Annual Student Conference

2022: VAMLE March Middle Level Student Conference

(to be held virtually)

Connecting and Empowering Youth

Students and teachers may attend any or all three sessions if they’d like.

VAMLE will host a virtual conference for middle level students for three separate days in March. Three planned student presentations are scheduled for the following dates:

1. Wednesday, March 9th, from 12:15 – 1:45

Promoting Social Courage

The 5th & 6th grade students on Sterling House at Williston Central School wanted their team to be a kind and welcoming place for all. So using the tools of Special Olympics Unified Classroom they participated in workshops, reflection, and action planning to create a new atmosphere. Each student made individual plans and action steps to better the group. Community circles, weekly team goals, and small groups dedicated to spreading kindness were all outcomes of the work. Learn from the students involved about how you can use the Unified Classroom to bring kindness, inclusion, and social courage to your community.

Registration information for this session:

2. Wednesday, March 16th, from 9:30 – 10:45

March Racial Justice Dialogue

Join this dialogue series, planned and co-facilitated by UP for Learning's Vermont and Mississippi youth partners. These dialogues bring youth and adults together from across VT, and the world to have real and relevant conversations about systemic racism and injustice. The heart of these sessions are sharing stories from diverse perspectives, listening for understanding, connecting as a community, and creating affinity groups for action.

Join us - as a whole class, with your peers/colleagues, or by yourself!

Register in advance for this meeting:

3. Wednesday, March 23rd, from 12:30 - 2:00. Registration information to be announced soon.

Student Voice and Activism for Systemic Change

Presented by 8th Graders in the Youth Participatory Action Research Team (YPAR) at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington, VT

We are a student-run group of 8th graders that work to disrupt all forms of oppression in our communities with the goal of making lasting, systemic change. The YPAR program is an innovative approach in which young people (like us) are trained to conduct research to improve our lives, the lives of others in our communities, and the institutions intended to serve us. Our group is committed to creating systemic changes for students and families that are experiencing racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, and other forms of oppression. Currently, we have four issues of focus:

· Systemic Racism: Students are working with district leadership to create an anti-racist teacher evaluation tool that is not punitive but is instead intended to inform and educate.

· Ableism in Schools: Students are working to disrupt the inequitable funding structure of special education and creating tools for families that have the most barriers to accessing their student's services.

· Gender Discrimination: Students are in the process of planning an event that is intended to give students that fem identifying students and those a uterus a platform to share their experiences with gender discrimination.

· LGBTQIA+ Advocacy: Students are in the process of creating a series of lesson plans to inform and educate students and staff about the experiences of LGBTQIA+ youth across all schools in the district.

Our Traditional Conference:

Beyond Bullying: Creating a Culture of Respect in Learning Communities

The VAMLE Annual Conference is held each year in March, and brings together teams of middle level students and educators from across Vermont. The goal of the conference is to develop student leadership in planning for school change. A keynote speaker opens the conference, followed by workshops that offer strategies to combat bullying and building a culture of respect and inclusion.

Video of the 2016 Conference