Monthly Archives: October 2012

October 2012


6           SAT at BBA

8           Columbus Day – No School

12 – 13 Fall Clothing Exchange/Giveaway 

17         Senior Workshops PLAN & PSAT (8:00 – 11:30 am)

18         Calliope Cafe – Scranton Room (6:30 pm)

19         Grandparents and Special Friends Day

24         End of the Marking Period

25 – 26 Midterm Exams (Early Dismissal – 12:35 pm)

27         ACT at BBA


5         Mandatory Parent/Athlete Ice Hockey Meeting

7 – 10  Fall Play


From the Headmaster

Dear Families:

There’s a new book out: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough.  It brings together in one place some of the most interesting, most powerful findings about learning.

Back when we were in school (to date myself, I graduated from high school in 1980), we were in the heydey of the IQ era.  Some students were smart, some weren’t, and that’s just the way the world was. Yes, hard work mattered, but nobody said you could get any smarter by applying yourself.  Most of us went to high school in an era where natural aptitude reigned supreme – so-called smart kids did well, and others didn’t.

What the latest research shows, however, is that we were woefully wrong.  A professor named Eleanor Duckworth devised a 12-question “grit” test, gave it to freshmen cadets at West Point Military Academy, and it become the best predictor of success in one of our nation’s most challenging environments.  Not IQ, not SAT scores, not athletic ability: grit.

A professor named Carol Dweck has shown that students who adopt a “growth” mindset – a belief that the brain can get stronger and intelligence can grow – will do better in school.  She wrote an article titled, “The Perils and Promise of Praise,” in which she makes the case for recognizing and rewarding effort, tenacity, sticking to a problem rather than focusing on the achievement of a grade.

It’s all in the book, and these are very important concepts.  What do they mean to you as parents?  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Take failures as life-lessons.  We can learn a great deal from our mistakes, and those challenges can actually build confidence and inner fortitude.  The whole first section of the book is titled “How to Fail.”
  • Please urge your sons and daughters to engage in the process of learning.  They should seek extra help, re-write papers, and develop a “refuse to quit” attitude.  Honor their effort, honor their initiative, cheer them on just as we do when they are on the sports field.
  • Take the Grit Test with your daughters and sons, and talk about what it means.  I have included a link to the test below.
  • Read Carol Dweck’s article – see link below – and consider getting Paul Tough’s book.

This is all good news.  Success is in our hands.

Happy October.

Mark H. Tashjian


Perils and Promise of Praise see link here

Grit Test see link here


The Pioneer semester at the Mountain Campus is in full swing and we’re thoroughly enjoying the remarkably dry weeks of early fall. Our first group of students has been hard at work learning about the ecology and local history of our 100 acre campus, while also developing leadership and communication skills as we form our community and care for our facility. Early next week we’ll head out on our first major camping trip, traveling off trail to discover and trace the headwaters of the three major New England watersheds, all of which fall from our backyard Green Mountains. On this trip we’ll practice the expedition skills we’ve been building as well as assessing our growth as field naturalists and landscape historians. A closer look at our past few weeks can be found on our blog ( and facebook page (
Students interested in learning more about the program and admissions for spring semester 2013 or school year 2013-14 are encouraged to talk to their counselor in the School and College Counseling Office or contact us directly by email: ( or phone (802-824-4846).

Ben Freeman
Mountain Campus Director


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.

October starts and ends with tests at BBA! NECAP’s for juniors are October 2nd, 4th & 11th. The SAT test is on October 6th and the ACT is on October 27th. Don’t forget that Columbus Day is October 8th so there is no school. Also please come to the annual clothing exchange put on by the Parent Association and the National Honor Society on October 12th  & 13th. Drop off clothes at the cafeteria on Friday, October 12th from 1:00-7:00pm. You just take whatever suits your fancy! It’s great!

On October 17th the PLAN and PSAT will be given to sophomores and juniors and the seniors will have workshops, then the Calliope Café is on the 18th and Grandparents and Special Friends Day is on the 19th. The 24th is the end of the first marking period and midterm exams are on the 25th  & 26th.

Another full month at BBA!

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


News From The Athletics Department

Upcoming Event:

Tuesday, October 9 – The Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country team will host their only home meet of the season. The meet will begin at 4:30 from the red gate on the Equinox trails and will make two loops around Equinox Pond. Come out and support the runners.

Fall Sports Post Season Dates:

Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer and Field Hockey:

October 22 – Tournament pairings are completed and can be found on after 1:00.

