The Core

March 19, 2021, Volume 11, Issue 24

Letter from the Principal

Happy Spring Parents!

These past two weeks have been somewhat of a roller coaster ride having to quarantine four classrooms along with a handful of bus riders. This was very unfortunate for families and staff members; some good news from these closings is that we have not seen any contamination at school. Moving quickly with contact tracing, elementary schools are successfully combating transmission. I'm hopefully not jinxing this but we need to share this important news.

We also had a good week despite the daylight savings time change last weekend - the students did very well!

Check out my school calendar close-up (below) about what is coming up. We have two parent-teacher conferences half-days coming up, Thursday & Friday, April 1st & 2nd. Dismissal will be at 11:30.

Also, we recently learned that we are required to give the SBAC assessments (Smarter Balance Assessment Cooperative) to all students in grades 3 - 5. We will begin starting the plan for administering the assessments and report back to you.

We shared last week the video of our students and staff raising the Black Lives Matter flag. Here is a link to the musical interlude with Ms. Frostman performing Rise Up, Ms. Bissonette signing, and sharing of student artwork:

Also check out the YouTube video below of fifth graders reading A Place Inside of Me created by our librarian, Ms. Sullivan-Macdonald. We're also working toward a slide show!

Registration is open for Incoming Kindergarten students as of March 1, 2021. If you would like to register a student who will be 5 on or before September 1, 2021, please visit .

Check out the awesome Farm-to-School article below along with a delicious recipe. There is also information on a Common Roots get-together called Maple Moon Gathering, it looks like a lot of delicious fun! Have an awesome weekend; take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Quote of the week:

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

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Last Week's Game Day - 100 Apples!

School Nurse Notes


Please see this link for updates on Vermont's most recent gathering restrictions for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.


The Vermont Health Department encourages testing as a critical tool to slowing the spread of the virus. The sooner you know if you have the virus, the sooner you can protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.

COVID-19 PCR Testing Sites:

    • If you/your student has symptoms of COVID-19, contact your health care provider first, to determine if testing is needed. If you don't have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 to connect to care.
    • If you/your student are not sick, but need a test, consider scheduling a test at a pop-up site on the Health Department's website: "Where to Get Tested," through your provider, or call the Health Department @ 863-7240.


Visit "Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine" site on the health department's website by clicking here, to see who else is currently eligible and information about making an appointment.

Take Care,

Kara Cassani & Darcy Mazlish, School Nurses
Orchard School
SBSD Elementary Health Services
p. (802) 652-7303
f. (802) 652-7354

Farm to School

Farm to School

We are entering the sweetest time of year in Vermont - Maple Season! As the air gets warmer during the day and cooler at night, the sap in our native sugar maple trees begins to flow. The process of collecting sap and boiling it down to a syrup is a long-time tradition here in Vermont, thanks to the discovery by the Abenaki people. For many years, this has been a time to bring the community together to share the first harvest from the Earth - a sweet treat that will wake us and energize us after a long cold winter.

This week in Farm to School, we found some energy in maple-inspired yoga and discussed the “Sap to Syrup” process. Did you know that it takes 40 gallons of sap to get one gallon of maple syrup?! We took some time to give gratitude to those who have worked so hard to collect and boil down all of that sap for us to enjoy - all while enjoying some carrot fritters with syrup drizzled on top! We hope you give this recipe a try at home.

Carrot Fritters with Maple Syrup

Makes about 6-8 fritters


  • 2 cups carrot, grated (2-3 medium-sized carrots)
  • 1 chia seed “egg” - 1 Tbsp chia seeds and 2.5 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (plus more to drizzle on top when serving)
  • 2 heaping Tbsp cornflour
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • Salt, generous pinch
  • Olive oil, for frying in the pan


  1. Grate your carrot, using a box grater or food processor.
  2. Make the chia seed egg by combining the chia seeds and water in a small bowl. Set aside for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  3. Combine the grated carrot, cornflour, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the chia egg and maple syrup to the carrot mixture.
  5. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  6. While the pan is heating, shape your carrot mixture into small thin patties.
  7. Fry the patties in the pan until crispy and golden brown - about 3 min on each side.
  8. Serve with a drizzle of warm maple syrup.

Fun fact: The Abenaki name for tree sap is “wskidakuam” (pronounced whs-kee-dah-koo-ahm). Can you say that?

News from the Common Roots Farm at South Village: Our Farmstand memberships are filling up fast! Join us this summer by purchasing a membership to get great deals on produce grown on our organic farm, along with local meats, cheese, dry goods and other artisan products. Find more info on our website at

Till next month, Nourish to Flourish!

Lauren Jones, Common Roots - Farm to School Educator

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A Place Inside of Me

PTO News

The PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) continues to work to make this year a fun and productive one! We support teachers and the whole school in creating a strong community. We believe it is important to continue to show appreciation and support for our teachers and staff, so we would like to occasionally give some sweet treats! We are also thinking ahead to when things get back to normal and we can bring our events back (Skate Night, Spring Fling, Math Night, etc.) - even if they cannot happen until next year! Your support is still very important, especially since we could not host our major fundraiser, the Fun Run, last fall. If you can, please donate by sending a check to the Orchard PTO, c/o Suzanne Hebeler, 36 Cortland Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403 OR donate online: Cheddar Up for Orchard

Join the PTO: The PTO is actively recruiting new board members, and we always welcome parents who are not baord members to join meetings and share ideas (or just listen to what goes on behind the scenes!). If you have a little room in your schedule, consider volunteering! Email Kristin at with thoughts, questions, and ideas.


Prior to Box Tops going virtual, we used to pull in around $500-800 a year with Box Tops. This year, Orchard has raised a dismal $10.50 so far. Download the app and help us get our momentum back up! It’s an easy way to make a difference. When you buy Box Tops participating products (such as many cereals, granola bars, and Annie's Mac and Cheese) and scan your grocery receipt, Orchard will earn .10 per product. Bonuses for your birthday month and for getting a friend to join! Twice a year, our school receives a check to help pay for whatever we need - equipment, supplies or experiences the kids love!

Download the Box Tops for Education app at your App Store or here:

Memory Book!

Hello Orchard families! It’s time to start collecting photos for the Orchard Memory Book. We know this year has been very different and we have unfortunately missed out on many of our favorite Orchard events, but we’re hoping to gather some great photos of our students participating in classroom activities or remote school. Please send any photos you have to And please send photos in large or actual size for optimal resolution.

Fifth Grade Fun Day:

A few fifth-grade parents are starting to plan for the possibility of having a Fifth Grade Fun Day. If you would be interested in helping organize, please contact Aimee Hutton at"
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