BAMS Newsletter

09 March 2018
Issue Four
BAMS NEWS March 2018
Brattleboro Area Middle School
(802) 451-3500
109 Sunny Acres
Brattleboro, Vermont, 05301

March 2018


Dear BAMS Families,

No matter the time of the year, there are always plenty of events happening in our school, I am very proud of how many of them have such a positive impact on our students. I would like to take a moment to highlight a few important dates and activities coming soon.

Our middle school spring concert will be held Monday, March 12 at 7 PM in the high school auditorium. The chorus and band students have been working exceptionally hard to prepare for the show and I am excited to see them perform. We hope to see you there!


This Friday evening, March 9, we will host a dance for all BAMS students from 7-9 pm in the BAMS MPR, please note the time change.  At the same time, we  will host a parent social from 7 to 9 PM in the cafeteria. All parents are welcome to attend the parent social and if you are able to bring a potluck dessert, it would be appreciated but is not required.

 On March 22, we will host an open house from 5:30 to 6:45 PM to showcase our exploratory program, incoming 7th grade families and current 7th and 8th grade families are invited. In addition, we will host a parent information session beginning at 6:30 PM for all incoming 7th grade families.  We hope to see many of you there.

March 23 and March 26 are early release days so we can host student-led conferences for the seventh grade. Eighth grade students will be presenting showcases of their learning later in the spring. If you have not scheduled your seventh grade conference, please contact your respective counselor as soon as possible.


I would like to finish by thanking and congratulating all of the winter sports teams for an outstanding season! The teams were well coached and the players played hard throughout the season. My background before becoming a principal was as a middle and high school physical education teacher, athletic director and coach. I certainly value the countless educational lessons learned through the hard work and commitment required to be a member of the team. Thank you for transporting your child, attending the games, cheering them on, and the countless other things you do to support your student-athlete. We are looking forward to a great spring season!

From this issue on, BAMS will include the families of next year’s incoming 7th  graders in our newsletters in order to help orient you to the exciting world of BAMS. You can also check us out on our website,  



The American Library Association held its annual meeting in mid- February when the best awards in books and media for children and young adults are announced. Go to: to see the list.


Ms. Linney’s 8th grade-book group will be getting together on March 8th to discuss the book, “Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek” by Maya Van Wagenen. This memoir, written by a 15-year old, won the 2015 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award.


The BAMS/BUHS Library was just awarded copies of the Vermont Humanities Council’s 2018 Vermont Reads book, Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson. Stay tuned for information on how to access the books and ways to participate in activities that relate to the book.


In math class, Draco students finished a unit on exponential growth and decay.  We are currently working on skills including applying rules of exponents and calculating using scientific notation.

Our next unit will ask students to explore symmetry in our world. Students will look at translations, reflections, rotations and dilations from both a geometric and algebraic perspective.

Don't forget that the great math holiday, Pi Day, is almost here. March 14 (3.14) is only a couple of weeks away!


In social studies, Draco students are continuing their work with the U.S. Constitution.  Our next project will emphasize the Bill of Rights and other Amendments. We have also been revisiting some U.S. geography proficiencies and will continue with that work as well.


After spending some time working to understand the size, structure, and stability of atoms we will begin making connections between chemical reactions and energy.  As spring begins to influence our lives, we will make sense of sunlight, photosynthesis, and food.


Draco English has been working our way through sentence parts and parts of speech.  We are doing so in order to solidify our understanding of complete sentences and to, then, correctly form compound and complex sentences.  Varying our sentence types will make our writing more articulate. Once we have mastered compound and complex sentences, we will be using these in our persuasive essay on grit and persistence.  


Mathematics classes are in a unit called Stretching and Shrinking.  The focus of the unit is geometry, and more specifically, examining and understanding Similarity.  Students will apply the background knowledge from the last unit and apply the concept of scale factor to solve many problems they are working on during class.  


Moreover, students are studying the changes to shapes when they are enlarged or reduced and are learning to evaluate these changes quantitatively.  Additionally, they are learning what algebraic rules make figures similar in a digital world. Students will also be able to determine mathematically if figures are similar or not and apply the concepts of proportional reasoning as evidence.


In science, classes have begun an exciting journey into studying astronomy. Topics so far have been scaling down planets in our solar system so that students can comprehend the size and distances of planets. They will discover next how earth, moon and sun interactions cause various phenomenon on Earth. Later students will find how planets in our solar system compare, and can life be possible on other planets. In addition they will learn about properties of our sun, galaxies, and other astronomical objects. In March, students will have the opportunity to view lunar rocks that were gathered during various Apollo missions!


Social studies classes  have just finished a unit examining the transition from hunter-gatherer societies to agrarian societies. They will now be investigating the rise of early civilizations such as Mesopotamia and Egypt and the development of empires.  Students will be trying to develop connections between the problems of early civilizations, and the problems confronting our own society.

Taurus English students have just finished reading The Misfits by James Howe, and completed the final project. This project had the students create a cell phone for one of the major characters in the novel. Students had to determine what apps, images and messages would be on their character’s phone based on evidence in the text.