October 23/24 – Playdowns

October 27 – Quarterfinals

October 30/31 – Semi Finals

November 3 – State Finals- Sites TBA

Cross Country:

October 27 – State Meet- Thetford Academy


November 2/3 – Semi Finals

November 9/10 – State Finals -South Burlington H.S

From the Booster Club

Booster Club meetings are every second Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm in Julie Fifield’s room.

Thank You
Arlena Merrow
President of Boosters


From the Dean of Students

Dear Parents,

The school year is off to a great start! We have witnessed a dramatic decrease in the number of students arriving to school late, and I want to thank all of you for your efforts. The decrease in the number of student tardies in the morning is amazing, especially considering all of the road construction and detours in Manchester. If driving, please plan to give yourself a little extra time in the morning to get through town.

No matter what the circumstance, student safety is always our number one concern. Please reinforce with your son/daughter that driving safely and at the speed limit is always more important than arriving to school before the bell rings. We have had a few close calls with accidents in town, coming down from the mountain, West Road and on Seminary Avenue. Unfortunately, there have also been a few minor fender benders at school.

When dropping your child off in the morning, please use either the lower or upper circle. Mrs. Biller, our campus supervisor was placing cones adjacent to the upper circle to encourage parents and some students to use the circle rather than drive into the faculty parking lot for drop off. Obviously, there are always exceptions, but let’s really try to keep these exceptions to a minimum. Even if there are no cones out, please continue to use the circle for drop off. We have also explained to our faculty that they need to be cautious when driving by the circle.

By working together we can all make a difference and make traveling to school safe for everyone. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Mr. Cirelli
Dean of Students


From the Advancement Office

There’s a lot going on this fall so please take a moment to read through this section!

Email addresses are an important way Burr and Burton Academy communicates with our parents.  We strive to be as accurate as possible when it comes to your contact information.  If you are not getting eNotify messages, the weekly email from the Parent Association or you have recently changed your email address, please contact Nancy Brown in the Advancement Office with an update.  Nancy can be reached at 802-549-8110 or

The 2012 – 2013 Student and Parent Telephone Directories are available for pick up.  If you were unable to make it to the Parent Open House, please feel free to stop by the Office of School and College Counseling and pick up a copy (or two if needed).  You could also ask your student to pick one up for you.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day is scheduled for October 19.  If you want to be sure that your student’s grandparents or special friends are on the invitation list, please contact Nancy Brown.  Invitations went out last week.  Last year we had over 150 guests and it promises to be a great day again this year.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for your child’s grandparents to get a peek at what it’s like to be a Burr and Burton Academy student.  Lunch with grandchildren will follow the formal program.

Last but certainly not least – we are launching the Annual Giving Campaign this month!  At the Parent Open House, Bob McLeish, Co-chair of the Parent Association Advancement Committee put out a plea for all parents to participate in supporting the annual fund.  This is extremely important as we raise money from other friends of the school, foundations and local businesses.  When they see a strong level of support from our parents it shows you believe in and endorse what the school is doing and they respond to that show of support.  It’s all about participation – whether it’s $5, $50, $500 or $5,000 – please find a way to support the school.

The Parent Association Advancement Committee is spearheading a competition between classes so look for more information to come from parents Bob McLeish and Kathleen James as we progress through the fall campaign.  And when you receive the Annual Fund brochure, we ask that respond to it as best you can.

Just in case anyone has forgotten the definition of participation, here it is!

par·tic·i·pa·tion noun

1. an act or instance of participating: all parents are participating in supporting the annual fund.

2. the fact of taking part, as in some action or attempt: participation in an annual giving campaign is key to the success of the school.

3. a sharing, as in benefits: participation in an annual giving campaign benefits all students. 

Many thanks,

Cynthia Gubb
Director of Advancement


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. All students are welcome to apply.

