VUHS e-News, Week of November 27

Brought to you by the Commodore Parent Teacher Group 

Message from the Principals

The Addison Northwest School District bond and budget votes are on March 6, 2018 in each town. There is an information meeting on the bond proposal on Monday, February 12, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the VUHS library immediately following the regular monthly board meeting, which begins at 5:30 pm. You can learn more about the bond proposal on the school district website, including a video as well as related documents. The bond is for important and necessary capital repairs, energy conservation, and school security in all four schools. Improved efficiencies in energy usage in all four schools will result in improved learning conditions and comfort as well as guaranteed energy savings of $212,000 annually. The energy savings in combination with a retiring bond from 2001 means that this project will not raise the budget, but will be budget neutral for the taxpayers of the ANWSD. Please join us on Monday February 12th or at the Annual Meeting on Monday February 26th (6:00 pm in the VUHS Library) to learn more. You can also contact the ANWSD office (877-3332) with any questions. Thanks for your support.

We also want to make sure that parents and guardians are aware that students in grades 8-11 are currently signing up for classes for the 2018-2019 school year. Course request forms and course books were given to all students this past week. Forms are due back this coming week, ideally by Tuesday February 13th, but definitely before the break. You can view the course book online. Please contact your student’s school counselor or advisor with any questions.


Stephanie, Jay and Ed

School Calendar Reminders

February ANWSD Board/Committee Meeting Schedule - View here

February 12 - ANWSD Board Meeting, 5:30 PM, Bond Informational Meeting, 7:30 PM

February 19 - 23 - Winter Break

February 26 - ANWSD Annual Meeting/Budget Information - 6:00 PM - VUHS Library

March 7 - Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences, 3:00-6:15 PM

March 8 - Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences, 3:00-8:00 PM

March 9 - No School for Students or Teachers Following Evening Conferences

March 15 - VRED Dinner & Community Dialogue Night, 5:15-6:00 PM - VUHS Cafeteria

March 15 - Music Department Black & White Cabaret, 6:30 PM - VUHS Middle School Gym

March 29 - Half day for Students (Dismissal 11:15) - Teacher Inservice (PM)

March 30 - Teacher Inservice - No School for Students

April 17- Half day for Students (Dismissal 11:15)

April 23-27 - Spring Recess

National Honor Society

Congratulations to NHS members, Ben Praamsma, Norah Deming, and Kristina Jochum for participating in the Penguin Plunge on Saturday, February 3rd and raising almost $900 for the Special Olympics! You can check out a video of their plunge here and a picture (#3) of the water entry here. If you want to donate to their cause, go to this website. Thanks for making VUHS proud!

Academic School News

The VUHS Math Team placed 3rd out of 12 teams at our meet on Monday, Feb. 5th.  They earned a victory over BFA St. Albans, Burlington, Colchester, CVU, Milton, Missisquoi, Mt. Abe, Mt Mansfield, and U-32.

Top Scores for Categories:

Arithmetic: Bess Gramling & Dylan Rapoport (Tie)

Geometry: Connor Gill

Algebra: Kai Williams

Adv. Math: Kai Williams

Top Scorers overall:

5th: Leah Croke

4th:Lance Bergmans

3rd: Jack Stearns

2nd: Megan Tarte

1st: Kai Williams

Congratulations Team!  Students that participated in this meet were the following:  Ally Atkins, Lance Bergmans, Kristina Jochum, Ben Praamsma, Ethan Sausville, Jack Stearns, Megan Tarte, Will Wormer, Sepehr Belar, Emma Bryant, Kylie Comeau, Raven Duke, Connor Gill, Bess Gramling, Marin Howell, Emily Jackson, Morgan Lynk, Zeke Palmer, Dylan Rapoport, Leah Croke, Sophie Hatch,  Kai Williams, Reagan Kayhart and Tommy Lawrence.

Our next meet is Wednesday, March 21st at CVU.

Biology I

Ms. Thompson's Biology I course spent the last part of the first semester learning about ecology and researching how humans impact the environment. In an effort to balance our species' impact, we decided to virtually adopt a species from the World Wide Fund for Nature. Based on some of the research students completed we chose to adopt a polar bear.  

Hannaford Career Center Newsletter

Here’s the latest edition of the newsletter from the career center.

