Monthly Archives: September 2012

September 2012



3        Labor Day – No School

6        School Photos

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

19      Parent Association Pasta Dinner (5:00 pm)

19      Open House for Parents (6:00 pm)

24      Junior and Senior Class Potluck (5:30 pm)

24      Junior and Senior Parent College Night (6:30 pm)

28-29 Homecoming Weekend


6         SAT at Burr and Burton Academy

8         Columbus Day – No School

School events and athletic calendars are always available on our website at

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From the Headmaster

Are you a coach or a player?

As your sons and daughters make their way through the high school years, problems arise.  They may encounter difficult relationships with other students or a teacher.  They may not get the grade they think they deserve; or the playing time on a sports team; or the part in the play they had hoped for.  Life brings challenges, and while we all prefer our life to move forward seamlessly, one of the most important skills we can develop is the ability to solve life’s problems independently.

With this in mind, I ask that you as parents and guardians think of yourself as a coach: give your best advice, help develop a game plan, show interest in schoolwork, and expect high school students to handle most problems themselves, with your support remaining in the background.  By doing this, you will help us prepare your sons and daughters for college and for life, and you will teach them the critical skill of self-advocacy.

Autumn is an exciting time in Vermont.  The surroundings become magnificent, our hopes and dreams for the school year remain unblemished, and Burr and Burton rumbles back to life.

Happy New Year.


Mark H. Tashjian


From the Parent Association

The Burr and Burton Parent Association endeavors to foster partnership between families, school, and the community through communication, education, social and fundraising activities and advocacy.

Welcome back! We start the month with a day off so that we can hit the ground running just after. Fall sports are going full tilt as is everything else!

The open house is on September 19th and remember the Parent Association Pasta Dinner just before it at 5:00pm. Also, the junior and senior pot luck dinner in the cafeteria is  coming up on the 24th. The time has changed to 5:30 pm, so make a note. There is also a college night for juniors and seniors after the dinner.

Homecoming is at the end of the month, over the weekend of September 28th!  Please check the calendar at the website for a complete list of the events that are happening.

Watch your inbox for the BBA This Week email sent Sunday evenings at 5:00 pm with information about upcoming school events. Not receiving this weekly email? Contact Nancy Brown at Oh and don’t forget to email us at with any questions or if you would like to volunteer your time or talents. Together we can do so much!


Peggy Brockett
Parent Association President


From the Athletic Department

Homecoming Week 2012 September 24 – 29

Monday, September 24 

JV Football vs. Otter Valley at BBA 4:00 p.m.
JV Gold & V. Girls Soccer @ Hartford 4:00 p.m.
JV Gold & V. Boys Soccer @ Mill River 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 25

Cross Country @ Woodstock 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 26

JV Gold Boys & Girls Soccer @ Leland & Gray 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 27

Powder Puff football game at BBA 5:00 p.m.
Homecoming Cookout at BBA 6:00 p.m.
Homecoming Pep Rally Bonfire at BBA 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Friday, September 28

Varsity Field Hockey vs. Woodstock at BBA  4:00 p.m.
JV Field Hockey vs. Woodstock at BBA  5:15 p.m.
JV Gold Girls Soccer vs. Rutland at BBA  4:30 p.m.

JV Gold Boys Soccer vs. Woodstock at Rec, 5:00 p.m.
Varsity Girls Soccer vs. Rutland at Applejack 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Woodstock at Applejack 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 29

JV Green Boys Soccer vs. MEMS at Rec, 10:00 a.m.
JV Green Girls Soccer vs. MEMS at BBA, 10:00 a.m.
Varsity Football vs. Fair Haven at BBA, 2:00 p.m.
Golf Ball Drop during halftime of football game

G O  B U L L D O G S ! ! !

From the Booster Club

Last year, thanks to the combined efforts of the Burr and Burton Parent Association, the Booster Club and numerous volunteers, we had a very successful and fun Homecoming Weekend. We would like to build on that success and stage another big weekend this year. Naturally, we need parent and student volunteers to work the concessions at the different sporting events, but we also need the parents to contribute food items for the Thursday night BBQ, which will be free of charge to the students. Below is a list of the items we need:

  • Hot dogs: 600
  • Condiments
  • Desserts: cookies and brownies
  • Bottled water: 30 cases

Parents should email Kathi Bierwirth at to let her know what items you can contribute to the Thursday cookout. Items can be dropped off in the gym lobby until 5 pm Thursday.

Thanks for your support,

Arlena Merrow
Booster Club President


From the Dean of Students

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 a student has.

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 absences 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.


Anthony J. Cirelli
Dean of Students


BBA is the World Champion!

Team Valentine … Sarah, Ali, Andres and Jenny

The ham radio contest team at K1BBS has brought a national and world title to BBA in the 2012 School Club Roundup.  The Roundup results place K1BBS as the top scoring high school in the world.

