BAMS Newsletter

11 April 2018
Issue Five
BAMS NEWS April 2018
Brattleboro Area Middle School
(802) 451-3500
109 Sunny Acres
Brattleboro, Vermont, 05301

April 2018



Dear BAMS Families,


March certainly brought us our fair share of cold and snow! I am certainly looking forward to some warmer weather and the start of our spring sports seasons. Some of you may know I was a varsity baseball coach at Leland and Gray for 8 seasons so I am a big fan of the spring sports season.


A team from BAMS recently applied for a $286,720 grant over the next five years to help fund our BEAMS afterschool program.   A variety of people participated in this application and it was truly a community effort.  We recently received a confirmation that BAMS had been awarded this amount!


I am proud of Kate Burt and her staff for their hard work in preparing the application. I could not be happier for our students and the future opportunities they will have in this incredible program. We have a great thing going and the 5-year grant renewal is a huge step. 175 students have attended a BEAMS program so far this year, more than any year in BEAMS history.  


Congratulations to 7th-grade student Matthew Gordon-Macy for being recently selected as the Brattleboro Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year. He spent a day last week in Montpelier to be recognized for this wonderful achievement.


Smarter Balanced Testing for the spring: Please see the link below for a letter regarding spring testing. Thank you.


At this time, the last student day for the 7th grade is June 19 and we will plan for an early release on that day. The 8th-grade move-up ceremony will be held on June 13 and that will be the last day for 8th-grade students.


Enjoy the April break!




Keith Lyman- Principal



Discover 21,004,965 images, texts, videos, and sounds from all over the United States in the Digital Public Library of America. Check it out:


Here are some members of Ms. Linney’s Book Group. Padma, Hannah, Juliana, Caitlin, Sophia, and Tenzin show off a new title being released in Sept. The Benefits of Being an Octopus was written by former BAMS social studies teacher, Ann Braden.


Have you read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and want to try another title about similar issues? Try Dear Martin by Nic Stone, All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, and How it went down by Kekla Magoon.


Incoming 7th and 8th graders: 


We are very excited about the BAMS Summer Programs 2018.  Students are able to participate in up to six weeks worth of hands on enrichment and academic programs.   Please see the attachments for weekly descriptions and enrollment forms.  If you have any questions please contact Kate Burt at 802-689-0023 or [email protected]

Looking forward to a great summer!   




Draco English is still focusing on 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 ‘This We Believe’ essay.   


Draco Math students are exploring symmetry in our world.  The unit Butterflies, Pinwheels and Wallpaper asks students to identify examples of transformations such as reflection, rotation, and translation.  Students are encouraged to find examples of symmetry in their world and explain which transformations create them! 


Draco Science

There will be a great deal of energy demonstrated in the Draco science lab in the next few weeks.  We are working to connect our understanding of atoms into the relationship among unstable compounds, chemical reactions, and energy.  The following unit will build on our understanding of water molecules, as we construct explanations for water-related phenomena.


Draco Social Studies is focused on the United States Constitution and how it impacts our lives today.  Students have chosen to focus on particular amendments to the Constitution and they are creating presentations which highlight societal causes that brought about the amendments, how the amendments have had an impact on the United States and how they may have an impact on the student's future.  We will touch on the historical themes of Civil War, Westward Expansion, Immigration, and Reconstruction in the last quarter.  We will also continue with current events and work on a Solidarity Project.


Science: During this last quarter we will be returning to physical science, focusing on concepts of force and motion. This is a very hands on unit, in which students will create and test design solutions  to problems involving speed, acceleration motion, collisions and more. With a solid understanding of these concepts, students will design and construct complex Rube Goldberg machines to showcase their understanding of concepts in force and motion.


Math: We have rapidly come to the end of the 3rd quarter. We have just finished our unit on exponential growth and decay. This unit culminated with a Test and Zombie Project. We have begun a new unit on geometric transformations, specifically Translations (slides), reflections (flips), and rotations (spins). This unit is a great combination of tool use and mathematical reasoning. Students are encouraged to practice with the actual transformation processes and will be given extra practice with and without coordinate grids.


English: This week marks the end of a fantastic unit on race and identity. Our community has had wonderful conversations and we are wrapping it all up with an essay on connecting the themes of The Hate U Give to the world around us. As we approach the end of 8th grade, we will be ramping up to our final project. Students will be creating a project around a topic that means most to them, and finding a solution to a problem at the school, district, city, or state level. We will also use the last quarter to focus on mechanics and sentence structure, fine tuning what great skills we already have.


Social Studies: We will be completing projects in Social Studies related to this year’s diversity theme: Solidarity. Students will display their projects as part of our Diversity Day celebration on May 4th. Topics will be related to the struggle for equal rights in the 1800’s, including immigration, womens’ rights, workers’ rights, abolition and resistance to slavery, and Native Americans.


Currently in Mathematics the students are studying linear relationships in the unit entitled, Moving Straight Ahead.   Students will be developing skills in areas that are traditionally known as algebra.   This unit introduces them to situations that can be modeled with linear relationships and graphed with straight lines.  Additionally, students will also learn to write and solve linear equations.


