Monthly Archives: January 2013

RSEC Academy Students Gain Experience Outside of the Classroom

Students Explore New Hampshire and Massachusetts During RSEC Annual Intensives Week

January 28, 2013 – Stonehenge, soap, sculptures and hoops were just a few of the subjects that RSEC Academy students were exposed to as they traversed New Hampshire and Massachusetts during their RSEC annual Intensives Week, held January 22–25. Each year, the RSEC Academy Intensives program provides students with opportunities to gain new experiences outside of the classroom. Students are divided across five different groups, each of which participates in a specialized theme. The five Intensive’s themes this year were Novelties, Art, Shipping Up to Boston, Fit 4 Life, and Get a Job.

To start their week, The Academy’s Novelties group visited America’s Stonehenge in Salem, NH. The following day was filled with a visit to the Stonyfield Yogurt Factory in Londonderry where students learned how yogurt is made and about Stonyfield’s dedication to sustainability, and a tour of Van Otis Chocolates in Manchester where students made sweet treats of their own. Over the course of the week students also visited Stonewell Farm in Keene, Swan Chocolates in Merrimack and Clark Summit Alpacas in Deering where students made felted soaps using alpaca fur.

Winter intensive 2013 teams

Students visited Stonewall Farm in Keene

The four-day Art Intensive focused on the innovative art of Mark Jenkins who introduced packing tape as a new medium used to create sculptures. Working in teams, students completed three full-size body sculptures using Jenkins’ approach. Students also traveled to the Sharon Arts Center in Sharon where they explored various artistic techniques. In addition to their artistic pursuits, the group also visited the Stonewall Farm.

The Shipping Up to Boston group spent the week visiting Boston to learn more about the city. Students enjoyed a variety of activities including a scavenger hunt on the Boston Common, visits to the Museum of Science and Faneuil Hall, lunch at the Hard Rock Café, a tour of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and a Celtics game at TD Garden.

The Fit 4 Life Intensive was packed with sports, new adventures, and a focus on lifelong fitness for the body and mind. Students began their week at Prevail Martial Arts and Fitness Center in Amherst where they learned the basics of martial arts, followed by a swim at the YMCA. The second day saw training in Kung Fu and Tai Chi and meditation at The Training Station in Manchester. Highlights from the rest of the week included ice skating at Conway Arena in Nashua, bowling at Leda Lanes, a UNH basketball game in Durham, and an overnight stay at the school followed by games and swimming at Hampshire Hills in Milford.

Students who took part in the Get a Job Intensive will apply their four-day experience to RSEC projects focused on transitioning out of high school.  Students participated in workshops, learning about job applications and interviews, before completing a day-long job shadow in places such as the Bedford Animal Rescue League, Sunrise Children’s Center in Amherst, and the Parent Information Center in Concord.  Two students were also able to experience training on computer networks at Enterasys Networks in Salem.  The week for these students was rounded out with tours of the Union Leader in Manchester and the Anheuser-Busch factory in Merrimack.

“This is a special week for our students—one they help plan and one they will always remember because it’s about experience. I want to thank the many organizations that opened their doors to us and helped make these visits substantive and meaningful,” said Janet Reed, director of The Academy.

Longview School Science Teacher Emily Sherman Cited for Excellence

Photo of Emily Sherman

Emily Sherman, a science teacher at the Longview School in Deerfield, has been named as one of the 2013 New Hampshire recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. She was honored at the Leadership in Education Banquet in Concord on December 11 in recognition of her exemplary leadership abilities, professional growth and achievement, and her commitment to excellence in education.

The Longview School specializes in experiential education for students in grades’ 9-12 with emotional and behavioral disabilities. The school is part of the Regional Services and Education Center (RSEC).

“Emily is a highly engaged and valued member of our teaching staff and we are thrilled that she has achieved this honor. We often find her outside with her students gardening, bird watching, or knee-deep in a stream catching dragonfly larvae to sample for mercury contamination. She exemplifies our commitment to experiential learning at Longview,” said Thomas Jennings, director of the school.

Sherman is a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Science, a performance-based certification for accomplished master teachers.  She received a Noyce Master Teacher Fellowship for bringing biology case studies into the classroom and a Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship for excellence in geography education. She is passionate about sharing her science expertise with other educators and is a frequent presenter at state and national science conferences.

The video Sherman submitted for this award showed a lesson on genetics in the biology classroom. Students were using Reebops, a model “organism” made from marshmallows, to illustrate Mendelian genetics and create pedigrees. Because of their attentional challenges, students at the Longview School are more successful in classrooms that provide them with physical manipulatives to learn key concepts.

She has a B.A. in Environmental Education from Prescott College in Arizona and a M.S. in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. She taught science in New Mexico and Maine before moving to New Hampshire.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 awards each year. In the spring, one of the four nominees will be selected by the National Science Foundation for this prestigious award to travel to Washington D.C. Recipients of the award receive the following:

A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
A paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.
A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

For more information contact:
Lori Temple, NH Department of Education
(603) 271-6646