Gertrude Chamberlin School

Family Newsletter May 6, 2022 Volume 16 Issue 32

Tuesday, May 10th - PTO Meeting 6:00 PM

Friday, May 13th PTO Fun Run

Tuesday, May 17th - 6:30 PM - 2nd and 4th Grade Concert in the GCS Gymnasium

Thursday, May 19th - 6:30 PM - 3rd and 5th Grade Concert in the GCS Gymnasium

Wednesday, May 25th - 6:30 PM - K and 1st Grade Concert in the GCS Gymnasium

Friday, May 27th - 12:30 PM Dismissal for Staff Development

Monday, May 30th - Memorial Day, No School

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Staff Appreciation Week!

Thank you to our PTO for showing appreciation to our staff this week! We were treated to a bagel breakfast, treats in our mailboxes, treats in the staff room and a wonderful luncheon on Friday! We were definitely feeling the love from our school community!
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Last PTO Meeting of the Year - In Person or On Zoom to Hold Elections!

Please join the Gertrude Chamberlin PTO for our last meeting of the school year! We will be hosting the meeting both in person at the Gertrude Chamberlin library, as well as on Zoom. Choose the option that works best for you!

During this meeting we will be nominating and electing officers for the 2022/2023 school year. Anyone who is interested in running for an office is encouraged to do so. We will be electing for the following offices:


Vice President



Please contact Jennifer Doig at if you have any questions.

The Gertrude Chamberlin PTO is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: May 2022 PTO Meeting

Time: May 10, 2022 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 849 9718 6426

Passcode: 309169
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The Fun Run Is Back!!!

The Gertrude Chamberlin School Fun Run provides a fun, energetic way for every student to be involved and take an active role in helping to raise money for class field-trips and school events. On Wednesday, your child attended a kickoff assembly (see the photos below) for our annual Fun Run which will take place during school hours on Friday, May 13th . Students in each grade level will have 30 minutes to walk/run as many laps as they can around our “kid-size” track set-up just for this event. There will be no minimum laps required. Every child will be celebrated for their effort and great attitude! We are asking each child to request pledges from friends and/or family members in the form of either a per lap amount (e.g. $0.25/lap) or a flat donation. Your child received a pledge sheet to record pledges. We also have the option of donating via Square (by scanning a QR code). We ask that students not ask Chamberlin teachers or staff for pledges. In 2019 (the last time we were able to hold a Fun Run) we raised over $4,400 in pledges; we hope to meet or exceed this amount this year.

We are excited to bring this fun event back after a two-year Covid hiatus! The day of the Fun Run, each student will receive a complimentary t-shirt to wear during the event. The number of laps each child runs or walks will be marked on the back of their shirt. The event will be held outside beyond the baseball field at Chamberlin School. Water will be provided to keep kids hydrated. Please remember to have your child wear sneakers and bring a water bottle! The schedule of run times is listed below. We welcome family and friends as fans cheering on the students or as volunteers to help mark laps, keeping kids hydrated, etc. If you are available to volunteer during the Fun Run, please sign up via the Signup Genius that was emailed to families on Wednesday. If you have questions, please email Jennifer Doig at Thank you for helping to make this event a FUN run for our students, and a successful fundraiser for our school!

Here are the times that your child will be running/jogging/walking on Friday, May 13th. Families are welcome to come cheer on their children:

1st Grade - 8:30 - 9:15 AM

Kindergarten - 9:15 - 9:45 AM

4th Grade - 10:00 - 10:45 AM

5th Grade - 10:45 - 11:30 AM

2nd Grade - 12:20 - 1:05 PM

3rd Grade - 1:05 - 1:50 PM

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Assessments for Grades 3, 4 and 5

Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will soon be participating in the online Smarter Balanced Assessment consortium (SBAC) assessments at Gertrude Chamberlin School. These are state and federally mandated assessment for all VT students, beginning at the third grade level. SBAC consists of seven sessions total in Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) for grades 3, 4, and 5. 5th grade also has an additional Science assessment. Students are eligible to utilize appropriate assessment supports when participating in the SBAC tests. These supports are defined as Universal Tools, Designated Supports and Accommodations. Grade level teams have met to create the optimal environment for our students based on their learning styles. Typical supports include small groups, breaks, and text to speech reader for the math and/or reading questions. Other accommodations are customized for students receiving special education services through Individualized Education Plans.

