EES is a vibrant, inclusive community, with 330 students, and 27 languages. We strive to develop cultural competency in our students by weaving the concepts in contextual, authentic ways throughout the curriculum to develop students who think critically and are engaged, curious, creative, respectful, compassionate, collaborative, and action-oriented. EES students have been recognized for their contribution to the environment by walking, rolling, carpooling and using mass transport to get to school. They have had the highest percentage of participation in the Way To Go Challenge of any Vermont school. EES students also helped to write grants resulting in $2,600 for our Landscape and Garden project designed to reduce erosion from the campus. They have been active participants in raising money and donating PJ's and books for the Center on Temporary Shelter and have conducted Food Drives for the Food Shelf.
EES faculty are constantly seeking new ways to engage students and incorporate authentic ways to engage in learning about the world. Professional development resulted in a virtual explosion in the use of iPads as the equipment became more accessible to our students. Second graders created eBooks about various wildlife on exhibit at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. Their research and first-hand observations resulted in books that are easy to understand by young visitors to the museum. The fifth grade created compelling promotional videos to argue for various issues. Second graders demonstrated that imagery and succinct phrases can paint a picture of an individual more powerfully than a thousand words.
EES students are no strangers to thinking about big ideas. Integrating literacy and math curriculum with research, philanthropy, and activism reinforces the importance of learning. Through student-based inquiry, our children explored the lives of notable individuals in U.S. history across all walks of life – authors, artists, athletes, scientists, politicians, and individuals seeking social justice and equity. They sought to gain greater understanding of science, seeking answers about areas of interest to them. They explored issues of social justice and equity, from race to food security to housing. Engineering was an area of focus this year as students in third grade were able to examine the impact of stresses on structures.
The humanities are incomplete without the arts and EES students are able to participate and produce art that demonstrates their creativity through multiple means. Teachers have incorporated the arts into their instruction, whether creating masks to celebrate Black History Month, or 3-D pieces to illustrate original “tall tales”. The EES Chorus performed at the Burlington Square Mall in December, on Church St. for Burlington Jazz and most recently at a Lake Monster game where they sang the National Anthem.
Families and members of the community, including students from UVM, Champlain and St. Michael’s are welcome to contribute their skills and efforts at EES. Close to 300 individuals lent a hand this year, exposing our students the concept of volunteering. The Family School Partnership and the EES PTO actively work to enhance the climate for all to feel welcome, hosting events that are fun, healthy and engaging for families as well as events that provide important information to parents about issues concerning their children
We instruct all students in social skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. We teach behavioral expectation the same way we would reading and math, to insure that each child is confident of what is expected in every environment. This enables our students to gain in confidence in their own judgment of good choices. Finally, we know how to have fun and our children see the adults modeling healthy interactions that include laughing and enjoying each other. We all take time laugh together as a community and the EES family.