The Core

May 29, 2020, Volume 11, Issue 36

Principal's Notes

Hello Parents & Guardians,

The outcome of the school vote is devastating news. We can understand the economic challenges but the impact of staff cuts will be difficult. We know all of our families support our school and we are heartened by that. I am sure the superintendent will bring our district together for a plan to move our budget and our Coronavirus plans forward.

We are planning for our end-of-the-year activities, here it goes:

  • Wednesday, June 10 - 5th Grade Celebration, online of course
  • Thursday, June 11 - Bus Parade! Yes, it's our turn! The bus/car parade is planning to tour all Orchard neighborhoods!
  • Friday, June 12 - Closing (Virtual) All-School Morning Meeting

More details to follow. We will also be mailing out report cards at the end of the school year.

We have several groups meeting to discuss how we will re-open schools in August. It will be very different from anything we have seen, especially for elementary students. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines are frequently being updated but here is a link to the latest recommendations:

I hope you enjoy today's Morning Meeting. The link to the questions for the game "Would You Rather" is right below the Morning Meeting video.

Have a great weekend, stay safe, stay well and take some time to read with your child.

Mark Trifilio

Orchard Morning Meeting: Friday, May 29th

Breaking Memory Book News!

Hello again Orchard Families!

The new Memory Book link is up and running. Thank you to those families who have already purchased or tried to purchase their Memory Books - we really appreciate your support. And we're sorry that our previous link stopped working. Here is our original notice about Memory Books with the updated link attached:

The 2019-2020 Memory Book is on its way! The Memory Book is similar to a yearbook, commemorating the school year with pages for each class and photos of extracurricular and school events. New this year (and hopefully only this year…): adventures in homeschooling!

Memory Books cost $12 each. This year each Orchard student will receive a Memory Book. If you are able to contribute to the cost of your child’s Memory Book or help cover the cost of a classmate’s Memory Book, your generosity will be much appreciated! To donate any amount, please visit

If you have any questions, contact Carrie Lyon at or Laura Smith at Memory Books will likely be sent out over the summer.

Thank you!

Carrie and Laura

Photos of the Week

Big Updates - the PTO leadership team realized it would be a really long time to fundraise for a new playground. Because of this, we started spending some of the savings to update key, affordable playground equipment. It is currently under construction! We still will not have access to the playground but this is definitely a hopeful sign!

Need Assistance, Let Us Know

Has your family's income been impacted by circumstances related to COVID? Are the community resources available still not enough to meet your family's basic needs for food and other essential items? If so, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our counselors, as they are here to help and likely have resources to share that could help your family.

We are well aware that these unprecedented times are causing many families who have never needed help before to need help now. Please don't hesitate to let us know if your family has been affected in ways that are beyond your control. We are here to help each other get through this, and we want to hear from you! Please reach out by calling or emailing Aili Beeli (K-2), Auriel Gray (3-5) or Melissa McConnell (School Services Clinician).

Final Notes from Farm-to-School

HI! My name is Kayli O’Donnell, I am the Farm to School Educator for your child as well as the Growing Gardens Educator/Gardener for Common Roots. If you have been to our Farm at South Village off Spear Street and walked around, you may have noticed the sweet 48 gardens tucked away near the yellow shed with children’s vibrant art. This is the educational heart of Common Roots Farm, Growing Gardens. It is a beautiful and fun place for children of all ages.

I am on-site from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and would be happy to show you and your family around the space in safe distance. We can make and enjoy some self-harvested sun tea!

Are you supporting your children’s learning with their teachers? If you are interested in getting your kiddo’s outside to learn about gardening, ecology, and nutrition, reach out to schedule a day for your children to play and learn with me at Growing Gardens. This will not be a group experience, instead your visit will be restricted to one family (siblings or housemates) per day so that we can all stay safe. The Garden is stocked with hand sanitizer, hand washing stations, and sanitation for tools.

Let’s make a plan! Email me at: Or Call: (603) 854-4411

New and fun features of the garden worth checking out:

  • Human-sized bird’s nest! Experience the shelter and home of a bird! Do some bird watching, we have lots of beautiful sky-friends here.
  • Medicine Mound! Growing medicinal herbs in mounds is an old practice, one that Abenaki people who lived on the same land that the farm is now on once used! It is a sacred space for growth, like the belly of a pregnant mother. Come learn about herbal medicinal plants and take some home to try!
  • Pole Bean Tee-Pee
  • Clay making and shaping
  • Observational nature art

I hope your child has enjoyed their Farm to School lessons!

Come visit our urban farm at 55 Allen Road East. Simply follow the signs. Oh yes, feel free to bring a few fruit and veggie scraps to feed the chickens next to the red barn.

The Farmstand is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 2 – 6:30 pm.


Kayli O’Donnell

Resources from our Library

Did You Know?

Since restrictions have been lowered somewhat for safe circulation of library books, until June 1st, families may use this form to request chapter books from Orchard School's library - Only chapter books will be checked out at this time due to the availability of thousands of picture books on the "Cool Tools for School" web page ( Books may be delivered either on Monday bus runs (or Tuesday, May 26th, due to Memorial Day) or by pick-up in the school lobby Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM.

Currently, there are over 1,900 books still checked out of Orchard School's library. You may return books to a bin in the school lobby Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 2 PM. Also, I'm delighted that books may now be returned on the Monday bus runs. Each bus will have a bin labeled, "Library Books." Thanks for your help with returning books to our library!

If you're not sure if your family members have books checked out right now, email reminders will be sent throughout next week.

Happy Reading!



Donna Sullivan-Macdonald

Library Media & Instructional Technology Specialist

PTO News

Konstella - The Orchard School PTO will be retiring Konstella at the end of this school year. We will be replacing it with a simpler set of tools. We will also be retiring the Orchard PTO website as well. We are doing this to make things easier for everyone.

Parent Communication - Beginning in September, The Core newsletter will become the PTO's main tool for communicating with parents. In addition to PTO news, we will also include links to our new tools for easy reference. This will mean parents only have one place to go to find out what is going on at Orchard.

School Directory - Feedback from parents has been that they preferred our previous school directory to Konstella. We are going to go back to distributing a paper directory. The Orchard School office staff have very kindly offered to help us put this together. This will be distributed early in the new school year.

Volunteer Sign-Ups - None of the events and programs organized by the PTO could happen without our awesome parent volunteers. Moving forward we will be using Signup Genius for parents to use to sign up and help the PTO. We will populate as many volunteer opportunities in this tool at the start of the year to make it easier for everyone to plan when they will help out. The address for this tool is

Online Payments - We are going to start using Square to process online payments for field trips, play tickets, and donations. The address for the PTO Square store is

Room Parents - Room parents will communicate with class parents using a list of email addresses provided by their teacher.

What Else is the PTO Doing? - Aside from the events we usually sponsor that had to be canceled this Spring, the PTO usually sponsors a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. We also co-sponsor with the other SB schools a bus driver lunch. This year, as these events have had to be canceled, we provided gift cards to all teachers and staff at Orchard. Families were encouraged to make signs of gratitude for our bus drivers on Monday, May 18th. We are so appreciative of all their hard work and dedication!

Our goal in simplifying these tools is to make life easier for everyone.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to the PTO at if you have any questions about this.