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Visiting Vermont: MRH Crew to Explore Sustainability

Dr. Robert Dillon, principal of Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School, will make the trip later this month along with teachers, students and a gardener.

A group of school officials and students will travel to Vermont later this month to collaborate on sustainability projects in school districts.

About two years ago, a group from Burlington, VT, visited the different MRH schools to view the schools' , and gardens projects. MRH promised a return trip, said Dr. Robert Dillon, principal of MRH Middle School.

Both schools belong to the Society for Organizational Learning Education Partnership, a group of like-minded school districts that share ideas about sustainability.

"There's a need to continue to stoke the fire of ideas," Dillon said. He said that MRH is a local leader in sustainability but that the district always aims to progress further.

Dillon will travel with middle school science teachers and Bill Henske on the trip. McClintock and Henske lead the school's Adventure Club, which combines teaching on the environment, science and physics, Dillon said.

"They're kind of our point people for our work in sustainability," Dillon said.

Middle school gardener Melissa Breed, a couple teachers and four students will join the group, too. The students were selected because they've shown a passion for the subject, Dillon said.

While in Vermont, MRH officials plan to visit an organic farm, view a seed-to-table program and witness how the Intervale Center partners local farms with community members and projects.

MRH will also present updates on some of its work while in Vermont.

In other middle school news:

  • The middle school has started considering its next major sustainability project. It hopes to explore additional teaching opportunities with solar power and has considered aquaculture as another major area for teaching.
  • The physical education classes have been rewritten to emphasize
    "lifetime fitness," Dillon said. Instead of classes focused on team sports such as basketball, the classes have students swimming at the or biking outside. A greater number of people use those types of activities to stay fit for the rest of their lives, Dillon said.

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