Randolph Union High School

Randolph Union High School

Welcome to Randolph Union High School!

We'll be using this page to highlight all the great things that are happening here -- every day -- as our students prepare for life after RU. So check back often and soon! (Also, follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on activities and events)

"May Day" to be Cell-Phone Free

On June 1st, Randolph Union High School will enjoy its annual outdoor "field day" (a.k.a. "May Day"), organized by Kelly Tucker and the National Honor Society chapter.

The Campus Life Committee would like to provide incentives to students who leave their cell phones behind, and who are willing to enjoy the day by participating in fun events and face-to-face interactions, something our society is seeing less and less of as we move to a more digital world. It is the hope of the Campus Life Committee that after going a day without their cell phones, students might see the value in other venues of their lives.

To incentivize participation, we are hoping to hold a drawing. Students turning in their cell phones for the day will get a raffle ticket for chances to win prizes. Maybe an overlooked peer will be engaged in conversation; maybe new friendships will be fostered; and maybe a closer school community will be built.

To make the raffle possible, the Committee is looking for prizes, big or small. If you have something to kindly offer, please email Carol McNair, advisor to the Campus Life Committee at cmcnair@orangesoutheast.org.

"Spring" Send-Off at RU!

sock hop

The annual RU "Sock Hop" is in it's third decade at Randolph Union! Middle School students demonstrate dance steps and lessons learned from Phsyical Education classes - and high school students are invited to join the fun at the end of the day. A great send-off into April vacation!

RU Students Compete in Math Fairmath fair

Students from K-12 travelled to the University of Vermont on Saturday, to compete in the 2nd Annual Statewide Math Fair. There were ~60 projects and students from 16 towns and 6 counties.
The day was filled with learning and creativity as there were several activities to do while others were being judged on their projects. It's the second year of the event put on by the Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics, co-organized by Randolph Union High School’s own mathematics teacher, Steven Ushakov

The day followed a solid schedule, starting in the morning with a check in and set up time, followed by the judging section of the day. The projects were then open to the public and family members that were interested in what the other kids had learned. Randolph Union MIddle School students showcased two projects. One compared food wrapper sizes from McDonald’s and Burger King, carried out by Colton Fordham, Owen Schulz, and Marcus White. Rosa Barden, Ayla Palmer Browne, Vivvy Davis, and Maeve Kennedy conducted an investigation to see if a student’s gender affected their preference in the gender of their doctors, teachers, police officers and coaches.

In the 9-12 division, Randolph Union High School students Madison De Joinville and Kyrsten Paroline placed 2nd for their project on the concept that Everything Reduces To Four, which shows how every word and number in the English language reduces down to four, shown in a web and connected to graph theory. Xavier Olmstead placed 3rd for his project on mazes, and Austin White and Josh Mather got an honorable mention for their project on the Infinite Hotel. The students travelled home with their medals, pondering what they would look into further.

“I think the Math Fair offers a real, excellent, realistic, and meaningful avenue for any student to demonstrate their learning in a non-traditional way,” Steven Ushakov, said when asked about the math fair. Some of the projects can be see on display in the Randolph Union Media Center. Organizers hope more students will get involved in math fairs in the future. Additional media coverage can be found on WCAX.com, and more information on the Math Fair can be found on VCTM’s website.

RU Students Stage Walk-Out in Support of Safe Schoolswalk out

More than 150 students walked out of classes on Tuesday March 13 in support of school safety, and to observe a moment of silence and solidarity for the 17 students and staff killed last month at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Senior Amanda Rosalbo and Sophomore Natalie Strand, surrounded by classmates and peers, read off the names of each person killed in the February 14th shooting, followed by a moment of silence. They then read from a list of safety measures they’d like to see implemented at the school to help ensure student safety, and they will submit those measures to the school administration immediately.

A National student walk-out day was scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, however RU Middle and High school are closed for parent/teacher conferences that day, so students held their own protest on Tuesday.
Twelve students from RU will be traveling to Washington DC on March 24 to take part in the March for Our Lives protest  to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that [action be taken to] end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools.

Check out some of these great links to stories about our trip to Washington DC:
VT Public Radio
Channel 22
Burlington Free Press

H.E.L.P. Program Comes to RUHS
Courtesy of The Herald, Feb 22, 2018
by Martha Slater. Photo by Tim Calabro
Students at Randolph Union High School are currently participating in H.E.L.P. (Heroin Epidemic Learning Program), an eight-10 week youth program designed to educate students on the reality of the opioid epidemic and empower them to make a difference.

The first four weeks of the program are educational and hosted by four different volunteer expert representatives from the areas of law enforcement, medical, family and addiction/recovery.
During the second half of the program, students establish groups and apply what they learn to design and create their own PSA (public service announcement). The PSAs are submitted for review and final edit. The H.E.L.P. committee views and votes on all completed PSAs and one is chosen as the winner. The winning PSA is professionally edited to air on local and national TV.