The testing dates are listed below. Please be sure your child gets a good night of sleep, eats a healthy breakfast and arrives at school on time the dates listed below. We try to make the assessment times as student friendly as possible - practice tests were taken in December and January to get students used to the format, they have been using test examples as "warm ups" in math and literacy classes, and we also will provide a "care bag" with gum, lollipops, pencils and an encouraging note written by GCS staff. Extra breaks are also taken on assessment days to break up the day.

Grade 3 ELA - Week of May 9th Math - Week of May 2nd

Grade 4 ELA - Week of May 23rd Math - Week of May 16th

Grade 5 ELA - Week of May 16th Math - Week of May 9th Science - May 24 & 25

Please reach out to your child's teacher if you have questions about SBAC.

Mrs. Rundle Teaching 2nd Graders How to Have Kind Conversations Using Our Second Step Strategies

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Family Survey Results - Part 2

This is part two of the results of our family survey! We were excited to see that 91.4% of respondents to the family survey feel connected to some or all of the GCS staff. Thank you for appreciating all of the work we are doing to foster a positive home/school connection, especially during the pandemic. We know that much of this is due to the caring families that are part of the GCS community! Many of our survey questions are about our PBiS system and our three schoolwide expectations, We Are Kind, We Are Responsible, We are Safe. Here are some graphs to illustrate your survey answers about our expectations and school discipline. As a staff, we looked at this data on Monday at our staff meeting to develop areas of improvement for next year. Thank you again for providing valuable feedback to us.
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Upcoming Concert Information

We are very excited to have our spring concerts back!

We are going to have a QR code for the program this year that you can access on your phones! Please email Ms. Finlayson in advance if you would like a paper copy. The dates are at the beginning of the newsletter for each grade level - all concerts begin at 6:30 PM. Here are some FAQ's about the concert!

What should my child wear?

I tell children to “dress their best”. For some this may mean throwing on that fancy dress or button up shirt. A few kids have even shown up in blazers! However, not everyone has the time or money to go out and buy something fancy. For some that may mean wearing your nice sneakers and a plain t-shirt. We are there to celebrate making music together, not to put on a fashion show.

When can we get into the gym? The gym will be open for seating starting at 6:10. Any children who are supposed to start in the music room - Kindergarten, 2nd grade and 3rd grade - will need to wait until 6:15 to head down there.

Where can I park?

We have a small parking lot at Chamberlin. There is also parking behind the building. If there is no more parking on school property, there is a path that runs from Hanover St to the school. If you are able to walk, it is encouraged.

Expectations Our students are learning how to be good audience members. They have learned that when an adult raises a hand, it is time to turn off their voices. Please avoid or limit side conversations while students are performing. Please silence phones. If there are siblings attending in the audience, they should stay with you. There are two sets of doors at the back of the gym on either side should you need to step out with a crying baby.

Need more info? Contact Ms. Finlayson at:

Information for Next Year at GCS

Thank you for filling out your parent input forms! We will be starting the draft placement process over the next couple of weeks. You will find out your child's final placement in August by logging in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal.

We are excited to announce our teaching teams for next year - all of our current GCS teachers will be returning, including our special educators and Integrated Arts teachers...but there will be a few changes in the grade level they are teaching. We will continue to specialize in grades 3, 4 and 5, so your child in these grades will have all of the teachers at that grade level.

Kindergarten: Mrs. Bahrenburg, Mrs. Preska and Mrs. Brown

1st Grade: Mrs. Gover, Mrs. Boudreau and Mrs. Routhier

2nd Grade: Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Custer and Mrs. Zuchman

3rd Grade: Mrs. Simpson and Mrs. McCarthy

4th Grade: Mr. Provost, Ms. Murphy and Ms. Testone

5th Grade: Ms. McKegney and Mr. Diamond

5th Grade Families - UPDATED INFORMATION

Dear 5th Grade Parents/Guardians,

It is with great excitement that we are writing this letter to welcome you to the Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School community. Our goal is to provide a warm, welcoming environment for you and your child during this important transition.

