam after October 31, 2010 prior to participating in fall sports. Copies of new or existing physicals must be provided to the athletic department.

All the necessary forms needed to participate in athletics can be downloaded from the schools web site here. These completed forms must be brought to the meetings on August 12th or August 15th or mailed (attn. Kathi Bierwirth) to the school before August 10th.

Returning Burr and Burton students must be in attendance at the first day of practice and all juniors must attend the varsity tryouts.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Director of Athletics Kathi Bierwirth at

Concussion in Sports – What You Need To Know
Click here for course link

Sports-related concussion in high school sports can be serious or even life-threatening situations if not managed correctly. National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to provide information and resources to help educate coaches, officials, parents and students on the importance of proper concussion recognition and management in high school sports. Mick Koester M.D., ATC, Chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and Director of the Slocum Sports Concussion in Eugene, Oregon takes you through this course. In this course you will understand the impact sports-related concussion can have on your players, how to recognize a suspected concussion, the proper protocols to manage a suspected concussion, and steps to help your player return to play safely after experiencing a concussion.

The Role of the Parent in Sports
Click here for course link

The National Federation of State High School Associations has come out with a new free course: The Role of the Parent in Sports. This link provides good information, videos and handouts that parents and coaches should become familiar with.

As a parent of a student who participates in athletics, you make a huge difference in the quality of your child’s sports experience, as well as what is being taught and learned by your son or daughter. The National Federation of State High School Associations has provided information and resources to help educate you on the importance of proper behavior by parents in school sports.


Social Studies Summer Reading Assignment

Each year the Burr and Burton Social Studies Department’s summer reading assignment requires every student to read a selection from the list provided.  We believe that this assignment provides students with the opportunity to read something both of high interest and related to the curriculum. The Social Studies Department chose this year’s selections based on our current curriculum and with student engagement in mind. The assignment is due on August 31st. Copies of the reading list are available through the Office of School and College Counseling, on the BBA website, or by entering this URL:

Dave Miceli
Social Studies Department Chair


From the Performing Arts Department

The fall play this year is M*A*S*H, based upon the TV show.  We invite all to audition for this show as there are 15 parts for men and 15 parts for women.

A mandatory meeting for all students interested in participating in the Media and Performing Arts extracurricular fall productions will take place on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm in the Riley Center for the Arts.  If you are interested in acting, dancing, singing, music, directing, building sets, writing, hanging lights, costumes, props, stage management, make-up, sound, filming, editing, etc., make sure you don’t miss this meeting. Audition material will be handed out for the Fall Play M*A*S*H and the Fall Film Project. Auditions will take place on August 21-23 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. We will also share information and schedules for all other offerings such as Broadway Workshop, Pointe and Circuits. For more information visit and click on the link for the fall play.  If you are unable to attend, please contact Mr. Raposa at:

Saturday Series – beginning September 1

The Phantom of the Opera, Aida, and Jerome Robbins’s “ballet in sneakers” are all coming to Burr and Burton Academy this year, along with many other world-class performances in the brand-new Saturday Series beginning September 1.

Burr and Burton Academy’s Media Performing Arts Department in partnership with the Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning and Northshire Performing Arts will present a high-definition broadcast performance in the school’s Riley Center for the Arts every other Saturday evening from September through April at 7 pm. A wide variety of genres will be represented: theater, film, opera, ballet, and dance. All the performances are stunningly presented on a large screen using the latest high-definition technology.

Starting the series off will be the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera from the Royal Albert Hall in London, which includes over 200 cast members, orchestra musicians, and luminaries involved with with the show since its premier in 1986.

On September 15, the National Theatre of London’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will be shown. Based on Mark Haddon’s 2003 award-winning novel, the drama focuses on a young boy wrongly accused of killing his neighbor’s dog and his arduous journey to solve the mystery. The play is directed by Marianne Elliott who co-directed the hugely successful stage production of War Horse for the National, for which she won a Tony Award in 2011.

Enjoy the chance to vote on short films by young filmmakers at the broadcast of the MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival on September 29. “MANHATTAN SHORT is not a touring or traveling film festival…it is the world’s first Global Film Festival, taking place in over 250 cities across 6 continents during one week.”

Tickets for all performances are $18 for adults and $9 for students.

