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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday August 31, 2016

Dear Parents of Mounties:

Welcome back to all our returning parents and students and Welcome to all our Freshman and transfer students!!! Just like that the bell rings and the summer is unofficially over. I hope each of you enjoyed the summer as much as my family did. It is amazing to think that it went by so quickly. We, here at MSJ, have been anticipating the arrival of our 2016-2017 students for quite some time now. As I told the students this morning, I get lonely in this big building by myself after Ms. Graves has left for the day. It was wonderful to see everyone’s smiling faces this morning and to get to meet with each class! All the talk in the last few days about summer got me thinking about summer vacation. I think everyone would agree that summer vacation is a lot of fun but there are many people, educators especially, that think summer vacation should be done with. So, being the history teacher I am I decided that I wanted to find out more information about how summer vacation in America came to be. I had always thought it had to do with our American farmers, children were needed to help plant and reap the harvest. Apparently that is a common myth. In thinking about it now, especially as a Vermonter, it seems obvious: farmers need the most help in the fall for reaping and in the spring for planting. This would leave the summer free, In investigating this further, it seems that summer vacation came to be simply because of the schedule differences between rural and urban and rich and poor. Rural areas needed to have a school schedule in which students were in classes during the winter and summer months. Each session lasted two to three months to accommodate the farmers. In contrast, the urban school districts would have a long school year with the schools remaining open much of the summer and on holidays to assist the many immigrants who flocked to America in the late 19th century to have day care for their children. Kids would come and go as they pleased as school was open for around two hundred and forty days a year. The schedule was split into quarters, with each quarter boasting a school vacation at it’s closing. As time went on, school reformers, who were very active at the time, wanted to standardize the school year schedule. This lead to the 180 day school year that we currently use today.

The reason summertime was chosen for several reasons. First of all, educators felt that summer session was the seen as the session with the least attendance and the smallest amount of work was being accomplished. Also, female teachers were teaching in the summer months not male teachers. School reformers were very aware of health standards in the schools and felt that students being stuck in school during the “stuffiest” months of the year was leading to poor health conditions. Educators were constantly reminded to open the windows to get air flow moving, to put water on the floor and to build new schools with ventilation in mind. The third reason was simply that at the time people believed that summer vacation should be about being outside as much as possible. Education reformers thought a 180 school year followed by a summer vacation would be an attractive job that people could make into a career. Summer vacation would also allow teachers time to improve their lessons before the start of the year. Finally, many wealthy women would leave over the summer for long vacations. They wouldn’t worry about schooling. Other parents as well would have their children out of school for longer periods of time during the summer.

And there you have it! The history of summer vacation. I know my kids are happy this exists and I am sure the Mounties are too!


Wednesday Schedule: Academic Assistance Hour: This year we will be having a 9am start followed immediately by Mass on Wednesday’s. This will allow all teachers to be here to offer assistance to those who need assistance and for students to do make up quizzes and tests without after school conflicts. The school building will be open as usual at 7:30am. This begins Wednesday, September 7th, 2016.

The Student Handbook Form and Acceptable Use form need to be turned into the front office as soon as possible. Students will receive their computers as soon as the acceptable use form is complete and the $50 technology fee is paid.

Mountie sports kick off this Saturday! The Varsity MSJ-PHS football teams takes on Windsor at 1pm!!! The boys have been training hard and are looking great this season so far! The Varsity Girls Soccer Team will play Leland and Grey at Abatiell Field on Saturday morning at 11am. The girls have had a wonderful start so far and are looking forward to another successful year. The Cross Country team has been training daily as well. They are running all over the Mountie Fields. Their first meet will be announced as soon as we have this information. Go Mountie runners!

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has asked that all faculty, staff, coaches, administrators, parents and volunteers complete their new safe environment requirement called “Safe and Sacred”. This is an online training that can be located at the following link:


This needs to be completed if you have any interaction with our students surrounding a school related event that may require you to act as a chaperone, driver, scorekeeper, etc. Future parents of Mounties, please consider taking the online training prior to the start of school in August, as the process of certification takes some time for documentation.

I hope everyone enjoys the last long weekend of summer! It looks like it’s going to be beautiful!


Sarah M. Fortier

Sarah M. Fortier, Principal
​.S...Just a reminder if you have not returned your student forms w/ tech fee (if outstanding) PLEASE BE SURE all the packet documents are turned in to the main office