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


This Month

October 6, 2012

Swan Lake from Sadler’s Wells in London 

When it premiered at Sadler’s Wells in 1995, Matthew Bourne’s triumphant re–interpretation of Swan Lake turned tradition upside down, taking the dance world by storm. An iconic production, perhaps best known for replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble, was filmed at Sadler’s Wells, London, in 2011. The stellar cast includes the magnificent Richard Winsor as the lead Swan/Stranger, Dominic North as The Prince and Nina Goldman as The Queen. Breathtaking in its drama and intensity, with more than 30 international theater awards including three Tonys and an Olivier, Swan Lake has been acclaimed as a landmark achievement on the stage, becoming the longest running ballet in the West End and on Broadway. Click here for preview

October 20, 2012

The Last of the Haussmans from the National Theatre in London

Stephen Beresford’s The Last of the Haussmans examines the fate of the revolutionary generation and offers a funny, touching and at times savage portrait of a family full of longing that’s losing its grip. Anarchic, feisty but growing old, high society drop-out Judy Haussman remains in spirit with the ashrams of the 1960s while holding court in her dilapidated Art Deco house on the Devon coast. After an operation, she’s joined by wayward offspring Nick and Libby, sharp-eyed granddaughter Summer, local doctor Peter, and Daniel, a troubled teenager who makes use of the family’s crumbling swimming pool. Together they share a few sweltering months in a chaotic world of all-day drinking, infatuations, long-held resentments, free love and failure. The title role of Judy is played by Julie Walters, one of Britain’s best-loved and most versatile actors, who has won BAFTA, Golden Globe and Olivier awards for her work. Her screen credits range from “Educating Rita” to lead roles in “Mamma Mia!” and “Harry Potter.” Son Nick is played by Rory Kinnear who recently won the Evening StandardAward for best actor for his performance as Hamlet at the National Theatre. Helen McCrory, who plays her daughter Libby, has been acclaimed for her performances in the films “The Queen” and “Hugo.” “Stephen Beresford’s first play is a knockout – entertaining, sad and outrageous.” [London] Observer

Calliope Cafe

The Media and Performing Arts Department will host a Calliope Cafe, a coffee house style evening of music, drama, dance, poetry and film, Thursday, October 18th at 6:30 p.m. in the Rowland Center.  Admission is $3.00 students/ $5.00 adults.  Students interested in performing should contact Julie Freebern at by Thursday October 11th to schedule an audition.


From the Library

Teen Read Week, an annual event traditionally the third week of October, will be celebrated October 14-20 this year.  The week is designed to encourage teenagers to read books for the fun of it on a regular basis.  This year’s theme “It Came From the Library” and “Dare to Read for the Fun of It!” features the perfect genre for October — Horror.  To help celebrate, the Library will sponsor Creature Double Feature night in the Hunter Seminar Room complete with pizza and popcorn!  The films we have chosen are Nosferatu, a remake of the 1920’s vampire classic and The Birds, Hitchcock at his finest.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year.  Nominators are members of teen book groups in 16 school and public libraries around the country.  Readers age 12-18 vote in August and September, and the winners will be announced during Teen Read Week.  Of the 24 Teens’ Top Ten nominees, 16 titles are already a part of our collection and we will be featuring them in displays throughout the Library all month.

Please take a look around the Library website,   It is always being updated with more links and resources so that it meets the needs of students and teachers.  Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook.

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 – Thurs: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm


College and Career Information

Naviance Workshop for Junior and Senior Parents

On Tuesday, October 16th, Naivance workshops will be held from 3-4pm and 7-8pm in Mr. Muench’s and Mr. Provost’s classrooms in the lower level of the Smith Center to familiarize junior and senior parents with the Naviance program. Please sign up with Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office at 549-8242 or

Sophomore and Junior Testing – Wednesday morning, Oct. 17

Sophomores will take the PLAN, a test that helps students measure their current academic development and explore career options.  Part of the PLAN is modeled on the ACT, a standardized test option used in college admission. Therefore, the PLAN has value for students intending to enter college as well as those joining the workforce.

College-bound juniors will take the PSAT (a preliminary, or practice SAT) and need to bring a $15 registration fee by October 5 (or pay $20 after that date) to Lynne Welsh in the School and College Counseling Office. (Checks are payable to Burr and Burton. Fee waivers for students on free and reduced lunch are available.) The PSAT is a wonderful opportunity for students who have completed geometry to assess their testing skills in preparation for the college admission process.

Juniors who do not wish to participate in the PSAT have the opportunity to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), an entrance test for students interested in serving the US Military.  The ASVAB highlights skill areas not normally tested so students planning to find a civilian job after high school may benefit from taking this exam.

Juniors also have a third option for October 17. Instead of testing, they may sign up to participate in a field trip to learn more about local business opportunities.

October 17: Special Program for Freshmen

All freshmen will participate in their annual day of service learning on October 17. They are currently signing up for activities in their advisories.