For a full description of all the performances scheduled for the 2012-2013 Saturday Series and ticket information, please visit arts/events or

Treasures of Turkey

Neil and Julie Freebern are leading a Treasures of Turkey trip through EF Tours during April vacation 2013. Trip highlights include Istanbul’s ancient Hippodrome, Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, as well as the Grand and Spice Bazaars. Other points of interest feature guided tours of Ephesus, The House of the Virgin Mary, Pergamon Acropolis and Troy. This ten day tour will give travelers the opportunity to be immersed in the culture and history of this very unique Mediterranean destination.

A meeting for interested travelers is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26, 7:00 pm in the music room.

Please visit or contact for more detailed information concerning this trip.


International Service Learning Opportunity

Service Learning Trip to Costa Rica – April break 2013

Service to Community, Earth, Flora and Fauna

The Costa Rica service learning trip is a student travel experience whose focus is to gain a better appreciation for the culture, climate and resources of Costa Rica by engaging in experiential learning, service, fun and adventure. We are looking for students who believe in the key words stated in the mission of BBA; responsibility, integrity and service.

See Mrs. Niles or Ms. Silver for more information or contact them at or


From the Advancement Office

We hope everyone is having a great summer as we start to gear up for this coming school year.  It always amazes me how quickly the summer flies by!

The Advancement Office would like to thank everyone who supported our work this past year.  We had another terrific year from a fundraising standpoint thanks to the continuing efforts of our Burr and Burton parents.  We met the Endowment Initiative mid-year, continued to make progress on the Mountain Campus fundraising, and made our goal for the Annual Fund.  So whether you wrote a check, donated a service, made a gift-in-kind to the Online Auction or Live Auction for the gala, volunteered time in the concession stand, worked on the gala committee, attended the gala, sold ads for the Winter Sports program, baked cookies or brownies for sale during an intermission of a student performance, helped plan Senior Sendoff, or participated in some other way, we want to say a big, heartfelt THANK-YOU!  We couldn’t do what we do without your help.

This year’s annual fund goal was $500,000 and we got there despite continuing challenging economic times.  This endorsement and support of Burr and Burton is truly amazing and allows us to continue to offer the best in programming and opportunities to YOUR student.  A large part of getting to our goal included the hugely successful parent fundraising event, An Evening of Broadway, which netted almost $150,000!

It takes a lot of collaboration and cooperation to make this special place we know as Burr and Burton Academy be the school of choice in our area. Through our unique public/private partnership, we educate all students and offer them a breadth of opportunities you won’t find anywhere else in Vermont. Your generous support makes all that possible.

It’s been a busy summer with lots of camps in session on campus and we look forward to seeing these halls bustling with students soon as we count down to the start of the 2012 – 2013 school year!

Most gratefully,

Cynthia H. Gubb
Director of Advancement


From the Business Office

Tuition Request Form

Each of  Burr and Burton’s sending towns has its own tuition request requirements and process. The towns of Danby, Dorset, Manchester, Mt. Tabor, Sunderland, Rupert, and Pawlet are part of the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union (BRSU.) Please submit the tuition request form sent to you by the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union by August 15, 2012. These forms must be filed every year a student is enrolled at Burr and Burton Academy. If you did not receive one or have misplaced the form you can download it from our Admissions page on our website at

The other sending towns, including Dover, Landgrove, Londonderry, Peru, Stratton, Weston and Winhall, have their own forms. Please contact the town school board or town clerk for information about the forms required.

If your town is not referenced above, you must contact the town school board or town clerk about the forms your town requires. If you have any questions please contact Ramona Towne in the Burr and Burton Business Office at 549-8149 or e-mail

All Parents

The Free and Reduced Meal Application form is now on our website here.


2013 Burtonian Yearbooks

Seniors and Parents of Seniors!
The 2013 Burtonian yearbook staff needs 2 senior photos, one portrait and one informal photo, delivered to them by Friday, October 5, 2012. Please arrange to have these photos taken over the summer.  Students may also have their formal photos taken in early September at the school.

Please note: All digital photos must be 300 dpi (that’s the resolution). All photos must be larger than 2.5 inches wide x 3.5 inches tall. Please put the student’s name in the subject line. Photos that are in a hard copy format can be mailed to the Burtonian yearbook staff, attention Alex Vincent, Burr and Burton Academy, PO Box 498, Manchester, VT 05254.