Last year, the program educated nearly 40 students in Addison County about the ongoing heroin and opiate epidemic in local communities and across the country. The students are tasked with interacting in discussions with volunteer experts and coming up with their own message that they believe is important in combating the heroin crisis. Their final PSAs are also shared with their schools to further spread their prevention message.

The program was created by Jeremy Holm, an actor known for his role in the Netflix TV series, “House of Cards,” who has a home in Vergennes; and Jesse Brooks, the prevention coordinator for the United Way of Addison County. During their time in Randolph, they’re also working with Colin Andrzejczyk, the studentassistance counselor for the OSSD.Holm became interested in the opioid crisis because an actor he knew, Philip Seymour Hoffman, died of a heroin overdose.

“Also, a couple of years ago, I was driving to do an appearance in Stowe, and heard an NPR news interview with the chief of police in Liverpool, Ohio, who was talking about the drug issue,” he said. “Jesse and I began brainstorming about this program in October of 2016. I was in Baltimore shooting ‘House of Cards,’ and got in a conversation with two media salesmen. I told them about the program and they said, ‘There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be in every high school in the country.’

“Our idea was to start small, refine it, and grow it,” Holm added. “Since we started, volunteers have really stepped up to help.”

“We bring in law enforcement officers, an area medical examiner, and a woman who’s been in recovery for four years,” said Brooks, who also speaks about her own experience growing up with a parent who battled a substance abuse disorder. “Then we bring in Jeremy and he works with them on creating a storyboard in class,” she said. “We also bring in a professional film editor.”

“Jessie and I work with area high school students to teach them about the opioid epidemic from law enforcement, medical, and recovery viewpoints and also teach them the rudiments of how to make a commercial— storyboarding, editing, and shooting a video—and then they make their PSA,” Holm explained last Thursday. “Our goal is get the kids to think about it afterward, too.”

“This is not politics—we’re telling them the truth,” Andrzejczyk said. “People are dying from addiction every day. Jeremy and Jesse reached out to the school and wanted to do a project here,” he added. “It was a no-brainer for us, because it fit in so well with our curriculum and our understanding of the opioid epidemic. The project here at RUHS is now in week two. Last week, the state police came to the school, this week is storyboarding, and next week, a woman now in recovery will tell her powerful story. After that, Jess will tell her story, then the film editor, Tim Joy, will be here; then Ryan Goodyear (AEMT), and work sessions to make the film.”

“Currently, H.E.L.P. is at Mt. Abraham Union High School in Bristol, Vergennes Union High School, and the Hanaford Career Center in Middlebury,” Brooks said, “and we’re talking to CVU and two high schools in the Northeast Kingdom.”

“No place is immune to this opioid epidemic,” Andrzejczyk said.

“Shiz Kids” – a 26-year tradition – Arrive for week of Learning & Fun
shiz kids
The Randolph-Shizukuishi Exchange Program -- one of the longest lasting and most successful of our international exchanges -- began in 1992 when a Randolph native then teaching English in Shizukuishi, Japan facilitated a cultural visit of Shizukuishi students and teachers to Randolph Union High School. Over the next nine years, delegations of junior high students from Shizukuishi and their teachers came to Randolph for a week-long home stay and school visit.

In 2000, the Town of Shizukuishi invited Randolph Union High School to send a comparable delegation to Japan and, by way of thanks for Randolph’s years of hospitality, paid for the group’s expenses while they were in Japan. Since 2000, Shizukuishi students have continued to come to Randolph every winter and Randolph Union High School has sent delegations to Japan every other year, each time raising funds from the community and by applying for foundation grants.

This past January, area families welcomed 10 Shizukuishi Junior High School students into their homes for a week to share family life and culture. And in June of 2018, Randolph Union Middle School students will have an opportunity to do the same. This year’s trip includes two days in Tokyo for a quick exploration of the city followed by a three hour Shinkansen (bullet train) ride to Shizukuishi for a week of homestays ending with a couple days spend in Nikko, a World Heritage Site known for its shrines and temples.

International studies are an important component at Randolph Union High School, and there are numerous opportunities for students to travel throughout the world as they prepare for life and careers both in and outside Vermont. Like the old Disney song says, “It’s a small world after all…”

Workforce Development Update
Here are the latest updates on our Workforce Development and Career Pathways Initiatives
GW Plastics, in partnership with Ken Cadow, director of Career Pathways and Workforce Development at RU, graduated its latest School of Tech class this January.

Students traveled to GW Plastics twice a week to learn about advanced manufacturing, including the design and manufacture of medical devices. They were able to take advantage of the expertise of some of the most experienced managers and technical professionals in the industry. The students also experienced first hand the teamwork that contributes to successful outcomes, and they received coaching to help them prepare for their futures, whether it be pursuing college, or entering the workforce, as they approach high school graduation.

The School of Tech is a semester long program open to all high school students in the area who are interested in learning about practical applications of science and math in the advanced manufacturing world. Students learn how to create innovative devices, starting from an idea, while receiving high school credit for the experience.
The 10 studnets who participated in this past semester's program join the more than 50 students who have successfully completed past School of Tech courses since the program's inception in September of 2016.