In science classes, students have concluded out study of the interactions of the Earth, Moon and Sun. Students modeled how the interactions cause specific phenomenon on Earth such as season, tides, moon phases, and eclipses. The next areas of study will be comparing the planets within our solar system, the sun, and other objects in the universe.


In social studies classes, the focus this month will be on using quotes from texts as evidence to back up the claims in arguments. Students will be practicing this several times.  The students will also be working on citing their sources while they are learning about Egypt, China, and Rome.


Taurus English students have been working on responses to literature based on their independent reading novels,. They have also been working on creative writing. The focus of the writing instruction includes solid topic sentences, strong details and evidence, sentence complexity and variety, and effective conclusions.


Students will be continuing the work on Gilgamesh that was started in social studies. In English class, students will be examining the themes presented in the novel, as well as looking at the elements of an epic.


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: Eli Cohen, Iain Conley, Christina Douglass, Cam Frost, Sam Hall, Ayoub Lajhar, Sawyer Belville, and Julia Ciccone.




In English language arts, we are reading Gilgamesh the Hero, an adaptation of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Our purpose in reading this ancient story (It’s the first written story that we know of in the world!) is to study its themes. Students will be able to see that the main character’s worries and the story’s lessons are still relevant today even though Gilgamesh was written over 4,000 years ago. As students read, they will be determining whether or not the book has the characteristics of a traditional literary epic. In social studies, students will be using Gilgamesh as a primary historical source to learn about characteristics of the ancient world.

Social Studies

In Social Studies, we are reading Gilgamesh the Hero as a historical source. We are viewing the document as a resource to learn about the civilization and culture of Ancient Mesopotamia. Taking the view of an anthropologist, we will discuss the culture and compare it with our own. We will use quotes from the book as evidence to support our claims about the civilization.


In math, students have spent the past few weeks learning about linear algebra and finding constant rates of change from real life situations.  We have recently started to formalize these ideas to talk about slope and y-intercept to write linear equations in slope-intercept form, y=mx+b.  Another very important concept we have practiced is solving equations for x, by following the rules of equality and balancing equations. The unit will wrap up with students finding slope when given tables, graphs, equations, 2 points on a line, or a word problem.  The goal is to master these very important Pre-Algebra skills to gain a solid foundation for future math classes, specifically Algebra 1.


In science, we have wrapped up our investigation into atoms by looking at how they combine to form mixtures, molecules and compounds. Students worked on the skills of using models in the form of legos and paper clips to represent their understanding. We are currently exploring how matter changes by investigating physical and chemical changes. Students will need to solve a mystery using their knowledge of these changes.   


Brattleboro Area Middle School is pleased to offer the award-winning parenting class Guiding Good Choices this spring. This class is a five session workshop for parents and/or caregivers of 6th to 8th graders. The course guides parents in setting clear guidelines at home, how to control and express anger constructively, promote family bonds, and how to develop “refusal” skills in kids for that time down the road when trouble may tempt them.


Guiding Good Choices will start on April 24

and ends on May 22, 2018 (5 weeks).

(The dates are, April 24,  May 1, May 8, May 15 and May 22)

TIME: 6:30 – 8:30




1.  Dinner is provided - YES WE ARE GOING TO FEED YOU!

2.  Babysitting will be available on site at BAMS (SPACE LIMITED - so sign up ASAP)

3.  We pay YOU!  $50 stipend for individuals that attend all 5 classes!

4.  This class is a research-based proven effective tool to help parents and care givers support the children in their life make healthier decisions around the use of alcohol, nicotine, marijuana and other drugs.


Sign up deadline: April 13th



Lauren Petrie, BAMS Student Assistance Counselor



PEAK students spent one day a week at Mount Snow this winter! The students learn and improve their skiing and riding skills. They practice perseverance, increase their ability to confront challenges, build community, and have fun. They interview a different Mount Snow employee each week to learn about the skills necessary for each job and to practice their communication and social skills.



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.


Risky Times- Sexual Health and your Kids

WSESU, in collaboration with Sue Conley of the AIDS Project of Southern VT, will conduct a presentation to help parents understand the risks and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Following the presentation, there will be time for open discussion and questions. A light snack will be provided.

RSVP by Monday, April 23 to [email protected]

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Brooks Memorial Library Meeting Room

Second floor

6:00 - 7:30 pm


To view the BAMS calendar, click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 6:30-8 pm, BAMS Jazz Band Rehearsal

Monday, April 16-20, SPRING BREAK- NO SCHOOL

Monday, April 16, 10-11 am, Vermont Foodbank Drop @ The BUHS Student Parking Lot 

Monday, April 23, 7-8 pm, BUHS  #6 School Board Meeting, Cusick Conference Room

Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8 pm, BAMS Jazz Band Rehearsal

Tuesday, May 1, 6:30-8 pm, BAMS Jazz Band Rehearsal

Monday, May 7, 10-11 am, Vermont Foodbank Drop @ The BUHS Student Parking Lot 

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

Tuesday, May 8, Schedule TBD, SBAC Testing

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

Wednesday, May 9, Schedule TBD, SBAC Testing



BAMS Newsletter
sbac letter to families spring 2018.pdf