Skip to main content

Block Island School

Mobile Menu Toggle
Parents » Principal's Newsletters

Principal's Newsletters

 Principal's Newsletter


There is no mistaking... this year has been one for the record books! So, let's appreciate each other and stay strong for 26 more days! This edition is focused on all the positives that we share as a school community! From the pride we see in our Seniors as they present their Senior Projects, to the Kindergarteners as they get ready to leave Mrs. Hart's nest! I also want to take a minute to publicly acknowledge our student BIFD volunteers, who have been called to duty these past weeks. We are proud of their community spirit as they provide a model for younger students.
Big picture

Mr. Canole, Returns!

I am more than happy to have our former Co-Principal, John Canole, come back for a guest appearance the next few weeks as we plan graduation and organize for ending the year strong. He will be in school weekly till the end of the year.

Wind Win!

We have been working for the past two years on building a program that will allow us to grant Block Island students a Wind Farm Certificate when they graduate. This certificate will be built on a multi-year commitment of course work and experiences which we hope will boost college acceptance and/or most importantly, job placement after graduation. Our dream is to have a model program that could possibly be a magnet for future students. We are on our way! The Wind Turbine Team, Amira Veldman-Wilson, Chloe Weber, Rory Crawford, Stella Gockenbach and Whitney McGinnes under the Direction of Dr. Gibbons, received honorable mention in the State Turbine Simulation Competition, and are one step further towards receiving The Wind Farm Certificate through the WindWin Grant Program of RI.
Big picture

Math is great, but food is Important, too!!

We teach a great deal of things in this school, but sometimes we forget the simple things, like the importance of how to grow your own food. Mr. Petrik has once again cleared our garden with grade 7. They have peas, potatoes, radishes, lettuce and lots of flowers started. Each 7th grader has their own small plot and are helping tend the middle beds as a group. They have really been self-motivated with it, and cleared both the overgrown garden in the fall and the perimeter over the winter.
Big picture

Senior Projects

We have a year-long class dedicated to supporting students as they create a research project presentations and write what turns out to be the equivalent to first-year of college paper. Ms. Flaherty, Mrs. Closter and Mr. Petrik oversee this great process,. Bringing students through the process of editing and rewrites makes way for our seniors to feel more confident that they are ready to leave us as experienced writers. We hold our seniors to a high standard and they surely did deliver. The presentations were some of the best we have seen, and we applaud all of the fine work!!

Congratulations to Block Island School Class of 2021 Members of the Class of 2021 have been accepted at the following colleges & universities:

Appalachian State University

Arizona State University, Barrett

Honors College

Boston University

Clarkson University

Coastal Carolina University

College of the Holy Cross

Colorado State University

Connecticut College

East Carolina University

Eastern Florida State College

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Harvey Mudd College

High Point University

Indian River State College

Loyola Marymount University

Maine Maritime Academy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Michigan State University Montana State University

Ohio University

Oregon State University

Providence College

Quinnipiac University

Regis University

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rochester Institute of Technology

Roger Williams University

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Salve Regina University

San Diego State University

Santa Clara University

Stetson University

Stonehill College

University of Arizona

University of Colorado – Boulder

University of Hawaii

University of Lynchburg

University of Michigan University of Montana

University of New Hampshire

University of Oregon

University of Portland
Also, Congratulations to Seamus Hemingway for making his own path in the Military! He will be joining the Army at Ft. Benning in Georgia in September.

Automation and Robotics

Eighth grade, under the direction of Mr. Closter, are following The Project Lead The Way Curriculum for their class on Automation and Robotics We have two additional courses focused on using this problem solving approach in our High school, Design and Modeling and Intro to Engineering. Read about PLTW in the link below.


Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics® kits to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms.

Big picture

The Arts!

Ms. Hennessy and Mrs. Robb have kept the arts alive this year. Due to COVID, they have had to change how they deliver instruction and it has not been easy to replicate experiences while they carted their programs from room to room. Please check out the recordings of two student music compositions done and our newest middle school art installation (inspired by Jen Stark and soon to be Dale Chihuly, too).


Also, Save the Date: The High School will be having their yearly art show at the Spring Street Gallery on June 3rd.


This year, in Grades 6-8 Music Classes, students have been exploring various uses of technology in music; podcasts and music composition. Below are some exceptional compositions made using Soundtrap software. Hit play to listen. Enjoy!

Watermelon by Abigail Willi

Suspicion by Liam Frostic


First and Second Graders Busy At Work

New Teacher In Town!

Join us in welcoming Eric Hayes our newest Special Educator. Mr. Hayes comes to us from Westerly and was formerly employed at Bradley Hospital as a behaviorist working with young adults.
Big picture

Graduation will be at the Spring House on June 13, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. At this time, we are planning an invite-only ceremony, BUT will be streaming the festivities for all to enjoy!