There will be a series of steps to introduce you and your child to all of the opportunities offered at the middle school. Our School Counselors, Matt Guyette and Yvette Amblo, will spend some time this spring visiting with your child at their elementary school. Some of our current 6th graders will also visit the elementary schools in May in order to speak about their middle school experiences and to answer questions. In early June, all 5th graders will visit the middle school to meet with 6th grade teachers, visit classrooms and tour the building.

We would also like to invite you to attend an In Person Parent/Guardian Orientation Night on Tuesday, May 24th from 6:00 - 7:15 p.m. in the FHTMS cafeteria. The purpose of this orientation is to introduce you to the opportunities our school has to offer and to answer any questions you may have regarding the curriculum and your child’s transition to the middle school. This meeting is intended for parents/guardians only.

School Counselor, Yvette Amblo, will be your primary contact for incoming 6th grade students. You can reach her by email at, or by phone at (802) 652-7158.

We ask that you complete this questionnaire by Friday, May 6th, 2022: 5th - 6th Grade Parent Questionnaire. For information regarding our World Language, Band, Chorus offerings please see: 5th Grade Band Chorus_WL 2022-2023 .pdf

We all look forward to welcoming you and your child to our middle school community.


Dave Hyatt, Principal

Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School

Kindergarten Registration, New Student Registration and Returning Student Registration

The Registration Portal for 2022-2023 Kindergarten students and all Pre-K students will open. The portal can be accessed using your PowerSchool Parent Portal account.

All Kindergarten students will need to complete registration forms. If your student is already registered as a Pre-K student, please select “Returning Student”.

If you have not registered your student in the past, please select “New Student”. Registration will be a 2 step process.

Pre-K class placements are made on a first come, first serve basis.

Registration for all/any NEW 2022-2023 Grade 1-5 students will begin April 4, 2022.

The Annual Student Update (ASU) for all returning students will open on June 1, 2022.

The registration tool is NOT mobile phone friendly. Please use a laptop, or tablet to complete the forms. If you don’t have a device, please contact Lynne Baechle, 802-652-7403 or email for assistance. We now have a desk top set up in the office, pictured below, so families who need support or don't have access to a device can come in and get support to register.

Mother's/Caregiver's Day Breakfast in Kindergarten!

School Nurse Notes


This week's focus: Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is the most common vector-borne disease (infection transmitted to humans from insects) in the U.S.

  • Lyme is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected blacklegged (a.k.a. deer) tick.
  • Over half of the blacklegged ticks collected in Vermont tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease include:

Headache, fever, chills, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, & Erythema Migrans ("EM": Bull's Eye pattern) rash. Not everyone develops the rash.

  • Symptoms can occur 3-30 days after a tick bite.
  • Prompt treatment can help recovery.
  • If untreated, infection can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Diagnosis is made primarily by symptoms and physical findings (rash).
  • Most cases can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
  • Ticks don't jump, fly, or drop from trees. They wait for a host to walk by and climb on.
  • Deer ticks tend to live in wooded areas and fields with tall grasses.
    • Anyone who spends time in those habitats or who has a yard next to the woods
      may be at risk.

For more information, visit the Vermont Department of Health or the CDC.

Next week's topic: prevention of tick bites


FREE N95 Masks:

Are you or a family member at high risk for severe illness? You may want to consider extra protection with a N95 respirator mask. To find out where to find free N95 respirator masks visit here. To find out how to use a N95 mask, see the diagrams here.

FREE LAMP tests (similar to PCR, but results within 30 minutes) are available from the Health Department. Find sites here (walk-ins allowed) or make an appointment here for pick-up. FREE Rapid Antigen tests are available from the school. Please contact us and we can send them home with your student or you can pick them up at school. With symptoms, if the first antigen test is negative, use the second at least 24 hours later. If they are both negative, and you still have concerns, get a LAMP or a PCR test.