Don’t forget about the open house and maker faire on February 15th, 4-7 pm at both campuses in Middlebury.

Music Department News

See our calendar of events for a full listing of the events this school year.

March 2 (3rd, Snow Date) - Green Mountain District Festival and evening performance - Middle School Concert Band and High School Chorus. Bus transportation provided to the festival at 8:00 AM. Parents/Guardians transport home following the concert.

March 13 - Choral Concert, Grades 7-12, 7:00 pm in the VUHS Auditorium

March 15 - Black & White Cabaret, 6:30 pm in the VUHS Middle School Gym

March 27 - Instrumental Concert, Grades 7-12, 7:00 pm in the VUHS Auditorium

Looking for ways to help the VUHS music department?

You can now donate to the Commodore Friends of Music via PayPal by visiting their online site. Commodore Friends of Music is now a 501c3 non-profit organization, so your donation is tax deductible.

STEAM After School Club

For students in grades 9-12 we have started a STEAM after school club. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. What makes it different from STEM is the added stress on creativity. The goal of this club is to provide opportunities for students to learn basic skills necessary in the world of technology and design. This is meant as a place for independent creativity, and while they will be shown the basics, anything beyond that will be up to the students.


The club happens after school on Mondays from 3-4:30 in room B2. We are currently working on programming Arduinos, making remote control foam board airplanes and making electronic wearables. In the near future we will learn to use a die cut printer and a 3D printer.


If anyone has questions they can contact Wendy Bruso or Ben Clark

Vergennes for Responsible Educated Decisions (VRED) - Middle School Student Prevention Group

Community Dinner & Dialogue Night

Thursday March 15th, 5:15-6:00 pm in the VUHS Cafeteria

Free spaghetti dinner and time to talk with students about the work they’ve been doing.

See this document for more details.

RSVP to Lori Stith ( by March 5th.

This event is followed by the Music Department’s Black & White Cabaret at 6:30 pm, so come have dinner and then enjoy dessert and great music.

Champlain College Young Writers’ Conference

You are once again cordially invited to attend a weekend of writing workshops, craft sessions, and open mic at the CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE YOUNG WRITERS' CONFERENCE, MAY 25-27. Now in our eighteenth year, our doors are open to high school students who wish to share their passion for story, drama, and song with their writerly brothers and sisters—and with celebrated New England authors. We offer three days of readings, improv, Moth storytelling, poetry slams, literary jazz/blues fusion, and extended friendship on the hillside campus of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.

OUR 2018 KEYNOTE SPEAKER, AWARD-WINNING POET GENNAROSE NETHERCOTT, is the author of The Lumberjack’s Dove (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2018), selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series. Her other recent projects include A Ghost of Water (an ekphrastic collaboration with printmaker Susan Osgood) and the narrative song collection Modern Ballads. She tours nationally and internationally composing poems-to-order for strangers on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter, and is one third of The Traveling Poetry Emporium, a team of poets/educators who bring poems-to-order events to museums, universities, and libraries.

APPLICATION DEADLINE FEBRUARY 23. If you have a tale to spin, or a story to share, please visit our website:

Very Best,

Jim Ellefson & Lesley Wright, Co-directors - (802) 865-8456 -

School Counseling Department News

COURSE REGISTRATION FOR 2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR: Course Books and course request sheets were distributed to students on Thursday and Friday this past week. All course request sheets are due back in the School Counseling Office on or before Tuesday, February 13. A parent signature is required on the course request sheet. If you have any questions, please contact your student’s school counselor. 2018-2019 Course Book.


It’s not too early to be making plans for summer. Click here to access a list of opportunities for students currently in grades 7-12. As we receive additional program information we’ll add it to this document, so check back weekly.

Coder Camp for Girls

July 16 -20, 2018 - Williston Campus - Day Camp - For girls ages 11 - 17

An experiential hands-on day camp offering girls the chance to translate their creativity into a computer program using SCRATCH and other software programs plus visit innovative software development companies.  Many scholarships available.  Contact: Zoe McDonald- or find more info here.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Summer Opportunities

Champlain Discovery Kayak Program

Dates: June 18 - July 21              For Boys and Girls Age 13-16

Champlain Discovery is a co-educational 5-week summer program where participants age 13-16 build their own 17’ sea kayak and then embark on a 10-day paddling adventure exploring Lake Champlain from Whitehall, New York to Burlington, Vermont. Scholarships available.