Seniors who wish to have their photos done by a photographer of their choice must arrange to have them completed in time to meet this deadline. Pictures must be in a vertical format. Remember that the portrait should be a head shot (head and shoulders only – no hats please). Students must also submit a candid photo at this time (baby picture, sports picture, family picture, or favorite activity). This must also be in a vertical format or able to be cropped into a vertical. The production of a quality book that comes out on time for distribution depends on meeting this deadline.

If we do not receive your senior’s photos by the deadline, they may not be included in the yearbook. Please write the student’s name on the back of all hard copy photos. They will be returned to you next May.

Information on how to order the 2013 Burtonian will be announced in September.


School and College Counseling

Mandatory College Admission Seminar for Seniors

Seniors planning to apply to college must attend the Senior College Admission Seminar on Monday, August 20, from 10 am – 1 pm.  Please report to the Riley Center. We’ll cover the important dates and details of the college application process.  We will continue to meet individually with seniors throughout the rest of the fall to consider college lists, review applications and otherwise support them in a more personalized way.  We strongly recommend that all seniors attend an additional session so that they can get started on the Common Application on Tuesday, August 21, 10 am – noon or Wednesday, August 22, 10 am – noon.

Make sure your course schedule is set for the entire year; it’s very difficult to drop/add for second semester and we are required to report any changes of academic classes to college admission offices.

Orientation for New Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors

All new upperclass students should report to the Library in the Smith Center on Thursday, August 23, at 10 am – noon. They’ll talk with BBA Student Ambassadors and learn tips about adjusting to Burr and Burton. We’ll walk students through their schedules so they’ll be able to easily find classes on the first day and we’ll have a question and answer session.

Junior Jump-Start Program

All juniors report for school one day early—on Monday, August 27, from 7:50 am to noon.  Juniors have reached an important milestone and we’ll mark this special day with activities to kick off the second half of high school! Students will be introduced to career and college information, standardized testing options, and more. They’ll also meet new students and have some time to reconnect with classmates and advisors. To start the day, please report to your advisory classroom or check in at the Main Office with Mrs. Towslee or Mrs. Welsh.

Freshman Orientation – Students Only

All freshmen should meet in the Riley Center for the Arts on Monday, August 27, from 7:50 am – 1:20 pm. Students will meet their classmates, find classrooms, meet their counselor and have a question and answer session.

Fall College Night for Junior and Senior Parents with Guest Speaker

Mark your calendar for Burr and Burton’s Fall College Night for Parents on Monday, September 24, at 6:30 pm. This program will take place in the Riley Center and will feature a guest speaker as well as grade specific information for the college admission process.

Other Upcoming Events

Look for more information in next month’s Bullhorn about these upcoming programs:

College Fair at UVM for juniors on September 12th

PLAN and PSAT – in-school testing for sophomores and juniors

VSAC College Financial Aid Night

Standardized Testing Registration

Registration for the September 8 ACT with writing is August 17. BBA is not a test site for this date.

Burr and Burton will be the host site for both the SAT and ACT this October. Seniors take note: September 7 is the registration deadline for the October 6 SAT and September 21 is the registration deadline for the October 27 ACT. Register online at and  Please note that Burr and Burton does not collect the fees for the SAT or ACT; you must register directly with these organizations. Keep track of your usernames and passwords – you’ll need them again.

Campus Visits

Seniors who haven’t yet visited colleges are strongly advised to make plans to do so as soon as possible. While scheduling college visits during vacations and on weekends is preferable, we understand that it is sometimes necessary for students to miss school. Campus visits are excused absences if parents notify the Attendance Office in advance. Every year, Burr and Burton School and College Counselors make their own campus visits. Let’s trade campus tour reports!

College Visits to Burr and Burton

Throughout the fall months, college admission representatives visit Burr and Burton. Juniors and seniors can keep track of the ever expanding list of visits on their Naviance accounts and make plans to attend meetings with teacher permission.

Contact Information

Don’t hesitate to call us if you have a question, a concern or feedback.  We welcome all contact and the opportunity to work with you to assure the quality of your student’s Burr and Burton experience.

Phil Anton, Director of Admission and School Counseling, Counselor for all freshmen 549-8125;

Andrea Hogan, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8145;

Melissa Michaud, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8130;

Cristin Rose, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors 549-8126;

Maria Bittinger, School and College Counselor for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, 549-8126;


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