Be safe, be well~

Kerry Farrell

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May 5th Update From Superintendent Young

May 5, 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Maybe I say this every week, or at least it feels that way, but there is so much activity taking place in our District! Since it is now May, concerts, sporting events, and fun runs are well underway. I have our dedicated families, students, and staff to thank for bringing these crucial experiences back for our students after pandemic restrictions largely put them on pause just a year ago!

As some of you may know, this week is teacher and staff appreciation week and I wanted to take a moment to recognize these amazing members of our learning community. Over my years working in this District, I have continued to be impressed with the dedication these individuals bring to their professions and to serving our students. They keep our District running at such a perfect rhythm, even when faced with curve balls like a pandemic. Kudos to the PTOs and individual schools who have been taking time to acknowledge our teachers and staff this week. From notes of appreciation, to special breakfasts and lunches, to an actual candy bar (see GCS Principal Holly Rouelle’s Twitter for photos). I am ever grateful.

I did want to remind everyone too, that FHTMS will be presenting Shrek the Musical Jr. tomorrow and Saturday! Grab your tickets at the link below and come out for what’s sure to be a great production!

Dates of Note:

May 6, 10-noon, Big Picture Program Open House in-person

May 6, SBHS Freshmen Community Service Day

May 6 & 7, FHTMS Drama Presents Shrek the Musical Jr, Find tickets here

May 7, Green Up Day in South Burlington and Statewide

World Language Teacher Lori Dow-Moore Honored with 2022 VFLA Distinguished Teacher Award

At a ceremony at Castleton University April 8, long time world language teacher Lori Dow-Moore was recognized by the Vermont Foreign Language Association with the 2022 VFLA Distinguished teacher award. Lori has been a World Language teacher of French and Spanish since 1980. She started her teaching career in New Jersey, her home state, teaching both languages, and after seven years, moved to Vermont, where she began working as a Spanish teacher in the South Burlington School District. She taught Spanish only until about 2011, when she went back to her roots as a teacher of both French and Spanish.

Over the course of her career, she has taught every level of both languages and has participated in the TIE Exchange programs with Salamanca, Spain and Périgueux, France. This year marks Lori’s 42nd year of teaching and her retirement year as well. Congratulations!

Superintendent Search Update

Thanks to all 36 individuals who applied to be on the Superintendent search committee! Last night, the school board made committee member selections. Including board members, there will be a group of 18. The selection was randomized by stakeholder group and includes representation from administrators, business owners, community members at large,

parents/guardians, students, support staff, teachers, and the SBEA. The committee’s first two meetings will be held on May 11th and June 1. The Committee will identify the candidates that will advance to the interview stage during the June 1 meeting, and interviews will take place immediately thereafter. The board still needs to determine how many candidates it would like to have in the interview process. More updates to come.

COVID Update

While our local COVID cases continue their upward trend (see the latest data from the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation and the Department of Health), we continue to do well overall in the District. I wanted to remind everyone if you or your student(s) have any illness symptoms, please stay home and use two antigen tests, at least 24 hours apart. If the first antigen test is negative, use the second at least 24 hours later. If they are both negative, and you still have concerns, get a LAMP or a PCR test. Or, use one LAMP test instead of antigen tests. FREE LAMP, antigen, and PCR tests are available from the Health Department at a number of state run testing sites. If you have symptoms within 90 days of being infected with COVID, you can still test with antigen tests (not LAMP or PCR). Please check the District’s COVID dashboard often to help make personal decisions around testing, masking and attendance at work or school.

Congrats to FHTMS Girl and Boys Track!

Big congrats to the girls and boys track team that both secured 1st place victories at last Friday's 6-team event. They also won the "Combined Team Score" Title for the track meet!! At Monday night's MMU meet, the boys placed first and girls a strong second. Way to go!

Know Someone who is Looking for a Prom Dress? SBHS has a Free Shop Open!

The SBHS prom will take place May 14 this year. If you know someone who would like a dress for this event, send them to the SBx office where a free pop-up shop is open for business! Community members have donated a number of dresses along with some accessories and a couple suit jackets to this shop. Nikki St. Mary and Julian Barritt have been coordinating this effort. Drop by and shop until May 13!

