Riverside to introduce new center of professional development for elementary educators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851

(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 592-3079

Lyndonville, VT -  Since the summer of 2014, Nelia Rath, middle school teacher and Director of Co-Curricular Programs at The Riverside School, has led area teachers in a workshop for Critical Skills in the Classroom. The workshop was in partnership with Antioch University New England.

In an effort to provide professional development opportunities for educators in the Northeast Kingdom and North Country, Riverside has created the Teacher Center at Riverside.  The goal of the Center will be to support area educational professionals with relevant, valuable, and locally-sourced professional development opportunities for elementary educators.  The classes will be taught during the summer and are available for graduate level credit through a partnership with Antioch University New England. 

“Riverside’s relationship with Antioch University, which has long been known for its leadership in progressive education, creates an exciting opportunity for teachers in these northern corners of Vermont and New Hampshire,” said Rath. “Teachers in remote, rural areas like ours can feel starved for engaging professional development, and being able to offer rich, engaging courses, in-person, is definitely meeting a need in the community.”

This summer, the Teacher Center at Riverside will offer three courses.  Successful Integration of Technology in the Classroom will focus on the different technologies available in the classroom, why they are effective or not, and which types of technology students prefer or have more success using.  In addition, participants will explore infrastructure challenges and the cost of implementation including the critical need for graduate-level coursework for educators.  The instructor is Mike Dente, Chief Technology Officer at Northern Vermont University.

Critical Skills Immersion: Level 1 will be taught by Nelia Rath, Riverside teacher and an adjunct faculty member at Antioch.  The Level I experience is designed to introduce the Critical Skills classroom model and prepare its implementation into the educator’s learning environment. The classroom model is a highly interactive, experiential approach to learning that develops student knowledge and skills through collaborative problem solving. Participants are first immersed in a Critical Skills Classroom, then explore the integration of problem-based learning, experiential learning, collaborative learning, and standards-based learning. 

“We need adults who know how to work together to solve problems, so let’s establish classroom-cultures where students practice doing that. We’ll integrate collaborative, experiential, problem-based, and standards-based learning methods along with ideas of their own and methods that are a priority in their school,” said Rath.

The third course, Education For Sustainability (EfS) Summer Institute, will be taught by Riverside teacher Deandra Early, who also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Antioch, and Reeve Basom, the Place-Based Education Coordinator, at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, VT. This course focuses on the interdependence of environment, economy, and equity (the three E’s of Educating for Sustainability) and how to incorporate sustainability at any grade level and in every subject area. 

“As educators, we have the opportunity to model sustainable practices, to open our students’ minds to the possibilities of a sustainable future and to help guide them to be responsible citizens for change in their communities,” said Early. 

“We are so pleased and excited to begin this endeavor by partnering with Antioch University New England. Since 1964, they have been supporting adult learnersby offering undergraduate degree completion programs as well as graduate degrees that are responsive to adult learners.  In turn, we have also affiliated ourselves with Shelburne Farms, a nonprofit organization with the mission ‘to inspire and cultivate learning for a future that will be sustainable for our children,’ and the Center for Agricultural Economy, a living laboratory for rural food systems,” said MichelleRalston, Head of School.

For full course descriptions, faculty bios, and registration, visit: 

https://www.theriversideschool.org/teacher-center-at-riverside.

Three local teachers are shown participating in the Critical Skills Institute at The Riverside School held last summer. They were discussing and describing the traits of good communication and how to give equal attention to skills like communication as to the content they teach, thus helping young people grow as problem solvers and collaborators. The school is introducing the Teacher Center at Riverside to offer additional opportunities for graduate-level coursework for area elementary educators.

Three local teachers are shown participating in the Critical Skills Institute at The Riverside School held last summer. They were discussing and describing the traits of good communication and how to give equal attention to skills like communication as to the content they teach, thus helping young people grow as problem solvers and collaborators. The school is introducing the Teacher Center at Riverside to offer additional opportunities for graduate-level coursework for area elementary educators.

 

Riverside school alumnus to speak at commencement

Lyndonville, VT – The Riverside School’s Head of School, Michelle Ralston is pleased to announce that Rohan Racine, a member Riverside’s Class of 2008, will be the 2019 Commencement speaker.  Commencement at Riverside will take place on June 8th.

Rohan attended Riverside from 4th-8th grade, the only grades that were available in his first year. He went on to graduate from Lyndon Institute in 2012 and was accepted into Tufts University, where he achieved a B.S. in Chemistry and Economics, Cum Laude.

After graduating from Tufts, he worked in a chemistry lab at Mylan Technologies, a large generic pharmaceutical company, in St. Albans, VT. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at McGill University in Montreal studying Experimental Surgery. 

Rohan serves as a member of The Riverside School’s Board of Trustees.

“My time at Riverside is something I still reflect back on to this day. The freedom the school allows for individualized growth is something unique, especially in our region of the state,” said Racine.  “The faculty—Riverside’s most valuable asset—challenged me each and every day to be better intellectually and to be a better member of the broader community. Riverside was crucial in developing me into the person I am today, and I feel fortunate to be able to help continue the experience I had at Riverside for the students there now, and those who will attend in the future.”

