Thursday, December 8, 2016


Screen time is becoming a topic of concern for parents as their children spend more and more time in front of screens at school and in their free time. Screen time can affect a child's health, disrupt sleep patterns, and cause anxiety and attention problems. As parents face these issues, they need to be informed in order to make the best decisions for their children and themselves.

To bring about more understanding of the issue, Hazen Union School will be hosting a screening of Screenagers, a documentary focusing on how to navigate the digital world with teenagers. "...With surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance." This event is a lead up to Hazen's Screen Free Challenge, which will take place during the school day December 21st.

Hazen invites the communities served by Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union to this screening being held Monday, December 19th at 6:00pm in the Hazen auditorium.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Advisory, Survey Results, Next Steps

Our school community prides itself on relationships. Our three tenets are: be respectful, be safe, and be engaged. One goal that remains constant is that students feel that they have trusting relationships with at least one adult in the building. We have several systems and supports in place for this to happen.

One initiative that we have implemented to meet this goal is our advisory program, where students meet with their advisory on a daily basis for support. To understand how we are meeting our goal on relationships, we provided students with a survey to assess our school climate. After the survey was complete, we asked faculty to look at the data and develop some short term goals based on their takeaways from the survey. Below are the survey results:

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Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 9.10.59 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-14 at 9.11.14 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-11-14 at 9.11.27 AM.png

Teacher observations, reflections, and goals:
  • On average most students feel: Safe recognized for good behavior have a good relationship with teachers and TSA advisors feel like their voices are being heard.
  • It sounds like teachers have built strong relationships with their students.
  • Our school climate, on average, seems positive. However, academic settings/ academic climate seems to be a struggle. Next year, have a more deliberate, positive and quiet roll out of this survey.
  • More emphasis needs to be placed on creating a positive ACADEMIC environment. Improve the number of students that feel safe (strongly agree) by 40% by winter survey. Attempt to understand why students do NOT feel safe. Work to improve PBIS so more students feel recognized for good behavior (strongly agree) to 25%
  • We would like to be more cognizant of placing TSA students with teachers in the future. We could utilize prior relationships with prior advisers to help place students in a more appropriate or non-triggering environment.
  • All students need to stay safe. Every other student we meet in the hall has felt unsafe. Moderately safe is not good enough. We can reinforce this message in our teaching by restating safety concerns.
  • We need to make sure that we are making a concrete effort to reach out to all students in TSA; help them to make a connection.

While we feel positive overall about the results of the survey, we do recognize that there is more work to be done

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Note on Report Card Grades

In the fall of 2016, Hazen Union School moved to a proficiency-based model of instruction and assessment. We are excited about this shift and are confident that it benefits all of our students. Here is a breakdown of what your student’s report card grades mean.

  • Majority of standards are Exemplary.  
  • No standards are Developing, Beginning, or No Evidence.
3.4 - 2.7
  • Majority of standards are Proficient or Exemplary.
  • No standards are Beginning or No Evidence.

  • Majority of standards are Proficient or Exemplary, but some are Beginning or No Evidence.
  • Majority of standards are Developing, and more are Proficient or Exemplary than Beginning or No Evidence.
1.6 - 1.0
  • Majority of standards are Developing and/or Beginning.
  • Majority of the standards are No Evidence.

What is the 1-4 scale and how does it work?

The smaller the scale, the greater the accuracy and consistency among teachers. As with most schools in the nation that have moved to Proficiency Based Learning, we have chosen a four point scale for its ease of conversion to the traditional college GPA scale, and for its clarity.

The keys to reliable scales are clear, well-defined descriptors of each of the four levels. Teachers have been working on writing quality Essential Learning Outcomes (ELO’s) and will continue to do so. Each ELO has language specific to the targeted content skill or understanding. Teachers score student work using a 1-4 scale for each ELO where a 3 represents proficiency in the articulated target. When scores from individual targets are combined in Powerschool or Schoology at the end of a period of learning, this will result in composite scores to the tenth place (i.e. 3.1, 2.6, 2.8).

For the 2016-17 school year a score of 2 will equal a passing grade in the course.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

One to One Device Initiative Update

After last year’s successful pilot of a one-to-one device program in Hazen’s middle level, this year Hazen made the commitment to one-to-one for the entire school. Every student at Hazen now has access to their own personal learning device, either an iPad or a Chromebook. In addition to each student having their own device, after completing digital citizenship lessons, getting parental permission, and agreeing to appropriate use, students are able to take their device home, promoting digital equity and access among Hazen students. Students have reported that their device helps them with organization, utilizing apps to acquire new learning, and creating collaborative presentations.

