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At Braintree Elementary, students enjoy a place-based learning environment that encourages an appreciation of the natural world and its inhabitants. This mission is supported by several partnerships and opportunities. 

Farm to School

Our Farm to School program provides students with hands-on experiences growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating fresh produce. This year, we opened Braintree Blossoms, our school farmstand. Students in all grades have made items to sell at the farmstand, including apple sauce and pies, granola, and potpourri. Our intermediate students are learning firsthand how to operate a small business. They set prices, create advertisements, organize inventory, engage with customers, and complete financial analyses. We have also been fortunate to partner with local farmers and families who have donated items to support the farmstand, and students had a great time designing and painting the farmstand sign with local artist Barbara Carter.

This year we have also been utilizing a social studies curriculum provided through a grant with the Clemmons Family Farm that highlights the diversity in agriculture and history in Vermont and the rest of the United States.

STEM Learning

With the introduction of Jeff Green, district STEM instructor, students in kindergarten through grade six receive weekly lessons in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). These lessons support and extend science learning already happening in the classroom. Students have studied adaptations of birds, created interactive online books, and built robots to solve problems using Makey Makey and LittleBit components. We celebrated National STEM Day in November with stations celebrating each letter of STEM. Students built their own LED flashlights and coded robots to cruise the gym with Tina Scheindel, OSSD’s Director of Technology.

Family & Community Engagement

Braintree students have been taking advantage of being able to go on field trips again. Students have visited apple orchards, farms, and the Chandler Music Hall to see a performance from the Garifuna Collective. They’ve hiked Mount Cardigan, visited the Rock of Ages Quarry after learning about minerals and the rock cycle, and had a blast at Motio Recreation Center as a school-wide reward. 

Families have come together as our Partners in Education (PiE) Club, a family advisory council which meets monthly. Seeing a need for field trip fundraising, they have already held a successful fundraiser baking and selling pies for Thanksgiving. We had excellent turnouts for our annual pumpkin carving and story walk event as well as our winter concert and community potluck. Inviting families back inside our building has been wonderful!

Braintree Students release Trout

On Thursday, 6/1, intermediate students took a trip across the corn field to release the trout they lovingly raised from eggs. They were the largest trout in Braintree history! Then we took advantage of the beautiful day to swim and relax.

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