In February, 62 participants activated K1BBS for 19 hours during the contest week.  584 contacts and 156,000+ points later … K1BBS was 1st in the state, 1st in the world in the high school division, and 3rd in the world for all schools.  BBA’s contest team was truly an international effort with students from Russia, China, Korea, and Vermont.  They put in an amazing performance on a worldwide stage.  Congratulations to the members of the 2012 world champion (in the high school division) K1BBS contest team.


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

Once again, welcome back to all of our families and their students.  We are off to a great start to the 2012 – 2013 school year and we hope everyone is settling back into the school routine.

For our new parents (and all parents for that matter), we want to make sure you are aware of the Annual Giving Campaign which will be underway shortly.  The annual fund is extremely important to our ability to offer your student the best possible education here at Burr and Burton Academy.  While the tuition paid by your sending towns pays for the majority of expenses associated with educating your student, it doesn’t cover everything.  It’s the “extras” that separate an ordinary school from an extraordinary school – and that’s what Burr and Burton is – an extraordinary place for all students to flourish and experience the best of everything.  We ignite a passion for learning because we offer so many opportunities for a student to find success – in the classroom with highly qualified and caring teachers, on the performance stage, on the playing field, in the art, ceramic, digital photography or film studios, in the science or technology labs, at the Mountain Campus – the list is endless.

We simply ask that all parents support the school and the annual fund in some way at a gift level that is right for you.  Last year, over ninety percent of our faculty and staff supported Burr and Burton Academy with a gift, which says a great deal about our commitment to your student.  Won’t you do the same?  About twenty-three percent of parents supported Burr and Burton last year.  It would be wonderful to see that percentage rise to a much higher number!

When the Annual Fund brochure arrives at your home, please respond.  Together, we can continue to offer an extraordinary educational experience to every student who comes to Burr and Burton Academy.

Many, many thanks,

Cynthia H. Gubb
Director of Advancement


From the Health Clinic

All parents – please turn in the Health Clinic Registration form (pink form) so that your student may access Health Clinic services.


Refuse To Use

Refuse To Use is a substance abuse prevention education program open to all BBA 9th-12th grade  students. Students in Refuse To Use receive a pass to Stratton Mountain Resort, Riley Rink or Viking Nordic Center, as well as the Dorset Theater Festival, for making a pledge to refuse alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; their parents and caring adults pledge to support their youth’s decision. Students maintain their pass by upholding their pledge and attending five educational events: the Kick Off, an inter-generational community dialogue night, and three more events focusing on substance use prevention education. Parents commit to attending the Kick Off and the inter-generational dialogue night.

The Refuse To Use program’s Kick Off event is scheduled for Sunday, September 16, 2012, at the Manchester Elementary Middle School gymnasium. The event starts promptly at 2 pm with doors opening at 1:30 pm. All participating youth and their parents or caring adult must attend this event. Online pre-registration will be available as well as on-site registration. No admittance after 2 pm. Contact The Collaborative at or 824-4200 for additional information or to have questions answered.


From the Art Department

Paris at Night – Art Trip February 2013

A call for students interested in the Art Department trip to Paris, Florence and Venice.

Offered to students who are interested in art – traveling to Italy and France during February vacation.
For more information contact or see Ms. Silver in the ceramics room for more information.


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

Please visit or contact for more detailed information.


Congratulations to the Burr and Burton Academy Vocal Music Ensemble for their invitation to participate in the New York City premier of Christopher Tin’s “Calling All Dawns” Song Cycle at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in April 2013.  An informational meeting will be held Thursday September 13th at 7:00 pm in the Riley Center Music Room.  Please contact Julie Freebern to receive paperwork and details regarding this incredible opportunity. 362-1775 ext. 231


From the Yearbook Staff

The production of the 2013 Burtonian is now underway.

We will be setting up a purchasing system very soon but the most important thing right now is for seniors to start sending in their pictures for their senior pages.

The yearbook staff needs two senior photos, one portrait and one informal photo, delivered to them by Friday, October 5, 2012. You can e-mail digital photos to the yearbook staff at Please note: All digital photos must be 300 dpi (that’s the resolution). All photos must be larger than 2.5” wide x 3.5” tall. Please put the student’s name in the subject line.

Seniors who wish to have them done by a photographer of their choice must arrange to have them completed in time to meet this deadline. Also if you have your picture taken on September 6 by the school photographer please let us know this will be the picture you use for your formal image. Pictures must be in a vertical format. Remember 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 year book that comes out on time for distribution depends on meeting this deadline.

If we do not receive a 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 shortly.

Early Bird Promotion of online book sales starts on September 1, 2012 and ends December 19th. 
After that date the cost of books will go up from $50.00 to $55.00.

Thank you for your cooperation.


From the Library

Welcome back everyone! We are very excited for the start of this new school year. We have a lot of projects that are going on in the library, and we’re looking forward to sharing them with you.

Please take a look at the library website It is always being updated with more links and resources so that it meets the needs of students and teachers.

