The Core

March 4, 2022, Volume 13, Issue 26

From the Principal

Hello Parents,

I hope your family had an awesome winter vacation. It was a bit of a long stretch so it seems like everyone is good to be back.

Our Budget passed! It is exciting to start back with that great news. Thank you Orchard Community, you're always supportive.

Speaking of the budget, I am sure you are aware of our growing population numbers. We have enough classrooms but are loosing capacity for offices and small/large group work spaces - we're really tight! Our district team is helping and has arranged for some "office" trailers. Though they aren't habitable yet, four "office" trailers landed on the south side of the school - see the photo below.

We have three new school board members with a new board chair stepping in, Dr. Travia Childs. The school board members' information can be found on our district webpage: I also want to do a shout out especially to the two Orchard parents who have been serving, Laura Rowntree and Brian Minier. We are thankful for their extensive work and Orchard representation - also student board rep Carter Higgins!

Test Kits: Parents - check your child's backpack, we are sending home additional test kits. These test kits are for you to use at your discretion, possibilities for use include:

  • When you student has a COVID-19 symtpom.
  • When your student is a presumptive contact at school.
  • When your student is a close contact outside of school.

Re-Opening Guidelines: As you can see from the Superintendent's Message, we are starting the transition from partial to full re-opening. Making our schools "mask optional" is one step, but I am more excited about starting to remove the social distancing guidelines. We will be removing these barriers soon, thoughtfully and methodically.

Act 1: Act 1 is Vermont Legislation focusing on the the prevention of child sexual abuse. A component of the law is teaching students in every grade about sexual abuse that is both age and developmentally appropriate. Our Health Teacher, Brittany Smith, has included a letter about our plan, please see it below.

Talking to Your Students About Ukraine: With the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, we are aware that many students are aware and many have seen images in the media. We respect each family's approach to communicating tragedies to their children and one of our colleagues, Melissa McConnell, has provided some resources oh how to talk to your child about it. Please check these resources out:

Please join Wednesday's PTO Meeting, The agenda includes a presentation of Orchard school's Continuous Improvement Plan.


Welcome back everyone. Happy Tibetan (Losar) New Year! It's 2149, the Year of the Water Tiger!

Have a good weekend, take some time to read to your child.

Mark T

Quote of the Week:

“Everything you can imagine is real.”

~Pablo Picasso

School Nurse Notes

Illness Symptoms (even mild ones)

Your student's health care provider may use this chart to help decide when the student can return to school.


STAY HOME and take 2 rapid antigen tests, as close to 24 hours apart as possible, or consider one PCR or LAMP test. Antigen or PCR tests can be requested from the school nurse.

Return to school when the above testing is negative, AND symptoms are improved or resolved, AND no fever for 24 hours (without taking fever-reducing medicine).

Even if testing is negative, please do not send your student to school sick. Other viruses are circulating too!

Be well,

Kara Cassani, RN & Darcy Mazlish, RN

Orchard School Nurses
SBSD Elementary Health Services
p. (802) 652-7303
f. (802) 652-7354

Our Monthly Read Aloud Book

At Friday's Morning Meeting, we shared out the quilts created in our art classes. The quilts were based on the book, The Arabic Quilt, an Immigrant Story, by Aya Khalil. Check out Mrs. Sullivan-Macdonald's webpage (linked below) for more information.
Big picture

Ms. Evenson's 1st Grade Class Singing at our Morning Meeting

Big picture

PTO Updates

Where the heck is the new Playground?: For those who don't know, we had a big fundraising effort last year to revamp the Orchard School playground. While we hoped that this would greet our students in the fall, it was met with the parts and shipping challenges that have plagued many products these days. Our new playground is slated to be on it's way to Vermont at the end of March, with a hopeful install date in mid-April. Fingers crossed it will finally happen soon!

Artist in Residence: The PTO is pleased to share that we will have an Artist in Residence in May. Artists in Residence come from a variety of areas that bring new and interesting experiences to our children. The PTO works to bring these in roughly every other year. This year's AIR will be Master Yordan, of Yordan's Black Belt Academy, who will work with classes to teach traditional martial arts exercises that instill confidence, life skills, and build a positive self-image.

NEXT PTO MEETING Wednesday, March 9th at 6:30 pm. Mr. T will present news on our district's continuous improvement plan) Here is the join link:

Teacher Appreciation Snack Sign Up: Sign up here to show our teachers and staff some love!

What is Konstella? Konstella is a parent portal for people to connect with one another (e.g., to set up playdates), for community event reminders, and for committee sign-ups. Add your child to their classroom today!

Questions or Comments for the PTO? Please email

New Office Trailers on the Side of Orchard School

Big picture

Girls on the Run

Girls On The Run Spring 2022 registration is officially open! This year's season will begin the week of March 28th and end on June 4th with a 5K celebration to be held at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex.

Practices will be held on Mondays and Thursday from 3-4:30pm outdoors at Orchard Elementary. Registration is open to grades 3-5 only. You can register online at or you can contact volunteer coach Patiance Johnson at 802-393-5223 to receive a paper copy of the registration form if you

Last Call for All 5th Graders

Fifth Grade Parents, check out the download right below for any interest in your child auditioning for Moana. Transportation can be available.

What: Moana Auditions

When: Tuesday, March 8th, after school (pickup at 4:30)


My child will be attending Moana auditions on Tuesday, March 8th. Please use the QR code below or complete and return it to your child’s teacher no later than Friday, March 4th.

Student Name: ________________________________________________

Parent Name & Phone: _________________________________________

Parents, here's the link if this is easier:

Big picture
Big picture