School Happenings

SBHS Freshmen to Participate in Community Service Day May 6!

It’s back! Freshmen Community Service day has returned after a COVID hiatus! Tomorrow, 9th grade students in their Slam groups are headed out to the community to participate in community service. The sites groups will be visiting include: Sand Bar State Park, Knight Point State Park, Cochran's, Camp Abenaki, the SBHS Garden, Grand Isle State Park, Gertrude Chamberlin School, Rick Marcotte Central School, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, Common Roots Farm, Folsom Elementary and Middle School, and Camp Common Ground.

Freshmen Community Service Day has been a tradition at South Burlington High School for several years. Every 9th grader is in an advisory group of about 12-15 students, with a teacher and 2-3 junior and senior Peer Leaders (These advisory groups are called 'SLAMs', which stands for Student Leadership Advisory Meetings).

Slams meet twice a week for 25 minutes at a time. Peer Leaders plan communication, decision making, and team building activities for their groups as well as being a role model in the high school. The senior peer leaders are accepted into the program by application. They meet in a Peer Leadership class every other day taught by Hannah Dransfield and Erin Randall. Stay tuned to our website for photos of tomorrow’s activities!

FHTMS Students Collaborate to Create Sculpture at SB Public Library

FHTMS art teachers Alison Treston and Beth Coleman let me know that their students along with community member and artist Katie O’Brien Barritt have been collaborating to create an art installation at the SB Public Library. The sculpture was created by 60 (!) 6th-8th graders and was inspired by the work of hot glass artist Dale Chihuly. Students used plastic water bottles that were donated by community members to create two colorful chandeliers. Want to check it out? A drop in reception will take place for students and families May 18 in the Marabella Kidspace at the SB Public Library from 5:00-6:45 pm. See you there!

RMCS Second Graders take a Field Trip to ECHO

On Monday, RMCS second graders took a field trip to ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain as an experiential way to support their life science unit. Students participated in a STEAM class titled, Launch, Fling, Fly and learned about the animals and landforms in and around our Lake Champlain Basin Region.

Gertrude Chamberlin Students Skype with a Scientist

Last week, Chamberlin students had the opportunity to Skype with a Scientist! Students Skyped with Manu (Emmanuel) Schaan who is an astrophysicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His work consists of studying the Universe on the largest observable scales to learn about its history (from the Big Bang to today and beyond) and its composition (including the mysterious dark matter and dark energy). He analyzes data from large telescopes which look at visible light and microwave light.

He talked about day and night, the movement of the planets, and answered the students’ fantastic questions such as, How did the moon get into the sky? Have you seen the milky way or the black hole? And how hot is the sun? Luckily, he came prepared to share his screen to show actual pictures of the milky way he has taken as well as visuals that helped students better understand black holes and how scientists find them. He also modeled why we see sunlight at different times than those across the world and shared some fun tips and tricks like a wonderful app that shows where planets and stars are and how one can look at a solar eclipse without hurting one’s eyes. What a great way to foster a love of science and curiosity in our students.

Orchard School Gardens: Getting Ready to Welcome Butterflies

There is an effort underway to transform some of the flower beds at Orchard School into butterfly gardens! Creating habitats to attract these beautiful insects is not only fun to watch, but great for the environment. Like bees, butterflies are important pollinators that benefit nature and need to be conserved. They are looking for perennials to add to their garden such as Lupine, Lavender, Aster, or coneflower to name a few. If you happen to have any extra butterfly-friendly plants/flowers that can be transplanted or if you would like to donate from a local nursery, please contact Kasey Skidmore at

Thanks for reading and enjoy these upcoming sunny days. I think we’re all ready for them!


Kindergarten Authors Wrote A Book for Ms. Rouelle!

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May Kid's Events at the South Burlington Public Library

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Does Your Child Need Milk for Their Home Lunch?

Milk is NOT free for students who need a milk for their home lunch. The cost of a milk is 50 cents and parents/caregivers can send in a check, made out to South Burlington Nutritional Services, to credit their child's account or have money taken directly from an account to credit to your child's account. or use our online payment option through MySchoolBucks.

If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Ketner