October 17: Schedule for Seniors

Although seniors are excused from school on Wednesday, October 17, until 11 am when regular classes resume, we strongly encourage them to put the morning to good use. Interested seniors should sign up in advance for the following programs:

College Application Work Session from 8 – 11:00 (Smith Center computer labs)

  • Complete applications with your school & college counselor
  • Brainstorm, write, and edit essays under the direction of Jen Hyatt

THe ASVAB Test is also available for interested seniors (for students interested in joining the military or enter the civilian workforce)

Standardized Testing Registration for Seniors

For seniors who need additional testing:

October 4 deadline for November 3 SAT (not offered at Burr and Burton)

November 16 deadline for the December 1 SAT at Burr and Burton

November 2 deadline for the December 8 ACT (not offered at Burr and Burton)

Register online at or Please note that Burr and Burton does not collect the fees for the SAT or ACT; you must register directly with these organizations. (We recommend that current juniors wait to take the SAT and ACT until the spring after they have received their PSAT results and have had the opportunity to participate in a test-prep course.)

Application Reminders for Seniors

In addition to hosting the Application Workshops on October 17, the counselors are busy meeting with students on an individual basis to consider college lists, review applications and discuss essay topics. If your student is experiencing a roadblock in this process, please let us know so we can reach out to them.

By now, seniors should have submitted requests for teacher recommendations.  Students who plan to complete their applications during the month of November need to have their essays and applications to their counselor by October 15 for final review. December applicants should have their first draft completed in early November. Please refer to the Burr and Burton College Application Guide on the school’s website for more detailed information about timelines and the overall application process.

We encourage students interested in the University of Vermont to apply by November 1st to take advantage of the free application fee waiver for Early Action applicants and to receive a non-binding reply by the December holiday break.

VSAC Financial Aid Night

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Financial Aid presentation comes to Burr and Burton on Wednesday, November 14th at 7 pm in the Riley Center. Parents of juniors and seniors will especially benefit from the presentation of the principles and basic steps of the financial aid process and review of the various aid forms.

Campus Visits

Seniors who have not visited colleges are strongly advised to make plans to do so as soon as possible. While scheduling visits on holidays and weekends is preferable, we understand that it is sometimes necessary for students to miss school. Parents should notify the school in advance for absences to be excused, although these absences still count toward the 14 absence total for individual classes. Monday, October 10, and Friday, November 11, are particularly good days to visit colleges because classes at Burr and Burton will not be in session.

College Visitors

Juniors and seniors may be excused from class, with teacher permission, to meet with college representatives visiting Burr and Burton. Please check the college visit list on Naviance ( Daily announcements also serve as a reminder of these appointments. College visits provide students with a great opportunity to indicate their interest in specific colleges, ask individual questions and learn the most current campus information.


Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is a dynamic and interactive educational program designed to prepare our country’s youth to become effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community. Sophomore students who attend the Vermont seminar interact with leaders in business, government, education, media and nonprofits. They get a realistic look at our nation, its people, and their role within the world community. The VT HOBY seminar will be held in May, date and location TBA. Stop by the School and College Counseling Office for an application. Applications are due back to Mrs. Welsh by Friday, October 21.

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:

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:

Scholarships Requiring Nomination

Students must speak to their counselors by November 15 to indicate they would like to be nominated for one of these scholarships. In cases where BBA is limited in the number of students who can be nominated for a particular scholarship, students will be asked to fill out a form stating why they feel they would be a good candidate.

Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship  see link here.

Boston University Trustee Scholarship Competition

Villanova Presidential Scholarship

Saint Michael’s Scholarships

School and College Counseling 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:


Admission Tickets and Photo ID Are Required for Entry

Test-takers must present their admission tickets and acceptable photo ID to enter the test center.
No Admission Ticket, No ID, No Admittance!

New Waitlist Status Replaces Standby Testing

Standby testing is no longer permitted.
Students who request testing after the deadline must have Waitlist tickets.

Test Day changes No Longer Permitted

Changes to test type, test date or test center cannot be made at the center on test day.

Acceptable ID

Students must present a current, valid(unexpired) photo ID for entry.

Test takers will be subject to additional ID checks throughout test day. 

Test takers will be required to present both their admission ticket and an acceptable form of ID:

  1. upon entry to test center
  2. upon entry to their test room
  3. upon reentry to the test room following breaks
  4. upon collection of their answer sheet

Test takers will be required to sign a more comprehensive certification statement on the SAT answer sheet

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