This will be the second year that the Haiku Learning Management System has been in use for both schools. Haiku is used to extend teaching and learning online that will result in better communication with parents, students, and teachers as well as better monitor student development. The goal is to work towards ePortfolio, which is an online student-centered program that is augmented by a platform builder and assessment module such as Haiku.
"There is nothing to prevent us from working with other Vermont districts," said Dan French, the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union (BRSU) Superintendent, adding that it will help build the overall strength of the BRSU. This will allow students to create an academic portifolio online that can maintain their plan of study, track goals and achievments, and help build a resume for the future.
This year the Dorset School will be welcoming two new teachers. Mrs. Amy Panetta who will be teaching first grade and Mrs. Kimberly Bodhorn who will be replacing Kenneth Cifone as the new music teacher. MEMS is welcoming seven new teachers this year to go along with 77 new students, a large number considering enrollment has dropped from 445 students last year to 424 students this year.
Rosanna Moran, the Principle of Dorset School, is starting her second year
"The Dorset Select Board and the Dorset Town Crew played a big part in getting this playground installed," said Moran. "The old playground was over 20 years old. It was time for a change."
Along with Haiku the school will also be using Chrome books, which use the Internet for the use of textbooks, and Google docs, a software program which ...... The object is to get students to be able to be more proactive learning online.
"Utilizing Google docs and Chrome books will help to improve organization of teachers and students," Moran said. Hard copies of books will still be used along side the Chrome Books.
Last year MEMS was recognized as a "school in need of improvement" by the Department of Education. After school programs like the homework club will aim towards fixing the problem.
"We are really tightening our focus on literacy and mathmatics throughout all grades, as well as non-fiction reading and writing," said Sarah Merrill, MEMS principal.
MEMS will also be implementing a Wellness Committee thats goal is to improve student physical and mental wellness.
"We are looking to provide wellness opportunities to students throughtout the entire year," Merrill said, "and promote a healthy lifestyle."
MEMS has added a salad bar to the cafeteria and will be starting a "walking school bus day" a few times a month as a healthy before school activity
"This activity will promote health and wellness for students," said Merrill, "and increase the opportunity for movement in the student's school day."