Rohan Racine

Rohan Racine

Riverside Teacher To Participate In Program For Place-based Learning And Forest Sustainability

Laryssa Fortier

Laryssa Fortier

Lyndonville, VT -  Laryssa Fortier, a fourth grade teacher at The Riverside School, has been accepted to participate in the year-long “A Forest for Every Classroom: Learning to Make Choices for the Future (FFEC)”, an award-winning professional development program for K-12 teachers of all disciplines, offering stimulating, thought-provoking experiences designed to refresh the mind and passion for teaching.

Across habitats and through the seasons, educators will learn how to “read”—and teach—in the landscapes of Vermont from some of the best education and natural resource professionals in the state. They will explore how using place-based learning and education for sustainability make current academic and science standards more practical and meaningful.

“I was drawn to The Riverside School because of their emphasis on place-based, hands-on learning focused on students becoming engaged and responsible citizens, especially when it comes to environmental sustainability,” said Fortier. “I am grateful for this opportunity to explore ways to further utilize the incredible natural resources we have within our community and to develop in young people the passion needed to make an impact on our school, our community, and the world.” 

Throughout the course, participants will be asked to apply their learning in the classroom, and share and reflect on their experiences with their fellow course mates.  Educators may earn up to five graduate credits from Castleton State University for the successful completion of the Forest for Every Classroom program.

FFEC is based on an approach to teaching and learning called place-based education (PBE). PBE helps students learn about and connect to their place through real-world field experiences and on-going classroom work.

“Over the course of the year, participants will integrate hands-on natural and cultural explorations into curriculum to address concepts in ecology, sense of place, stewardship, and civics,” said Joan Haley, Director of Partner Education Programs at Shelburne Farms and a member of the Forest for Every Classroom Planning Tem.  “At the heart of FFEC is the belief that students who are immersed in the interdisciplinary study of their place will be more eager to learn about and be involved in the stewardship of their communities and surrounding lands.”

FFEC is offered in partnership with Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Shelburne Farms, Green Mountain National Forest, and the Stewardship Institute.

Fortier, a first-year teacher at Riverside, received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Keene State College.  When not at school, you can find her spending time outside either horseback riding, hiking with her dog Max, mountain biking, and swimming. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and cooking. 

The Riverside School is a diverse independent school for Pre-K – 8th grade students located in Lyndonville, Vermont. For additional information, visit www.theriversideschool.org.

Riverside school forum to highlight effective conversations on diversity and social justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851
(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 592-3079

Lyndonville, VT – Diversity includes all the ways people differ. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, there are broader definitions of diversity that also include age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. There are also diversity of thoughts and ideas, perspectives, and values. How can we move beyond simply being tolerant of differences to achieving equity so that all people are valued and empowered?  

To draw awareness to the complexity of diversity and social justice, The Riverside School is pleased to welcome Patricia Shine, Professor of Human Services at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, to discuss how students, parents, and community members can talk to each other about diversity and social justice. Her presentation “What do you say after “Don’t say that!” will take place on May 2nd, in The Barn at Riverside from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The event is free, and all are welcome.

“How can we have effective conversations with our kids, and each other, about topics such as racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism and ableism?  How can we intervene in ways that facilitate conversation versus shutting it down?  How can we create spaces that support equity and social justice?  These are just some of the questions we’ll be exploring during my presentation/discussion,” says Shine.  

Patricia Shine, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., has been a Professor of Human Services at NVU-Lyndon for the past 16 years. She has facilitated workshops and trainings on topics related to social justice throughout New England for over 25 years.

Shine received her M.S.W from the Simmons School of Social Work in 1987. Her positions in Boston included as clinical social worker at Concord-Assabet Adolescent Services, Program Director at the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, and Program Coordinator at the Boston Adult Technical Academy through the Boston Public Schools.  In addition, she had a small private practice and served as an adjunct instructor at Salem State University, Wheelock College, and the Boston University Graduate School of Social Work. 

She is the recipient of the Sister Elizabeth Candon Distinguished Service Award from Vermont Women in Higher Education; the Maida Solomon Distinguished Career Award from the Simmons School of Social Work; and Social Worker of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers, Vermont Chapter.

Shine came to NVU-Lyndon (then Lyndon State College) in 2003 where she is now Professor of Human Services and Chair of NVU-Lyndon FAIR, the campus social justice group. She lives with her husband, Paul, in Concord, VT.

“Our society is changing so rapidly, we simply cannot pretend to imagine how such changes in our culture are playing out in the minds of our students,” said Riverside’s Head of School, Michelle Ralston.  “As adults, we are moved by all that happens daily in our society. The things we say and model for our students has become increasingly important. We are excited to host Professor Shine and this important forum.”


The Riverside School coordinates at least one public forum each school year. The purpose of the forums are to invite the public to join school staff, faculty, and professionals in their field to discuss subjects relevant to life-long learning. The events are also planned with suggestions from the Riverside Parent Group.