At Taurus Team Town Meetings, teachers present Taurus Bull’s Eye Awards in order to recognize the positive things students do.  The following students have recently received Bull’s Eye Awards for their contributions to Team Taurus: Madyson Davern, Josh McKenney, Iain Conley, Katly Zumbruski, Margot Potter, and Charlie Clark.


The Aldebaran star is the brightest star in the Taurus constellation.  At the end of each quarter, Taurus teachers present the Aldebaran Award to a student who consistently goes above and beyond with the respect they give to other people, with their effort in the classroom, and with their positive attitude.  Congratulations to Simon Rae, our second quarter winner!


In English language arts, students are working on creating sentence variety in their writing. Students will soon know how to identify the differences between simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, and how to use them effectively to create writing that is interesting and consists of variety. Canis Major ELA students recently wrapped up the novel The Misfits by James Howe; many students have requested copies of the novel’s follow-up books written by the same author. The unit allowed us to reflect on the problems with name calling, the amount of positive difference people can make when they persevere, and the importance of taking risks.


We have just started the unit “Moving Straight Ahead” in math class on Canis Major.  This unit is about linear relationships and linear algebra. Students will learn how to show and describe the relationship between variables by using tables, graphs, and equations.  We will recognize patterns of change to identify constant rates, more formally called “slope” of a line. This unit is arguably the most important material that is covered in middle school, as it is the foundation of all Algebra 1 work with linear relationships and work with one and two step equations.  This unit also reinforces all of the concepts with negative numbers that we just finished studying, as the slopes and y-intercepts in real-life situations are often negative numbers.


In Social Studies, we are researching and discussing how agriculture and domestication of animals impacts humans. We will look at twelve vital crops and explain how each improved the quality of life for the people farming the crops. We recently wrote summaries about collective learning, which is the combining and sharing of knowledge through multiple generations and groups of people.


Canis Major science students successfully built the periodic table and created models of the elements. Through our element project, each student researched a different element and created 3 products; an element card, a 3-D model, and a summary. Our goal was to make elements less abstract by finding out how they connect to our daily lives and to use models to explain phenomena.  Here is a look at some amazing models!    




As a conclusion to our unit of study on the electromagnetic spectrum, students will be investigating solar energy.  Using desktop solar panels, multimeters and other supplies, students will be challenged to design the most efficient system for generating the greatest charge.  Upon completion of this project we will move into investigating plate tectonics, and recycling of earth’s materials by looking at the rock cycle.


English: Team Leo has been reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for about a month now, and it’s been an incredible learning experience. Students have been given a topic to research that will tie into a Socratic seminar, led by the students. We have had three seminars so far, which have led to deep, meaningful conversation around race, identity, and current events.This will culminate in a major writing project meant to tie all of these big concepts together around identity and social justice.


Social Studies: We are continuing our study of Civics and Government. Students have studied federalism and the three branches of the government. They also completed a project about Town Meeting to learn about local government. We are going to shift our focus to the Bill of Rights, Amendments to the Constitution, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.


Math: We are closing in on the end of our unit on exponential growth and decay. We have covered exponential form vs. standard form, scientific notation, and discovered the form of exponential equations through the lens of exponential growth, using population and monetary growth over time. A unit project and test are upcoming.


Yearbooks are now available to order online, the  deadline is April 9th.

There are many options to choose from- personalized, photo on cover, etc.

You can order a Yearbook online at and use code 8028318.

Paper Forms will be available at school if you prefer to send in a check.

Contact Ms Thereault at [email protected] or 451-3971 for any questions.


To view the BAMS calendar, click here.

Friday, March 9- 7-9 pm, Team Taurus Dance, BAMS MPR (note time change)

Friday, March 9- 7-9 pm, BAMS Parent Social, BAMS Cafeteria

Monday, March 12- 6-7 pm, Dover Parent  Information Night, Dover School

Monday, March 12- 7-8:30 pm,  BAMS Winter Concert, BUHS Auditorium

Tuesday, March 13, 6 pm, All District Band Night, BUHS Gymnasium

Monday, March 19- 10-11 am, Vermont Foodbank Drop @ The BUHS Student Parking Lot 

Monday, March 19, 7-8 pm, BUHS  #6 School Board Meeting, Cusick Conference Room

Tuesday, March 20, 6:30-8 pm, BAMS Jazz Band Rehearsal

Thursday, March 22, 5:30-6:45 pm, BAMS Exploratory Program Open House, 6th Grade Students and Parents are invited

Thursday, March 22, 6:30-7:30 pm, Parent Information Meeting- Incoming 7th Grade Students, BAMS MPR

Friday, March 23, 12:30 pm, BAMS Early Release

Monday, March 26, 12:30 pm, BAMS Early Release

Tuesday, March 27, 6:30-8 pm, BAMS Jazz Band Rehearsal

Monday, April 2, 10-11 am, Vermont Foodbank Drop @ The BUHS Student Parking Lot 

Monday, April 2, 7-8 pm, BUHS  #6 School Board Meeting, Cusick Conference Room

Tuesday, April 3, 6:30-8 pm, BAMS Jazz Band Rehearsal

Tuesday, April 6, BAMS Third Quarter Ends


BAMS Newsletter