It is with excitement, anticipation, and a little bit of trepidation that I write to you on the eve of Opening Day.
The excitement and anticipation come from an obvious and familiar place: the start of each school year is filled with opportunities to learn, to grow, to flourish. This year in particular, we open with our Access program relocated to hallowed ground in our Seminary Building, and we move into Founders Hall, a stunning 25,000 square-foot new building that houses our library; design space; and English, social studies and humanities classes. Founders Hall is partially complete right now and should be fully operational by the end of September.
In addition, each school year is an opportunity for a fresh start. Nobody has failed a test, nobody has lost an athletic competition, no lines have been forgotten on stage. All we have is possibilities.
Undoubtedly, the school year will present challenges, and we actually welcome those challenges, for that is where the greatest learning takes place.
A Word on Covid
It is impossible to talk about the coming school year without also talking about Covid. Vermont has led the nation in its Covid response in no small part because we have stuck together. Last year’s schoolwide theme, Bulldogs Do Their Part, emphasized each individual's responsibility to each other, and our collective responsibility to support the health and well-being of our community. Bulldogs United is a continuation of that goal. One school, one community, united by our common goals, united even in our differences.
As you know, we are starting the school year with universal masking indoors. Concurrently, we are gathering vaccination information on all students for two reasons: first, each vaccinated person contributes to the overall immunity of our school; second, in the event of a Covid infection, individuals who are vaccinated are not required to quarantine.
As we navigate through Covid, we will be evaluating BBA‘s situation to determine appropriate mitigation strategies. Here are some current numbers that I hope you find reassuring:
The current infection rate in Vermont is 0.24%. (VT Digger).
Cases in Bennington County have declined to fewer than 10 cases per day. (VT Digger)
98% of our faculty and staff are vaccinated. (We continue to gather vaccination information from our student body with the hope that the student vaccination rate approaches that of our faculty and staff.)
The vaccines continue to work effectively. In August, unvaccinated adults were 20 times more likely to be hospitalized than vaccinated adults.
From a student standpoint, those 10-19 years old account for a minuscule percentage of adverse outcomes (1.2 hospitalizations per 10,000, with 0 deaths in this age group since the start of the pandemic). (VT Department of Health)
We will continue to monitor these and other important metrics as we consider changes to our mitigation strategies.
Tomorrow, we will launch the school year with our opening assembly. The adventure in learning begins.
Happy New Year.
As we are heading back to school, I wanted to give you some information on Covid vaccination availability for your student. As of now there are many primary care providers whose offices are offering the vaccine to those aged 12 and above. This link can help direct you to other free vaccination options in Vermont, https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine
Many have expressed concern regarding the Delta variant, while this is an understandable concern, I want to reassure you that the vaccine has proven to lessen symptoms and decrease the number of hospitalizations. Thankfully, the vaccine has also been found to be safe and effective.
Welcome Back! School Counseling has a lot planned for you.
We'd like to extend a big welcome back to our returning Bulldogs and a warm welcome to the newest members of our community. We look forward to working with you and your families throughout the academic year as you plan your schedules, experience new classes, explore career paths, and navigate the college search and application process. There are many events coming up in the next few weeks and months, so click through to learn more about the resources and events available to students and parents.
School Picture Day is September 9th.
Student pictures will be taken on Thursday, September 9th. Order before picture day on mylifetouch.com
, and use the picture day ID: EVTFJNB3T
You can also find this information in the student/parent portal under the resources tab. If you do not wish to order online, please pick up a paper form in the Main Office.
Success Program Raffle Sales Underway!
The Student Success Program is now selling tickets for our 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $10 each, and the drawing will take place November 17th at our Annual Success Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner. All proceeds will support the Annual Success Graduation Trip (location will be determined this fall). For more information or to offer support, please contact Director Jason Pergament (email@example.com
), Associate Director Billy Canfield (firstname.lastname@example.org
), or Success Parent Association President Fawn Montanye (email@example.com
BBA Dance Company to Perform in Outdoor Eco-Arts Show
Join the BBA Dance Company and the Artichoke Dance Company for an outdoor performance at the Southern Vermont Arts Center on Saturday, September 25th at 2PM.
Books Unite Us
Burr and Burton’s library along with libraries across the country celebrate Banned Books Week in September. This year’s theme,“Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” aligns well with BB
A’s theme for the year “Bulldogs United.”
We’re excited to welcome students and faculty back to campus! We will celebrate being together by gathering in groups with ice cream and raffle prizes to discuss the Summer Reading books on September 8th
. More details about Banned Books Week and Summer Reading Discussions can be found in this month’s newsletter
Library Media Specialist
From the Athletic Department
This week marks the beginning of competitions for our fall athletes. The players and coaches have been hard at work for a while, and I am excited to see them compete. Homecoming Weekend is coming up September 24th & 25th.
This month I share our sportsmanship aspirations, a final reminder about our Leadership Retreat, and an opportunity for discounted tickets at Applejack.
From the President of the BBA Parent Association
Dear Burr and Burton Families,
Welcome to your Parent Association (PA), where all parents are automatically considered to be members. I am delighted to be your president again! I encourage you to join our dynamic, inclusive committee of parent volunteers and together we can make this school year memorable with Bulldogs United. The mission of the PA is to foster partnership between families, the school and the community through communication, education, advocacy, fundraising and social activities. To get the year started, I thought I would include upcoming PA events that I hope you will join us for, as well as some key communications that everyone should be aware of.