Be sure to check out individual teacher pages, which can be accessed through our Faculty page.
There are three grade-level clusters, or teams, at PCS, one each for grades PK-2, 3-4-5, and 6-7-8. Our total enrollment ('15/'16) stands at about 171. Our average class size is about 16, though averages can be misleading. For example, this year we have 23 in grade 6, and 14 in grade 3. The PCS Class of 2015 will graduated 14, and in June of 2016 we'll graduate 17.
PK-2 Primary Team
The PK-2 team works with young learners to help them develop fundamental literacy and numeracy skills while instilling a sense of team spirit and cooperation. An important part of our program - at all levels - is what we refer to as our "social curriculum," those habits of cooperation and positive outlook that all of us, students and adults alike, do our best to practice on a daily basis. By emphasizing and acknowledging those behaviors that contribute to a positive school climate, our school has evolved into a place where students can have a richly rewarding social and academic experience. We're in our 8th year of working within the VT Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS), a framework for school-wide expectations around behavior and school climate. Our work in this area resulted in our being named a PBiS School of Distinction.
The intermediate grades focus on communication skills, reading, listening, and speaking within the content areas. Students learn the basics of reading in the primary grades, and in the intermediate we continue to refine those skills as students read to learn. In math, students continue to develop numeration skills, and efficient problem solving strategies are emphasized. Science concepts are learned through an inquiry-based approach, utilizing the scientific method. Students begin to read expository texts in social studies and science, identifying the big ideas and important facts. They also begin to use technology as they learn keyboarding skills, research topics, and use interactive websites as part of their learning experience. Learning communities are fostered in the intermediate grades through morning meeting and collaborative group activities, and PBiS remains an integral part of the social curriculum.
Teaching team: Jen O'Donnell, Mike Beardsley, Karen Saunders
The 6/7/8 team is currently is a team dedicated to following a middle school philosophy, which includes a concerted approach to teaming, teaching across the curriculum, advisory time, and a supportive faculty that appreciates and understands the needs of young adolescents. For more information in the guiding philosophy behind current middle school practice, visit the New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) site.
PCS teachers continue to team with WSESU literacy, math and data coaches to plan and implement regular assessments and interventions to help all learners maximize their potential. At the core of this partnership is the use of the innovative benchmarking and progress monitoring online tool AIMSWeb. All teachers in grades K-8 have engaged in on-going professional development regarding implementation of AIMSweb, and its regular use should have a positive impact on individualizing instruction for learners at all levels.
Teaching team: MaryBeth Berberick, Leah Toffolon, John Curran, Don Linden
Academic Support Team
Putney Central offers certified help for students with learning differences, and three academic support teachers: Henny Walsh, Rosemary Remillard, and Angela Walton, as well as a full-time school counselor, Hillary Keach.
Middle School Academic Program
PCS offers a rigorous academic program and relatively small class sizes to students in grades 6 through 8. Math integrates algebra, geometry, number sense, problem solving, and probability. Motivated math students have other opportunities to excel, including on-line learning.
Five days a week this group works in a small setting tackling the algebra curriculum as outlined in Khan Academy. Two days per week, and at other times on an as-needed basis, these students meet with Mary Beth Berberick, our middle school math teacher, to review their work and address any unresolved issues. Reports from students and teacher alike is that things are going very well with this approach.
Several middle school students are also working on independent language study via Middlebury Interactive Languages, which we are piloting this year in grades 2-5.
Art is taught in a large, impressively equipped art studio (kiln, loom, easels, and abundant painting and drawing supplies) that has a bank of glass doors and windows that open up to a beautiful view of our school garden, Sackett's Brook, and our 162-acre School Forest. Taught in an inter-disciplinary style, all of our art classes seek to impart a deep understanding of the art of cultures throughout the world.
Middle school students have an opportunity to study Chinese, and have substantial exposure to Asian culture as part of the school's award-winning Asian Studies program, which is regarded as a model for similar programs throughout the state.
Middle school students participate in chorus, guitar or band and have at least two performance opportunities every year. And in its third year: Rock Shop, a once-a-week time to play around with rock ensemble music, and try a hand at guitar, bass, drums, or keyboards.
Our school has an approximately 800 sq. foot library with over 6400 volumes, a number of multimedia resources, including several iPods and Kindles for books on tape, which we access through our subscription to Audible.com, a number of periodicals in print, several desktop and laptop computers, and a dedicated copy and scanning machine.
Science looks concertedly at ecology, geology, chemistry, biology, and mechanics and emphasizes practical applications and experimentation. Of particular interest are the new Next Generation Science Standards, which are part of the Common Core.
Literature immerses students in reading great books and poetry and invites from students both creative and critical responses to the material they read.
During the fall of 2014 and 2015 our 8th grade social studies students worked, in conjunction with the VT Folklife Center, on two multimedia projects, the first entitled "Faces of Sustainability," and the second, "Putney Stories. Both projects screened to large crowds at the Next Stage Arts Project, and can be viewed on our PCS YouTube Channel. We hope to expand upon this concept in subsequent years, perhaps as a "capstone" project of sorts for our eighth graders.
In English/Language Arts students find their voice and learn to express it (both in written text and in public speaking opportunities) with creative independence, interpret literature, and understand the nuance of our language in both written and spoken forms.
After School and "Extended Day" Programming
Our after school sports program includes league teams for both boys and girls in soccer, cross country running, basketball, baseball and softball, assuming sufficient numbers. In years past we have partnered with our friends at the Dummerston School to ensure that everyone who wants to play baseball or softball ahs a chance to do so. We also sponsor a mountain biking activity during the fall and spring, where kids have a chance to try out biking in a safe, non-competitive environment, participate in supervised rides, and spend some time on our pump track and mountain bike skills park.
Students in grades K-5 can participate in a fee-based program sponsored through the local Meeting Waters YMCA, the Y-Aspire program (After School Program for Inspiration, Recreation, and Education). From time to time we also sponsor after school yoga sessions, and the Mad Science program. For our youngest students we offer - depending on need and interest - an extended day program. There is a small fee for this service.
There are a number of classes that students attend that are outside their normal classroom-centered day. All students participate in art, PE, Library/Media, and music classes. Middle school students study Chinese.
Our intent is to provide a fuller, more robust experience for our students. During the '15/'16 school year we will be piloting an online language instruction program in grades 3/4/5 via Middlebury Interactive Languages. A few middle school students will also participate in this pilot in both Spanish and French.
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