Patricia Shine, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., Professor of Human Services at NVU-Lyndon, will be the guest speaker for a public forum to discuss how students, parents, and community members can talk to each other about diversity and social justice. Her presentation “ What do you say after “Don’t say that! ” will take place on May 2nd, in The Barn at The Riverside School from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The event is free, and all are welcome.

Patricia Shine, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., Professor of Human Services at NVU-Lyndon, will be the guest speaker for a public forum to discuss how students, parents, and community members can talk to each other about diversity and social justice. Her presentation “What do you say after “Don’t say that!” will take place on May 2nd, in The Barn at The Riverside School from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The event is free, and all are welcome.

Riverside Coffee House March 2019

Inspired by parent suggestions, the Riverside Coffee Houses offer opportunities for parents and guardians to discuss issues of teaching, learning, and parenting, and in particular questions about developmentally appropriate strategy.

Inspired by parent suggestions, the Riverside Coffee Houses offer opportunities for parents and guardians to discuss issues of teaching, learning, and parenting, and in particular questions about developmentally appropriate strategy.

The Riverside School was pleased to welcome medical and clinical professionals during their “Coffee House” meeting held for parents and guardians on March 12 th entitled “Ages & Stages, a Discussion on Parenting and Childhood Development.”

The discussion included subjects such as building confidence and trust, generational changes in parenting, social and emotional changes, rules and chores at home, executive functioning, or sports trauma (concussions).

The Riverside School Kicks Up Their Heels with FOOTLOOSE!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851

(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 592-3079

footloose-poster (1).jpg

Lyndonville, VT – The preparations for the yearly Riverside School musical have begun. This year the 6th-8th graders are producing Footloose! The show will be on Friday, March 29th at 7:00 PM and Saturday, March 30th at 2:00 PM at the Lyndon Institute Auditorium. Admission is by donation and the performance is appropriate for all ages.

Footloose! is about Ren McCormack, a charming Chicago teenager who moves to a small town in Oklahoma called Bomont. Ren is dismayed when he discovers the local law against dancing, put in place by the church’s reverend. Ren, along with other friends, help to convince town leaders to permit dancing in town.

Until Riverside’s performance, the middle school students are buzzing with excitement as they work hard to make this musical production possible. The work starts with electives that take place twice a week. The students participate in publicity, sets, props, costuming, choreography, and rehearsals. This lasts for six weeks before “Play Week”, an entire week with no classes, completely devoted to the show and ending with the final performances.

Eighth grader Maren Giese says, “Play Week can be very stressful, but it’s also fun because you get to work a lot with your peers.”

In the Publicity Elective, students are tasked with designing and creating the poster and t-shirts, as well as spreading the word through advertisements, letters, and, yes, writing press releases (including this one)! The Sets Elective plans, builds, and paints the scenery and backdrops, while props creates and collects the objects seen on stage. Together, they set the scene and create the town of Bomont!

In the Costuming Elective, the students are busy gathering fabrics, cutting and sewing, and making the characters of Footloose! come to life. This group decided to set the production in the 1980s and is having a lot of fun using the bright fashions from that era.

While all of this is going on, certain students are called every day to practice their scenes, songs, and choreography with music teacher Lydia Ham and English teacher and director Peter Sahlin. They accomplish a lot in the just twelve rehearsals before Play Week.  

On opening night, the students finally get to show off all of their hard work. Seventh grader Donovan Randall says, “it’s very stressful, but once the curtain opens all the stress goes away and you know you will do great!”

Music by Tom Snow. Lyrics by Dean Pitchford. Stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. Based on the original screenplay. A part of the R&H Getting to Know collection.

Members of the Publicity Elective for Riverside’s production of  Footloose!  work on attracting an audience with direct mailings to trustees, grandparents, and prospective families of the school. The group has also designed a poster, written a public service announcement for the radio, and promoted the show on social media. Pictured are 7th graders Lacey Patoine and Donovan Randall.

Members of the Publicity Elective for Riverside’s production of Footloose! work on attracting an audience with direct mailings to trustees, grandparents, and prospective families of the school. The group has also designed a poster, written a public service announcement for the radio, and promoted the show on social media. Pictured are 7th graders Lacey Patoine and Donovan Randall.

Guest Speaker in Celebration of Martin Luther King Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT 05851
(802) 626-8552

Contact: Mel Reis (802) 745-8136

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The Riverside School was pleased to welcome Reverend Doctor Robert Potter as a guest speaker in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. Kindergarten through eighth grade students enjoyed stories told by Rev. Potter who was a friend of Dr. King. Rev. Potter shared his experiences of working with Dr. King and how he was influenced by Dr. King’s humble and kind personality along with his passion for human rights and social justice.

Rev. Potter was a student leader of the civil rights movement at Earlham College and Yale Divinity School. He is now a resident of Wheelock and the former pastor of the Peacham Congregational Church. He has been invited to offer the benediction at the inauguration of three Vermont governors.