This year Hazen has also adopted the use of Schoology, a learning management system that supports blended learning. It enables teachers to post information, assignments, and assessments to their classes in an online portal, where students can access them anywhere, anytime. Students say they appreciate the use of Schoology for the way it organizes their classes and assignments, and reminds them of upcoming due dates. It also gives teachers a robust tool for differentiating instruction based on student needs, and supports targeted practice and timely feedback. 


The adoption of a one-to-one program along with the use of Schoology is giving students new opportunities and changing the learning landscape at Hazen. No longer confined by outdated textbooks and school walls, students are able to interact with real time world events, communicate with students on the other side of the world, and create meaningful connections to life and learning.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What's Happening in Humanities?!

Last year our 9th and 10th grade English Language Arts and Global Citizenship teachers took on the task of rethinking the proficiencies, content, and delivery of their courses. Have a look at this quick guest post from Kyle Behrsing:

The main goal in our Humanities planning this year is to blend learning of history and culture together. We want students to gain historical knowledge through studying culturally relevant literature, and think critically about problems posed to them. Students have studied the beginnings of history and civilization, and looked at the problems in decoding history and the lack thereof.

In the 9th grade, students have been tasked with deciphering the history about Ancient Greece. They are currently attempting to answer the question: What was the story of the Trojan War? Students have read some of the first historical writings from Herodotus, some of the epic poem The Odyssey, attributed to Homer, and are trying to piece together the evidence that they find into an explanation of the event. In the 10th grade, students have analyzed Plato’s allegory of the cave, Plato’s Theory of Forms, and incorporated philosophy into their historical context.

Students have been challenged with classic materials, and are being pushed to connect the material to modern skills and cultural ideas. Throughout the year we hope to continue with a theme based approach, and connect historical eras to modern culture.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A New Year with New Opportunities

The start of the school year has been very successful with a number of new opportunities for students, as well as new systems to support teaching and learning. With a new year and a number of changes, we have witnessed a variety of excitement and anxiety. Researcher in education, Michael Fullan, describes change as this:

Organizations transform when they can establish mechanisms for learning in the dailiness of organizational life. People make… fundamental transitions by having many opportunities to be exposed to ideas, to argue them to their own normative belief systems, to practice the behaviors that go with those values, to observe others practicing those behaviors and most importantly to be successful at practicing in the presence of others (that is, to be seen to be successful).  

At Hazen, we are trying to be very intentional about our change and the opportunities that we are creating in a manner that supports everyone in our school community. Our overarching goal for this year to continue with the implementation of a proficiency-based Learning (PBL) model of education. It is our belief that through PBL, students will be able to clearly demonstrate the knowledge and skills that will prepare them for a variety of pathways. To support students we have implemented the following:

  • 1:1 Initiative, every student in our school has an iPad or a Chromebook
  • A 4-point grading system based on proficiency towards learning outcomes
  • Increased flexible pathways beyond the traditional program of studies
  • A new learning management system called Schoology to support teaching and learning in the classroom  
  • A new pre-technical forestry and agriculture program

We firmly believe that this is the right work and the growth we have seen in the past 3 years is amazing. We will be holding our annual open house on September 13th and invite all parents and guardians to come in and meet our faculty and staff. We will also be holding a forum on our new 4 point grading system for those interested in learning more.

-Michael Moriarty & John Craig

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fresh Poetry on the Trails!

The following guest post is from Sue Trecartin, former Hazen teacher and current member of the Hardwick Trails Committee:

“You know, we’ve been back in school for three weeks, and I haven’t even been out on the Hardwick Trails yet!” said Kaleb.
“Same here. And I think our poems might be out there somewhere,” replied Jennifer.
“Let’s go check it out after school today,” said Kaleb.
“Yeah, good idea.”

This fictitious conversation could have occurred between two of Hazen’s writers this week because there are five Hazen poets represented on the green trail this year. Called the Eaton Brook Loop, the trail starts at the end of the parking lot and winds behind the tech center, along the brook and comes down the sugar road. Every year, twelve new poems are posted and this year has some beauties. Here’s an example:

The night stands still
A lone cricket chirps twice
To break the silence
The wolf walks out of the woods
Leaps on a rock
Howls at the moon

A single drop falls to the forest floor
Sliding off of a leaf
And lands on a lone cricket
And all is still in the dead of night

Noah Wilson

Poems by published poets include old favorites like Galway Kinnell’s “Blackberry Eating” and current ones like “Grouse Call” by Vermont’s new Poet Laureate Chard deNiord. There’s even a poem by one of Hazen’s alumni Marty Schneider, “The Gym,” that anyone who’s come to a basketball game can relate to.

Take a walk or a run on the green trail. Stop and enjoy the poetry. If you don’t want to miss any, pick up a Poetry Loop map at the trailhead.

Another recent and fun addition on the trail is the Little Library, bright orange and purple, near the bridge with a bench to sit and browse, or you can just take a book with you.

Sue Trecartin

Hardwick Trails Committee