There are always new books to review, so stop by and say hello to your library staff, Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Hansen. We can help you find great books and great web resources.

As always, if you need anything, please let us know. Have a great year!

Regular Library Hours
Monday – Thursday  7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday  7 a.m. – 1 p.m.


College and Career Information

Debra Shaver, Dean of Admission at Smith College, will be the keynote speaker for Burr and Burton Academy’s Fall College Night for Parents of Juniors and Seniors.  Her talk, “Parents’ Survival Guide to the College Admission Process,” will take place on Monday, Sept. 24 at 6:30 pm in the school’s Riley Center theater.

Debra Shaver has been in college admission for over 30 years yet she cites her experience as a parent guiding her son through the college admission process as her best professional development training.  Shaver has spoken nationally about college admission and has been recognized as a dynamic and humorous speaker on the role of parents in the college admission process. She received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from Alfred University and has also worked at Alfred, Colgate University and the College of the Holy Cross.

Members of the public are welcome to attend Dean Shaver’s address.  Following the keynote, Burr and Burton School and College Counselors will continue the program and present grade-specific information about the college process to parents of enrolled juniors and seniors.

Questions about the Junior and Senior Parent College Night may be directed to Lynne Welsh, 802-362-1775, ext.242.

Make-up Senior College Workshop

College-bound seniors who missed the earlier session need to attend a makeup work shop on either Monday, September 17 during D block or Tuesday, September 18 during E block. Both sessions will be held in the library.

Fall College Night for Junior and Senior Parents

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.

College Fair Field Trip
Burr and Burton is sponsoring a field trip for interested college-bound juniors on Wednesday, September 12. Students will meet in the Hunter Seminar Room at 10:30 am and depart BBA at 11 am. Students should bring a bag lunch to eat en route. We will go to Champlain College where students will participate in an admission presentation and tour the campus. We will then head to UVM for a tour and dinner with Burr and Burton alums in the campus center before going to the NEACAC College Fair at St. Michael’s College. Approximately 250 college representatives will take part in the College Fair. To sign up, bring a completed college fair worksheet and permission slip to the School and College Counseling Office. Bus seats are limited , and will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis until full. No reservations will be accepted after Monday, September 10. We expect to return to BBA at approximately 10:30 pm.

Standardized Testing Registration for Seniors

Burr and Burton will host the SAT on October 6. The deadline to register is September 7. The registration deadline for the October 27 ACT at Burr and Burton is September 21. The November 3 SAT registration deadline is October 4 and is not administered at BBA.

Register online  at and Please note that the school does not collect the fees for the SAT or ACT; you must register directly with these organizations.

Sophomore and Junior Testing
Sophomores will take the PLAN on the morning of Wednesday, October 17. The PLAN helps students measure their current academic development and explore career-training options. It is a test that has value for students planning to go on to college as well as those entering the workforce.

Most juniors will take the PSAT (a preliminary, or practice, SAT) on Wednesday, October 17  during school hours. Students must bring the $15 registration fee (checks should be made out to Burr and Burton Academy) to Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office by October 3. The PSAT is a wonderful opportunity for students who have completed geometry to assess their testing skills.

Contact the School and College Counselors if you have any questions. Students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch should see their counselor to request a fee waiver for the PSAT.

The Assistant Headmaster is currently putting together a schedule for NECAP testing that juniors will given October 2, 3 and 4. Please limit  time away from school during this period.

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. Friday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day) is a particularly good day to visit colleges because it is a faculty in-service day at Burr and Burton.

College Visitors
Juniors and seniors may be excused from class, with teacher permission, to meet with college representatives visiting Burr and Burton this fall. Nearly 40 colleges have already scheduled appointments during the month of September. Please check the college visit list on Naviance ( or the College Planning Calendar in the School and College Counseling Office for the most up-to-date list of visitors and meeting locations. Daily announcements will also serve as a reminder of these appointments. College visits provide students with a great opportunity to ask questions, make a connection with the college representative and learn the most current campus information.

Contact Information
Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have a question, a concern, or wish to offer feedback. We welcome all contact and the opportunity to work with you to assure the quality of your student’s Burr and Buurton 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:

Scholarship List 2012/2013

Forms for all of the scholarships listed below are available in the School and College Counseling Office.  This scholarship information is also listed on the Naviance website at:

The William Randolph Hearst Scholarship
Applicant must hold an elected student government office; show leadership, academic achievement, clear speech, and community involvement.
Award: $5,000
Deadline for application to your school counselor: October 1.
Online application: (Go to “Student Activities” then scholarships).

AES Engineers Scholarship
Eligibility: awarded on the basis of character, as determined by evaluated the essays that are submitted.
Essay to be submitted via email.
Deadline for application: October 7.
Details in the School and College Counseling Office or

TOPIC: What impact will the Natural Disasters of 2010/11 have on the global economy? How should these events affect future political, business and personal decisions? Submit essay to:


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