Porters Point School tradition to end

Final year for Project Inside-Out, administrators decide



By Jason Starr
The Colchester Sun

After 35 years, Porters Point School’s unique end-of-year happening, Project Inside-Out, will make its last stand this June. Administrators have decided to discontinue the tradition.

Carolyn Millham, in her first year as school principal, recently alerted the school community about the decision. Millham could not be reached for comment this week. Superintendent Larry Waters backed the decision, saying the project was too lengthy (four days) a disruption of classroom time, especially given new requirements under the Common Core federal standards.

Project Inside-Out took the elementary school’s students and teachers out of their classrooms for the final days of the school year for outside learning. It was first conducted at Camp Holy Cross on Lake Champlain but was moved when the camp changed hands. In recent years, the event has been held on school grounds.

“Maybe it’s time to look at something more fitting and appropriate for kids at that age,” Waters said. “To commit four days to that, from my end, is difficult to do.”

The event was volunteer-supported and funded through money raised by the Parent-Teacher Organization.

“I’m disappointed about it ending,” said Marcia Devino, one of the event’s founding volunteers. “The children still learn a lot and have such a great time those last four days of school. I’m going to do my best this last year and that will be it.”

Parent and volunteer Mike Romeo said administrators should have consulted longtime event organizers like Devino, and the entire school community, before making the decision to discontinue Project Inside-Out.

“In my experience, the kids love it,” he said. “They are learning and they don’t even know they are learning. It’s sad to see it go.”