The Core

March 6, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 25

Principal's Notes

Parents & Guardians,

Welcome Back everyone! We hope your family had a terrific time away from school and everyone is ready to be back! Please know that our phones were upgraded over the vacation. It appears to be a much better system though we are still working through some kinks. Excuse us if we missed your call, some of us lost phone messages over the break so please call us back if your message has not been returned. Thank you.

Important Dates: Kindergarten Registration Days! Tuesday and Thursday, April 14 & 16. Please contact our office at 652-7300 if you have an incoming Kindergartener.

Coronavirus: I've included a school article regarding how we are currently addressing the Coronavirus but I also want to provide a couple of resources for parents:

The first is the link to Vermont's Department of Health that provides updates:

The second is a comic strip on the NPR website on good talking points to talk to children:

The third link is a link from an NY Times article that help keep our own, and our children's, anxiety in check.

I think these are all helpful, check them out when you have a moment.

Orchard School has the opportunity for the past few years to receive professional development training with Dr. Joelle van Lent. Joelle is a clinical psychologist with expertise in methods that school communities can develop to foster resilience in students. As part of this ongoing work, Joelle meets with staff teams, observes in classrooms, and provides suggestions for how we can create an environment that optimally challenges and supports our students and families. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Check out the new attachment at the bottom regarding updated information on our upcoming Skate Night! Also, the South Burlington Recreation Department has included the March Calendar. I have also added the Science Fair sign up as well.

The district leadership team will be going back working to develop a budget the community will pass. I am sure the school board will also be re-looking at a modified or new plan for the middle/high school project. I appreciate the tough decisions everyone had to make - but I am very grateful for all the positive comments I read and hear supporting Orchard School. Our staff is very focused on the educational and emotional growth of each child - thank you for your support.

Have an awesome weekend and don't forget Daylight Savings Time starts. Turn your clocks forward an hour and take some time to read with your child!

Mark Trifilio

Coronavirus News

Our school district is following the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, the VT Department of Health, and the VT Agency of Education to promote disease prevention. Many of the precautions that help prevent other respiratory diseases, like colds and the flu, can also help keep an illness like COVID-19 from spreading. Our custodians, staff and school nurse are working with students and families to support the following recommendations:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Our custodians are disinfecting all of the "touch surfaces" such as tables, chairs, sinks, door handles, counters, etc. multiple times during the day and thoroughly in the evening. Students are washing their hands when they arrive at school and frequently throughout the day. If they are seen touching their nose and mouths, coughing or sneezing, they are also asked to wash their hands. Although soap and water is the best technique, we are also using hand sanitizer in areas without sinks such as the cafeteria, library, gym, etc. New hand sanitizers are being installed throughout the building and we are looking into more strategies to limit the spreading of germs.

Anyone whose last day in one of the affected countries of China, Iran, Japan, Italy, and South Korea was March 4 or afterward should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States. The Vermont Department of Health is asking travelers returning from those countries, to reach out to them by calling (802) 863-7240 for further instructions. Please notify the school immediately if this is true for your child or an immediate family member.

Please contact our principal or nurses with any questions.

Check out these 2nd Graders Playing a Musical Game and Mrs. Frostman Trying out the Ukelele!

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PTO News

Science Fair: The Science Fair is Thursday, March 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This is a fun, noncompetitve, non-judged event for ALL grade levels! Sign-up sheets are attached at the end of the Core. If you need more information, contact Emily Frazier Williams at

Skate Night: Skate Night will be Friday night, March 20, at Cairns Arena. Come join the Orchard Community and have fun with your whole family!


This year the collection process for raffle baskets will be slightly different than years past. Rather than each classroom being assigned a theme, this year each grade will have one theme. Rather than collecting donations in classrooms, we will have collection baskets in the Orchard lobby for each grade.

Below is the basket theme for each grade and a few ideas to get you started:

  • Kindergarten: “Build A World” (Legos, puzzles, blocks etc.)

  • 1st grade: “Aspiring Artist” (paper, paint, clay, stamps, markers)

  • 2nd grade: “Outdoor Fun” (chalk, frisbee, jump rope, gardening)

  • 3rd grade: “Family Game Night” (card games, dominoes, board games)

  • 4th grade: “Animal Lover” (animal stickers, poster, stuffed animals, books)

  • 5th grade: “New England Sports” (anything Patriots, Red Sox, Lake Monsters, UVM etc.)

We will accept donations before 8:10 am and after 2:30 pm each day during the week of 3/9 - 3/13. Please be sure to bring your donation or have your child drop it off during these times.

Girls On The Run: Participant registration is now open! Our 10-week season begins the week of March 23rd. The team will meet on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:45 - 4:30 pm. Registration is open online at under the "northern VT" option. Sometimes there is a wait list, so if your child is interested, be sure to register right away! GOTR is also looking for additional volunteer coaches for either one or both weekly sessions!

Hannaford Helps: The Hannaford Helps Schools program is being refreshed – and the timing is changing from fall to spring!

The 2020 program will run March 1 - May 16.

Since the program's inception, we've raised almost $13 million to help schools and schoolkids reach their goals. Moving the program to spring allows us to offer even more participating products, tally up the program over the summer, and send checks to you when you return to school in the fall. It's a win-win!

Please keep an eye out for your School Packet, which contains great tools to promote the program including posters and informational rack cards.

We look forward to a great spring and successful program!

Next PTO Meeting Please come to the meeting on Monday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are just an hour, but you can leave anytime. We'd love to see you and hear your ideas! It's a great way to find out what's going on and how the PTO helps make Orchard a Wonderful Place to Grow. Everyone is welcome!

Do you have PTO questions? Please find us online or ask Mr. Trifilio to put you in touch:





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Pre-School Registration

The South Burlington School District Pre-Kindergarten Fall Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is open.

We now have three STARS Accredited Licensed Programs, one in each of our three elementary schools. We offer 10 hours of Free Public Pre-Kindergarten Monday thru Thursday 8:00-10:30 and 12:00 to 2:30 throughout the school year.

Our classrooms provide a warm nurturing environment with a low student/teacher ratio.

We provide opportunities for purposeful play coupled with teacher-directed activities in an language-rich environment promoting social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth. The curriculum follows the Vermont Early Learning Standards and is taught by an Early Childhood Special Educator and Speech and Language Pathologist.

To register, your child must be a South Burlington Resident and 3 years old on or before September 1, 2020.

The Pre-Registration Form is located on our school district website and select the Pre-Kindergarten Quick Link. You might also want to take a sneak peek into our classrooms by visiting our school pages. For early placement, registrations should be received on or before February 7, 2020.