Expedition Champlain – A Rowing / Wilderness Voyage of Discovery

Dates: July 25 - August 1            For Boys and Girls Age 13-16

Explore the wonders of Lake Champlain for seven days, rowing our six-oar 32’ rowing boats.  This trip will start at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and venture north towards Canada, camping and exploring along the way. Participants row as a team in our traditional wooden rowing gigs, learning maritime and wilderness camping skills and experiencing first-hand the cultural and natural world that makes Lake Champlain so unique. You will live outdoors and row every day so come prepared for some hard-work, good fun and incredible teamwork. Scholarships available.


Wind, Oar and Explore – A Rowing / Sailing Wilderness Voyage of Discovery

Dates: August 4 -August 11       For Boys and Girls Age 13-16

Explore the wonders of Lake Champlain for seven days in our traditional 29’ rowing/sailing Whaleboats. This trip will start at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and venture north towards Canada, camping and exploring along the way. Participants sail and row as a team in our traditional wooden Whaleboats, learning maritime and wilderness camping skills and experiencing first-hand the cultural and natural world that makes Lake Champlain so special. Scholarships available.


Check out this website for information on all three programs or contact Nick Patch at 475-2022 x113 or for more information.

Maritime Museum Summer Apprenticeship Program

The LCMM is offering a very unique apprenticeship program this summer for high school students aboard their replica canal schooner Lois McClure as she sails from New York City out to Buffalo on the Erie Canal and back to Lake Champlain by the fall.  Students will be able to join the crew for a one week section of this journey, learning about history, interpretation, and maritime skills, among many other things! Click here for more information.

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont (GIV) Summer Programs 2018

GIV is for any Vermont 9th-11th grader with a passion for or particular interest in arts, engineering, world cultures and events, math, science, technology, entrepreneurship, or activism. Students who enjoy GIV tend to have a strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, possess academic skills equal to or above their grade level, and function well in a highly independent learning environment. Most institutes select students based on their application answers and referrals, not their grades. (Due to demands of their curriculum, the Math Institute may have additional academic requirements.) Ability to pay doesn’t matter. Scholarships are available. Application (and more information) is online at Information (including the 2018 program catalog) is available in the School Counseling Office and on posters throughout the school. The VUHS application is completed online and the deadline is March 16, 2018.

The following programs are offered this summer at GIV

Environmental Science & Technology, July 22-28, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Mathematical Sciences, June 25 – 30, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Current Issues & Youth Activism, July 1-10, School for International Training, Brattleboro

Engineering, July 8 – July 14, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Arts, June 24 – July 8, Castleton University, Castleton, VT

Information Technology & Digital Media, June 23 – July 1, Champlain College, Burlington

Entrepreneurship, July 5 – July 12, Vermont Technical College, Randolph, VT

Young Writers, June 18 – 24, Bennington College, Bennington, VT

Astronomy, July 15 – 21, Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT

Architecture, Design & Building, July 15 - 21, Norwich University, Northfield, VT

Health and Medicine, July 22 - July 28, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT

MEDQUEST Health Careers Exploration

MedQuest is a six-day, summer, residential health careers exploration program for Vermont high school students currently enrolled in grades 10,11 or 12. Admission is competitive and scholarships are available upon parent request.    MEDQUEST information and application.



Vergennes Union High School, along with all other Vermont high schools, participates in a statewide system of high school choice. Under this system, students from VUHS may apply to transfer to any other high school in the state. For the 2018-2019 school year, the maximum number of students eligible to transfer to another school is limited to ten (10). The actual number will depend on the number of students selected in prior years to continue their enrollment at other area high schools.

To apply to participate in the program for the 2018-2019 school year (grades 9-12):

  • Complete an application available here or from the VUHS School Counseling Office;

  • All applications must be signed by a parent or guardian;

  • File the application with the School Counseling Office no later than March 1, 2018.

Notification of decisions to all students who have applied to participate will be no later than April 1, 2018. Additional school choice information, including a timeline, is available from the School Counseling Office or by contacting Jay Stetzel (